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Celebrating César E. Chávez and His Legacy

The César E. Chávez Memorial Education Awards Program provides recognition for educators and their students who demonstrate an understanding of the vision and guiding principles by which César Chávez lived his life. 

Deadline: Friday, March 5, 2021

Award Amount: Up to $550

The new 2020-2021 online application will be posted online by mid-November.

The Purpose of the Fund 

César E. Chávez, a founder and president of the United Farm Workers of America, dedicated his life to improving the plight of American farmworkers and pointing out the dangers of pesticide on food. His deep belief in the principles of nonviolence and the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. won him the admiration and respect of leaders throughout the world. He believed strongly in public schools and stated:

“The purpose of all education should surely be service to others.” 

The Awards Program honors the memory of this great man and ensures the spirit of his work continues in the classrooms of California.

Silent Auction of Artwork to Support Cesar Chavez Memorial Scholarship

Participants must show evidence of how one or more of the below principles are evident in their lives and correlate their experience(s) to the work of César E. Chávez.

Awards must focus on one or more of the following and demonstrate which principles of César E. Chávez’s legacy affect your life:

  • Principles of nonviolence
  • Self-determination through unionization (forming and joining unions)
  • Social justice for farmworkers
  • Safe food/health/environmental issues
  • Human and civil rights issues
  • Teamwork, cooperation, collaboration and/or service to others
  •  Empowerment of the disenfranchised
  • Innovation and education

We encourage applications from all students including Special Ed, Alternative Ed, ELL, etc. 

A CTA member may submit up to three (3) individual entries (only one (1) entry per student per year) or a group of no more than three (3) students.

Grade Level

  • Pre-K, Transitional Kindergarten-K (only artwork)
  • First – Second grade
  • Third – Fourth grade
  • Fifth – Sixth grade
  • Seventh – Eighth grade
  • Ninth – Twelfth grade
  • Higher Education (Undergraduates only)
  • Written Essays
  • Visual Arts

This recognition is divided into two (2) entry types: Individual or Group. The recipients, both students and sponsoring CTA members, will receive up to $550 (exact amount will be determined by the Awards committee). Their work will be recognized by posting visual art and written essays online and in various CTA publications. Group entries will share the Award.

Written Essay CriteriaVisual Arts Criteria

Building the Future: Donations

Sustaining finances for the Fund come from voluntary contributions and the CTA Foundation for Teaching and Learning. 

Send Donations To: 

California Teachers Association
César E. Chávez Memorial Education Awards Program
P.O. Box 921, Attn: Janeya Dawson
Burlingame, CA 94011-0921

Make Checks Payable To

(In check memo line indicate Memorial Education Awards Fund)

Awards Committee

The 2019-2020 César E. Chávez Memorial Education Awards Committee:
Yvonne Molles, Chairperson
Bill Freeman, Co-Board Liaison
Robert Ellis, Co-Board Liaison
Ricardo Aguilar
Stephanie Aguilar-Martinez Maritza Avila
Danny Blas
Angelica Boyd
Yurii Camacho
Dominick Copas
Cathy Fernandez
Susan Garcia
Raul Gonzalez
Liana Guillen-Zavala
Ramon Macias
Alberto Mojica
Daniel Robles