Baldemar Velasquez and FLOC paper

Baldemar Velasquez and FLOC paper - Finton 1 Joanna Finton...

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Finton 1 Joanna Finton Professor Gonzalez Chicano Studies 10 November 14, 2010 Baldemar Velasquez and FLOC Many Mexican-Americans faced inequality and social injustices back then and even now in the present day. There have been several attempts for people to unite into one organized union in order to combat the system in which these Mexican Americans are oppressed. However, many of those organizations were not effective in their efforts. Occasionally there were groups that stuck together and were successful in their endeavors. One of those groups is the Farm Labor Organization Committee (FLOC). This group was able to accomplish many of their goals because of its strong leadership, resource mobilization, strategic planning, and fluid organization. FLOC was founded by Baldemar Velasquez in 1967. Velasquez was the one who was able to make this organization effective. But, before we proceed with FLOC’s efforts, we must examine the life of Velasquez and the events that shaped his view on the social system. Baldemar Velasquez was born in Pharr, Texas in the year 1947. He was the third out of nine brothers and sisters. His father was Cresencio Velasquez and his mother was Vicenta Castillo. He was born into poverty and began working at the age of four. Velasquez was an excellent athlete but his grades were not as good as his athleticism. He was teased in school for being dumb but worked hard to make it on the honor roll. He prepared himself with challenging classes and was able to enroll in an engineering program at Pan American University. He
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Finton 2 continued his education at Ohio Northern College and then finished it at Bluffton College. It was during his college years that he became interested in the social injustices and exploitations his people faced. His experiences led him find ways to organize and unite farmworker families. His father helped collaborate and get people together to listen to him. One significant event that encouraged Velasquez was when he spoke out at a meeting of the National Farmer’s Organization and represented the sentiments of many farmworkers. Some key historical figures that inspired Velasquez are Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, and Gandhi. He was inspired by their nonviolent methods and adopted those same methods for his own protests. Velasquez’s parents also played an important role in shaping his outlook and beliefs. Baldemar expresses the two important lessons his parents taught him, “One, they taught me to work hard, with intensity. And two, Mom’s Christian conviction has taught me to have strong faith”. Baldemar Velasquez makes FLOC so effective because he is an effective leader. He was well educated and demonstrates determination in his every move. Even though he was young and seemed naïve at the time, people still listened to him because he was an excellent and riveting speaker. He was able to speak out for his people and express their discontent in nonviolent protests. Velasquez’s perseverance and courage also helped FLOC thrive and expand. There are many reasons as to why this organization was formed.
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Baldemar Velasquez and FLOC paper - Finton 1 Joanna Finton...

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