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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    What’s in a name?


    Cesar Chavez was a civil rights protester born in Yuma, Arizona in 1927.

    Rather than going to high school, he become a migrant farm worker in 1942 to help support his family. In 1944 he joined the Navy.

    Chavez married Helen Fabela in 1948 and they had eight children.

    He went on to work for a Latino civil rights group, the Community Service Organization, until 1962 when he co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later changed its name to the United Farm Workers of America.

    The organization helped migrant farm workers obtain better living and working conditions.

    Chavez believed in peaceful protesting and fasted many times throughout his life, including a 36-day fast in 1988.

    Chavez died in his sleep in 1993.

    A name-change proposal was sent to former UA President Peter Likins and the UA Naming Advisory Committee by Mexican American Studies and Research Center Director Antonio Estrada and Chicano/Hispanic Student Affairs Director Socorro Carrizosa to change the name of the Economics building to the Cesar E. Chavez building.

    The proposal was approved and the dedication took place on Oct. 12, 2003, after a year-long campaign to change the name.

    U.S. Congressman Raul Grijalva; Chavez’s brother, Richard; Likins; Estrada; and Carrizosa spoke at the event in front of about 500 guests.

    After the ceremony, guests marched from Old Main to the Chavez building.

    Today, the building houses several departments, including the Chicano/Hispano Student Affairs and Resource Center and the Mexican American Studies and Research Center.

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