April 13, 2011

Exhibits, symposium, talk celebrate life and work of César Chávez

The UW is holding a series of events over the coming months to celebrate the life and work of Cesar Chavez, labor leader and civil rights activist. The series is titled Viva La Causa: César Chá vez and the Pacific Northwest.

This painting of Cesar Chavez by Alfredo Arreguin will be on display in Allen Library North.

This painting of Cesar Chavez by Alfredo Arreguin will be on display in Allen Library North.

One highlight will be a series of related exhibits at UW Libraries. In His Own Words: The Life and Work of César Chávez, will be housed in Allen Library North. The exhibit will have an opening reception 4-5 p.m. Thursday, April 14, in the Research Commons of Allen Library South. A welcome by Professor Lauro Flores and a short introductory talk by Associate Professor Erasmo Gamboa will be followed by a tour of the exhibition and allied exhibits. All exhibits run through June.

The exhibit features 38 photographs, which are paired with excerpts of Chávezs speeches, interviews and writings. The exhibit, curated by John Hammerback, affiliate faculty member in communication, covers Chávezs entire career, examining his life experiences, philosophical influences, tactics and campaigns.

The Libraries will also host three other related exhibits. UW Activists and the Farmworkers Movement is in Special Collections, the Allen Library South basement. It illustrates the history of activism on the UW campus on farmworker-related issues, featuring the photographs of Antonio Salazar, artifacts from Gamboas personal collection and material from the UW Libraries Special Collections. Arreguín’s César Chávez, in Allen Library North, features three iconic paintings of Chávez by acclaimed artist Alfredo Arreguín. Yakima Valley Farmworkers: The Photographs of Irwin Nash, in Allen Library North, includes photographs capturing Yakima Valley farmworker life in 1967 and 1968.

This photo of a demonstration for farmworker rights is one of a series by Antonio Salazar that will be on display in UW Libraries' Special Collections.

Antonio Salazar

This photo of a demonstration for farmworker rights is one of a series by Antonio Salazar that will be on display in UW Libraries

A symposium, Viva La Causa! Organizing Farm Workers in the Pacific Northwest During the 60s, will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. April 20 in the Walker Ames room, Kane Hall. A panel of prominent organizers and activists that worked in the state of Washington, who collaborated and were inspired by Chávez, will discuss Chávezs enduring influence in our state.

“If you want to remember me, organize!” César Chávez, Farm Workers, and Food Sovereignty is the topic of a speech from noon to 1 p.m. May 5, in the Research Commons of Allen Library South, by former United Farm Worker organizer and longtime social justice activist Rosalinda Guillén. Guilléns presentation will focus on Chávezs legacy, the efforts around the organization of farm workers, and how women and agricultural workers are at the core of the struggle for food sovereignty.

The exhibits and other events are sponsored by American Ethnic Studies, Department of Communication, Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, University Libraries, Simpson Center, Labor Archives of Washington State, and Humanities Texas. For more information, call 206-543-7946 or e-mail pcls@uw.edu.