40+ Best Cesar Chavez Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Cesar Chavez was an American union leader and labor organizer. He dedicated his life to improving the treatment, pay and working conditions for farmworkers. Along with Dolores Huerta, he co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, later renamed the United Farm Workers union. Inspirational Cesar Chavez quotes will make you think and never get out of your head.

If you’re searching for quotes from civil rights activist that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of powerful Susan B. Anthony quotes, inspirational Aretha Franklin quotes, and Ruby Bridges quotes.

Most Famous Cesar Chavez Quotes

There is no turning back….we will win. We are winning because ours is a revolution of the mind and heart.

Real education should consist of drawing the goodness and the best out of our own students. What better books can there be than the book of humanity?”

We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure.

Students must have initiative; they should not be mere imitators. They must learn to think and act for themselves – and be free.

There are many reasons for why a man does what he does. To be himself he must be able to give it all. If a leader cannot give it all he cannot expect his people to give anything.

Kindness and compassion towards all living things is a mark of a civilized society. Conversely, cruelty, whether it is directed against human beings or against animals, is not the exclusive province of any one culture or community of people.

There is no substitute for hard work, 23 or 24 hours a day. And there is no substitute for patience and acceptance.

From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength.

History will judge societies and governments – and the institutions – not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and the powerful, but by how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless.

The end of all knowledge should be service to others.

Years of misguided teaching have resulted in the destruction of the best in our society, our cultures, and in the environment.

Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.

When poor people get involved in a long conflict such as strike…there is a deep need for spiritual advice. Without it, we see families crumble, leadership weaken, and hard workers grow tired.

There is no such thing as defeat in nonviolence.

To be a man is to suffer for others. God help us be men.

Si, Se Puede! (Yes we can!)

We farm workers are the closest to food production. We were the first to recognize the serious health hazards of agriculture pesticides to both consumers and ourselves.

We don’t need perfect political systems; we need perfect participation.

…Children of farmworkers should be as proud of their professions as other children are of theirs.

We need to help students and parents cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens this community – and this nation.

Perhaps we can bring the day when children will learn from their earliest days that being fully a man and fully a woman means to give one’s life to the liberation of the brother [and sister] who suffers.

I’m convinced that the truest act of courage the strongest act of manliness, is to sacrifice ourselves for others in a totally non-violent struggle for justice.

A fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It’s about people.

Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.

Society is made up of groups, and as long as the smaller groups do not have the same rights and the same protection as others…it is not going to work. Somehow the guys in power have to be reached by counterpower, or through a change in the hearts and minds, or change will not come.

Inspirational Cesar Chavez Quotes

A word as to the education of the heart. We don’t believe that this can be imparted through books; it can only be imparted through the loving touch of the teacher.  

Being of service is not enough. You must become a servant of the people. When you do, you can demand their commitment in return.

When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of men we are.

Farm workers are society’s canaries. Farm workers- and their children- demonstrate the effects of pesticide poisoning before anyone else.

Non-violence means people in action. People have to understand that with non-violence goes a hell of a lot of organization.

To make a dream come true, the first requirement is a great capacity to dream; the second is persistence.

Our language is the reflection of ourselves. A language is an exact reflection of character and growth of its speakers.

In some cases, non-violence requires more militancy than violence.

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community…Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.

When you sacrifice, you force others to sacrifice. It’s an extremely powerful weapon.

Organizing is an educational process. The best educational process in the union is the picket line and the boycott. You learn about life.

If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him…the people who give you their food give you their heart.

You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.