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City of Woodland News

Posted on: March 3, 2023

Celebrate César Chávez on March 30 at the Woodland Community & Senior Center

To commemorate and celebrate the life and work of labor and civil rights leader César Chávez, the City of Woodland will host a celebration at the Woodland Community & Senior Center at 5:00 PM on Thursday, March 30. Join the City and fellow residents for this annual event that includes a special guest speaker, music, dance, and singing to celebrate the life and accomplishments of César Chávez.  

The keynote speaker will be the President and Chief Executive Office of the Farmworker Institute of Education and Leadership Development (FIELD), David M. Villarino-Gonzalez.

“The significance of César Chávez  to a community like Woodland is his non-violent approach to improve working conditions for farmworkers through the United Farm Workers,” says Woodland Mayor Vicky Fernandez. “But, on a personal level, his message that all things are possible with determination and hard work is just as important. His quote ‘Si Se Puede’ or ‘Yes We Can’ is also an inspiration to many that seek social justice.”

The event will feature performances from Beamer School’s Ballet Folklórico, Jimena Izquierdo, and Douglass Middle School’s Mariachi band led by Idbin Acosta. Several local non-profit organizations and resource groups will host outreach tables at the event. Families are encouraged to attend the event so children of all ages can learn about Chávez’s dedication to making life better for laborers. 

For additional information about the City of Woodland’s César Chávez Celebration, contact the Woodland Community Services Department at (530) 661-2000.

Biography of Keynote Speaker David M. Villarino-Gonzalez.

David M. Villarino-Gonzalez is the President & CEO of the Farmworkers Institute of Education and Leadership Development (FIELD) and Superintendent of EPIC Charter High School. David began his career working for the labor and civil rights leader César Chávez in San Diego and Boston. In 1978, David organized farmworkers, negotiated contracts, and practiced administrative law as a regional manager for the United Farm Workers (UFW).  

David’s most renowned accomplishment has been organizing the agricultural sectors around mutually beneficial programs beginning with Strengthening Our Agribusiness Region (SOAR), which allowed a UFW rose company’s 1,500 workers to share in the gains through higher wages, benefits, and job security. 

SOAR preceded FIELD’s full-pledged educational & economic program called Escuela Popular Instituto Campesino (EPIC) de César Chávez. Today, FIELD’s EPIC is in 10 counties at 20 campuses that serve over 5,000 farmworkers, immigrants, and other credit-certified adult students. FIELD’s core purpose is to “Empower the Underserved to be Self-Sufficient.” David is also the son-in-law of César Chávez.

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