The 9th Annual Cesar Chavez Day Celebration was held on March 20, 2010. This popular event was sponsored by the City of Inglewood, the Inglewood Unified School District and the City of Inglewood Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department.
Inglewood-Angelenos ushered in Spring with another beautiful day. Many gardening experts gave people with a green thumb some tips for planting for the Spring. The theme for the 9th Annual Cesar Chavez Day Unity March, Recognition Ceremony & Celebration was “Yes, We Can Plant Seeds of Hope for the Future!”
The Inglewood Unified School District was the host of the morning program. The Opening Program featured remarks by Willa D. Snorton, Director Special Projects, words of inspiration by Dr. Kenneth Crowe, Assistant Superintendent of Academic Services, with welcoming remarks from Mr. Gary McHenry, Superintendent of Schools. Bibliography of Cesar Chavez read by Monica Hernandez, Community Liaison-HIS, and additional remarks from members of the IUSD Board Members. Mrs. Angelina Marquez, Senior Coordinator-ELL Program served as Mistress of Ceremonies.
The march from Warren Lane Elementary School was led by state and local officials, who were joined by residents and community groups. The march ended at Darby Park.
The celebration continued on the grounds of Darby Park. Nautica De La Cruz, radio host on KJLH 102.3FM served as Mistress of Ceremonies. Moises Godinez led the audience in Opening Prayer. Mayor Pro-Tem Eloy Morales Jr. gave opening remarks and introduced and acknowledged other dignitaries present.
Maria Elena Chavez delivered another rousing speech in keeping with the theme of the celebration. She encourage people “to help plant seeds of hope by helping to rebuild government by becoming active in the process, encourage 100% cooperation in the 2010 Census, and the importance of investing in California future by investing time and resources in education.”
The 2010 Cesar Chavez Speech Contest Winners was my reason for joining proud parents, teachers, principals and school board members on the grounds of Darby Park.
The winners delivered profound, powerful, proficient speeches with poise. The young speakers spoke about their plans to plant seeds of hope for the future by assisting and strengthening others. Hearing the various speeches was filled with a lot of hope. The winners were selected in four grade categories-Hassan Daniels and Joy Yarbrough representing early elementary (K-2). Jamie Garcia representing elementary (3-5), Brian Green representing (6-8), and a rousing speech by Juan Plascencia for high school grade level. Mr. Plascencia has already been accepted in several Ivy League Schools.
The crowd and I were once again thoroughly entertained with a plethora of cultural performing artists. Oak Street Ballet Folklorico Dancers and Ballet Folklorico Macias performed dances representing several regions of Mexico. Danza Huitzlilopochtli was also dazzling in their performance. Vocalist Yisel Cabrera sang several songs in Spanish and English. Fantasia Dance Ensemble continued to hold the crowds undivided attention with Praise dances and dances of the African Diaspora. The celebration concluded on a rousing note with a highly energetic performance of Banda Aventurera.
Additional activities were planned for the entire family, including arts and crafts, interactive and carnival style games face painting, health screenings, informational booth staffed by community groups, and a Cesar Chavez Arts Contest Display booth. A soccer tournament featuring the 7th Annual “Cesar Chavez Day Cup,” winners were announced and presented with trophies.
The City of Inglewood was the first city in the nation to honor the legacy of Cesar Chavez by declaring his birthday, March 31st as a Holiday.