As part of Fort Collins, Colorado's week-long celebration honoring legendary Latino labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez, the film Walkout will be shown. 

Walkout, directed by Edward James Olmos, tells the true story of a group of Mexican-American students who, in 1968, walked out of the classrooms, demanding better education conditions and an end to bias against students of Mexican descent. The film stars Alexa Vega, Michael Pena, Yancey Arias, Laura Harring, and Mr. Olmos' son Bodie. Mr. Olmos has an on-screen role as well.

The screening is on March 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Theater at Colorado State University.

The Fort Collins celebration begins on March 24 and concludes on March 31, Mr. Chavez' birthday, which is a holiday in several states, including Arizona, California Colorado, and Texas. 

Who is Cesar Chavez...

Cesar Chavez was a champion of worker and civil rights. The charismatic leader co-founded the National Farmworkers Association, which went on to become United Farm Workers, and emphasized non-violence as he squared off against the powerhouses of the agricultural industry, uniting Latinos to fight for their rights, as both workers and citizens.

In 2008, an initiative was launched to create a national holiday in honor of Mr. Chavez, and earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., introduced a bill designating the fourth Friday of every March to be observed as “Cesar E. Chavez Day” -- read more. This is the second time Mr. Baca has introduced the legislation; the first was in 2007 but it was blocked by House Republicans.

Mr. Olmos, who co-chairs the movement with Carlos Santana and Martin Sheen, has this to say of Chavez and the initiative: 

"Cesar Chavez deserves to be honored with a National Holiday. His life is a beacon of light toward the advancements of all cultures. He gave more than he ever received. Lived the life of one who is truly enlightened by the wisdom embodied in love, kindness and forgiveness. He, like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa and others understood the meaning of non-violent social change and used it to elevate the Human Condition. His life should be nurtured into our future and emulated by generations to come. Cesar Chavez is truly a gift to humanity and we as a nation should celebrate his life at least once a year, by way of a National Legal Holiday. We ALL deserve it!"
 

Edward James Olmos
January 2008

If you want to learn more about Mr. Chavez -- and I hope you do -- visit the CesarChavezFoundation.org.

If you want to sign the petition in support of Cesar Chavez Day, visit CesarChavezHoliday.org.

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