BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Kern County celebrated Cesar Chavez day with the 7th Annual Cesar Chavez Day Legacy Breakfast hosted by the Farm Worker Institute of Education and Leadership Development, also called FIELD, a non-profit founded by Chavez in 1978.

FIELD Regional Supervisor Luz Zavala said this is a day with a deep meaning.

“It means change, it means for my people, for immigrants, it means a lot […] I mean just look at our people they have better wages, they have better working conditions – they’re a lot better, and I think that’s because of the work he did in the past,” Zavala said.

Chavez understood the struggles of the nation’s poorest and most powerless workers, who labor to put food on the nation’s tables while often going hungry themselves. This led to him co-founding the National Farm Workers Association with Dolores Huerta in 1962 and his nationwide boycott of California grapes to improve working conditions and wages for farm workers in 1968.

Chavez’s niece, Camilla Chavez who is the Executive Director of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, believes his actions laid the foundation for more progress.

“It’s not enough to just go to a march, or to a breakfast, we really need to think about what are we doing in our own lives to make a commitment to improve our own our schools, our community […] so I think that when we think about celebrating him it’s what are we doing, what actions are we taking, what sacrifices are we making to help others in need,” Chavez said.

To recognize Chavez statewide, Governor Newsom issued a proclamation declaring March 31 as “César Chavez Day” urging his legacy to be continued by lifting up our neighbors, speaking out against injustice, and working together to extend the dream of prosperity, equity, and progress to all.

According to Newsom, Chavez empowered thousands to stand together for their rights and led our nation toward a more equitable and just society.