With PAF at Helm, Cesar Chavez Day a Great Success

cesar chavez day
May 31, 2017
As part of my placement at the Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service, I had the opportunity to plan Cesar Chavez Day 2017. The purpose of this day is to celebrate the life and legacy of Cesar Chavez, address the history of the farmworkers movement of the 1960’s, current policy issues, and how we can move forward together to create positive, lasting change. Other issues covered by our guest speakers included immigration, bilingual education, youth and art activism, farmworkers rights, social justice, etc. 
The César Chávez Day Committee’s vision & Mission Statement has certainly become a reality: 
"We envision César Chávez Day becoming both an annual day of celebration and a call to action at The George Washington University. Throughout this special day, we aim to bring awareness of who César Chávez was, and of his commitment to social justice. By examining the steps he took to bring about change, we hope to do the same within our own community as we discuss how his core values can be applied to current issue areas including (but not limited to) Immigration and Food Justice. At the end of our celebration we will reconvene and reflect on how César Chávez's message has inspired us, as well as how we plan to honor his memory by becoming advocates of social justice."  
In this student-led effort, I worked with 15 undergraduates and a Spanish Service Learning professor, Dolores Perillán, to plan this event. It took place from 10am-8pm on Friday, March 31st in the Marvin Center and the Jack Morton Auditorium. Through the formation of different committees, the students were responsible for contacting speakers, creating marketing materials for the day, contacting multiple student and DC organization, as well as different performers and artists to join us on this day. We also partnered with the MSSC, The Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute, and GW’s Department of Romance, German, and Slavic Languages and Literatures to bring this day to life. 
Activities of the day included: 
Artwork exhibitions, various interactive workshops, displays of organizations from GW and the DC community, performances, a space for reflection about the life and legacy of César Chávez, special guest speakers and panel discussions around issues such as immigration, youth activism and art activism. 

Marisa Cordon

Marisa is a second year fellow pursuing a Master of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health. This year she is placed at the School of Medicine in the Department of Clinical Research and Leadership.