Photos by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media
It was a beautiful day as Mayor Michael B. Hancock and the César Chávez Peace & Justice Committee of Denver unveiled a new statue today commissioned by the Committee to recognize the ideals and the legacy of César Chávez The unveiling followed the 14th annual march to honor the American hero.
The bronze bust of the civil rights leader by local artist Emanuel Martinez is now installed at Denver’s César Chávez Park, 4131 Tennyson St. The Mayor talked about the legacy of Chavez followed by chants of Si Se Puede!
“César Chávez knew firsthand the high cost of injustice and dedicated his life to nonviolent social change,” Mayor Hancock said. “I’m grateful to Denver’s Peace & Justice Committee for their continued efforts to ensure that future generations know about the difference one man can make, and I whole-heartedly support the approval of this tremendous grass-roots donation to the city.”
About César Chávez and local commemoration events
In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, César Chávez created one of the most successful labor movements in history on behalf of farm workers who faced intolerable working conditions, low pay and relatively few benefits.
He was a unique and humble leader who forged a coalition that, in his words, helped ordinary people do extraordinary things. His legacy of “Si se puede,” or Yes, it can be done, lives on, with 10 states, including Colorado, declaring his birthday, March 31, a holiday. César Chávez died in his sleep on April 23, 1993.
In 2001, then Colorado State Representatives Frana Mace and Rob Hernández sponsored a bill to create a state holiday to honor the late civil rights leader on his birthday. Denver City Councilwoman Ramona Martínez initiated the holiday in the city.
Upon passage in both the city and the state in 2002, the César Chávez Peace and Justice Committee of Denver began a tradition of honoring the civil rights leader with a spiritual gathering that includes an annual Mass and march, speakers, leadership awards, poetry, art and music. All are welcome.
Photos by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Event Photography: 720-855-8410