The 14th annual Davis César Chávez Celebration will run from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at the Davis Senior Center, 646 A St. The free event is sponsored by the city of Davis Human Relations Commission. Community members of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to attend.
The program will focus on immigration issues that affect Davis, the state and the nation and to honor immigrant contributions. The keynote speaker will be Carlos Alcala, a West Sacramento-based activist who has a long history of addressing immigration issues and who knew César Chávez. Alcala will share stories of his interactions with Chávez and bring to the conversation dialog about immigration.
A panel discussion, including audience participation, will delve deeper into the immigration issues affecting community members. Kirt Lewis of World Relief Sacramento, Amagda Perez of King School of Law and the Immigration Law Clinic, Eric Vega of Sacramento State and others will be on hand to share their professional insight and experiences.
In addition to discussion, a Resource Fair will showcase local and regional organizations, including the UC Davis Chican@ Studies Department, the District English Language Learner Advisory Council, World Relief Sacramento, the Mexican Student Graduate Association, Covered California, the Davis Phoenix Coalition, Mga Kaptid UC Davis and other groups.
The Chávez event will also feature entertainment in several forms. First, Francisco Alarcon, poet, will inspire attendees with his verse. For those who want to appeal to their visual senses, Fiesta Dance will perform salsa dances during the afternoon. And all attendees will be able to hear a reading of the “Prayer of the Farmworkers Struggle,” a poem penned by Chávez to convey the sacrifices and contributions of those who labor in the field.
The event commemorates the anniversary of César Chávez’s birthday. Chávez spoke at rallies in Davis’ Central Park during the tomato growers’ strikes in the 1970s. A Chávez rally in Davis on Aug. 11, 1974, was reported to have drawn more than 2,000 attendees.