UnTapped in Kern County!
May 6, 2019
On May 3-4, 2019, National Chavez Center hosted the UnTapped Fellows (WELLos) in Keene, CA. The #WELLos welcomed special guests, including Paul Chavez, President of the Cesar Chavez Foundation; award-winning author and Assistant Professor at UC Merced, Dr. Mario Sifuentez; and Lawyer and son of labor rights icon Dolores Huerta, Emilio Huerta.
On Day 1, the WELLos toured the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument in the Tehachapi Mountains of Kern County, California where labor activist Cesar Chavez established the union’s headquarters in 1972. During the session, Fellows learned about the history of the Farmworkers Movement and the life, work, and legacy of leaders and organizers such as Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta.
That same day, the WELLos welcomed Paul Chavez, President of the Cesar Chavez Foundation. They learned about the mission of the Foundation and the activities and projects it engages in to carry on with his father’s legacy. The UnTapped Fellows practiced a method of inquiry to ask about the specific steps the Foundation takes to serve vulnerable communities in California.
They took on specific community roles– ranging from families to local growers– and played 5 rounds which exposed them to the challenges of managing increasingly scarce groundwater while facing competing needs.
On Day 2, the UnTapped Fellows concluded their Public Narrative training and began their preparation for the Sacramento Session, during which they will meet their state legislators to discuss a Legislative Water Workshop Project in their Districts.
These Legislative Workshops will be strategic opportunities for WELL leaders to interact and coordinate teaching and learning platforms on local water policy with their state representatives.
Additionally, they welcomed Emilio Huerta, Lawyer and son of the Mexican American organizer, Dolores Huerta, and UC Merced Professor, Mario Sifuentez, to learn about the Human Right to Water from various perspectives.
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