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His father had had an accident, and César didn’t want his mother to have to go to work in the fields to support him and his brother. Many years later, as a grown man and labor leader, César became passionate about education. He kept hundreds of books in his union office and read any time he could. He believed that the purpose of education was to enable him and others to help the oppressed. César Chávez was a true lifelong learner. The Inspiration Behind the Union César was inspired by a number of mentors.

NFWA leaders held many house meetings with workers and their families. They reached out to draw in the friends and associates of the workers with whom they spoke. Dolores asked people she knew for advice about how to raise money and set up group insurance plans. She asked for advice on how to get the union’s political message across. She learned organizing strategies. She shared this information with César. Together, they figured out how to make it work for the NFWA. It took a few years for the NFWA to grow.

Meeting people on their own turf helped them feel comfortable. It helped them trust their union leaders. After their first house meeting, Ross had good feelings about César. He knew the 25-year-old would one day be capable of accomplishing great things. ” For years afterward, these important house meetings helped César, Dolores, and their union colleagues expand the union’s reach. 39 40 Chapter 4 A Union Is Born I n 1962, a frustrated César Chávez resigned from the CSO. Dolores took his advice to keep her job with the CSO for a while before following him.

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