On March 31st, America celebrated Cesar Chavez Day! Being a less well-known holiday, many people don’t know why exactly we commemorate this day each year. For some, it’s a long overdue holiday that recognizes the plight of immigrant farm laborers in the United States, and it offers a great opportunity to reflect and think about the issues of race and class segregation that we still face today. For others, they might just know that Cesar Chavez was a civil rights activist and he did good things for his community. March 31st was only proclaimed as a holiday in 2014 under the Obama administration, so it’s not our fault that many of us are less educated about this holiday than others. Yet, do not worry! We still have time, people!
Cesar Chavez co-founded the National Farm Workers Association with Dolores Huerta in the 1960s. They led the organization to form a labor union demanding for better pay and working conditions for migrant American farmworkers. As Texans, his work has specifically made an extensive impact on our community. The ideas he brought forth also continue to hold importance as we look to the future for our society, our environment and our long-held national ideal of liberty.
So, this holiday got us thinking about our impact on the Austin community and what we can do more of in the future to make this city a more equitable and enjoyable place. To start with, we have some notable civil servants here at Civilitude. Pranava Bethi, one of our engineers, is part of the 2021 class of the Leadership Austin Emerge Program, a program for young professionals and dedicated citizens looking to enhance their impact on the community. “Leadership Austin Emerge focuses on discovering my value system that further helps me to determine the kind of leader I want to be! It has expanded my intellectual curiosity, and I’m grateful for a diverse cohort who shared their perspectives and experiences,” Pranava said when asked about her time being a part of the program.
Conor Kenny, our Director of Public Policy, assisted in distributing food and PPE with the Austin Latino Coalition in honor of Cesar Chavez Day. He brought his daughter, too! Check out an adorable picture of her on the Austin American Statesman website here. And Fayez Kazi, our CEO, has a baked goods business along with his wife and three daughters, in which all proceeds are donated to different charities in Austin, which you can learn more about here.
Additionally, during last month’s Amplify Austin Fundraiser, Civilitude raised over $3,800 dollars for various non-profits across the city. We have future events planned for us at Civilitude to continue taking a part of being involved in our Austin community. Giving back to your community can happen in many shapes and forms, and we try our best to in any way we can!