Cesar Chavez

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to help Cesar's cause

"A Journey from the Inner City to the Fields of a Boycott"

A Journey from the Inner City to the Fields of a Boycott

It was the Fall of 1967 that I began my teaching career in an inner city school of Detroit, MI following the horrific riots.  Buildings around us were burned out, looted and no longer functional.  Students suffered the aftermath of experiencing a war zone in their community.  The following year Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were gunned down.  Armed guards and tanks sat at the end of our school yard to enforce a curfew. The numbness that followed led to a desire to find another way to resolve conflict.  Violence was not the answer.  I became involved in the Grape Boycott followed by the Lettuce Boycot.  What drew this city girl in the direction of farm worker rights was Cesar and his commitment to non-violence to bring about social change and economic justice.  I left teaching to work full time with UFW.  I worked in Denver and at the headquarters in La Paz.  The highlight of my day was when Cesar, Huelga and Boycott would come into the office.  I worked downstairs and could hear Huelga and Boycott circle round before coming to rest on the floor next to Cesar.  While in La Paz I came to realized how important education was to Cesar.  He had a building he wanted dedicated to farm worker children’s education.  After leaving UFW I returned to inner city teaching and through grants was able to develop a K-8 curriculum that focused on conflict resolution using non-violent strategies.  I continued my 35 year teaching career in inner city schools.  The last three years I was elected President of our teachers’ union.  I am sure that if it wasn’t for Cesar my path would have been very different.  It was his perseverance and commitment to non-violence and justice that encouraged me along the way.  Si se puede!