Anthony Trujillo shares memories of Cesar Chavez

April 4, 2017

 Cesar Chavez was a prolific civil rights activist and labor leader from the 50s and the 70s. 



Former Ysleta Independent School District superintendent, Anthony Trujillo, reflects on Cesar Chavez.


He helped shape what are now the Community Service Organization (CSO) and the United Farm Workers of America (UFWA). 

Throughout his life, he strived to help out people in need without wanting anything in return. 

And this is what EPCC’s event on Thursday, March 30, made possible thanks to Professor Irma Camacho and her students. 

Anthony Trujillo, former superintendent at the Ysleta Independent School District, who served from 1992 to 1998 and raised the district to the highest performing school district in the state of Texas.

He talked all about his memories with Cesar Chavez, his accomplishments and major life events and characteristics. 

Trujillo, who describes Chavez as humble, very kind, and lacking ego, wrote a poem about his visiting La Paz and meeting Chavez, in which he describes Chavez as a hero who taught him many things about living and being thankful for what we have. 

He accounted Chavez as being very dedicated to others and their unalienable rights. 

"Working with him mad eme a better person, made me help people in need," said Trujillo.

On March 7, 1966, Chavez started a march from the Delano farms to Sacramento, the capital of California and Chavez’s home state. 

The march was 300 hundred miles long, and was an attempt to pressure the government to answer the call for the farmers to attain at least the minimum wage standard in the country. 

On another occasion, he fasted for 25  days in order to promote the principle of non-violence, in an attempt to attest for the actions of violent protestors in the past, said Trujillo. 

Because of his actions and support for civil right movements, Cesar Chavez became the best-known Latino civil rights activist. 

Chavez also came up with the “Si se puede” slogan, adopted for candidate Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008. 

Obama also declared his birthday, March 31, a commemorative holiday, celebrating his legacy. 

In 1973, he received the Jefferson award for the Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged, an award he unintentionally dedicated his life to. 

When asked what advice Cesar Chavez would give us if he were here, Trujillo said, “he would tell you to think about others and dedicate your life to others as opposed to your own desires, like money or power or position.

He would want you to be of service to other people, surely, the poorest and the least powerful.”

He dedicated his life to being gentle, to helping those in need, to protect the rights of everyone, and to live graciously, without the need for extravagance. 

Trujillo hopes to bring a change to people for the better, just like Chavez did for him, and he hopes the event at EPCC helped bring his message to a wider audience who will be inspired to live as he did. 

"He was very humble, very kind, and I don't think the man had any ego," said Trujillo. 


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