César Chávez was the child of Mexican American migrant laborers. He spent his youth in a migrant camps. He spent two years in the US Navy but then returned to migrant farmwork. In 1962, he began organizing the largely Latino farmworkers of Arizona and California. A charismatic figure, he used strikes, fasts, and boycotts to win union recognition and contracts from California grape and lettuce growers. He brought his union to the AFL-CIO, and in 1972 it became the United Farm Workers of America (UFW).
César Chávez dedicated his life to building a movement of poor working people. He inspired farm laborers and millions of people to commit themselves to social, economic, and civil rights activism. We honor his hard work and dedication to his people every year on March 31st, his birthday.