‘La Causa Sigue’: Cesar E. Chavez March returns to in-person event after COVID hiatus

Erika Prosper Nirenberg and Paul Chavez are Grand Marshals of this year’s march

SAN ANTONIO – For the first time in two years, the Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice will be held in person in downtown San Antonio.

The Grand Marshals for Saturday morning’s 26th annual march are Erika Prosper Nirenberg, the first lady of San Antonio, and Paul Chavez, son of Cesar E. Chavez and president and CEO of the Cesar Chavez Foundation.

Ahead of Saturday’s march, Nirenberg visited local schools to talk to students about Chavez’s impact and legacy.

“As much as it was to fight for justice for all workers, it really was about reminding everyone that human beings exist and do those jobs to help us move forward in life,” said Nirenberg.

Nirenberg grew up in a migrant farm working family. She hopes these children can learn the value of hard work and getting an education.

“We didn’t really know much except that, if you graduated high school, you would have a better chance. As I got older, if you graduated college, you have an even better chance,” said Nirenberg.

Paul Chavez said San Antonio has always been a place that has welcomed the farmworker movement with open arms starting with his father, and he is excited about the return of the march.

“We can gather under the banner of my father’s legacy, march and remember him, but also celebrate the work of all the good folks of San Antonio,” said Chavez.

While the march honors Cesar Chavez’s legacy, Paul Chavez says it’s also a bridge for younger generations to spread his message.

“It’s that combined with continuing to go out and advocate for those less fortunate. By doing both of those things, we honor my father’s legacy in the way that he would be the proudest and most happy with,” said Chavez.

The march is also a reminder of what can be accomplished.

“I remind kids, especially Latino kids in San Antonio, where we are 68% Hispanic, that people in power can look like them,” said Nirenberg.

“A big part of his work was just fighting for opportunities so that kids could grow up and that they could have an opportunity to advance in and to pursue their dreams,” said Paul Chavez.

This year’s march also coincides with the first official city holiday on Thursday, March 31, to honor the civil rights icon.

“The fact that this is also the first year that the employees of the City of San Antonio will be celebrating Cesar Chavez Day makes it even more special,” said Paul Chavez. “It validates the work that he and so many other people did for all those years, the work that they dedicated their lives to.”

Click here for more information on Saturday’s Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice.

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About the Authors:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.

Alex Trevino is a video editor at KSAT who works on the 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts.