Cesar Chavez Day 2015 March Essay

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Press Release:  GALEO 9th Annual Cesar Chavez Essay Contest Winners Announced:  Celebration Marking Cesar Chavez Birthday at the State Capitol on March 31st

For Immediate Release

March 28, 2016

Media Contact:  Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of GALEO, jerry@galeo.org, 404.745.2580.

(Atlanta, GA) GALEO is proud to announce details for the 9th Annual Cesar Chavez Ceremony. The nationally known nonprofit is hosting the event at the Georgia State Capitol, located at 206 Washington Street SW, Atlanta, GA 30334. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, March 31st, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

This year’s ceremony will feature Mayor Edward “Ted” Terry from the City of Clarkson, the State Campaign Director for the Georgia AFL-CIO (The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations).

Each March, the Annual Cesar Chavez Ceremony also features the reading of the following winning 1st place essays:
Adult: Angela Saxton, Atlanta, GA.  Essay online here.
ESOL: Melisa Medrano – Chestatee High School, Gainesville, GA.  Essay online here.
High School: Stefany Pedraza Jaimes – Chestatee High School, Gainesville, GA. Essay online here.

The other top winners will also be present and awarded prizes at the event.

In second place, we have the following winners:

Adult-  Alba Cobos (Statesboro)
ESOL- Maria Martinez (Gainesville)
H.S. – Michael McGovern  (Atlanta)

In third place, we have the following winners:
Adult- Brayden Robinson (Bremen)
ESOL- Merlin Chavez (Gainesville)
H.S.- Jack Cenatempo (Atlanta)

The purpose of the ceremony is to honor civil rights legend, Cesar Chavez, and increase awareness of the continual plight of farm workers and their contributions to America. Chavez’s leadership was critical to organizing farm workers and founding what is today known as the United Farm Workers union. He remains one of the foremost Latino leaders in American history. His birthday, March 31st , is officially recognized as a state holiday in California, Colorado and Texas, and GALEO supports the movement to create a national holiday in honor of Chavez.

Taylor, Lee & Associates have donated a pair of mini iPad’s as prizes for some of the contest winners. Other winners will also receive prizes donated by Telemundo, BB&T, CNN, Gwinnett Braves, High Museum of Art, and GALEO.

Thank you to our essay judges:
Rigoberto Rivera, High School Program Manager, The Latin American Association
Frank Zamora, Social Studies Educator & Department Co-Chair, Johnson High School
Karla Vazquez, Cesar Chavez Committee Co-Chair

Thank you to the GALEO Leadership Council Co-Chairs Karla Vazquez and Leri Argueta for their leadership on this effort in 2015 & 2016.


Prizes include the following:
Two (2) mini-iPads:  Donations by Taylor, Lee and Associates, Los Abogados Para Ti.
One set of four (4) Atlanta Braves Tickets, Donated by Telemundo Atlanta
One (1) $100 gift certificate for Best Buy donated by BB&T
Inside CNN Studio Tour for four (4) people donated by CNN
Two (2) Infield Box seats tickets to watch the 2016 Gwinnett Braves, courtesy of the Gwinnett Braves
Two (2) admission tickets to the High Museum of Art, courtesy of the High Museum of Art.
One (1) $25 American Express Gift Card, courtesy of GALEO.


GALEO’s mission is to increase civic engagement and leadership development of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia.

CORE BELIEFS: Inclusive, Non-Partisan, Diversity, Responsive

Website: http://galeo.org


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For more than two centuries, the arc of our Nation's progress has been shaped by ordinary people who have dedicated their lives to the extraordinary work of building a more perfect Union.  It is a story of achievement and constant striving that has found expression in places where America's destiny has been decided -- in Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall, and in the golden fields of California where an American hero discovered his mighty voice.  Today, we honor César Chávez and his lifetime of work to make our country more free, more fair, and more just, and we reaffirm the timeless belief he embodied:  those who love their country can change it.

A son of migrant workers and a child of the Great Depression, César Chávez believed every job has dignity and every person should have the chance to reach beyond his or her circumstances and realize a brighter future.  When no one seemed to care about the farm workers who labored without basic protections and for meager pay to help feed the world, César Chávez awakened our Nation to their deplorable conditions and abject poverty -- injustices he knew firsthand.  He organized, protested, fasted, and alongside Dolores Huerta, founded the United Farm Workers.  Slowly, he grew a small movement to a 10,000-person march and eventually a 17-million-strong boycott of table grapes, rallying a generation around "La Causa" and forcing growers to agree to some of the first farm worker contracts in history.  Guided by a fierce commitment to nonviolence in support of a righteous cause, he never lost faith in the power of opportunity for all.

As a Nation, we know the struggle to live up to the principles of our founding does not end with any one victory or defeat.  After César Chávez fought for higher wages, he pushed for fresh drinking water, workers' compensation, pension plans, and protection from pesticides.  He strove every day for the America he knew was possible.  Today, we must take up his work and carry forward this great unfinished task.

When immigrants labor in the shadows, they often earn unfair wages and their families and our economy suffer -- that is one reason why we have to fix our broken immigration system and why I keep calling on the Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform.  We need to continue to defend the collective bargaining rights countless individuals have fought so hard for and ensure our economy rewards hard work with a fair living wage, paid leave, and equal pay for equal work.  

César Chávez knew that when you lift up one person, it enriches a community; it bolsters our economy, strengthens our Nation, and gives meaning to the creed that out of many, we are one.  As we celebrate his life, we are reminded of our obligations to one another and the extraordinary opportunity we are each given to work toward justice, equal opportunity, and a better future for every one of our sisters and brothers.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 31, 2015, as César Chávez Day.  I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate service, community, and education programs to honor César Chávez's enduring legacy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.




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