César Chávez Day celebrations and teaching events aimed at children 5 to 12 years old will be held Friday at the Topanga and Lake Los Angeles libraries in connection with the state holiday honoring the late labor leader.
The celebration at the Topanga Library will be held 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. and include the children creating paper gardens. The celebration at the Lake Los Angeles Library will be held from 3:30-5 p.m. and will include the students creating posters of people they admire.
Public schools and state offices, including courts will be closed Friday. Los Angeles city and county offices will be open because those jurisdictions observed the holiday Monday. There will be mail delivery because César Chávez Day is not a federal holiday.
Chávez co-founded the National Farm Workers Association in 1962 with Dolores Huerta. The union merged in 1965 with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee to form the UFW.
Chávez, an advocate of nonviolence, is best remembered for spearheading a grape boycott in 1965 that went nationwide in 1968 and lasted until 1978, resulting in higher wages for farm workers and focusing national attention on their plight.
Chávez and the UFW played an instrumental role in the passage of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act in 1975, which made California the first state to give farm workers the right to seek union representation and bargain collectively within an established legal framework.
Born March 31, 1927, in Yuma, Arizona, Chávez dropped out of school after the eighth grade to help support his family by joining them in the fields as a migrant farm worker, witnessing the many adversities those workers faced daily.
Chávez died in 1993 at age 66.
“Throughout his life of work and service, César Chávez empowered thousands to stand together for their rights and led our nation toward a more equitable and just society,” Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote in his proclamation declaring Friday César Chávez Day. Then-Gov. Gray Davis signed legislation in 2000 creating the state holiday.
“His visionary leadership inspired a powerful movement that burns brightly to this day, rallying people from all walks of life to champion the dignity of work.”