Cesar Chavez Quotes On Education, Social Change

The full name of Cesar Chavez is Cesar Estrada Chavez. He was an American labor leader, businessman, community organizer, and Latino American civil rights activist. Here we have shared inspirational and motivational Cesar Chavez quotes.

Cesar Chavez was born on March 31, 1927, in Yuma, Arizona, United States and died on April 23, 1993, in San Luis, Arizona, United States.

Cesar Chavez Quotes

We must understand that the highest form of freedom carries with it the greatest measure of discipline. – Cesar Chavez

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. – Cesar Chavez

What I do shows people what kind of person I am. – Cesar Chavez

As long as we have a poor country bordering California, it’s going to be very difficult to win strikes. – Cesar Chavez

We need to help students and parents cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens this community – and this nation. – Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez Quotes
To be a man is to suffer for others. God help us to be men! – Cesar Chavez

We need, in a special way, to work twice as hard to help people understand that the animals are fellow creatures, that we must protect them and love them as we love ourselves. – Cesar Chavez

We know we cannot be kind to animals until we stop exploiting them — exploiting animals in the name of science, exploiting animals in the name of sport, exploiting animals in the name of fashion, and yes, exploiting animals in the name of food. – Cesar Chavez

Do not romanticize the poor…We are all people, human beings subject to the same temptations and faults as all others. Our poverty damages our dignity. – Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez Quotes
We have seen the future, and the future is ours. – Cesar Chavez

I’ve always maintained that it isn’t the form that’s going to make the difference. It isn’t the rule or the procedure or the ideology, but it’s human beings that will make it. – Cesar Chavez

The basis for peace is respecting all creatures. – Cesar Chavez

Non-violence means people in action. People have to understand that non-violence goes a hell of a lot of organizations. – Cesar Chavez

I became a vegetarian after realizing that animals feel afraid, cold, hungry, and unhappy like we do. I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom. It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings. – Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez Quotes
In some cases non-violence requires more militancy than violence. – Cesar Chavez

Years of misguided teaching have resulted in the destruction of the best in our society, in our cultures, and in the environment. – Cesar Chavez

There’s no reason to be non-violent. There’s no challenge unless you are living for people. – Cesar Chavez

I think one of the great, great problems…is confusing people to the point where they become immobile. In fact, the more things people can find out for themselves, the more vigor the organization is going to have. – Cesar Chavez

“Grant me the courage to serve others; For in service there is true life.” – Cesar Chavez

In the final analysis, it doesn’t really matter what the political system is…We don’t need perfect political systems; we need perfect participation. – Cesar Chavez

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cesar chavez quotes social change
Together, all things are possible. – Cesar Chavez

Perhaps we can bring the day when children will learn from their earliest days that being fully man and fully woman means to give one’s life to the liberation of the brother [and sister] who suffers. It is up to each one of us. It won’t happen unless we decide to use our lives to show the way. – Cesar Chavez

Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures. – Cesar Chavez

There is a great fear of our Union – a fear that I do not fully understand, but that I know is present…What is it that causes some men to act so hastily and so cruelly? It cannot be that we are so powerful. Is it so much to ask that the poorest people of the land have a measure of justice? – Cesar Chavez

We are certain God’s will is that all men share in the good things this earth produces. – Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez Quotes
The people united will never be defeated. – Cesar Chavez

When you have people together who believe in something very strongly – whether it’s religion or politics or unions – things happen. – Cesar Chavez

We farm workers are closest to food production. We were the first to recognize the serious health hazards of agriculture pesticides to both consumers and ourselves. – Cesar Chavez

Being of service is not enough. You must become a servant of the people. When you do, you can demand their commitment in return. – Cesar Chavez

The burdens of generations of poverty and powerlessness lie heavily in the fields of America. If we fail, there are those who will see violence as the shortcut to change. – Cesar Chavez

cesar chavez quotes social change
Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. – Cesar Chavez

In the no-nonsense school of adversity, which we did not choose for ourselves, we are learning how to operate a labor union. – Cesar Chavez

Because we have suffered, and we are not afraid to suffer in order to survive, we are ready to give up everything – even our lives – in our struggle for justice. – Cesar Chavez

I would not take one cup of coffee from a grower…There’s not a good one. I hate them. A few presents, a little talk, then the noose. That’s how capitalism works. – Cesar Chavez

If you want to remember me, organize! – Cesar Chavez

There’s no turning back…We will win. We are winning because ours is a revolution of mind and heart… – Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez Quotes
You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. – Cesar Chavez

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own. – Cesar Chavez

Kindness and compassion toward all living things is the mark of a civilized society. – Cesar Chavez

“Just as Dr. King was a disciple of Gandhi and Christ, we must now be Dr. King’s disciples. – Cesar Chavez

Dr. King challenged us to work for greater humanity. I only hope that we are worthy of his challenge.” – Cesar Chavez

What we do know absolutely is that human lives are worth more than grapes and that innocent-looking grapes on the table may disguise poisonous residues hidden deep inside where washing cannot reach. – Cesar Chavez

In non-violence, the cause has to be just and clear as well as the means. – Cesar Chavez

We have suffered unnumbered ills and crimes in the name of the Law of the Land. Our men, women, and children have suffered not only the basic brutality of stoop labor, and the most obvious injustices of the system; they have also suffered the desperation of knowing that the system caters to the greed of callous men and not to our needs. Now we will suffer for the purpose of ending the poverty, the misery, and the injustice, with the hope that our children will not be exploited as we have been. They have imposed hunger on us, and now we hunger for justice. – Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez Quotes
Self dedication is a spiritual experience. – Cesar Chavez

Organizing is an educational process. The best educational process in the union is the picket line and the boycott. You learn about life. – Cesar Chavez

Non-violence is a very powerful weapon. Most people don’t understand the power of non-violence and tend to be amazed by the whole idea. Those who have been involved in bringing about change and see the difference between violence and non-violence are firmly committed to a lifetime of non-violence, not because it is easy or because it is cowardly, but because it is an effective and very powerful way. – Cesar Chavez

In 1968, I became a vegetarian after realizing that animals feel afraid, cold, hungry, and unhappy like we do.. – Cesar Chavez

Concentration is an inspiration. You must be completely overtaken by your work and your subject. Only then do all your influences and experience come up to the surface. – Cesar Chavez

When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of men we are. – Cesar Chavez

When workers fall back on violence, they are lost. Oh, they might win some of their demands and might end a strike a little earlier, but they give up their imagination, their creativity, their will to work hard, and to suffer for what they believe is right. – Cesar Chavez

cesar chavez quotes on education
The end of all knowledge should be service to others. – Cesar Chavez

We can choose to use our lives for others to bring about a better and more just world for our children. People who make that choice will know hardship and sacrifice. But if you give yourself totally to the non-violence struggle for peace and justice you also find that people give you their hearts and you will never go hungry and never be alone. And in giving of yourself you will discover a whole new life full of meaning and love. – Cesar Chavez

We do not need to kill or destroy to win. We are a movement that builds and not destroys. – Cesar Chavez

There is enough love and goodwill in our movement to give energy to our struggle and still have plenty left over to break down and change the climate of hate and fear around us. – Cesar Chavez

A movement with some lasting organization is a lot less dramatic than a movement with a lot of demonstrations and a lot of marching and so forth. The more dramatic organization does catch attention quicker. Over the long haul, however, it’s a lot more difficult to keep together because you’re not building solid…A lasting organization is one in which people will continue to build, develop, and move when you are not there. – Cesar Chavez

When you sacrifice, you force others to sacrifice. It’s an extremely powerful weapon. – Cesar Chavez

I am convinced that the truest act of courage, the strongest act of manliness, is to sacrifice ourselves for others in a totally nonviolent struggle for justice. To be a man is to suffer for others. God help us to be men! – Cesar Chavez

Without a union, the people are always cheated, and they are so innocent. – Cesar Chavez

Though many of the poor have come to see the affluent middle class as its enemy, that class actually stands between the poor and the real powers in this society – the administrative octopus with its head in Washington, the conglomerates, the military complex. – Cesar Chavez

Talk is cheap…It is the way we organize and use our lives every day that tells what we believe in. – Cesar Chavez

(Farmworkers) are involved in the planting and the cultivation and the harvesting of the greatest abundance of food known in this society. They bring in so much food to feed you and me and the whole country and enough food to export to other places. The ironic thing and the tragic thing is that after they make this tremendous contribution, they don’t have any money or any food left for themselves. – Cesar Chavez

Our language is a reflection of ourselves. A language is an exact reflection of the character and growth of its speakers. – Cesar Chavez

[We believe that unions have always been about much more than the industries in which they operate.] The fight is never about grapes or lettuce, … It is always about people. – Cesar Chavez

The first principle of non-violent action is that of non-cooperation with everything humiliating. – Cesar Chavez

Our very lives are dependent, for sustenance, on the sweat and sacrifice of the Campesinos. Children of farmworkers should be as proud of their parents’ professions as other children are of theirs. – Cesar Chavez

We are suffering. We have suffered. And we are not afraid to suffer in order to win our cause. – Cesar Chavez

If you’re not frightened that you might fail, you’ll never do the job. If you’re frightened, you’ll work like crazy. – Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez Quotes
You are never strong enough that you don’t need help. – Cesar Chavez

Who gets the risks? The risks are given to the consumer, the unsuspecting consumer, and the poor workforce. And who gets the benefits? The benefits are only for the corporations, for the money makers. Cesar Chavez

Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well with others. – Cesar Chavez

Money is not going to organize the disadvantaged, the powerless, or the poor. We need other weapons. That’s why the War on Poverty is such a miserable failure. You put out a big pot of money and all you do is a fight over it. Then you run out of money and you run out of troops. – Cesar Chavez

…many have the idea that organizing people is very difficult, but it isn’t. It becomes difficult only at the point where you begin to see other things that are easier. But if you are willing to give the time and make the sacrifice, it’s not that difficult to organize. – Cesar Chavez

Society is made up of groups, and as long as the smaller groups do not have the same rights and the same protection as others – I don[‘t care whether you call it capitalism or communism -it is not going to work. Somehow, the guys in power have to be reached by counterpower, or through a change in their hearts and minds, or change will not come. – Cesar Chavez

Until the chance for political participation is there, we who are poor will continue to attack the soft part of the American system – its economic structure. We will build power through boycotts, strikes, new union – whatever techniques we can develop. These attacks on the status quo will come, not because we hate, but because we know America can construct a humane society for all its citizens – and that if it does not, there will chaos. – Cesar Chavez

It takes a lot of punishment to be able to do anything to change the social order. – Cesar Chavez

Non-violence has suffered its biggest defeat in the hands of people who most want to talk about it. – Cesar Chavez

…So they are trying to do something about it. They are not doing it by seeking charity. They are not begging at the welfare office. They are not, as many of their employers, lobbying the halls of Congress with their gold plated tin cups asking to be paid for not growing crops. They are trying to do it in the way that millions of other Americans have shown is the right way-organization, unionism, collective bargaining. – Cesar Chavez

We are confident. We have ourselves. We know how to sacrifice. We know how to work. We know how to combat the forces that oppose us. But even more than that, we are true believers in the whole idea of justice. Justice is so much on our side, that that is going to see us through. – Cesar Chavez

The non-violent technique does not depend for its success on the goodwill of the oppressor, but rather on the unfailing assistance of God. – Cesar Chavez

Real education should consist of drawing the goodness and the best out of our own students. What better books can there be than the book of humanity? – Cesar Chavez

The only ones who make things change are fanatics. If you’re not a fanatic around here, you can’t cut it. – Cesar Chavez

You know, if people are not pacifists, it’s not their fault. It’s because society puts them in that spot. You’ve got to change it. You don’t just change a man – you’ve got to change his environment as you do it. – Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez Quotes
We’re going to pray a lot and picket a lot. – Cesar Chavez

There are many reasons why a man does what de does. To be himself he must be able to give it all. If a leader cannot give it all he cannot expect his people to give anything. – Cesar Chavez

Today, the growers are like a punch-drunk old boxer who doesn’t know he’s past his prime. The times are changing. The political and social environment has changed. The chickens are coming home to roost – and the time to account for past sins is approaching. – Cesar Chavez

It’s amazing how people can get so excited about a rocket to the moon and not give a damn about smog, oil leaks, the devastation of the environment with pesticides, hunger, disease. When the poor share some of the power that the affluent now monopolize, we will give a damn. – Cesar Chavez

The poor, you know, have a way of solving problems…they have a tremendous capacity for suffering. And so when you build a vehicle to get something done, as we’ve done here in the strike and the boycott, then they continue to suffer – and maybe a little bit more – but the suffering becomes less important because they see a chance of progress; sometimes progress itself. They’ve been suffering all their lives.s It’s a question of suffering from some kind of hope now. That’s better than suffering from no hope at all. – Cesar Chavez

If you win non-violently, then you have a double victory, you have not only won your fight, but you remain free. – Cesar Chavez

Farmworkers are society’s canaries. Farmworkers – and their children – demonstrate the effects of pesticide poisoning before anyone else. – Cesar Chavez

When any person suffers for someone in greater need, that person is a human. – Cesar Chavez

However important the struggle is and however much misery and poverty and degradation exist, we know that it cannot be more important than one human life. – Cesar Chavez

We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure. – Cesar Chavez

Non-violence is not inaction. It is not a discussion. It is not for the timid or weak… Non-violence is hard work. – Cesar Chavez

You cannot uneducated the person who has learned to read. – Cesar Chavez

Those who are willing to sacrifice and be of service have very little difficulty with people. They know what they are all about. People can’t help but want to be near them. They help them; they work with them. That’s what love is all about. It starts with your heart and radiates out. – Cesar Chavez

Our struggle is not easy. Those who oppose our cause are rich and powerful and they have many allies in high places. We are poor. Our allies are few. But we have something the rich do not own. We have our bodies and spirits and the justice of our cause as our weapons. – Cesar Chavez

I’m not going to ask for anything unless the workers want it. If they want it, they’ll ask for it. – Cesar Chavez

If we are full of hatred, we can’t really do our work. Hatred saps all that strength and energy we need to plan. – Cesar Chavez

When the man who feeds the world by toiling in the fields is himself deprived of the basic rights of feeding, sheltering, and caring for his own family, the whole community of man is sick. – Cesar Chavez

The love for justice that is in us is not only the best part of our being but it is also the truest to our nature. – Cesar Chavez

We learned many years ago that the rich may have money, but the poor have time. – Cesar Chavez

Non-violence exacts a very high price from one who practices it. But once you are able to meet that demand then you can do most things. – Cesar Chavez

There is no substitute for hard work, 23 or 24 hours a day. And there is no substitute for patience and acceptance. – Cesar Chavez

It’s ironic that those who till the soil, cultivate and harvest the fruits, vegetables, and other foods that fill your tables with abundance have nothing left for themselves. – Cesar Chavez

Since the Church is to be a servant to the poor, it is our fault if that wealth is not channeled to help the poor in our world. – Cesar Chavez

Never, never is it possible to reach someone if you become angry or bitter only love and gentleness can do it. Maybe not this time but maybe the next or the hundredth time. – Cesar Chavez

There is no such thing as defeat in non-violence. – Cesar Chavez

A symbol is an important thing. That is why we chose an Aztec eagle. It gives pride…When people see it they know it means dignity. – Cesar Chavez

Look at the John Birch Society. Look at Hitler. The reactionaries are always better organizers. – Cesar Chavez

…the workers aren’t going to stop struggling. They’re going to struggle to have a union and they have the right to have it. The police repression and the grower indifference to the workers’ demands for recognition cannot go unheard so we’re going to keep on struggling until we get that recognition. – Cesar Chavez

The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people. – Cesar Chavez

Our union represents a breaking away…represents sharing a power, represent questioning, represents a new force…however long it takes, we are geared for a struggle. – Cesar Chavez

When a man or woman, young, or old, takes a place on the picket line for even a day or two, he will never be the same again. – Cesar Chavez

Students must have initiative; they should not be mere imitators. They must learn to think and act for themselves – and be free. – Cesar Chavez

It is clearly evident that our path travels through a valley of teas well known to all farmworkers because in all valleys the way of the farmworker has been one of sacrifice for generations. Our sweat and our blood have fallen on this land to make other men rich. This Pilgrimage is a witness to the suffering we have seen for generations. – Cesar Chavez

If you give yourself totally to the nonviolent struggle for peace and justice you also find that people give you their hearts and you will never go hungry and never be alone. – Cesar Chavez

To make a great dream come true, the first requirement is a great capacity to dream; the second is persistence. – Cesar Chavez

What is at stake is human dignity. If a man is not accorded the respect he cannot respect himself and if he does not respect himself, he cannot demand it. – Cesar Chavez

Violence just hurts those who are already hurt…Instead of exposing the brutality of the oppressor, it justifies it. – Cesar Chavez

Imagine the National Guard being called against a group of peaceful people. How far can we get; how disgraceful can it become? It’s the most disgraceful, the most wicked thing I’ve seen in all my years of organizing farm labor. – Cesar Chavez

True wealth is not measured in money or status or power. It is measured in the legacy we leave behind for those we love and those we inspire. – Cesar Chavez

The strike and the boycott, they have cost us much. What they have not paid us in wages, better working conditions, and new contracts, they have paid us in self-respect and human dignity. – Cesar Chavez

There is no law for farm labor organizing, save the law of the jungle. – Cesar Chavez

Nonviolence is really tough. You don’t practice nonviolence at conferences; you practice it on picket-lines. – Cesar Chavez

History will judge societies and governments — and their institutions — not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and the powerful, but by how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless. – Cesar Chavez

The picket line is the best place to train organizers. One day on the picket line is where a man makes his commitment. The longer on the picket line, the stronger the commitment. A lot of workers think they make their commitment by walking off the job when nobody sees them. But you get a guy to walk off the field when his boss is watching and, in front of the other guys, throw down his tools and march right to the picket line, that is the guy who makes our strike. The picket line is a beautiful thing because it makes a man more human. – Cesar Chavez

I am an organizer, not a union leader. A good organizer has to work hard and long. There are no shortcuts. You just keep talking to people, working with them, sharing, exchanging and they come along. – Cesar Chavez

…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. – Cesar Chavez

I remember with strong feelings the families who joined our movement and paid dues long before there was any hope of winning contracts. Sometimes, fathers and mothers would take money out of their meager food budgets just because they believed that farmworkers could and must build their own union. I remember thinking then that with spirit like that… we had to win. No force on earth could stop us. – Cesar Chavez

We are organizers at heart. Most of us in the movement take great pride in being able to put things together. – Cesar Chavez

Through Gandhi and my own life experience, I have learned about nonviolence. I believe that human life is a very special gift from God and that no one has a right to take that away in any cause, however just. I am convinced that nonviolence is more powerful than violence. – Cesar Chavez

In giving of yourself, you will discover a whole new life full of meaning and love. – Cesar Chavez

From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength. – Cesar Chavez

If you are interested in preventing animal suffering, the first thing you should give up is eggs and milk because the animals who produce those foods lead the most unhappy lives. You would do better to eat meat and stop eating eggs and dairy products. – Cesar Chavez

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. – Cesar Chavez