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Davis, California

Friday, July 12, 2024

Human Relations Commission hosts César Chávez Festival in Central Park

The annual celebration highlighted workers’ voices


By ALMA CULVERWELL city@theaggie.org 

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On Saturday, April 22, the Davis Human Relations Commission held its annual César Chávez Festival in Central Park. This year, the festival focused on worker voices and labor campaigns and highlighted “Worker Unity Through All Professions.” The event included several speakers and performers like United Farm Workers and Peets United and the Bulosan Center

The Davis Human Relations Commission first held this event in 2001 and has held it every year since with the exception of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They have showcased many performers and organizations throughout the years, including Mariachi Puente, the Davis Phoenix Coalition and Empower Yolo. Davis Mayor Will Arnold explained the reason for the celebration in a press release. 

“The civil rights work of César Chávez and others still continues to this day,” Arnold said. “Social justice and community organizing are critical in promoting equity and diversity in our community. I hope everyone will join us to acknowledge and celebrate the important efforts of all those who work tirelessly toward equal rights and opportunities.”

Carrie Dyer, community relations program manager for the city of Davis, discussed the event.

“Recognizing the agricultural roots that Davis has and the important voice the César Chávez carried in speaking for those who may not be able to, the Human Relations Commission felt it was important to recognize the efforts of César Chávez and all those who worked alongside him,” Dyer said. “Those efforts continue today and the commission strives to acknowledge those who […] work towards equal rights and opportunities.”

Dyer reflected on the Davis Human Relations Council’s Mission and the impact it strives to have on the Davis community.

“The function of the Human Relations Commission is to promote mutual respect, understanding and acceptance among all people,” Dyer said. “Community events such as the César Chávez Celebration and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration amplify the commission’s efforts to build a community where diverse people are valued by all.” 

Antonio De Loera-Brust, media coordinator for United Farm Workers talked about the significance of the festival.

 “César Chávez’s mission of unionizing agricultural workers is as relevant today as it was 60 years ago,” De Loera-Brust said. “As we saw during the pandemic, farm workers in California are the essential human link in our food supply chain, there would be no food on our tables without them. That’s just one of the reasons why farm workers deserve to live dignified lives, with good wages, safe working conditions, and union representation. The UFW’s fight is not just something to read about in history books. It’s an active fight, happening across California right now. I urge my fellow Davisites to get involved as best they can.”

Written by: Alma Culverwell — city@theaggie.org