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Celebrating Cesar Chavez as a Family

Learn more about this Mexican American hero through books, podcasts, movies, and family conversations.

Black and white image of Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez is one of the great heroes of the Latino community in the United States. Chavez dedicated his life to protecting the rights of Latino farmworkers through nonviolent protests and labor organizing. He believed that even those who live in poverty and have no political power can find a voice in the community and promote change. Chavez was a founder of the United Farm Workers union, which led to better working conditions and pay for workers across the country.

Though there's still progress to be made, Chavez's story reminds us that against all odds, change is possible. In the words of Dolores Huerta, "¡Sí, se puede!" (Yes, it can be done!) To celebrate Cesar Chavez, families can learn more about his life and brainstorm ways to carry on his work in our own communities.

Check out the books, videos, podcasts, and movies listed here to spark conversations about Chavez's legacy of activism, courage, justice, and equality.

For preschoolers and young kids

Books and videos:

Questions to ask kids:

  • What kinds of things did Cesar Chavez see or experience that were unfair?

  • What are some jobs that you think are important but might be hard work?

  • What is an activist? How was Cesar Chavez an activist?

  • Is there anything happening in your life (or that you know about) that you think is unfair?

  • How could you be an activist like Cesar Chavez?

For preteens and teens

Podcast episodes and movies:

  • "Cesar Chavez's Campaign for Farmworkers" from the BBC's Witness History (podcast in English), Age 10+
    Listen to a 2012 interview with Dolores Huerta in this audio tribute to Cesar Chavez.

  • Dolores (movie in English), Age 11+
    Learn more about the work Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta did together in this heartfelt documentary focused on Huerta's life and activism.

  • Cesar Chavez: Respect for All (movie in English), Age 11+
    Watch this short documentary to learn more about Cesar Chavez's activism, and hear from people who carry on his legacy today.

  • Cesar Chavez (movie in English), Age 13+
    Watch this film as a family to explore how the life and achievements of Cesar Chavez highlight his place in U.S. history.​

  • "The Delano Grape Strike & Boycott" from the Stuff You Missed in History Class (podcast in English), Age 13+
    Learn more about Cesar Chavez's leadership during the Delano Grape Strike and Boycott and how it led to new and lasting protections for farmworkers.

Questions to ask preteens and teens:

  • What were some of the inequalities Cesar Chavez witnessed?

  • What methods did Chavez use to bring about change?

  • Cesar Chavez was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. What similarities do you see between the two?

  • What are some ways we can support or advocate for workers' rights in our community?

  • Can you think of other Latino activists making a difference today?

Andrea Moreno Porto

Andrea is a bilingual Communications and Journalism professional, and she's been part of the Common Sense team since 2016. She has ten years of experience building and managing relationships with the Latino audience by understanding their cultural needs. As the Senior Manager, Audience Engagement and Distribution, she manages marketing projects for the Family and Community Engagement team (FACE) and oversees and leads the FACE Social Media Strategy. Additionally, she works as on-camera talent for our videos and reviews, supports Common Sense Latino media outreach, and serves as the spokesperson for Spanish Language media interviews. You can find her running, biking, reading on the beach, or enjoying an authentic Colombian cup of coffee in her free time.