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Grade Level: 9-12
Region: 2
Student: Samuel Reyes
Teacher: Julie Rivard
Chapter: Merced Union H.S. District TA




Wars with Words

We as humans are very violent. We search for solutions by means of death and war. This cycle repeats itself time after time, only to escalate the situation. So why is it that we simply do not stop? Is it economics, politics, or is it just fear for the loss of pride? The answer to ending wars is simple. Don’t start them. So how do we resolve conflict then? The answer can be found by using the best principle of nonviolence, words. But not just any words. These words need to be projected, alliterated and they need to be heard. Cesar Chavez believed this, so he practiced it. Along with the United Farm Workers, Chavez marched and protested. Not with force, but with words and in numbers.

My artwork captures the wave of energy that Chavez would build with just words. These words depicted pictures of human and civil rights, where farm workers were treated as humans, not farming equipment. I also added a plane of red to represent the symbol of the UFW, the huelga bird, an Aztec eagle that symbolizes pride, because I take much pride in my artwork and in what I do just as Chavez did. My piece finally captures Cesar Chavez in the light, doing what he did best, encouraging his people and giving them hope with his ever famous words, “Si Se Puede.” With these words, Chavez paved the way and tally marked the wall of justice, because not only can it happen, it did happen.

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