Project Welga Celebrates Cesar Chavez's Birthday

Cesar Chavez and Larry Itliong (Source:

Cesar Chavez and Larry Itliong (Source:

On the occasion of Cesar Chavez’s birthday, the Welga Project joins the Chicano community in celebrating his birthday. In particular, the Welga Project celebrates the interracial, Filipino-Mexican immigrant labor solidarity that Chavez, along with his colleagues Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz, exemplified. The definition of solidarity is the “union or fellowship arising from common responsibilities and interests, as between members of a group or between classes, peoples, etc.” To celebrate Chavez’s birthday, the Welga Project’s archive will specifically highlight the interracial solidarity expressed in the 1965 Delano Grape Strike which will mark its 50th anniversary this coming September.

The Welga Project, (welga is the Tagalog term for strike) aims to bring the hidden history of Filipinos’ leadership and engagement in the 1965 Delano Grape Strike to light through a dynamic, publicly accessible digital archive which houses oral histories and other material from strike participants and supporters. Additionally, the Welga Project will produce a teacher’s resource guide to support the implementation of AB123, legislation recently signed into law by the state of California, which mandates the teaching of Filipinos’ contribution to the farm worker struggle. This project was made possible with support from Cal Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit  Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of Cal Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is also led by Dr. Robyn Magalit Rodriguez of the Asian American Studies Department at UC Davis.

According to Rodriguez, “Immigrant communities were and continue to be pitted against each other yet we have many examples of times when we have come together. It is our responsibility, as Filipinos, to honor the solidarity between the Filipino and Mexican community. We do this today, by honoring Cesar Chavez, together with the Mexican community and commemorating the work he did in building lasting ties between us.  We invite the public to access the archive onMarch 31, 2015, Cesar Chavez's birthday, when we will launch a teacher's guide on the topic of 'interracial labor solidarity.'"

To access the Welga Digital Archive follow this link: