Longmont to Hold First Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta Celebration
If you go
What: Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta Celebration
When: noon to 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: Front Range Community College, 2190 Miller Drive, Longmont
More info: bit.ly/2E5gAXe
In honor of National Farmworkers Awareness Week and Cesar Chavez Day on Saturday, a new coalition of Longmont leaders are holding the first Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta Celebration at Front Range Community College on Saturday.
Various community leaders got together to create the event and found that they enjoyed working together so much that they created a new organization for future events, La Lucha: Social Justice Coalition.
Coalition member Jennifer Diaz-Leon said that in the future, La Lucha hopes to start a scholarship fund for local students.
The celebration runs from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at FRCC, 2190 Miller Drive. The event will start with “Struggles in the Field,” a history conversation led by University of Colorado Boulder ethnic studies Professor Arturo Aldama.
Then there will be a community panel focused on the past, present and future of Boulder County farmworker families.
“We have a wide community of farmworking families and we wanted to honor that community and show how the work of Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta is still impacting those families,” Diaz-Leon said. “We will have community members who have lived in Longmont for a long time to share the history of the community and students whose families live at Casa de la Esperanza.”
Diaz-Leon added that a major part of the panel will be a Longmont man who is a third-generation farmworker. He will be interviewed by his daughter.
Chavez and Huerta founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers. Chavez was an advocate for farmworkers, immigrants and labor issues during his lifetime. He died in 1993 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously in 1994. Huerta has worked for decades on feminist, immigration and migrant worker issues and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
Diaz-Leon said the first celebration was inspired, in part, by Longmont high school students who saw Huerta speak at the 25th annual Cherry Creek Diversity Conference in February.
“She was the keynote speaker and they left the keynote speech feeling empowered and they empowered the rest of the members of our group,” Diaz-Leon said. “That’s part of the reason we wanted to make sure we showcase both our heroes here, because a lot of the times Cesar Chavez’s work is talked about, but Dolores Huerta is just as important.”
As the history conversation and community panel are going on, there will also be a storytime from the Longmont Public Library and art activities for children. At 1:30 p.m., there will be light refreshments and a resource fair for families.
The event is funded in part by the Longmont Multicultural Action Committee.
La Lucha will also be selling prints and T-shirts featuring Denver artist Alex Palacio’s unique painting of Chavez and Huerta. The money from the prints and T-shirts will go toward La Lucha’s scholarship fund.
Karen Antonacci: 303-684-5226, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/ktonacci