Cesar Chavez Movie Night Scheduled for Tuesday
by Scott Logan
In honor of Cesar Chavez Day, a screening of the 2014 biopic “Cesar Chavez” will be held on Tuesday at 6p.m. at the Crossroads Theatre. Since New Brunswick is home to a prominent Latino community, several groups around the city, including the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance, the Puerto Rican Action Board, and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital will be presenting the screening, which is free and open to the public.
This will be the third year in a row these groups have hosted a celebration for Cesar Chavez Day. In the past, the day had been honored with days of service in the local community gardens around town. This will be the first year that the film will be screened to the New Brunswick community. The film profiles Chavez’s fight for the equality of poor Mexican workers against the oppression of racist farm owners. Mariam Merced of Robert Wood Johnson spoke on the significance of Chavez’s work.
“We wanted to showcase the movie for free here in these people’s hometown,” Merced said about the large Latino community she expects to be present. “We also want to celebrate the life of Cesar Chavez and recognize his work for farm workers in this country. His work still impacts how we live our lives here.”
Merced said she requested the participation from organizations around New Brunswick that work with the Latino community, hoping Chavez’s story and attitude can inspire them. The mistreatment of Latino workers is a hot topic throughout the country, and Merced hopes the film screening can bring awareness to this issue in New Brunswick.
“When you look at the life of Cesar Chavez and his struggles, we still apply them to what is happening now in the city of New Brunswick,” Merced said. “People come from other countries to look for a better life. Many of them were farm workers in their countries, and they still struggle making sure they have decent salary and people don’t take advantage of them.”
Merced also referred to the recent wage theft ordinance, which was put into place to help workers in local restaurants and small businesses, many of whom are Latino.
This will be the first time New Brunswick’s Cesar Chavez Day celebration will take place at the Crossroads Theatre, and Merced hopes people will take advantage of this opportunity.
“We encourage community residents to use the theatre as an opportunity to honor the life and work of someone like Cesar Chavez,” she said.
The event is open to all ages, but Merced notes the film is rated PG-13. For parents who do not feel comfortable with their children seeing the film but still want to attend the screening, childcare will be provided.