Logan Heights School Celebrates Cesar Chavez
The King-Chavez Neighborhood of Schools Held its 13th annual Cesar Chavez day celebration this Friday, April 6, with an event that gathered students and families to remember one of the major leaders of the labor and civil rights movements.
The midday celebration gathered about 2,000 of King-Chavez’s students in a celebration that included student performances in activities such as dance, singing, and ballet folklorico, among others.
Edgar Bautista-Zuñiga, an educator and restorative justice coordinator at King-Chavez, spoke to La Prensa San Diego about the importance of the celebration and how Chavez can be a role model for students.
“It is important for children of color to grow up knowing that they can be leaders or people who can have a positive impact on American history regardless of their skin color,” Bautista-Zuñiga said. “The majority of kids at this school are Latino, so it is important for us to celebrate Cesar Chavez in a very special way because we want kids to grow up knowing that Chavez is an icon not just because of what he has done for latino culture, but for what he has done for american culture.”
The event featured also featured Jose “Pepe” Villarino, member of Chicano musical group La Rondalla Amerindia de Aztlan and the author of songs about Chavez and the farmworker movement.
Bautista-Zuñiga expressed that Villarino’s presence at the event is important as important as he is an artist and activist which not many people know about.
“‘Pepe’ Villarino has been doing a lot of political music from years in the Chicano movement and being involved in the Brown Berets, as well as the civil rights movement, he is one of those pioneers and we want to make sure that kids know their history which is often not found in any books,” he expressed.
The event concluded with a march around the school site, in which students held up signs and banners displaying messages of empowerment and self determination.
“(The march) is like a hands-on activity, we would like students to experience the feeling of walking for justice and something that they believe in and are willing to stand by because it’s important to teach students that they have a voice and can come together to fight for what they believe is right,” Bautista-Zuñiga explained.
He also explained that there is a lesson plan for students going into the celebration. Depending on the grade level, student may engage in an art project, a reading assignment, or writing a research paper.
In observance of Martin Luther King, who along with Chavez is one of the school’s namesakes, the school also held a similar celebration earlier this year in observance of MLK day.