Cesar Chavez Mural Will Be Unveiled

A mural dedicated to the struggles and accomplishments of labor leader Cesar Chavez will be unveiled Sunday by a group of young community leaders.

The mural is the work of San Fernando artist Lalo Garcia and the members of the San Fernando/Sylmar Youth League, 11 boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 17 who work to reduce drug and alcohol use among their peers.

The youth group is affiliated with the San Fernando Valley Partnership, a substance-abuse prevention organization.

"The artist made the drawing but the students helped plan the design and also helped to do the painting," said Cecilia Mutia, a spokeswoman for the partnership. "They've been here on the weekends working to get it done."

In addition to Chavez, the mural also depicts members of the youth group and several national leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr. and United Farm Workers of America secretary-treasurer Dolores Huerta.

The mural was painted in five panels, each representing a different aspect of the life of Chavez, who died in 1993. The last panel shows members of the youth league attending a march and carrying Chavez's struggle for human rights and education into the future.

Huerta will be the keynote speaker at the unveiling Sunday, which will also feature Rep. Howard Berman (D-Panorama City), Assemblyman Tony Cardenas (D-Sylmar) and others.

The mural was painted on the Kalisher Street side of the partnership building for a reason.

"Kalisher is known as a high crime, high gang activity area," she said. "[The teens] want people to see that the youth care and that they are working to change the image of the community."

The public is invited to attend the unveiling ceremony at the San Fernando Valley Partnership, 1300 Celis St., Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

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