Cesar Chavez (1927-1993) was a Mexican-American labor leader and civil rights activist who co-founded the United Farm Workers of America in 1952. He oversaw numerous strikes and boycotts, including the famous Salad Bowl Strike of 1970-71, the largest of its kind in U.S. history. Chavez' insistence on nonviolent tactics and community service led to national support for his and the farm workers' plight. His legacy as a Latin-American folk hero has been solidified since his death in 1993. Many schools, streets, and and parks across the country now bear his name. The states of California, Colorado, and Texas observe his birthday, March 31, as Cesar Chavez Day.
Cesar Chavez described his life's work in his "What the Future Holds" speech from 1984:
"All my life, I have been driven by one dream, one goal, one vision: to overthrow a farm labor system in this nation that treats farm workers as if they were not important human beings. Farm workers are not agricultural implements; they are not beasts of burden to be used and discarded."