UCSD to Remember Cesar Chavez

March 30 has been declared a state holiday in California in honor of Cesar Estrada Chavez. Chavez was the founder and leader of America’s first successful farm workers’ union and was a prominent figure in the Chicano civil rights movement until his death in 1993.

The UCSD Commemoration Committee is sponsoring a variety of events throughout March in celebration of Chavez’s life, including a candlelight vigil, a “”Remembering Cesar”” panel discussion and the Cesar E. Chavez Humanitarian Awards, to be given out at the Barrio Station Annual Dinner.

According to American Indian Academic Outreach Coordinator Mark Chavez, UCSD is sponsoring many of its own events to commemorate the civic leader.

Beginning April 2 with a showing of “”Fight in the Fields”” at the Price Center Theater, UCSD will show a movie on Chavez and his cause every Monday. Also, members of the UCSD community will be participating in a Cesar Chavez commemorative walk from the corner of Euclid and Logan streets to Cesar Chavez Elementary School. The walk will take place March 31 at 9 a.m.

Mark Chavez said he was proud that “”UCSD is taking the initiative to have the essay contest.””

Still, he urged further involvement of the university in the celebration of the political leader’s life and struggle.

“”We need to make more of an attempt to be a leader in community activities of this type,”” Mark Chavez said. “”We want to set a precedent for the future and develop a commitment from the university as a whole. We initiated it this year, and hopefully we’ll be even more involved next year.””

As part of the holiday celebration, UCSD, in partnership with the San Diego Cesar Chavez Committee, is sponsoring an essay contest dedicated to celebrating the life and achievements of Chavez.

The contest is open to students from grades seven through 12 and challenges contestants to comment on the influence Chavez and his work have had, or might have, on their lives and futures.

Members of the San Diego Cesar E. Chavez Commemoration Committee, as well as representatives from the UCSD faculty, staff and student body, will judge the essays on their originality, historic content and expression of personal viewpoints.

Of the contestants, three grand-prize winners will win a new computer. Second-, third- and fourth-place winners will each receive $750, $500 and $250 savings bonds, respectively, to be put toward paying for college. Certificates of honorable mention will be awarded to participants in each of the five regions serviced by UCSD’s Early Academic Outreach Program.

Winning authors will be invited to read their essays at the Third Annual Cesar E. Chavez Breakfast March 30 at the San Diego Convention Center. Winners of the essay contest will also be featured April 7 at the Marshall College Cultural Celebration at UCSD, as well as at other community events commemorating the life of Chavez.