Each year since 2014, the campus community is invited to take part in the day of service to honor the life and legacy of civil rights activist César Chávez for a Day of Service. He is the founder of the United Farm Workers Union and pioneer in the struggles for fair wages and humane working conditions for farm workers and their families. Chávez is revered as one of the greatest American civil rights leaders.
CSUSM’s César Chávez Day of Service typically takes place the day the campus observes César Chávez's birthday, March 31. His birthday is recognized as a state holiday and the campus is closed in observance of his legacy. However, if his birthday occurs during spring break, we observe the Day of Service the weekend before spring break.
In 1997, CSUSM unveiled its first outdoor public art – a bronze statue of civil rights activist César Chávez. At the time, the statue seemed far from the original four university buildings. But the César Chávez statue came to not only reflect the heart of CSUSM, it became the center of campus.
The film includes animation, interviews, archival and current footage and music by Macklemore and other artists. Following the screening there was discussion with Eduardo Chávez and audience members made up of students, faculty, staff and community members.
On March 3, 2020, the César Chávez Day of Service Planning Committee welcomed Eduardo Chávez the grandson of César Chávez to campus. Eduardo screened his documentary, Hailing César. The film is about Eduardo's journey to understand the legacy and struggle of his famous grandfather and civil rights activist.