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Background:  The César Chavez mural at San Francisco State in the Memorial Plaza is meant to honor César's legacy. The mural is one way San Francisco State University uses to honor and encompass the compassion, courage and determination César showed within his lifetime. The mural is located outside of the César Chaves Student Center which is one of a few ways memorials for his legacy on campus. The mural was first dedicated to him on Cinco de Mayo, 1995 which is side-by-side with a Malcolm X mural (which was painted after the original Malcolm X painting was removed after criticism for being anti-Semitic). The artist of the Chavez mural, Carlos Gonzalez, also attended here with a degree in ethnic studies.

Cesar Chavez Student Center, SF State

Elements in mural:

  • The artist includes a dove on César Chavez' hand to depict a symbol of peace that he carried alluding to his non-violent protests.
  • On the top there is a red sunset in the sky and an eagle to represent the symbol of the united farmworkers. The transition of the fields behind him to a city-like area is to show that his movement transgressed from his original struggle to urban America.
  • In César's other hand there is a torch meant to represent his leadership in the movement.
  • In the bottom left corner there are grapes that are skull-shaped to show the "grapes of wrath" where produce contaminated with pesticides were causing children to undergo mutations, cause many to develop illnesses after consumption, and the workers who were being exposed to these chemicals.

This mural was dedicated to César Chavez' to honor his work and dedication to bettering his community. The Student Center encompasses all the good qualities in César as its is a place of community and where you can always find a helping hand. 

Cesar Chavez mural, SF State




An interview from the original artist explaining many aspects of the piece:

Photos of mural provided from:

More information on Cesar Chavez memorial and other elements:

Map to the mural on campus: