The mission of Cesar Chavez Foundation is to enrich and improve the lives of farm worker and Latino families outside the work place by meeting their essential human, cultural, and community needs.
Latinos are the largest and fastest-growing group in America. Yet, Latinos face enormous challenges and flagrant discrimination living in this country, lagging far behind the nation in areas such as education and home ownership. Their progress has been especially slow in the last 20 years, with little or no improvement, for example, in the rates of high school graduation and college enrollment. Similarly, while conditions for farm workers, almost 90 percent of whom are Latino, have improved since the movement's early days, there is a long way to go towards ensuring equal opportunity. The needs of farm workers also continue to evolve with each successive generation and new wave of immigration.
The population of Latinos in the U.S. is diverse and multifaceted fom recently arrived immigrants toiling in the fields to third generation families struggling to send their children to college. While each community has its own issues, they all share the common aspiration of providing a better life for their families.
The Chavez foundation aims to help meet this common aspiration through services and programs so fundamental that horizons are broadened and lives are forever enriched. In the words of Cesar Chavez,
"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." (Address to the Commonwealth Club of California, Nov. 9, 1984, San Francisco.)
Quality, Integrity, Sustainability. The Cesar Chavez foundation's programs evolve in response to the needs of the populations it serves. At the same time, through more than 40 years of service the foundation has been guided by unyielding core principles.
Quality. Chavez foundation services meet the highest standards of quality, while remaining affordable, accessible and tailored to meet the fundamental needs of each community we serve.
Integrity. Chavez foundation affairs are conducted in a manner that is equitable, ethical and serves as an example of social responsibility. Business operations and programs help individuals take responsibility for themselves and their communities.
Sustainability. Guided by the legacy of community empowerment established by Cesar Chavez and the farm worker movement, the Chavez foundation seeks efficient solutions that can be self-sustaining and economically viable in the long term, generating their own revenues and maximizing available resources rather than depending on the changing tides of political trends and funding streams. The foundation likewise invests in creating opportunities for hard working individuals and groups to create their own sustainable opportunities.
The Cesar Chavez Foundation's example is of a successful mission-driven, self-sustaining nonprofit business for the 21st Century. Foundation leaders and staff see themselves as social entrepreneurs, who create change while remaining strategic and fiscally responsible in planning and operations. The spirit of the movement"s slogan, adopted by President Barack Obama during his 2008 campaign, guides the staff: "Si Se Puede!" ("Yes We Can!") embodies a personal and organizational spirit that promotes confidence, courage and hard work.