California State University, Fresno began its annual tribute to Cesar E. Chavez Monday night with a photo exhibit on Chavez while other activities are planned on campus in the days leading up to the late farm worker labor leader’s March 31 birthday.

The university will be closed on March 31 in observance of the state holiday established in 2000 to honor Chavez and the contributions of California’s farm workers.

The first actual event for “Celebrating the Legacy of Cesar E. Chavez 2004” will be a candle light vigil on Friday, March 26, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Peace Garden as the university community observes several days of events centered around Chavez’ life, contributions and beliefs.

The celebration began March 22 with the Cesar E. Chavez Gallery in the Madden Library Mezzanine, located on the second floor balcony of the library

The gallery will be open from 8 a.m. to midnight through April 2.

The celebration will continue on Friday with the Candle Light Vigil in the Peace Garden where students, faculty and staff will gather to read poetry and stories in the memory of Chavez. Candles will be provided.

On Monday, March 29 and Tuesday, March 30, the Cesar Chavez Altar will be set up in honor of his family from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. next to the late activist’s statue located at the southeast end of the Peace Garden.

On both days, a Cesar E. Chavez Photo Exhibit will be on display in the Peace Garden from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

During the same time, community information tables and a display of student comments on what the César Chavez Day means to them will be available in the Peace Garden.

The tribute on Monday and Tuesday will feature a film festival and the Cesar E. Chavez Ceremony at the Speakers Platform (see schedule below).

Mexican and Latino immigration in the Central Valley is the focus of a panel discussion scheduled for Monday in Room 200 of the University Center, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

The following days’ events will include another panel discussion titled, “Legacy of Cesar E. Chavez: Relevance of Non – Violent Social Change,” in Room 312 of the University Student Union. This discussion will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. also.

Fresno State’s Mexican folkloric dance group, Los Danzantes De Aztlán, will perform in the Free Speech Area on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m.

The celebration is organized by the Cesar E. Chavez Committee 2004, comprising of 23 campus programs, student organizations, and individuals including the Associated Students, African American Student Social Work Association, Asian Social Work Club, Buddhist Students for Peace Through Dialogue, Campus Peace & Civil Liberties Coalition, Central Valley Cultural Heritage Institute, Chicano & Latin American Studies Department, College Assistance Migrant Program, Colmena, Dr. Kapoor, Dr. Martinez-Saldaña, Es-Tu-Dios, Gabriela Rodriguez, Gamma Zeta Alpha, Lambda Sigma Gamma, Nu Alpha Kappa, Phi Lambda Rho, MEChA, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Trabajadores de la Raza, Teatro TORTILLA, University Migrant Services, University Relations.

For more information, contact Raul Z. Moreno at (559) 278-5750 or Maddie Gonzales at 278- 6946.