Latino Healthcare Day 2011 Inspired by Cesar Chavez SAVE THE DATE: March 31st is Latino Healthcare Day
LMSA would like all LMSA chapters to participate in the 1st annual Latino Healthcare Day. The goal is to have a national collaborative joint event by LMSA and its members.
Why March 31st? Inspired by Cesar Chavez, we are getting our chapters together to have one national day of service by our organization. Cesar Chavez was born on March 31, 1927. While we acknowledge Cesar Chavez’s actions, more importantly LMSA wishes to honor his message of providing service to others.
Who was Cesar Chavez? Cesar Chavez was one of the Founders of the United Farm Workers(UFW) Union. Chavez spent much of his life struggling to organize farmers and worked to bring respect, dignity, justice, and fair treatment to the poor, to farm workers, and to people everywhere.
The UFW was established to directly help the workers. They opened a credit union, a gas station, and fought many political battles to gain legislation favorable to workers .The union used strikes, boycotts and Cesar Chavez would fast to gain support for their struggles. The first fast was in 1968 for 25 days. The point was to bring attention to the principles of nonviolence.
In 1988, Chavez went on a 36 day water fast which he called “The Fast for Life”. His goal was to put pressure on the companies that were using pesticides to grow our food. He was concerned about the children who lived near the huge farms where their parents worked and were being born with deformities. The rates of cancer in California central valley was also growing. In one central valley town in was noted that the cancer rates for children was 800 times higher than other cities with in California.
In the early 1990s Cesar Chavez continued to fight for human rights and safety. He spoke at many rallies and colleges throughout the United States spreading the message that our produce should be pesticide free, and that the health of the farm workers and their families was worth fighting for. Chavez died in his sleep in 1993 and is believed to have died from the stress that fasting put on his kidneys.
In 1994, Cesar Chavez was given the presidential medal of freedom by president Clinton. Cesar Chavez Day is currently a state holiday on March 31st that is celebrated in California, Texas, Arizona, among other states.
What can your chapter do to help? Plan a community service event or presentation for your chapter on march 31st. Other ideas are to plan any of your chapter’s service projects on that specific day. If none of those suits your chapter’s interest, the American Red Cross is holding a Cesar Chavez Day Blood Drive Challenge at many universities.
We participated, now what? Send us any pictures and text showing what your chapter did on Latino Healthcare Day 2010. In upcoming years, we plan to award the Top 3 chapters with the best projects (based on creativity, participation, and originality). Resources: You may download the following Powerpoint Presentation and Information guide to help facilitate the discussion an activity.