U-Idaho to Celebrate Annual Farmworker Awareness Week and Cesar Chavez Day

Friday, March 23 2012


MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho will celebrate Farmworker Awareness Week March 26-31, culminating in a celebration of Cesar Chavez Day on Saturday, March 31.
 
Farmworker Awareness Week raises awareness on college and university campuses across the United States, as well as in communities, of farmworker issues. It also focuses on the issues surrounding women farmworkers. The national awareness week is celebrated during the week leading up to Cesar Chavez’s birthday on March 31.
 
Cesar Chavez was born near Yuma, Ariz., in 1927 to a poor family who lost its home in a bad land swap. Shortly after, Chavez moved with his family to California in search of farm work. Throughout his life, Chavez experienced the inequalities and poor working and living conditions imposed upon farmworkers.
 
In 1962, Chavez founded the National Farm Workers Association. He later joined with Dolores Huerta to create the United Farm Workers – or UFW. The UFW strives to provide farmworkers with safe work conditions and better pay.
 
“This week of events is a great opportunity to bring the realities of the struggles of migrant/seasonal farmworkers, and raise awareness about the obstacles faced and the working conditions here in Idaho,” said Hugo Sanchez, a student of the university’s College Assistance Migrant Program – or CAMP.  
 
The national awareness week kicks off on Monday, March 26 with “Harvesting the Fields Throughout Time,” a powerpoint presentation on farmworking struggles over time, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., in the Idaho Commons Food Court and the “Bandana Project” from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., in the Idaho Commons upper canvass area. The Bandana Project is a public awareness campaign aimed at addressing the issue of workplace sexual violence against migrant farmworker women in the United States.
 
On Tuesday, March 27, the National Cesar E. Chavez Blood Drive Challenge will take place from noon – 4 p.m., in the Teaching and Learning Center second floor foyer. The National Cesar E. Chavez Blood Drive Challenge is conducted throughout the United States with over 260 campus competing. The “Bandana Project” will continue on Tuesday, March 27 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., in the Idaho Commons upper canvass area.
 
“Through the Eyes of a Farmworker,” will showcase the life of a migrant worker from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., in the Idaho Commons Whitewater room. In the evening, a showing of the documentary “After I Picked the Fruit,” will be screened from 6-9 p.m. at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre, 508 S. Main St. in Moscow. This documentary follows the lives of five immigrant farmworker women over a 10-year period as they struggle to fulfill their roles as workers, wives, mothers and members of an isolated community A panel discussion will follow.
 
On Thursday, March 28, “Though the Eyes of a Farmworker” will continue from noon – 2 p.m., in the Idaho Commons Whitewater room.
 
The Mariachi Huenachi from Wenatchee, Wash., will perform on Friday, March 30 at 12:15 p.m., in the Idaho Commons Food Court.  
 
The awareness week will culminate with keynote speaker Huerta on Saturday, March 31 at 3 p.m., in the Administration Auditorium. Mariachi Huenachi will perform before the keynote speech.
 
Huerta co-founded the UFW and worked alongside Cesar Chavez. Her lifelong journey has been working as a community organizer and social activist for over 50 years. She played a major role in the American civil rights movement. A founding board member of the Feminist Majority Foundation, she also serves on the board of Ms. Magazine. She is a former UC Regent and has earned 11 honorary doctorates from universities throughout the United States.
 
As one of the most famous and celebrated Latinas in the United States, Huerta has been an advocate for women’s rights and reproductive freedom. She continues working to develop community leaders, and to represent “working poor” immigrants, women and youth through the Dolores Huerta Foundation.
 
“It has been a dream of ours to have Sra. Huerta on our campus as she has forever changed the lives of farmworking families and our communities, by bringing to the forefront issues affecting our families on a daily basis,” said Jesse Martinez, assistant director of Programs and Outreach, CAMP.
 
The celebration will conclude with a dance on Saturday, March 31 from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m., at the Eastside Marketplace Event Center, 1420 S. Blaine St. in Moscow. “Adiktos Musical,” a live band from Idaho Falls, will perform during the dance. Tickets are on sale and cost $7 in advance or $10 at the door. For ticket and event information, contact the CAMP office.
 
“Everyone is invited to celebrate – students, Moscow and Pullman residents and their families,” said Yolanda Bisbee, director of CAMP. “We encourage all to come and learn more about Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez as their work continues to contribute to the enrichment of today’s youth, the University of Idaho campus and the Palouse.”
 
Events are sponsored by the University of Idaho’s CAMP program; Diversity Initiative Growth Grant; Office of Diversity, Equity and Community; Office of the President; Office of Multicultural Affairs; Office of the Dean of Students; Office of Human Rights, Access and Inclusion; College of Agricultural and Life Science; College of Art and Architecture; College of Business and Economics; College of Education; College of Engineering; College of Law, Latino Law Caucus; College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences; College of Science; English Department; Math Department; Department of Sociology & Anthropology; Student Support Services; University Housing; Women’s Center; WWAMI Medical Education Program.

All events are open to the public and free unless otherwise stated. For more information, contact CAMP at (208) 885-5173 or camp@uidaho.edu.
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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.