Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Speaker to discuss Hispanic rights struggles as part of UTSA’s tribute to César E. Chávez

Speaker to discuss Hispanic rights struggles as part of UTSA’s tribute to César E. Chávez

MARCH 22, 2022 — UTSA and its Marches Committee will present the César E. Chávez Virtual Platica (talk) with Rebecca Flores from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23. In keeping with the theme of this year’s march, “La Causa Sigue,” Flores, who is the former director of the Texas Chapter of the United Farm Workers Union (UFW) will discuss the relevance of the campaign to improve the working conditions and quality of life of workers everywhere and what that cause means for today’s generation.

“Many students come from backgrounds like mine and there is always something that can be made better through organizing to build community,” said Flores, who was schooled in the art of organizing from César Chávez and Fred Ross—the man who introduced Chavez himself to community activism. “After the last 2 years of the pandemic, we need to strengthen our ties to each other. And we can do this by organizing at any and all institutions that impact our lives.”


“We need to strengthen our ties to each other. And we can do this by organizing at any and all institutions that impact our lives.”



UTSA’s designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution makes it an apt venue for a discussion about causes that continue to impact Hispanics.

“La Causa” has its origins in the California farm workers who, in 1965, were calling for a change in their working conditions. The movement didn’t stay in California for long, however.

“It woke up a whole generation of Chicanos who began to study our history,” recalled Flores, who was instrumental in organizing farm workers in Texas and establishing committees in the colonias, or unincorporated areas, of the Rio Grande Valley.

By 1966, when striking farmworkers in Texas’ Starr County made the 400-mile march to Austin, schools, universities, churches and people from all walks of life were taking part in a campaign that “called upon all of us to take action to change the way things were, and unfortunately continue to be.”

As the director of the UFW, Flores led the organization’s work in advocating for the health, well-being and civil rights of farm workers in Texas. She received the San Antonio Peace Laureate award in 2019 in recognition of her commitment to be the voice of wisdom and experience to speak for justice, peace and compassion. Her years of dedication to farm workers and the community earned Flores membership into the AFL-CIO Hall of Fame in 2022.

“We are honored to have Rebecca Flores speaking with our community,” said Myron R. Anderson, vice president for inclusive excellence at UTSA. “She played an integral role in the Chicano movement, and she was a significant contributor to UTSA’s project ‘Mapping the Movimiento.’”

Flores hopes that students will come away from this conversation with a greater awareness of the university’s role in preparing them to be the new force for change.

“These studies should result in students who are or transformed and then can enter into any area of higher learning and/or professional careers and would understand our long history of oppression and the impact on the Hispanic population at large and can then set in motion the changes that need to be made.”


EXPLORE FURTHER
To register for the virtual talk with Rebecca Flores, click here.
Get more information about the 26th Annual César E. Chávez March for Justice.
Read the Rebecca Flores interview from the UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

The virtual talk with Flores will serve as a lead up to San Antonio’s 26th annual Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 26. The Roadrunner community is invited to participate. Shuttles will depart from the UTSA Main Campus at 8:15 a.m. The buses will leave the Alamodome to return to campus at 1 p.m.

— Tricia Lynn Silva



UTSA Today is produced by University Strategic Communications,
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of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu.


UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.


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UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education .

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to promoting access for all. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.