First, during the grape boycott, I stopped buying grapes and I still don’t. Same with iceberg lettuce during that boycott and since then, I just buy organic leaf lettuce. Following the non-violent approach of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. in pressing for farm worker rights was and proving again and again that it works is a vital lesson and legacy for us all. Cesar showed by his life that non-violence is vital to successful personal relationships, relationships with corporations and leaders, and in international affairs. Individuals and nations have a long way to go in following this path, but Cesar helped show the way.
Just as we study about Gandi and Martin Luther King,Jr., every March I discuss farm labor conditions and worker rights with my second grade class in California. They learn about Cesar, Dolores, and the UFW. They also learn about farm labor issues across the U.S. and about FLOC. We have a class garden and they know that farm work is taxing and requires skills. In commercial farm work it also requires speed. They learn to look at fields they drive by to see if porta potties and shade are in sight. They learn about the potential dangers of pesticides and herbicides. They learn to look for the UFW black eagle on the red flag symbol and to say “Si se puede!” They think about being grateful for each person who helped bring their food to them. Viva la causa!