President Obama said, "Our world is a better place because Cesar Chavez decided to change it."
In advance of the March 28 release of the major motion picture Cesar Chavez, Participant Media, Pantelion Films and the Cesar Chavez Foundation are launching a drive to recognize the late civil rights and farm labor leader with a National Day of Service. To kick off the campaign, they have created a short video on Chavez’s life and work. It directs visitors to a petition urging President Obama to proclaim an annual National Day of Service so all Americans in each of the 50 states can take part in local service activities on his birthday, March 31. The goal is to garner 100,000 signatures on the petition, which, along with the video, will be accessed live on TakePart.com/Chavez.
Chad Boettcher, Participant Media Executive Vice President of Social Action and Advocacy, said, “Cesar Chavez dedicated his life to serving the needs of others, leading a movement that drew support from millions of Americans. So it seems entirely appropriate—and long overdue—to honor his tremendous legacy with a National Day of Service. We are pleased to be joining Pantelion, the Cesar Chavez Foundation and more than 30 other non-profit organizations for this highly worthwhile initiative.”
Said Paul Presburger, Pantelion Films Chief Executive Officer, “Cesar Chavez was first and foremost a great American. He led by example, upholding the great American traditions set out in the Bill of Rights. Chavez led by example to achieve social justice, making a National Day of Service in his name a perfect way to honor him.”
“My father refused most personal awards and rarely let anyone name anything for him,” observed Paul F. Chavez, Chavez’s middle son and President of the Cesar Chavez Foundation. “So as people learn from and are enriched by his legacy, the best lesson they can take away from his example is to be of service to others. Giving Americans from across the country opportunities to engage in meaningful public service in their own communities is a fitting way to honor Cesar Chavez.”
Diego Luna’s powerful cinematic portrait of the legendary activist stars Michael Pena (End of Watch), America Ferrera (Ugly Betty), Rosario Dawson (Sin City) and John Malkovich (In The Line of Fire). Chronicling the birth of a mass grass roots American movement, Cesar Chavez tells the story of the epic 1960s Delano grape strike and boycott as well as how Chavez was torn between his duties as a husband and father, and his dedication to leading farm workers out of poverty and discrimination. Passionate but soft-spoken, Chavez embraced non-violence as he battled greed and prejudice in his struggle to bring dignity to long-suffering people. Chavez also inspired millions of Americans from all walks of life who never worked on a farm to fight for social justice. His triumphant journey is a remarkable testament to the power of one person’s ability to change the world.
Cesar Chavez is produced by Canana Films’ Diego Luna, Pablo Cruz and Gael Garcia Bernal as well as John Malkovich, Lianne Halfon and Russell Smith of Mr. Mudd. Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King of Participant Media served as executive producers.
About Participant Media
Participant (participantmedia.com) is a global entertainment company founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll to focus on feature film, television, publishing and digital content that inspire social change. Participant’s more than 40 films include Good Night, And Good Luck, Syriana, An Inconvenient Truth, Food, Inc., Waiting For Superman, The Help, Contagion and Lincoln. Through its films, social action campaigns, digital network TakePart.com and Pivot, its new television network for Millennials, Participant seeks to entertain, encourage and empower every individual to take action.
About Pantelion Films
Pantelion Films is the first major Latino Hollywood studio and the new face of Hispanic entertainment. It is a synergistic partnership between Lionsgate and Grupo Televisa. Pantelion provides Hispanic moviegoers with a steady source of exciting and original films, including world-class Latino actors, directors and writers. From romantic comedies and dramas to family movies and romantic comedies, Pantelion produces and acquires movies that speak directly to acculturated and Spanish-dominant Hispanics alike. Founded three years ago, Pantelion’s films already include the recent sensation Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S., Pulling Strings, Casa de mi Padre and From Prada to Nada.
About The Cesar Chavez Foundation
The Cesar Chavez Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization with the mission of improving communities by preserving, promoting and applying the legacy of Cesar Chavez. The Chavez Foundation's four core programmatic areas are building and managing high-quality affordable housing with more than 30 communities serving nearly 5,000 low- and very low-income families and seniors in four states; Radio Campesina, a Spanish-language educational radio network reaching 500,000 daily listeners in four states; after-school tutoring of underserved students; and the National Chavez Center at La Paz in Keene, California, where Cesar Chavez lived and labored his last quarter century, a portion of which was dedicated as the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument by President Obama on October 8, 2012.