On Saturday, UC Davis is hosting for the first time the annual César Chávez Youth Leadership Conference. On the surface, this would seem to be a valuable event to help Latino youth to learn about César’s contribution to this nation’s Latino farmworkers’ plight and history.
The United Farm Workers under César’s leadership steadfastly believed in a nonviolent approach to social change. UFW members were quite dedicated and self-sacrificing in their efforts to advance dignity and respect for working people. I must therefore question why FBI and U.S. military representatives have been invited to recruit junior high and high school students at this conference. The FBI has a known history and reputation of spying on citizens, and that would be abhorrent to César.
I am certain César would have been shocked to have the FBI and U.S. military recruiting high school and middle school students in an event held in his name. As a friend of César’s, I have no doubt he would not have welcomed nor invited them to such a conference held in his name and honor.
While I applaud UCD for hosting this conference, at the same time I am very concerned about the the lack of morals and ethics behind the inclusion of the aforementioned governmental agencies at Saturday’s event.
Francisco J. Dominguez