Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Cesar Chavez Statue Unveiling Thursday in Milwaukee's Clarke Square Neighborhood

Maldonado & Morgan
Julio Maldonado (right) shakes hands with Chicago's Cook County Commisioner Jesús “Chuy” García (left) in front of Milwaukee's new Cesar Chavez statue.";s:3:

On this national Cesar Chavez day, a near south side Milwaukee neighborhood will become the home of a life-sized statue of the activist who fought for migrant workers' rights.

“He’s never been one to stand above people. He’s always been the one to lead but to treat everyone as equals. So we’ve decided to put Cesar Chavez on the concrete. So his feet are actually placed on the sidewalk vs having him on a mantel,” says Julio Maldonado.

Maldonado is chair of the neighborhood business improvement district, one of the organizations that contributed to the project. He says the surrounding Latino and Clarke Square neighborhood cultures share qualities with their icon.

“We’re a tight culture, a very close culture, a very entrepreneurial culture. We’re all about building our community, building our neighborhoods, building our businesses. All at the same time and being self-sustainable,” Maldonado says.

The statue of Cesar Chavez will stand in front of the El Rey supermarket until being permanently fixed in a new communal space on Cesar E. Chavez Drive, just south of National Avenue.

Nicole Beilke is a journalism major at UWM. She is also studying for a certificate in Digital Arts and Culture. Nicole has reported on topics such as art and activism in Milwaukee, including these pieces for Media Milwaukee: UW-Milwaukee Students Join Tony Robinson Protests and The UW-Milwaukee Grad Behind the Collectivo Coffee Skull.