Cesar Chavez

Tell us what you did
to help Cesar's cause

"Guardian Angels"

Guardian Angels

While growing up in the 60’s and 70’s in the Detroit area, my family was very involved in the Social Action work of our Catholic church, Guardian Angels.  It was in this context that my parents and their five children came to know and care deeply about the plight of our country’s farmworkers.  In the early days of the grape and lettuce boycotts, my parents lent out our humble home in a blue collar working class community to UFW organizers.  We spent our evenings and weekends picketing our local grocery stores.  My dad was arrested but released during a protest and I remember vividly that he had only a look of pride and justice on his face as he and many others were taken away.  Our neighborhood was not known for its liberalism or as a place where people seemed to care much about activism.  There were no Latinos in my neighborhood that I knew of, much less farmworkers.  I think our neighbors didn’t know what to think when we held rallies in our backyard.  Arturo Rodriguez was an organizer for the UFW in the Detroit area during those days, and he came to know my parents and spent time at our house.  Once time Cesar Chavez’ brother, Richard, also stayed at our house.  I treasure these experiences more than anything else in my childhood.  Their lessons are deeply embedded and illuminate the person who I strive to be.