By joining the Strike for Black Lives on July 20, the United Farm Workers proudly upholds a legacy of solidarity with other oppressed people going back more than five decades.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sent a telegram to Cesar Chavez in 1966, early in the five-year-long Delano grape strike. “Our separate struggles are really one – a struggle for freedom, for dignity and for humanity,” Dr. King stated. “We are together with you in spirit and in determination that our dreams for a better tomorrow will be realized.”
Cesar Chavez asked, how could we demand equality for your own people if we tolerate prejudice against anyone else because of who they are?
Farm workers at companies under union contract in California and Washington state will strike in solidarity for eight minutes and 46 seconds—how long George Floyd lay under a Minneapolis police officer’s knee—to affirm the truth that Black Lives Matter.
Meanwhile, Campesina and the Forge are Spanish-and English-language radio networks, respectively, owned and operated by the Cesar Chavez Foundation, a sister organization with the UFW in the farm worker movement. They have aired extensive programming since early June for their 1.5 million listeners and followers over 11 stations in four states educating Latino audiences about Black lives Matter, the Black experience and nonviolent calls to action. They cover topics ranging from the history of slavery to modern-day racism and police brutality.