Chandler celebrates the legacy of César Chávez with community events

March 8, 2024
Andres Chavez

CHANDLER, Ariz. – Before Chandler became a Community of Innovation and home to several of the top technology companies in the nation, its roots were in agriculture. Many of Chandler’s earliest Latino residents worked in the fields to provide for their families and have vivid memories of César Chávez, an inspirational labor leader who fought for the rights of farmworkers.

In honor of César Chávez Day (celebrated on his birthday on March 31), the city is partnering with the César Chávez Foundation to host several events to celebrate his legacy. 

Thursday, March 28 | Seeds of Legacy
The city’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Division, Chandler Unified School District and Chávez Foundation will host a Seeds of Legacy event at Frye Elementary with approximately 450 third- through fifth-grade students from both Frye and San Marcos Elementary Schools at 1:20 p.m. Thursday, March 28. Andrés Chávez, grandson of César Chávez and executive director of the National Chávez Center, will share with the students about his Tata’s work and the legacy that still lives on today. Each student also will receive a book about the life of César Chávez. There will also be a special presentation to Chávez from local artist Abigail Pacheco, with the help of students from Chandler’s Housing Youth program. The artist's presentation will be before Chávez takes the stage.

Thursday, March 28 | DEI Internal Employee Speaker Series
Following the school event, Andrés Chávez will head to the City Council Chambers, 88 E. Chicago St., to speak to Team Chandler about his Tata (grandfather) and share stories of his legacy with city employees starting at 3:30 p.m. 

Friday, March 29 | The Untold Stories and Cafecito
Longtime residents of Chandler will enjoy cafecito and pan dulce as they share stories of how César Chávez impacted their lives. This event will be from 9:30–10:30 a.m. Friday, March 29, at Light and Life Church, 501 S. Arizona Ave. Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP online at Chavez Day RSVP, or by calling 480-782-4363.

Saturday, March 30 | Let’s Pull Together in Honor of César Chávez: Community Celebration
The city’s Neighborhood Programs staff is teaming up with community volunteers, Pueblo Viejo neighborhood leaders, Chandler High students, the
César Chávez Foundation and La Campesina radio station to organize a neighborhood and community garden cleanup event. This is the third year Neighborhood Programs has hosted this cleanup event and this year it has with expanded support from the Chávez Foundation, Radio Campesina and Chandler High.

7–8:30 a.m. - Volunteers will meet at a Chandler community garden, 190 S. Dakota St., and come together to assist residents of the Pueblo Viejo neighborhood with minor yard work and alley clean-up, as well as help residents dispose of unwanted items. Upon completion, there will be a march to Chandler City Hall where volunteers will have an opportunity to hear from special guests about the legacy of César Chávez.

8:30–11 a.m. - The celebration will continue in the courtyard of Chandler City Hall, 175 S. Arizona Ave. Neighborhood activist Dulce Encinas will serve as event emcee and share her story when César Chávez stayed with her family during a visit to Chandler. Additional speakers include: Andrés Chávez, grandson of César Chávez and executive director of the National Chávez Center; and Juanita Encinas, Chandler resident and longtime community leader.

In addition, students from Chandler High will reflect on Chávez’s legacy, followed by a performance from the school’s ballet folklorico group. Radio Campesina (101.9 FM) also will be at the celebration with live call-ins to educate the community about what’s happening in downtown Chandler that morning. 

Those interested in volunteering or joining us for the post-event celebration are encouraged to RSVP online at Chavez Day RSVP, or by calling 480-782-4363.  

By March 26 | Share memories with City of Chandler
In addition to these events, Chandler residents are encouraged to share their memories and photos of
César Chávez. Even if you didn’t have the opportunity to meet him in person, you can share how his legacy and fight for equal rights inspired you. 

Submitted photos and stories will be featured on the city’s blog: Choosing Chandler and promoted on social media. To submit a memory, email Chandler News, or submit it online at Remembering Cesar Chavez. Submissions are encouraged to be sent by Tuesday, March 26.

For more information on the school and city’s internal employee event, contact CC Cantabrana with Chandler’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Division at 480-782-2218 (se habla español). For information about getting involved with the community clean-up and celebration, or to share memories of César Chávez during the cafecito, contact Priscilla Quintana with Chandler’s Neighborhood Programs Office at 480-782-4363 (se habla español)

Media contact:
Stephanie Romero

City of Chandler, Public Information Officer