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Remembering César Chávez

Fifty years after devoting himself to la causa, a look at the labor leader’s legacy of service

A Call to Serve
In his honor each spring, around the time of César Chávez’s birthday, Chávez family members fan out to student and community groups to speak about the importance of community service and volunteerism.

Anthony Chávez, 25, was a child when he lost his grandfather. But he is part of the family’s informal speaker bureau. He urges students — and even inmates of California juvenile justice facilities — to volunteer.

“What we do is share this one example of history — my grandfather — to try to move others to make a difference,” says Anthony Chávez.

That is also the focal point of César Chávez Day, observed as a state holiday in 10 U.S. states. To date, efforts to establish a federal holiday have been unsuccessful.

Anthony’s father, Paul Chávez, 53, says it’s natural for family members to try to maintain the legacy. “He always wanted us to do more,” says Paul Chávez. “He had more faith in me than I had in myself. I chalked it up to the love a father has for a son. But later I found out he was this way with everyone. He had tremendous faith ordinary people could do extraordinary things.”

Next: "He Chose Work" >>

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