3rd Place Adult: How has Cesar Chavez influenced your life and what impact will his work have on your future?

Elizabeth Plasencia (Fayetteville, GA)

Cesar Chavez Essay

23 February 2018



How has Cesar Chavez influenced your life and what impact will his work have on your future?


What is the definition of an influencer? An individual who affects your morale? Your creativity? Your MVP? Your decisions to help your community? Your leadership style? Cesar Chavez had an M.V.P. a mission, vision, and passion for doing good to for his community and to this day he is the medium of my work.  Chavez’s love was to help others.  His mission was to change the lifestyle of labor workers in their quest to better pay and working conditions. His vision was to see a transformative change for labor workers through continuous sacrifice in hunger strikes. Chavez’s influence radiates through my willingness to address ethical/ humane measures to advocate for the undocumented community and education.


I view leadership style through four lenses symbolic, political, human resource, and structural and I take Chavez’s influence in the same way. He channeled social justice through strategy. He cared for the collective rights of labor workers, and his inspiration came solely from notorious activists for civil rights such as Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. Chavez’s non-violence to advocate for marginalized people holds vital importance to Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi’s teaching of activism for humanity. Let us analyze tolerance and how it triggers progress for our communities, or it impedes the development of a common good for our friends, families, leaders, and overall population. Gandhi once said “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean: if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” Humanity comes with serving others and having a virtue approach that stresses a need for integrity, courage, and honesty. Chavez used non-violence as an ethical tactic to change the abuse of the agricultural industry.


I leave you synchronicity of Chavez’s leadership influence and my understanding of humanity.  I apply his leadership styles to my life at church, school, and extracurricular activities. Advocating for Latinos, first generations, and undocumented students have come through Chavez words and works of fellowship. I know the synergy between Chavez and myself as a leader will impact my decisions to create a strategy, recognize symbolism, use the human resource leadership frame, and build coalitions. Unshackling economic and legal barriers for the Latino community is my objective, and I am a firm believer I am the need to fill that issue. I use Chavez as a reminder of humanity’s existence and abolishing oppression for minorities. Thinking about the sacrifices of my ancestors triggers a need to make a change and to live a purposeful life through servitude. Chavez once said “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 our own”


Starting today, look at how your community can progress if you plant a seed of support, not only for your personal development but your responsibility as a human to enhance a virtue approach.

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