Professor Mabalon Co-Writes for Time Magazine on Filipino Farmworkers Leading 1960s Grape Strike

Friday, April 30, 2021

TIME -- From the 1920s to 1940s, Filipino farm and cannery workers formed unions and went on strike throughout the United States. One of the leaders who came out of that movement was Larry Itliong. On September 7, 1965, he led members of the Agriculture Workers Organizing Committee, a predominantly Filipino union, to go on strike against Delano grape growers. Larry had the foresight and vision to realize that justice for farm workers could never be realized unless the two biggest groups of farm workers, Filipinas/os and Mexicans, could unify. One week later, Larry called Cesar Chavez to ask him if his organization, the National Farm Workers Association, an association made up of Mexican American farmworker families, would join AWOC in the strike. This led to the joining of the two organizations, which ultimately created the United Farm Workers.

— Dawn Bohulano Mabalon, associate professor, History, San Francisco State University; Gayle Romasanta, founder and writer, Bridge and Delta Publishing; Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, professor, Asian American Studies, San Francisco State University