Social Justice by Diana Victa and Alejandra Romo

A Call to Action for Civic Engagement and Advocacy

On Thursday, March 17, the Cesar E. Chavez Community Action Center(CCCAC) will celebrate its inaugural Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and Larry Itliong (CHI) Day. The three individuals who went on to inspire many others during their lifetime are the root of the celebration and inspire us every day at the CCCAC. CHI day will be an annual celebration where we not only celebrate but, more importantly, call to action their legacy.

To understand the importance and significance of CHI day, we have to understand who the three individuals are and why we are celebrating it. The conditions in which farmworkers have worked in has never been fair but the fight for their rights was initiated by all of these monumental figures in history. In 1966, Filipino members of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee joined forces with Latino members of the National Farm Workers Association to form the United Farm Workers (UFW). With leaders such as Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and Larry Itliong, they pushed to mobilize farm workers to advocate for more equitable policies, such as immigration reform, pesticide protections, heat standards, hazard pay, and other worker protections. CHI saw farmworkers as essential to the reason food, the staple of everyday life, is on our table.

Some of the UFW achievements include the first contracts to provide rest periods, drinking water, toilets, hand-washing facilities in the fields, the banning of pesticide spraying while workers were in the field, and protective clothing to guard against exposure to pesticides. In the fight, Chicano and Filipino farm workers united to become one of the greatest forces in history.

At the CCCAC, we find inspiration in the work and values of Chavez, Huerta, and Itliong. Chavez quotes, “The fight has never been about the grapes, the fight has always been about the people!” We promote this very motto at the CCCAC by centering on our core values such as community, empowerment, solidarity, and civic engagement. At the center, we offer a variety of services that serve people.

    • Through our K-12 mentorship programs, we are able to close the education pipeline for BIPOC youth of San Jose by encouraging education.
    • Through our Campus Community Garden, we have not only helped to provide for food-insecure students but also empower students to critically think about and take action on environmental justice issues.
    • Our In Solidarity program equips the SJSU students with a new understanding on social justice issues and how to become the next generation of leaders.

We have truly become a student hub on campus where people learn to take action on the social justice issues they are most passionate about. The CCCAC is a space where Spartans can feel united and connected to social justice work as inspired by CHI.

We invite you to join us at the inaugural CHI Day to celebrate and honor the work of Chavez, Huerta, and Itliong on Thursday, March 17 from 11am-1pm on 7th Street Plaza at San Jose State University. We not only celebrate their legacy but also remember the cause! When we say “viva la huelga” (long live the protest), we acknowledge the triumph of the grape strike! There will always be a cause and we will always fight for it.

The CCCAC is located in the Student Union, 1st Floor, Suite 1550. Connect with us in Insta @sjsucccac and @sjsugarden. Visit us on the web at and

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