The Marcus Center hosted the 2nd Annual César E. Chávez Birthday Celebration Art Contest on March 8, bringing together families from various local communities to remember the life of the civil rights activist and hero.

The free event was created to focus on educating the Milwaukee public about the legacy of César E. Chávez, an unselfish advocate of social justice and respect for human dignity. Building on the success of the Marcus Center’s Dr. King Birthday event, the César E. Chávez Birthday programming was created to engage young people and provide them a platform of expression using art, essay, and spoken word.

Born César Estrada Chávez on March 31, 1927 in Yuma, Arizona, he was an American labor leader and civil rights activist who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the United Farm Workers union (UFW) in 1962. Milwaukee students from grades 4 to 12 participated in the contest, inspired by the values that Chávez used to guide his life and activism – acceptance of all people and the embrace of communities.

“It is important to keep César E. Chávez’s legacy of social justice and respect for human dignity alive, and the contest allowed Milwaukee students to showcase their art skills while honoring the values that made Chávez an inspirational leader to millions,” said Alderman José G. Pérez.

Highlights from the event were gathered in this image collection and video segment, to share the hope and spirit of the multi-cultural communities who participated in the César E. Chávez program this year.