Cesar Chavez photo demonstrating and with Bobby Kennedy
Take VTA to Honor Cesar Chavez Day

César Chávez Day celebrates the birth and legacy of the civil rights and labor movement hero  on March 31 every year.

Born to migrant laborers March 31, 1927, Chávez's early life experiences shaped his ideology and made him the face of the labor movement. In 1952, Chávez was working at a lumberyard when he became a grassroots organizer for Latino civil rights. Over the next decade, he worked to register new voters and fight racial and economic discrimination and rose to become an iconic leader of civil and human rights. 

cesar chavez photo

During his involvement, the black eagle became a powerful symbol for the farm workers and their supporters who proudly carried the black eagle flags and banners, sometimes with the words "huelga" (strike), or "viva la causa" (long live the cause) or simply "UFW AFL-CIO" (for the United Farm Workers, American Federation of Labor, and Congress of Industrial Organizations) added to the basic design within the circle of hope.

Chávez’s story has roots in San Jose, where he lived and organized work in the Mayfair community in San Jose. Later in Delano, California Chávez used his own life savings to create the National Farm Workers Association (NFW) along with Dolores Huerta. They established collective bargaining rights for farm workers as well as securing medical benefits, disability, pension, and unemployment.

Cesar Chavez plaza title

César Chávez died April 23, 1993.  In recognition of his nonviolent activism and support of working people, Chavez was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994 by President Clinton.

Continuing to influence modern day leaders, President Obama’s 2008 campaign slogan of “Yes We Can!” was a direct translation of rallying cries of the farm workers movement led by César E. Chávez.

On March 28, 2014, President Obama proclaimed March 31 as César Chávez Day.

mural of Cesar Chavez

César E. Chávez’s motto, “¡Si se puede!” (Yes, it can be done!), embodies the uncommon legacy he left for people around the world. This holiday is intended to promote service to the community, take inspiration from and celebrate the honor of, Chávez's life and decades of selfless service to workers in the United States.

Things to do on César Chávez Day:

Hop on VTA and take a tour of San Jose to learn more about César E. Chávez.



Nearby VTA lines

What to do there?

Plaza de Cesar Chavez

1 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose, CA 95113

Light Rail - Green Line at Paseo de San Antonio

Walk around the plaza, catch an outdoor concert, enjoy the fountains, and take photos with friends and family.

Arch of Dignity, Equality, and Justice

San Jose State University near the Student Union Building

1 Washington Sq, San Jose, CA 95192

Bus: 25 or 73

Keyes & 10th

1st & Alma

Walk around, take photos, and learn more about the history of the arch.

Mexican Heritage Plaza

1700 Alum Rock Ave, San Jose, CA 95116

Bus: 22, 23, 77, 522

Alum Rock & King

Visit the art gallery, listen to traditional Mexican music with local concerts, shop at the Mercadito, and much more.

Cesar Chavez Mural

2000 Kammerer Ave, San Jose, CA 95116

Bus: 22, 23, 77, 522
King & Hermocilla

Take photos.

Mayfair Community Center

2039 Kammerer Ave, San Jose, CA 95116

Light Rail – Orange Line at Alum Rock Station

Bus: 22, 77 King & Hermocilla

Tour Cesar Chavez Hall.

Chavez Family Home

53 Scharff Ave, San Jose, CA 95116

Bus: Rapid 522

Alum Rock & Jackson

Privately owned but dawning a plaque commemorating this important leader and activist at the location where he once lived that you can read and take photos of.


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