Andres Chavez had one recurring message for those who gathered to hear him speak—never give up.
Andres Chavez is the grandson of Cesar Chavez, who is widely regarded as one of the most influential labor leaders and civil-rights activists in American history. His appearance at Ferris on Oct. 18 was organized by the Center for Latin@ Studies (CLS), which is also where the event was held. According to the Ferris website, his visit is in conjunction with visits to several other local colleges, universities and high schools in the area.
The event drew in dozens of students and faculty, including Ferris President David Eisler to listen to Chavez, who has followed in his grandfather’s footsteps as a political and social activist.
Chavez’s speech told the story of his grandfather’s life, but he also spoke about social and political issues today. Chavez focused heavily on the issues of immigration and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which are topics he has spoken out about in the past.
“When we think about the issues facing immigration, building walls definitely doesn’t bring people together, we know that takes building bridges. When we talk about DACA, ending DACA which would deny dreamers their future and their prosperity in the only nation most of them have ever known definitely doesn’t show them the beauty and the value of this land,” Chavez said.
For many of the students and staff, this event was an opportunity for them to learn more about the life of Cesar Chavez and his impact on the past and present, but also an opportunity for a diverse group of people to come together.
“I thought it was very important and amazing that we saw unity with a diverse set of students, faculty members and administrators,” Ferris applied speech communications junior and president of the Hispanic Student Organization (HSO) Daniel Rivera said. “To hear words from somebody who knew such an amazing leader in our history, it was an amazing event.”