FOR ALL AGES

40 Best Cesar Chavez Quotes From The Inspirational Civil Rights Activist

Cesar Chavez protested for 36 days at the age of 61 protesting against pesticides.

Cesar Chavez (31 March 1927- 23 April 1993) is a Mexican American civil rights activist.

He was inspired by the nonviolent resistance and principles of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.'s ideas on non-violence. He founded the National Farm Workers Association in the 1970s.

Cesar Chavez introduced the United Farm Workers (UFW) and dedicated his life to work and support farmworkers in the United States of America. He worked to improve their working and living conditions through the negotiation of contracts with the employers and multiple strikes throughout the course of his life since the use of pesticides required them to wear special equipment to reduce their exposure to the pesticides while they worked on the field. He received the civilian award from President Clinton. Helena Fabela and Chavez had eight children. Professional golf player Sam Chavez who has played on the PGA Tour Canada is one of his grandsons. He has a total of 31 grandchildren.

In this article, we will take a look at some Cesar Chavez quotes. If you like this article, check out articles on civil rights quotes and W.E.B. Du Bois quotes.

Cesar Chavez Famous Quotes

Cesar Chavez had served two years in the U.S. Navy. Lewis and Clark Class Cargo ships are named after American visionaries and pioneers like him. Chavez also has several American streets, schools, and a national monument named after him. Here are some of the most famous quotes and Cesar Chavez quotes in Spanish.

Obama took inspiration from Cesar Chavez's famous slogan 'Yes, We Can' for his election campaign.

1. "To be a man is to suffer for others. God help us be men."

-Cesar Chavez

2."I'm convinced that the truest act of courage the strongest act of manliness, is to sacrifice ourselves for others in a totally non-violent struggle for justice.

-Cesar Chavez

3."We don't need perfect political systems; we need perfect participation."

-Cesar Chavez

4."preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures."

-Cesar Chavez

5."Our language is the reflection of ourselves. A language is an exact reflection of character and growth of its speakers."

-Cesar Chavez

6."Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore."

-Cesar Chavez  

7."When poor people get involved in a long conflict such as strike...there is a deep need for spiritual advice. Without it, we see families crumble, leadership weaken, and hard workers grow tired."

-Cesar Chavez

8."History will judge societies and governments - and the institutions - not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and the powerful, but by how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless."

-Cesar Chavez

9."Society is made up of groups, and as long as the smaller groups do not have the same rights and the same protection as others...it is not going to work. Somehow the guys in power have to be reached by counterpower, or through a  change in the hearts and minds, or change will not come."

-Cesar Chavez

10."We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure."

-Cesar Chavez

11."If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with him...the people who give you their food give you their heart."

-Cesar Chavez

12."In some cases, non-violence requires more militancy than violence."

-Cesar Chavez

13. "Non-violence means people in action. People have to understand that with non-violence goes a hell of a lot of organization."

-Cesar Chavez

14."There is no such thing as defeat in non violence."

-Cesar Chavez

15."From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength."

-Cesar Chavez

16."A fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It's about people."

-Cesar Chavez

17."Being of service is not enough. You must become a servant of the people. When you do, you can demand their commitment in return."

-Cesar Chavez

18."There is no turning back....we will win. We are winning because ours is a revolution of the mind and heart.

-Cesar Chavez

19."Viva la Huelga.

Viva La Causa.

Viva La Union."

-Cesar Chavez

20."Si, Se Puede! (Yes we can!)

-Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez Quotes On Education

As migrant farm workers, Chavez's family moved often and he had to change a total of 38 schools before he finally dropped out of school to support his parents. Although, he later advocated education as a means for social improvement. Here are some Cesar Chavez quotes about education and other inspiring quotes.

Cesar Chavez was a vegetarian after realizing animals feel afraid, cold, and unhappy like humans.

21."The end of all knowledge should be service to others."

-Cesar Chavez

22."Years of misguided teaching have resulted in the destruction of the best in our society, our cultures, and in the environment."

-Cesar Chavez

23."Real education should consist of drawing the goodness and the best out of our own students. What better books can there be than the book of humanity?"

-Cesar Chavez

24."A word as to the education of the heart. We don't believe that this can be imparted through books; it can only be imparted through the loving touch of the teacher."  

-Cesar Chavez

25."We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community...Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own."

-Cesar Chavez  

26."Students must have initiative; they should not be mere imitators. They must learn to think and act for themselves - and be free."

-Cesar Chavez

27."We need to help students and parents cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens this community - and this nation."

-Cesar Chavez

28."Perhaps we can bring the day when children will learn from their earliest days that being fully a man and fully a woman means to give one's life to the liberation of the brother [and sister] who suffers."

-Cesar Chavez

29."Organizing is an educational process. The best educational process in the union is the picket line and the boycott. You learn about life."

-Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez Quotes On Life And Work

As the leader and founder of the UFW, Chavez had very important and impactful views on being a farm worker and your attitude toward work in life. Here are some inspiring quotes from him on this theme.

30."There is no substitute for hard work, 23 or 24 hours a day. And there is no substitute for patience and acceptance."

-Cesar Chavez

31."You are never strong enough that you don't need help."

-Cesar Chavez

32."Farm workers are society's canaries. Farm workers- and their children- demonstrate the effects of pesticide poisoning before anyone else."

-Cesar Chavez

33."We farm workers are the closest to food production. We were the first to recognize the serious health hazards of agriculture pesticides to both consumers and ourselves."

-Cesar Chavez

34."...Children of farmworkers should be as proud of their professions as other children are of theirs."

-Cesar Chavez

35."To make a dream come true, the first requirement is a great capacity to dream; the second is persistence".

-Cesar Chavez

36."When you sacrifice, you force others to sacrifice. It's an extremely powerful weapon."

-Cesar Chavez

37."There are many reasons for why a man does what he does. To be himself he must be able to give it all. If a leader cannot give it all he cannot expect his people to give anything."

-Cesar Chavez

38."When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of men we are."

-Cesar Chavez

39."From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength."

-Cesar Chavez

40."Kindness and compassion towards all living things is a mark of a civilized society. Conversely, cruelty, whether it is directed against human beings or against animals, is not the exclusive province of any one culture or community of people."

-Cesar Chavez  

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Cesar Chavez quotes then why not take a look at [Stokely Carmichael quotes], or [Elijah Cummings quotes].

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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