Big Bend Community College students were able to honor the American Civil Rights leader, Cesar E. Chavez, Wednesday by donating blood at the National Cesar E. Chavez Blood Drive sponsored by the Big Bend M.E.Ch.A. Club.
Chavez (March 31, 1927 – April 23, 1993) was an American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist, who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later United Farm Workers Union, UFW).
A Mexican American, Chavez became the best-known Latino American civil rights activist, and strongly promoted by the American labor movement, which was eager to enroll Hispanic members. His public-relations approach to unionism and aggressive but nonviolent tactics made the farm workers’ struggle a moral cause with nationwide support.
After his death he became a major historical icon for the Latino community, organized labor, and liberal movement, symbolizing support for workers and for Hispanic power based on grass roots organizing and his slogan “Sí, se puede” (Spanish for “Yes, one can” or, roughly, “Yes, it can be done”). His supporters say his work led to numerous improvements for union laborers. His birthday, March 31, has become Cesar Chavez Day, a state holiday in California, Colorado, and Texas.
The national event known as the “Chavez Challenge” includes the participation of more than 300 college campuses making it “the largest health service learning initiative in the nation”.
Students, who organize these events, set donation goals and can earn scholarships for reaching them. Last year, Big Bend M.E.Ch.A. placed in the top fifty schools in the nation for reaching their donation goals.
Rita Ramirez, advisor of M.E.Ch.A. explained that giving students the opportunity to perform this simple service of donating blood allows them to honor the service Chavez did for the American people.
*Biographical information on Cesar E. Chavez taken from Wikipedia.
For some more pictures of this event CLICK HERE!