My grandmother, Myrtle Mikkelson of Minneapolis Minnesota had already been actively boycotting and writing letters of protest, complaining personally to her own bank and stores where she shopped regularly to help rid South Africa of appartheid when Cesar Chavez started the first grape boycott in his struggle to improve the situation for farm workers in California. She joined forces immediately, and though she lived alone in her small apartment as a retired nurse, she inspired all of her 15 grandchildren to follow in her footsteps and never fail to let our voices be heard in matters of conscience.
Today i am retired but worked for years as ahigh school English teacher here in Sweden, and used films and material from UFW regularly in school to keep my young Swedish students aware of the situation for farm workers, immigrants and all the abused and downtrodden in the U.S. as well as developments regarding the environment and use of pesticides and other poisons even in other parts of the World.
My grandmother has served as inspiration and a role model for my four grown children and their families as well, with one daoughter raising four new potential activists, one son studying for a masters in environmental science, a daughter working on a masters in international conflict management, and a son working as a journalist, each trying to add their part to create a more just and sustainable World.
It´s sad that the struggle that began with the grape boycott in the 60´s is just as necessary today, but one could also say, that Cesar Chavez, in his Life-long struggle, created rings on the waters that cover most of our Earth, that will go on spreading the courage and will to create positive change by working together and never giving up! It´s not that we haven´t made any progress, it´s that we still have so far to go.