Today marks what would have been César Chávez’s 84th birthday. Chávez was born in 1927 to Mexican American farmers in Arizona. Here he is, right, at age six with his sister:
When he was about 11, his family lost their farm in the Great Depression and they turned to migrant farm work. In 1962 he and Dolores Huerta founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers). His success in organizing farm workers, raising awareness of the conditions of their work, and raising support for their cause is one of the most inspiring stories of collective action in American history. Read more about Chávez here.
Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and Gender, a textbook. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.