9 Greatest Cesar Chavez Quotes
If you ask anyone who’s ever been involved in the fight for racial justice who’s their favorite organizer in the movement, chances are you’ll meet a few who’ll tell you Cesar Chavez. Born near Yuma, Arizona, on March 31, 1927, Chavez grew up watching his family toil on farms for unjust wages. Witnessing injustice first hand would be just the spark he needed to become a fierce advocate for Chicano rights and organized labor unions. Chavez’s passion for the work was so unbridled that he would endure hunger strikes until the communities he served were treated with dignity and respect.
Happy birthday Cesar Chavez! Advancement Project National Office celebrates Chavez’s powerful legacy in organizing by maintaining his model of building power in Latinx communities and observing his birthday by giving our outstanding employees Chavez’s birthday off. Just for fun, we asked our 38 staff members to pick their favorite Chavez quotes spanning the gamut of topics from non-violence, voting rights and union organizing. These are the nine that best capture the essence of our fight for a just democracy.
9. “…there has to be someone who is willing to do it, who is willing to take whatever risks are required. I don’t think it can be done with money alone. The person has to be dedicated to the task. There has to be some other motivation.”
8. “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.”
7. “The name of the game is to talk to people. If you don’t talk to people, you can’t get started…You knock on twenty doors or so, and twenty guys tell you to go to hell, or that they haven’t got time. But maybe at the fortieth or sixtieth house you find the one guy who is all you need. You’re not going to organize everything; you’re just going to get it started."
6. “If you’re not frightened that you might fail, you’ll never do the job. If you’re frightened, you’ll work like crazy.”
5. “Self-dedication is a spiritual experience.”
4. “You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.”
3. “There’s no turning back…We will win. We are winning because ours is a revolution of mind and heart…”
2. “We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure.”
- “We must understand that the highest form of freedom carries with it the greatest measure of discipline.”