LEARNING GUIDE FOR:
CESAR CHAVEZ: RESPECT FOR ALL
Created by educators for educators to use in the classroom, this movie is the first film produced by TeachWithMovies.org.
SUBJECTS — U.S. 1945 - current, Diversity; Hispanic-Americans &
Age: 10+; Not Rated; (would be G); Documentary; 2018; 22 minutes; Color. Available FREE on the Internet to teachers in public and non-profit schools. For a CD or a Zip Drive, at cost of production, email us at support@TeachWithMovies.com.
Description: Cesar Chavez (1927 - 1993) is the United States' best-known Latino-American leader. He is remembered as the head of the United Farm Workers ("UFW") which sought higher pay and better working conditions in an industry that traditionally paid less than a living wage and made its employees work long days outside in the heat or cold, without breaks, without adequate water, and with no toilet facilities.
In addition, Chavez joined many leaders of the 20th century in promoting a society free from child labor and from discrimination based on race, ethnic background, or religious affiliation. He was against the use of pesticides that were often sprayed on the fields in which farm laborers worked.
Cesar Chavez was a deeply religious Catholic and developed his prescient positions on women, gays, lesbians, and animals by applying the Christian ethic of love and respect for all. He was also a disciple of the Indian leader, Mahatma Gandhi, who was a vegetarian and an advocate of forcing social change through nonviolent direct action.
Cesar Chavez: Respect for All follows a journey of discovery by Genesis Palacio Butler, a 9-year-old girl of African-American, Apache, and Hispanic descent. The Hispanic comes from her mother, who is also the grandniece of Cesar Chavez. To learn about her famous relative, Genesis travels with her family from her home in Los Angeles to the Chavez National Monument in Keene, California. She and Cesar Chavez have much in common. Like Cesar, Genesis is a vegan and an ethical pioneer. From the age of four Genesis refused to eat chicken, then beef, then dairy products. By age nine, she had converted her entire family and some of her friends to a plant-based diet. Genesis leaflets and speaks at conferences in support of compassion for animals. She is one of the youngest people ever to give a Ted-X talk.
Rationale for Using the Movie: This film touches on many of the causes for social reform that were advocated by Chavez as he expanded the scope of his concern from farmworkers, to women, to children, to gays and lesbians, and, finally, to all sentient beings. The film and this Learning Guide will provide a unique supplement to units on American History in the last half of the 20th century and the contribution of Latinos to American society. By studying this uniquely American Hispanic leader, all students will learn about contributions to U.S culture by Americans of Hispanic descent. Genesis is the embodiment of the advantages that come from a diverse society of inclusion and a poster child for youth empowerment.
Possible Problems: None.
Corretta Scott King and Cesar Chavez singing "We Shall Overcome"
LEARNING GUIDE MENU
SUGGESTIONS FOR USING
CESAR CHAVEZ: RESPECT FOR ALL IN THE CLASSROOM
For high school level or advanced middle school classes, before showing the film, have students read TWM's handout, Cesar Chavez and the Meaning of Respect. (This version is in Microsoft Word. A pdf version of the handout can be found by clicking here.) The movie will serve to emphasize and confirm, the lessons in the handout. Then teachers can then add some of the after-viewing discussion questions and assignments set out below.
For teachers who want to use a lecture format, TWM suggests the following:
Introduction to the Movie
Before showing the film, make sure that students are familiar with the economic and social conditions in the U.S. in the second half of the 20th Century. Below are a few points that students should understand in order to fully appreciate this film and the vision of Cesar Chavez.
At the beginning of the second half of the 20th century, America and its allies had recently defeated Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan. The U.S. was one of two great superpowers. While it was locked in a Cold War with the Soviet Union, the U.S. had never been more powerful or more preeminent in the world.After Watching the Film
Additional Helpful Information
Click here to see Genesis' seven-minute Tedx talk.
The full text of Chavez' speech that Genesis and her sister (and their dog) watch in the movie is set out below. The speech was given in 1993 when Chavez was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by In Defense of Animals.
We need in a special way to work twice as hard to make all people understand that animals are fellow creatures; that we must protect them and love them as we love ourselves. And that the basis for peace is respecting all creatures. We cannot hope to have peace until we respect everyone, respect ourselves and all living beings. We cannot defend and be kind to animals until we stop exploiting them. Exploiting them in the name of science, exploiting them in the name of sport, exploiting them in the name of fashion, and yes, exploiting them in the name of food. The basis for peace is respecting all creatures. That's the basis for peace.
FUN FACT: Chavez also practiced meditation and yoga. Visitors to Cesar's office would sometimes find him standing on his head in a yoga position.
1. What does respect mean? Suggested Response: One definition is "esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person." Teachers can guide the discussion towards the idea that there are two different parts of the concept of respect. The first is the equivalent of "deserving of moral consideration." It is the basic respect to which people have a right just because they are alive. For example, everyone has the right to bodily integrity – the right to be free from assault or injury. They have the right to freedom of movement, within certain limits. In the U.S. citizens have additional basic rights, such as "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Other rights granted to citizens, just because they are deserving of moral consideration, are in the Bill of Rights: freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, etc. Non-citizens also have some rights under the Constitution, such as equal protection of the laws.
The second type of respect is respect that is earned. The right to have authority over other people, either moral or legal, is one that is earned. A wise person's opinion is respected. We say that we have respect for a person because he or she has many accomplishments.
Another way to start this discussion is to ask "Does respect have to be earned or is it a given to all?"2. What role does respect play in your family? Do your parents or siblings demand respect? Suggested Response: There is no one correct response to the question. Teachers, do not be surprised if children with Latino backgrounds tell the class that they are expected to address their fathers with the words, "¿Que manda?" literally, "What do you command?" They may say that the basis for their relationship with the head of their household is respect. Other cultural backgrounds may have similar requirements. While respect is in the foreground in these families, love will also be there. In other families, it is the love that is in the foreground with the requirement of respect being important but not primary and less formalized.
3. What does an oppressed group have to do to gain respect? Suggested Response: There is no one way. Gandhi and the Indians used nonviolent mass action to gain independence from the British Empire. The U.S. Civil Rights movement used many of the tactics developed by Gandhi. Cesar Chavez employed strikes, picket lines, and enlisted people all over the country to boycott table grapes. Speaking out and using a hashtag can also work as it is doing with the #metoo movement.
NOTE TO TEACHERS: The following questions are designed to lead the class to understand and internalize two concepts exemplified by the life and leadership of Cesar Chavez:(1) Respect is the underlying ethical basis of all rights movements; and4. When an industry insists that its workers perform exhausting mind-numbing repetitive work for 12 hours a day in the heat and the cold, without providing sanitary facilities and without providing adequate water, what does this show about the attitudes of the employers toward the workers? Suggested Response: There are several possible responses. Steer the discussion so that it includes the concept that it shows disrespect for the humanity of the workers.
Genesis's story is featured in Vegan Everyday Stories. This film tells the stories of seven remarkable people who live a plant-based lifestyle.
Parenting Points: Watch the movie with your child and assure your child that situations have occurred when one juror has turned a jury around.
Reminder to Teachers: Obtain all required permissions from your school administration before showing any film.
Teachers who want parental permission to show this movie can use TWM's Movie Permission Slip.
Bridges to Reading:
Sal Si Puedes by Peter Matthiessen.
Links to the Internet:
(Anchor Standards only)
Multimedia: Anchor Standard #7 for Reading (for both ELA classes and for History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Classes). (The three Anchor Standards read: "Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media, including visually and quantitatively as well as in words.") CCSS pp. 35 & 60. See also Anchor Standard # 2 for ELA Speaking and Listening, CCSS pg. 48.
Reading: Anchor Standards #s 1, 2, 7 and 8 for Reading and related standards (for both ELA classes and for History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Classes). CCSS pp. 35 & 60.
Writing: Anchor Standards #s 1 - 5 and 7- 10 for Writing and related standards (for both ELA classes and for History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Classes). CCSS pp. 41 & 63.
Speaking and Listening: Anchor Standards #s 1 - 3 (for ELA classes). CCSS pg. 48.
Not all assignments reach all Anchor Standards. Teachers are encouraged to review the specific standards to make sure that over the term all standards are met.
Selected Awards, Cast and Director:
Selected Awards: None yet.
Featured Actors: The following people play themselves: Genesis Palacio Butler, Genelle Palacio Butler, Anthony Butler, * Butler, Anthony Butler, Jr., Paul Chavez, Arturo Rodriguez, Marc Grossman, *
Director: Glenn Scott Lacey
The films is self-authenticating, containing interviews with people who knew Cesar Chavez and film clips of his speeches. See also the web sites referred to in this Learning Guide.
Give us your feedback! Was the Guide helpful? If so, which sections were most helpful? Do you have any suggestions for improvement? Email us!
This Learning Guide written by James Frieden and Deborah Elliott and was published on March 8, 2018 and most recently revised on March 20, 2018.
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