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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.

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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.

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Chavez Foundation and Unite Us announce new partnership

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Chavez Foundation and Unite Us partner to connect residents in affordable housing communities with local organizations that provide essential services.

Keene, CA (March 30, 2022) – The Cesar Chavez Foundation (CCF) is working with Unite Us, the nation’s leading technology company connecting health and social care services, to help residents in its affordable housing communities access local organizations that provide a wide range of critical services. This partnership with Unite Us will help CCF locate services for residents living in 30 of its housing communities across New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and California. 

CCF’s community services team will help families and senior citizens identify and access over 20 types of services – including food and housing assistance and health and wellness services – through the Unite Us Platform. Residents will receive secure electronic referrals within 48 hours of the initial request.

“By utilizing the Unite Us network, our staff will be able to easily develop relationships with community partners, enabling us to improve the lives of individuals living in our communities,” said Brianna Fimbres, Community Services Manager for CCF. “Our staff will be able to help residents get a range of services that will allow them to age-in-place with dignity, get back into the workforce, or find health care to maintain mental and physical stability.”

“Our national collaboration with The Cesar Chavez Foundation will benefit CCF residents across the country by connecting them to much-needed health and social care services within their communities,” said Adrienne Sherk, Senior Director, Community-Based Organization Partnerships, Unite Us. “Together, we will increase equitable access to care and services across the country and achieve our collective goal by providing their residents with the care they need, no matter where they live,” she added.  


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First Lady Dr. Jill Biden to visit the National Chavez Center

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First Lady Dr. Jill Biden honors Cesar Chavez at a naturalization ceremony where Chavez lived & labored his last quarter century UFW’s Teresa Romero receiving Outstanding Americans by Choice award

Keene, Calif.—First Lady Dr. Jill Biden honors Cesar Chavez three days before what would have been the civil rights and farm labor leader’s 95th birthday by helping swear in 31 immigrants from nine countries as new U.S. citizens during a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ceremony where Chavez lived and labored his last quarter century. One of the new citizens is a UFW Foundation member from Bakersfield whose husband is a farm worker, Claudia Marcela Campos.

USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou will administer the Oath of Allegiance and present a national award to United Farm Workers President Teresa Romero, herself an immigrant and naturalized citizen, as an Outstanding American by Choice. Cesar Chavez Foundation President Paul F. Chavez will also deliver remarks.

It is the second year in a row the first lady is visiting a farm worker movement historical property on or around Chavez’s birthday. On March 31, 2021, she marked the occasion by participating in a mass farm worker vaccination clinic at the “Forty Acres” near Delano, the movement’s headquarters before Chavez moved it to Keene in 1971.

Also historically significant is the 187-acre Keene property in the Tehachapi Mountains east of Bakersfield in Kern County. Comprising three acres of it is the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument, the 398th unit of the National Park Service administered in a partnership by the park service and the National Chavez Center, part of the Chavez foundation.

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. La Paz was where many of the most important UFW campaigns—from the early 1970s onward—were devised, planned, and often coordinated. It was also where Chavez built a community of fellow union members and volunteers who worked with him full time for social justice. It was where Chavez and his colleagues lived out the principles they cherished, including nonviolence, simplicity of lifestyle and service to others.

Monday’s naturalization ceremony is set in the 17,000 square foot Mission style structure now called Villa La Paz. It was where generations of farm worker leaders learned to run their own union by organizing, negotiating and administering union contracts, and resolving differences with growers.

UFW President Teresa Romero said, “I first came to this country in my 20s, seeking a better life for myself—like millions of immigrants before me, like many of you. My respect for the UFW and the farm workers—and my understanding of their struggles—hails from the fact that when I came to America, I did not speak or understand English. I appreciate what it is like to come to a new country, to be exposed to a new language, a new culture, a new people. I have come to be equally proud of my Mexican and Zapotecan heritage as wellas my U.S. citizenship.”

Chavez foundation President Paul Chavez observed, “My dad was the son and grandson of immigrants who in the late 1800s fled the servitude of the hacienda system in Mexico. They sought opportunities they knew they could never have in their native country, sharing the dream of all immigrants—then and now—to partake in the opportunities, benefits, and prosperity this nation offers. But my father was convinced American citizenship is about more than taking an oath and waving the American flag. Citizenship is about empowering yourself and your community through participation, becoming fully informed, registering to vote, voting, and becoming fully engaged in your community’s civic, political, and cultural affairs.”

UFW Foundation Executive Director Diana Tellefson Torres said, “On this day, in this country of immigrants, we continue the proud tradition of welcoming new American citizens and congratulate everyone, including our own member, Claudia, on this achievement. Today we also thank First Lady Jill Biden for joining us in this fundamental practice to our democracy. We are emboldened by her dedication and commitment to the immigrant community and hope to work with her and the Biden administration to expand immigrant rights in the upcoming months and years.”

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“A Song for Cesar” premieres in theaters March 2022

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Unique Documentary About Cesar Chavez and the Musicians Who Supported the Farmworker Movement Premieres During Cesar Chavez Month

A Song for Cesar features Joan Baez, Maya Angelou, and Carlos Santana, and many more

A Song for Cesar, a unique documentary about Cesar Chavez and the musicians and artists who supported the movement to improve the lives of struggling farmworkers, premieres in theaters across the country in March. The documentary also explores other facets of Cesar’s life – from childhood to his final days – revelations that, until now, have not been shared on screen.

A Song for Cesar presents a previously untold story of the life and legacy of Cesar Chavez and the farmworker movement. Through interviews, performances, stunning archival footage and photographs, and a rich original soundtrack, the film features the musicians and artists – including Joan Baez, Maya Angelou, and Carlos Santana, among others – who dedicated their time, creativity, and even reputations to peacefully advance Cesar Chavez’s movement to gain equality and justice for America’s struggling farmworkers.

Filmmakers Abel Sanchez and Andres Alegria spent more than a decade producing the documentary which highlights the importance and effectiveness of peaceful protest to effect positive social change. The initial inspiration for the film was a song about Cesar Chavez written by Mr. Sanchez and Jorge Santana, the latter who sadly passed in 2020.

“While writing the song Song for Cesar, Jorge and I felt the inspiration of Cesar and the farmworkers enter our studio,” said Mr. Sanchez. “When we shared the song set to a short video with our friend Maya Angelou, she insisted we make a full documentary about how the farmworker movement was lifted by so many musicians and artists of the time, adding ‘this is not only your song, it is my song, it is everybody’s song!’ Of course, we could not resist Maya, and the documentary A Song for Cesar was born.”

For more information about the film and play dates, visit www.songforcesar.com.