San Diego Unified School District and Cesar Chavez Foundation Collaborate to Strengthen Students’ Literacy Skills and Social-Emotional Learning

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Students from San Diego Unified School District are developing their hearts and minds this summer with the Cesar Chavez Foundation’s summer literacy curriculum.

SAN DIEGO-[July 6, 2022] Students in grades TK-8 across the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) attending the morning Level Up Academic Program are participating in literacy and language rich lessons incorporating a diverse range of children’s literature, including learning the story of Cesar Chavez and his leadership in the Farm Workers’ Movement. Students build classroom communities, develop reading and writing skills, express themselves through art and dance, and build social-emotional learning skills with this engaging curriculum designed for SDUSD.

The five-week curriculum, created by the Cesar Chavez Foundation, takes a holistic approach through the philosophy of teaching the hearts and minds of students, instilling a sense of pride in their own cultures and respect for other cultures, as they learn about Cesar Chavez and his core values, such as ¡Sí Se Puede! The Chavez Foundation and San Diego Unified teams co-facilitated training for nearly 800 educators on the summer curriculum, including a keynote address by CCF President and Cesar Chavez’ son, Paul Chavez.

“Our work is anchored in Cesar Chavez’s deep belief that, You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride,” said Dr. Celia Garcia Alvarado, Executive Vice President of Education for the Cesar Chavez Foundation. “All students benefit from culturally responsive programs that educate both their hearts and minds, and we are very grateful for the opportunity to partner with San Diego Unified to support their Level Up Academic Program.”

The Chavez Foundation’s Education Fund is dedicated to building a just society by educating the hearts and minds of students through culturally responsive, diverse products and services. The Education Fund partners with schools and districts, offering curricula and academic support services, with a focus on under-resourced communities.







Grand Opening of Plaza Ortiz in El Monte

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Cesar Chavez Foundation announces grand opening of high-quality affordable housing community for homeless veterans & low-income residents in El Monte named for U.S. Army Cpl. ‘Mac’ Ortiz Jr. who died during Korean War in 1950 

El Monte, Calif. (June 29, 2022) – The Cesar Chavez Foundation (CCF) held a grand opening celebration on June 29 for a new affordable housing community for homeless veterans and low-income residents in El Monte. The property is named Plaza Ysabel “Mac” Ortiz, in honor of the 19-year-old El Monte native who was killed during the Korean War and whose remains were returned nearly 70 years after he was reported missing in action. The 53 units of housing for homeless veterans and low-income households features onsite social services provided in partnership with Step Up, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit delivering compassionate support to people experiencing serious mental health conditions, and persons who are experiencing chronic homelessness so they can recover, stabilize, and integrate into the community. The property also features a new mural by artist Ignacio Gomez honoring Ysabel “Mac” Ortiz and other community heroes.  

The project houses a Si Se Puede Learning Center, Chavez Foundation’s flagship afterschool program for young residents and 6,849 square feet of space for residential services, recreational meeting space, conference and meeting rooms, and staff office space as well as to provide services and resources for homeless veterans.  

Ysabel “Mac” Ortiz joined the U.S. Army at age 17. He was serving during the Korean War, assigned to an M-19, small anti-aircraft tank with an exposed cockpit in the 7th Infantry Division when he went missing while in combat in North Korea on Dec. 2, 1950. Barely past his 19th birthday, Cpl. Ortiz’s remains were never recovered. DNA testing confirmed he was among the remains of 55 U.S. service members turned over to the U.S. by North Korea almost 70 years later in 2019. He was brought home, buried in Riverside National Cemetery, and posthumously awarded the Purple Heart. 


Grand Opening of Los Portales de Lena Guerrero in Austin

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Cesar Chavez Foundation announces grand opening of high-quality affordable housing community in Austin named for the late Texas legislator Lena Guerrero

Austin, TX (June 10, 2022) – The Cesar Chavez Foundation (CCF) held a grand opening celebration on June 10 for a new affordable housing community in Austin. Los Portales de Lena Guerrero, named for former community activist and railroad commissioner Lena Guerrero, features 97 units of affordable housing for families including four permanent supportive units for transitional-aged youth in partnership with Lifeworks, an Austin-based nonprofit dedicated to transitioning youth and families from crisis to safety and success.

“We’re pleased to open our our second affordable housing community in Austin to address the needs of Latinos and working families. It’s fitting to name this property after Lena Guerrero, a positive force in the community who fought tirelessly for farmworkers and the disenfranchised,” said Paul Chavez, President, Cesar Chavez Foundation. “She embodied the values of our organization’s founder, civil rights and farm labor leader Cesar Chavez.”

The community houses a Si Se Puede Learning Center, CCF’s flagship afterschool program available to young residents and features a picnic area, playground and multi-use community space as well as provide housing and resources for transitional-aged youth in the Austin area.

The property is named after Lena Guerrero, whose work championed the rights of farmworkers. She was the second Latina elected to the Texas Legislature where she was known as one of the state’s most effective lawmakers. In 1991, she became the first woman and first Latina to serve on the Railroad Commission of Texas where she led the effort to help independent oil and gas producers increase production in Texas at a time when the industry was struggling, and was a strong advocate for the use of alternative fuels.


Celebrate National Park Week 2022 April 16 to 24!

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Every April, during the presidentially proclaimed National Park Week, we join with the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service to celebrate America’s treasures.

The César E. Chávez National Monument is the 398th unit of the National Park Service administered in a partnership by the park service and the National Chavez Center, part of the Cesar Chavez Foundation. President Barack Obama established César E. Chávez National Monument with a presidential proclamation in 2012. In 1971, Cesar Chavez moved to this property to live and work. The 187-acre property in Keene, California has served as a national headquarters for the United Farm Workers union since 1972. Its remote location provided a sense of security and refuge during a time when violence threatened the people who were part of the farmworker movement. Here, Cesar Chavez fulfilled many of his achievements as an activist and civil rights leader. Thousands of farm workers and supporters flowed through what Chavez named La Paz over the decades to plan and do their daily work—from organizing and boycotting to contract bargaining, administration, and financial management. It is where Chavez lived and labored his last quarter century, and where he is buried with his wife, Helen.

We are thankful for our partners who help preserve and promote Cesar Chavez’s legacy. National Park Week is a time to explore amazing places, discover stories of history and culture, help out, and find your park.



National Chavez Center announces Andres Chavez as new executive director

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Andres P. Chavez has been appointed executive director of the National Chavez Center (NCC), its Board of Directors announced. He recently served as the Cesar Chavez Foundation’s director of strategic initiatives and assumed his new post on March 31, 2022, on what would have been the farm labor and civil rights leader’s 95th birthday and an official holiday in 11 states.

The NCC promotes and preserves the legacy of Cesar Chavez across the nation and manages historical properties near Delano and at Keene, Calif., where he spent his last quarter century and is home to the César E. Chávez National Monument, the 398th unit of the National Park Service administered in partnership with the NCC.

Raised in the farm worker movement, from an early age Andres has served as a key ambassador representing CCF and the farm worker movement at innumerable public events across the nation. As CCF’s current Director of Strategic Initiatives, Andres’ duties have included playing key roles advising on business decisions, strategic direction, operations, government relations, and media. Most recently, Andres played a lead role in the establishment of CCF’s Social Investment Fund. While spearheading CCF’s COVID-19 response team, Andres oversaw the development of CCF’s internal COVID-19 efforts, vaccine and contact tracing policies, and educational messaging. At the height of the pandemic, Andres supported the coordination and oversaw mass vaccination clinics for farm workers at the historic Forty Acres. These efforts were highlighted with a visit by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden’s visit on March 31, 2021 in conjunction with Cesar Chavez Day. For nearly a decade, Andres has overseen the NCC Speakers Bureau coordinating and presenting at nationwide conferences, community-based events, marches, and universities.

“As the National Chavez Center aims to meet the goals set forth in its recent strategic plan, Andres Chavez brings all the competencies we need to transform the National Chavez Center into a vibrant and leading institution inspiring millions of Americans through the legacy of Cesar Chavez,” said Manuel Bernal, CCF chief operating officer.