César Chávez Lecture Series

An annual lecture to honor the accomplishments of organizer César Chávez and to raise awareness of the continued struggle for civil rights.

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Poet José Olivarez speaks to the audience in 2019 at the UMKC Student Union Theater.

César Chávez successfully used nonviolent tactics to organize farm workers against unfair labor practices and unhealthy working conditions that continue today as farm workers are exposed to harmful pesticides, dangerous equipment, hazardous housing and unfair wages.

By bringing thought leaders from various fields to campus through this lecture series, UMKC students, staff, faculty and the Kansas City community may be inspired to continue the legacy of César Chávez's tireless, nonviolent leadership in ways they feel passionate about so that more of us may reclaim our civil rights and live with dignity.

Past Speakers

Headshot of journalist Sonia Nazario

Sonia Nazario - 2022

Sonia Nazario is an award-winning journalist whose stories have tackled some of this country’s most intractable issues — hunger, drug addiction, immigration — and have won some of the most prestigious journalism and book awards, including two Pulitzer Prize awards. She was also a finalist for a third Pulitzer in Public Service.

Recent Lectures