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Texas Impact Staff Participates In the 50th Anniversary Commemorative March for Farm Worker Rights
On Sunday, September 11, Texas Impact staff and dozens of Texas Impact members and supporters joined retired United Methodist Bishop Joel Martinez along with several hundred other participants to march four miles from St. Edward’s University to the Capitol for the 50th Anniversary Commemorative March for Farm Workers rights. See Texas Impact's videos, recorded live from the march, on Facebook.
Several participants in the original march and rally were in attendance. The event commemorated a 1966 march in which hundreds of people—including whole families—marched 400 miles from Rio Grande City to Austin to call attention to the plight of farm workers in Texas. On Labor Day that year, more than 10,000 supporters—including Cesar Chavez—walked with marchers the last four miles from St. Edward's University to the South Steps of the Capitol. Texas religious leaders were among key supporters of the march, "La Marcha," and of the movement for better pay and working conditions for farm workers.
Bishop Joel Martinez, who helped organize the original march as a young United Methodist pastor, helped lead the commemorative event. During the rally, Bishop Martinez remembered the courage and conviction of the 1966 participants. He challenged people of faith today to continue their legacy, saying that his generation was changed by the march, and that hopefully future generations would be inspired as well, rather than “turning back from the hard work of justice in our day.”
Simone Talma Flowers, Executive Director of Interfaith Action of Central Texas and a Texas Impact board member, offered a prayer at the rally. After the event, she spoke with Texas Impact, saying that she was “saddened to hear that we are still fighting for overtime for farmworkers who have worked eight hours.”
Bishop Martinez, a board member of the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy, went on to say: “People of faith have to remember that we are called as citizens and residents of the state to work for the common good of all people in order that we may share in the bounty and blessings that God has entrusted us in this state. The next agenda for us is to register and vote, and after we vote, to hold accountable the folks we entrust with the public good. That is priority number one.”
See videos recorded live at the march on our Facebook page.Texas Impact provides information and resources for people of faith to work with “folks we entrust with the public good” and will soon be announcing opportunities to be involved in the 2017 legislative session. Register to receive the weekly email updates, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and invite your friends to join us in the ongoing journey—in our generation—of working for “justice in our day.”