César Chavez Day declared official Alamo Colleges District holiday

The Alamo Colleges District Board of Trustees made the decision on July 25, during its regular board meeting

SAN ANTONIO – During a regular board meeting for the Alamo Colleges District Board of Trustees on July 25, members decided to recognize César Chavez Day as an official holiday in the Alamo Colleges District.

“This landmark initiative celebrates the life and legacy of one of the most influential leaders in American history and pays tribute to his tireless efforts in championing the rights and dignity of farmworkers,” a news release stated.

The holiday will be recognized on March 31, 2024, and will occur on that day each year.

Dr. Mike Flores, chancellor of the Alamo Colleges District, applauded the board’s decision to observe César Chavez Day and said it would bring the community together to remember such an icon.

“By declaring César Chavez Day as a holiday, we celebrate the enduring spirit of a visionary leader who fought against adversity to uplift the marginalized and vulnerable. Let this day be a unifying force in our community, motivating us in our pursuit to transform lives and end generational poverty through education,” Flores said.

The City of San Antonio and other organizations across the nation have already recognized the significance of César Chavez Day.

The fact that this week’s vote by the ACD trustees was unanimous tells Jonathan Corway, a student at San Antonio College, “They’re giving the representation that’s needed for the things that Cesar Chavez had fought for.”

“Honoring a man like Cesar Chavez with a holiday for us is a great accomplishment,” said Daniel Sustaita, who works at SAC enrolling students.

He said, “For me, it’s recognition of Hispanic heritage, really.”

Ernest Martinez, chairman of the Cesar E. Chavez Legacy and Educational Foundation, said CECLEF helped lead the charge in creating the Cesar Chavez Day at both ACD and the City of San Antonio.

He said the holiday will help to further CECLEF’s mission to preserve the life and legacy of Cesar Chavez.

“No better way to do that than to have a holiday at an educational institution like Alamo Colleges District,” Martinez said.

To help in the effort, Martinez turned to Anthony Gonzales, who teaches Mexican-American studies at John Marshall High School.

Gonzales said 20 of his students joined Martinez in appealing to Alamo Colleges District trustees.

By having a Cesar Chavez Day, he said it will help young Hispanics see themselves as “being represented in our city in a way that they have not seen before.”

Not only does Martinez want to try to do the same at UTSA and school districts throughout San Antonio, he said, “It’s time for other cities to start mobilizing and thinking about a national holiday for Cesar Chavez. A lot of work ahead, but as Cesar says, ‘Si se puede.’”

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About the Authors

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.

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