Civil rights and farm labor leader Cesar Chavez was honored last month with the dedication of Cesar Chavez Memorial Way on Raymond Street. Activists and politicians, many of whom reflect the city’s burgeoning Latino population, spoke at the dedication. From UpriseRI:
“Cesar Chavez was, we must remember, an organizer and a fighter,” said Rhode Island State Representative David Morales (Democrat, District 7, Providence). “A fighter against injustice as relates to racism. The injustice of low wages. The injustice of brutal working conditions that more often than not, people of color and immigrants are forced to experience.”
“Honoring the memory of Cesar Chavez is important for the labor movement because we have been struggling as working class communities,” said Rhode Island State Representative Enrique Sanchez (Democrat, District 9, Providence).
A statue of Chavez was dedicated in 2009 and can be found in Davis park, further up Chalkstone Avenue across from the school (see below).
Chavez died in 1993 and posthumously awarded the presidential Medal of Freedom the next year. In 2003 the USPS honored him with a postage stamp. Countless schools, buildings, and place names across the country have been dedicated to his memory.
And by the time of President Biden’s first Oval Office address in January of 2021, a bust of Chavez had been placed behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. From the Washington Post:
Paul Chavez was watching TV coverage of President Biden’s first address from the Oval Office on Wednesday when he suddenly recognized the sculpture right behind him.
It was his father.