Cesar Chavez

Tell us what you did
to help Cesar's cause

"One motivated student"

One motivated student

Many years ago, one of my freshman students in Philosophy came to me with an ethical problem which had been raised by her term paper research. She worked part time as a checkout clerk at a local supermarket to help pay for her college expenses. It was during the lettuce boycott; she knew that her employer had purchased some United Farm Workers lettuce, then kept the boxes with the Farm Workers eagle but refilled them with non-Farm workers lettuce. She was committed to justice for the farm workers: what should she do? I suggested that she look at all her alternatives, and make the choice that seemed most in keeping with her values. Her decision was to quit her job, and devote a semester to working full time with the Farm Workers, for a minimum stipend.  I was able to arrange for her to take her full course load (four) as tutorials, so she lost no time or any financial assistance. She was very happy with this solution; I still have the little pottery cup, blue, with “Farm Workers” written on it, which she gave me as an expression of gratitude. Now I have retired from teaching at Fordham; what I most miss is working with students like her who are open to looking at the world through the eyes of the poor and marginalized, so as to respond tol their need.