Published : Tuesday, September 24, 2019 | 2:15 PM
On Sunday, October 20 at 4:00 p.m., Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse welcomes LeRoy Chatfield, author of “To Serve the People: My Life Organizing with Cesar Chavez and the Poor” (Jorge Mariscal, contributor). Chatfield is a retired educator and was a close friend and colleague of Chavez, the renowned labor leader and civil rights activist who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, later called the United Farm Workers union. Chavez posthumously received the Medal of Freedom a year after his death in 1993. Chatfield’s story reveals his own organizing efforts and his fierce commitment to those who were denied the promises of the American dream.
The long pilgrimage of LeRoy Chatfield weaves its way through multiple collective projects designed to better the condition of the marginalized and forgotten. These endeavors took him from the cloisters of the Christian Brothers and the halls of secondary education, to the fields of Central California and the streets of Sacramento.
In “To Serve the People: My Life Organizing with Cesar Chavez and the Poor”, a collection of what the author calls Easy Essays, Chatfield recounts his childhood, explains the social issues that have played a significant role in his life and work, and uncovers the lack of justice he saw all too frequently. His journey, alongside Cesar and Helen Chavez, Marshall Ganz, Bonnie Chatfield, Philip Vera Cruz, and countless others, displays an unwavering focus on organizing communities and expanding their agency.
LeRoy Chatfield worked with Cesar Chavez to get union recognition for California farmworkers, created a Saturday school educational enrichment program for farmworker children in Bakersfield, managed the Northern California general election campaign for Jerry Brown, and built the largest volunteer charitable organization in Sacramento.
“To Serve the People: My Life Organizing with Cesar Chavez and the Poor” contributor Jorge Mariscal is a professor emeritus of Spanish and Chicano/a literature at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of Brown-Eyed Children of the Sun: Lessons from the Chicano Movement, 1965-1975 (University of New Mexico Press).
For more information, contact Gail Mishkin at (818) 790-0717. Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse is located at 1010 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge, at the intersection of Foothill Blvd. and the Angeles Crest Hwy. Take the Angeles Crest exit off the 210, turn south, make a right onto Foothill Blvd., and turn left onto Chevy Chase. Parking is in the rear of the store.