The César Chávez Peace and Justice Committee of Denver (CCPJC) began a tradition honoring the late leader in 2002. The memory of César Chávez continues in Colorado on Saturday, April 8th. The Chávez commemoration will begin with an 8:30am mass at the Regis University Chapel, located at 3333 Regis Blvd. in Denver. Immediately following the mass, the traditional march will begin at 9:45am and will proceed to the César E. Chávez Park located at 4131 North Tennyson St., honoring the spirit of César Chávez and recognizing his peaceful and nonviolent ideals.
The theme of the 16th Annual celebration is “Let’s Build Bridges, Not Walls” to honor the many working class families, and immigrants whose lives are being threatened by regressive immigration policies and who currently live in fear and apprehension of deportation.
The celebration will feature poetry, art, music and food and will add to the spiritual gathering to remember one of the world’s greatest leaders of peace.
The CCPJC celebration will also host their annual awards ceremony, Appreciation awardees include: Councilman Rafael Espinoza, Denver City Council, District 1; Amanda Sandoval, Council Aide to Councilman Rafael Espinoza; Allegra “Happy” Haynes, Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation & Deputy Mayor of the City and County of Denver.
Leadership Awards will be presented to: Colorado State Rep. Joe Salazar, Patricia Robles, Lalo Montoya, Las Estrella’s, Padres & Jóvenes Unidos and Four Winds American Indian Council.
The Committee invites the participation of all individuals, community organizations, religious and educational institutes, and businesses to walk the march, present a booth, or join the CCPJC volunteer team.
In the late 60’s and early 70’s, Chávez led a nation of support for the country’s farmworkers who continually faced abuse, low pay and sometimes no pay, and inhumane working conditions. He created awareness for the people who had no voice, and was instrumental in creating the United Farmworkers Union, demanding rights for the people of the fields.
In 2001, former Colorado State Representatives Frana Mace and Rob Hernández sponsored a bill to create a state holiday, and former Denver City Councilwoman Ramona Martínez initiated a City holiday in Denver recognizing Chávez and his accomplishments in the fields.
Over the past few years, the committee has worked with the City and County of Denver Parks and Recreation to rebuild the César E. Chávez Park in northwest Denver, which in 2015 included the unveiling of a bust featuring the parks namesake. The park was rebuilt to increase access and include cultural icons important to the struggle for equal rights of all people.
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