Annual event celebrates legacy of Cesar Chavez

Lupe Ramos-Montigny, chair of the Committee to Honor César E. Chávez, and Jesse Bernal hold a big check at a previous Chavez community event.
At a previous Chavez community event, Lupe Ramos-Montigny and Jesse Bernal hold a symbolic check recognizing the money raised for scholarships.
Image Credit: courtesy photo

Grand Valley is again a co-host of West Michigan's annual César E. Chávez Community Celebration on Wednesday, March 31, from 10-11 a.m.

RSVP for the virtual event (Zoom and Facebook) online at

This year's theme highlights unity with a focus on lifting others out of the pandemic. Speakers will include West Michigan leaders and K-12 students, and Andres Chávez, Chávez's grandson, who will speak on behalf of the foundation named in memory of his grandfather. 

Lupe Ramos-Montigny, chair of the Committee to Honor César E. Chávez, said the virtual event makes it possible to share what is normally a West Michigan celebration with many more people.

"We can now connect across the state and beyond to focus on unity, which is what it will take to lift us out of this pandemic," Ramos-Montigny said. "We are building a larger circle of learners who will know more about the life and legacy of César Chávez."

Connie Dang, senior inclusion and equity officer, said Grand Valley has supported this event for the past decade in different capacities. 

"César represented farm and grocery workers, who we now refer to as essential workers," Dang said. "It's important that Grand Valley students and others have an opportunity to learn about his life."

Chávez, a labor organizer and Latino civil rights activist, died in 1993. The Committee to Honor César E. Chávez was founded in September 2000 in Grand Rapids; its main focus is to award college scholarships to Latino students.