Cesar Chavez

Civil rights leader Cesar Chavez influenced and inspired millions of Americans through his nonviolent tactics in the struggle for better pay and safer working conditions for farm workers.

Chavez was founder of the National Farm Workers Association in 1962, an organization that later became the United Farm Workers of America. Chavez dedicated his life to create an organization to protect and serve farm workers, according to the Cesar Chavez Foundation website. Chavez led the UFW for more than three decades, achieving fair wages, medical coverage and pension benefits for hundreds of thousands of farm workers.

Chavez passed away April 23, 1993.

Chavez continues to be an inspiration for community activists for his values and commitment, according to the article "Cesar Chavez" by Rick Tejada-Flores.

"Cesar Chavez-a common man with an uncommon vision for humankind-stood for equality, justice and dignity for all Americans," according to the Cesar Chavez Foundation website. "His ecumenical principles remain relevant and inspiring today for all people."

Listen to an audio clip of Chavez's 1984, Commonwealth Speech from the United Farm Workers website.