New site aims to rediscover unsung heroes of the farm workers’ movement

LatinaLista — Latino civil rights icon, Cesar Chavez, is synonymous with the United Farm Workers (UFW) organization. Yet, he wasn’t the only one who championed the rights of these workers. According to a 1975 national poll, there were 17 million, at that time, who identified as rallying to the farm workers’ cause through boycotts, hunger strikes or marches. Yet, their stories, whether they happened 40 years ago or four years ago, are quickly fading from the history of the UFW.

And that’s a shame!

All these men and women who fought alongside Chavez and have followed in his footsteps since then were more than likely workers themselves or came from a family who labored in the fields or were community organizers, volunteers or concerned citizens who saw an injustice and felt compelled to act. Unfortunately, the experiences of these people are being forgotten because no one bothered to write down who these people were and what they did — until now.

In honor of their 50th anniversary, the UFW launched a new website where the hope is to gather all these stories of people who helped, from 1962 to today, in the struggle for farm workers’ rights. Simply titled “UFW Stories,” the site wants anyone who has helped in any way with the UFW to share their memories and pictures so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Creators of the site stress that stories don’t have to have huge or historic proportions:

Your story need not be about a momentous event. It can be an account of the countless every-day acts of support and selflessness that allowed the UFW to succeed where others failed for 100 years to organize farm workers. This novel web site acknowledges all the people whose important contributions are too often ignored or forgotten.

Stories are posted online and everyone gets the chance to learn more about the unsung heroes whose fight for justice is still making a difference.

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