The Daily Northwestern

Omega Delta Phi hosts day of service in honor César Chávez

Volunteers+at+Test+Positive+Aware+Network%2C+a+Chicago+health+clinic.+Omega+Delta+Phi+hosted+a+day+of+service+honoring+the+legacy+of+Mexican-American+activist+C%C3%A9sar+Ch%C3%A1vez.
Volunteers at Test Positive Aware Network, a Chicago health clinic. Omega Delta Phi hosted a day of service honoring the legacy of Mexican-American activist César Chávez.

Volunteers at Test Positive Aware Network, a Chicago health clinic. Omega Delta Phi hosted a day of service honoring the legacy of Mexican-American activist César Chávez.

Source: Gabe Rojas-Westall

Source: Gabe Rojas-Westall

Volunteers at Test Positive Aware Network, a Chicago health clinic. Omega Delta Phi hosted a day of service honoring the legacy of Mexican-American activist César Chávez.

Alan Perez, Assistant Campus Editor

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Dozens joined Omega Delta Phi fraternity members Saturday for their annual day of service organized in honor of Mexican-American labor activist César Chávez.

Volunteers gathered in Harris Hall before relocating to three sites: Evanston Public Library, Ebenezer AME Church and a Chicago health clinic. There, they assisted the sites’ staff with cleaning, fundraiser organizing and preparing materials for a youth summer program, said Gabe Rojas-Westall, an ODPhi member and organizer of the event.

Rojas-Westall said the day of service was meant to honor Chávez’s legacy of service. Chávez rose to prominence in the 1960s when he advocated for farmers’ rights in California. During his time with the National Farm Workers Association, which he founded, Chávez emphasized community work and selfless giving, Rojas-Westall said.

Modeled off the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, the César Chávez Commemorative Day of Service is centered on his legacy as a farm workers advocate, Rojas-Westall said. The day started with a speech by Latina and Latino Studies Prof. Myrna García, he added, who spoke on the importance of community work.

Weinberg sophomore Iris Siguenza helped Ebenezer staff clean windows while others cleaned the kitchen. After being invited to return, Siguenza said she started to consider developing a long-standing relationship with the church.

“I was thinking about how I could actually make this not a one-time thing,” she said. “Even if it was one time, I feel like we helped a lot because we were all split into different teams that are going to have an overall effect on the church because they are a smaller congregation. (They) don’t always have all the hands that they had today coming from Northwestern.”

Johny Cedeño, an ODPhi alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside chapter, said he wanted to attend the event ever since he heard about it while still in school. He helped the Chicago health clinic — Test Positive Aware Network — set up for an upcoming fundraiser.

“It was great helping out the community,” he said. “It was pertinent to what our fraternity does.”

Rojas-Westall agreed. With only seven members, he said, organizing an event that size was difficult, but rewarding.

“It’s really, really cool that it’s such a small community that’s able to put this larger event on that touches so many people and makes such a difference,” he said. “It’s something that I think we should recognize.”

Email: aperez@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @_perezalan_

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