Fred W. Ross, Civil Rights Activist

April 1968 - Civil Rights Activist Fred-Ross speaks at a United Farm Workers meeting
April 1968 – Civil Rights Activist Fred-Ross speaks at a United Farm Workers meeting

HONORING FRED ROSS SR.: WITH CESAR CHAVEZ, HE FORMED THE UFW

June 17, 2014 By Peter Dreier and Manuel Pastor – San Jose Mercury News

The California Hall of Fame honors trailblazers who embody the Golden State’s innovative spirit. Previous inductees include Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, Barbra Streisand and Magic Johnson.

This year’s list included a much less familiar name: Fred Ross Sr.

Ross (1910-1992) had an enormous impact on reshaping California from the bottom up. He was a community organizer in San Jose when he became the lesser known partner, with Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, in building the United Farm Workers union. Chavez called Ross his hero.

Born in San Francisco and raised in Los Angeles, Ross attended the University of Southern California intending to become a teacher. Instead, the upheavals of the Depression led him to seek more direct ways to challenge injustice.

He organized Dust Bowlers and migrant farmworkers, and eventually became manager of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Arvin Migratory Labor Camp — the same camp John Steinbeck visited to write “The Grapes of Wrath.”

The only manager of California’s 29 camps who challenged the practice of racial segregation of whites and Mexicans, Ross later went on to work with the War Relocation Authority to help thousands of imprisoned Japanese-Americans get jobs and housing.

After the war, Ross spearheaded Civic Unity Leagues in California’s conservative Citrus Belt, bringing Mexican- and black Americans together to battle segregation. In Orange County, parents organized by Ross won a landmark lawsuit (Mendez v. Westminster School District) that paved the way for the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education desegregation decision in 1954.

In the late 1940s, Ross began working in California’s Latino barrios to build chapters of the Community Service Organization, an influential civil rights group that challenged police brutality, fought discrimination and expanded political participation.

In 1952, while Ross was building the San Jose CSO chapter, a nurse told him about a young Navy veteran named Cesar Chavez.

A resident of the neighborhood then known as Sal Si Puedes (now Mayfair), Chavez at first avoided Ross, thinking he was just a white sociologist curious about barrio dwellers’ exotic habits. But he finally agreed to meet with Ross, and Chavez recalled that “as time went on, Fred became sort of my hero. I saw him organize and I wanted to learn.”

So Ross trained Chavez (who became CSO’s statewide director) as well as a young teacher named Dolores Huerta, and Gilbert Padilla, a spotter in a dry cleaning establishment. In the 1960s, this trio joined forces to build the United Farm Workers union, as depicted in the recent Hollywood film “Cesar Chavez,” with Ross played by Mark Moses.

In his 15 years with the UFW, Ross trained 2,000 organizers who led strikes and consumer boycotts leading to the 1975 California Agricultural Labor Relations Act.

In the 1980s, Ross joined his son, Fred Ross Jr., at Neighbor to Neighbor to train local organizers to challenge U.S. policy in Central America.

Ross Sr. once said, “A good organizer is a social arsonist — one who goes around setting people on fire.” He listened to people and helped them channel their anger into the building of powerful and constructive grass-roots organizations.

For more: http://www.californiamuseum.org/museum-news/honoring-fred-ross-sr-cesar-chavez-he-formed-ufw

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What Activists Committed to the Long-Haul Fight Can Learn from the Life of Organizer Fred Ross

THURSDAY, JUN 9, 2016, 8:49 PM BY BILL FLETCHER, JR. – inthesetimes

The biographies of icons frequently fall into one of two categories. On the one hand they may be laudatory, in some cases turning the subject into a saint. At the opposite end, they can tend towards tell-all pieces, in some cases aiming to tear down the subject. What makes America’s Social Arsonist: Fred Ross and Grassroots Organizing in the Twentieth Century, Gabriel Thompson’s new biography of the legendary community organizer, unusual is that it presents a very balanced account of the life and work of one of the foremost progressive organizers of the 20th century, while at the same time offering very useful insights into the art and craft of progressive organizing.

In many respects, Ross’s life is the story of a significant segment of the progressive movement in California. He came of age politically during the 1930s; witnessing the great agricultural worker struggles of that era which came in the aftermath of the mass deportation of Chicanos and Mexicans in 1930s which came to be associated with the term, “Los Repatriados,” found himself face-to-face with the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans in concentration camps during World War II and his slow but steady emergence as an organizer and theorist within the Community Service Organization (and later, the United Farm Workers).

Although Ross and legendary organizer Saul Alinsky were quite close, and Ross actually worked for Alinsky for a period of time, Ross departed from his mentor in two important respects. First, central to Alinsky’s approach to organizing was the notion of building an organization of organizations. Through the Industrial Areas Foundation, locally-based coalitions were put together, frequently rooted in the religious community. This aimed to guarantee some level of credibility for the organizing effort. But Ross disagreed: He believed in the need to create new community-based organizations that were unencumbered by older leaderships who he frequently believed to be too passive or otherwise obstructive.

For more: http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/19194/fred-ross-americas-social-arsonist-gabriel-thompson-cesar-chavez-ufw

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US Govt & Indigenous Peoples Timeline 1819-2014 )(ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1863-1963 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1964-2016 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

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~ Sign the petition for a Presidential Medal of Freedom for Fred Ross, Sr.  ~

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17 thoughts on “Fred W. Ross, Civil Rights Activist

  1. WH

    Friday, August 22, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing at Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    1:30 PM
    Press Briefing by White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz
    Edgartown, Massachusetts

    2:00 PM
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  2. Fred W. Ross, Civil Rights Activist

    HONORING FRED ROSS SR.: WITH CESAR CHAVEZ, HE FORMED THE UFW

    June 17, 2014 By Peter Dreier and Manuel Pastor – San Jose Mercury News

    The California Hall of Fame honors trailblazers who embody the Golden State’s innovative spirit. Previous inductees include Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, Barbra Streisand and Magic Johnson.

    This year’s list included a much less familiar name: Fred Ross Sr.

    Ross (1910-1992) had an enormous impact on reshaping California from the bottom up. He was a community organizer in San Jose when he became the lesser known partner, with Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, in building the United Farm Workers union. Chavez called Ross his hero.

    Born in San Francisco and raised in Los Angeles, Ross attended the University of Southern California intending to become a teacher. Instead, the upheavals of the Depression led him to seek more direct ways to challenge injustice.

    He organized Dust Bowlers and migrant farmworkers, and eventually became manager of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Arvin Migratory Labor Camp — the same camp John Steinbeck visited to write “The Grapes of Wrath.”

    The only manager of California’s 29 camps who challenged the practice of racial segregation of whites and Mexicans, Ross later went on to work with the War Relocation Authority to help thousands of imprisoned Japanese-Americans get jobs and housing.

    After the war, Ross spearheaded Civic Unity Leagues in California’s conservative Citrus Belt, bringing Mexican- and black Americans together to battle segregation. In Orange County, parents organized by Ross won a landmark lawsuit (Mendez v. Westminster School District) that paved the way for the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education desegregation decision in 1954.

    In the late 1940s, Ross began working in California’s Latino barrios to build chapters of the Community Service Organization, an influential civil rights group that challenged police brutality, fought discrimination and expanded political participation.

    In 1952, while Ross was building the San Jose CSO chapter, a nurse told him about a young Navy veteran named Cesar Chavez.

    A resident of the neighborhood then known as Sal Si Puedes (now Mayfair), Chavez at first avoided Ross, thinking he was just a white sociologist curious about barrio dwellers’ exotic habits. But he finally agreed to meet with Ross, and Chavez recalled that “as time went on, Fred became sort of my hero. I saw him organize and I wanted to learn.”

    So Ross trained Chavez (who became CSO’s statewide director) as well as a young teacher named Dolores Huerta, and Gilbert Padilla, a spotter in a dry cleaning establishment. In the 1960s, this trio joined forces to build the United Farm Workers union, as depicted in the recent Hollywood film “Cesar Chavez,” with Ross played by Mark Moses.

    In his 15 years with the UFW, Ross trained 2,000 organizers who led strikes and consumer boycotts leading to the 1975 California Agricultural Labor Relations Act.

    In the 1980s, Ross joined his son, Fred Ross Jr., at Neighbor to Neighbor to train local organizers to challenge U.S. policy in Central America.

    Ross Sr. once said, “A good organizer is a social arsonist — one who goes around setting people on fire.” He listened to people and helped them channel their anger into the building of powerful and constructive grass-roots organizations.

    For more: http://www.californiamuseum.org/museum-news/honoring-fred-ross-sr-cesar-chavez-he-formed-ufw

    • Dolores Huerta Speaks About Fred Ross, Sr.

      Published on Aug 6, 2013

      Activist and UFW co-founder Dolores Huerta discusses Fred Ross, Sr.’s impact on the world of activism and organizing.

  3. https://propresobama.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/rainbow-flag.jpg?w=700

    Federal Judge Rules Florida Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

    AUGUST 21, 2014, 3:38 PM EDT By SAHIL KAPUR – tpm

    A federal judge in Florida has ruled the state’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional, according to the Associated Press.

    The decision by U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle is the latest of several-dozen rulings for same-sex marriage by federal courts across the country since the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling advancing gay rights in 2013. On the federal level, gay marriage has since enjoyed an undefeated streak.

    Hinkle put a hold on his ruling, meaning gay couples in Florida will not be able to receive marriage licenses just yet.

    The ruling puts Republican Gov. Rick Scott in a predicament as he runs for reelection. As gay marriage becomes more popular in the state he has obscured his position on the issue and dodged questions by reporters. His administration has a say in whether to appeal the decision and defend the state’s ban.

    For more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/judge-florida-gay-marriage-ban-constitutional

  4. West Wing Week 08/22/14 or, “The Summer Social Media Mailbag Edition”

    Published on Aug 21, 2014

    Welcome to a Special Edition of West Wing Week, featuring a Summer Social Media Mailbag q&a session with White House Staffers. But before we get to your questions, here are a couple scenes from the President’s week.

  5. WH

    Saturday, August 23, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing at Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
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  6. Weekly Address: The Export-Import Bank

    Remarks of President Barack Obama

    The White House
    Saturday, August 23, 2014

    Hi, everybody. Nearly six years after the worst financial crisis of our lifetimes, our businesses have added nearly 10 million new jobs over the past 53 months. That’s the longest streak of private-sector job creation in our history. And we’re in a six-month streak with our economy creating at least 200,000 new jobs each month — the first time that’s happened since 1997.

    Thanks to the decisions we made to rescue and rebuild our economy, and your hard work and resilience, America is leading again. Areas like manufacturing, energy, technology, and autos are all booming. And here’s the thing: we’re selling more goods Made in America to the rest of the world than ever before. American exports are at an all-time high.

    Over the past five years, we’ve worked hard to open new markets for our businesses, and to help them compete on a level playing field in those markets. And we’ve broken records for exports four years running. Last year, our exports supported more than 11 million American jobs – about 1.6 million more than when I took office. They’re good jobs that typically pay about 15% more than the national average. And more small businesses are selling their goods abroad than ever before — nearly 300,000 last year alone.

    We should be doing everything we can to accelerate this progress, not stall it.

    One place to start is by supporting something called the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Its sole mission is to create American jobs. That’s it. It helps many American entrepreneurs take that next step and take their small business global. But next month, its charter will expire — unless Members of Congress do their job and reauthorize it.

    Now, past Congresses have done this 16 times, always with support from both parties. Republican and Democratic Presidents have supported the bank, too. This time around shouldn’t be any different. Because the bank works. It’s independent. It pays for itself. But if Congress fails to act, thousands of businesses, large and small, that sell their products abroad will take a completely unnecessary hit.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/08/23/weekly-address-export-import-bank

  7. WH

    Sunday, August 24, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama returns to the White House

    7:00 AM
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  8. Sunday talk show tip sheet

    By JESSICA HUFF | 8/24/14 7:53 AM EDT

    “Meet the Press” on NBC
    Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman, House Intelligence Committee
    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
    Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D)
    British Ambassador to the U.S. Peter Westmacott
    National Action Network President Rev. Al Sharpton

    “This Week” on ABC
    Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas), chairman, House Homeland Security Committee
    Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.)
    Former White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe

    “Face the Nation” on CBS
    Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.)
    Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman, House Budget Committee
    Clay

    “Fox News Sunday” on Fox
    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)
    Rainbow Push Coalition Chairman Rev. Jesse Jackson

    “State of the Union” on CNN
    Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.)
    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
    Nixon

  9. Clinton vs. Warren: Where they disagree

    August 24, 2014, 09:00 am By Megan R. Wilson – TheHill

    There are five major policy areas that shed daylight between Hillary Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

    Clinton is expected to run for president in 2016, but some on the left are pining for Warren to launch a bid. The Massachusetts senator has repeatedly denied she is interested in running for the White House. However, her recent campaign stumping for Democratic candidates — as well as a planned trip to Israel — have stoked the 2016 speculation.

    Clinton and Warren do agree on some issues, but on a variety of issues, their policies clash.

    Expanding social security

    During her 2008 presidential bid, Clinton was relatively non-committal about reforms to the Social Security program while Warren has not minced words.

    “Seniors have worked their entire lives and have paid into the system, but right now, more people than ever are on the edge of financial disaster once they retire — and the numbers continue to get worse,” she said last November.

    “That is why we should be talking about expanding Social Security benefits — not cutting them. Social Security is incredibly effective, it is incredibly popular, and the calls for strengthening it are growing louder every day.”

    Clinton has been more coy on the issue of entitlements. She said in 2007 that certain reforms such as cutting benefits, privatizing the program or raising the retirement age were “off the table.” There were some articles at the time that gave mixed signals on whether she would be willing to increase payroll taxes.

    For more: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/215817-clinton-vs-warren-where-they-disagree

  10. US says American held in Syria has been freed

    8/24/14 Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — An American journalist kidnapped and held hostage for about two years by an al-Qaida-linked group in Syria was released Sunday less than a week after the horrific execution of American journalist James Foley by Islamic militants.

    The freed American is Peter Theo Curtis of Massachusetts. He wrote under the byline Theo Padnos, officials and family members said.

    White House national security adviser Susan Rice said Curtis is now safe outside of Syria. Secretary of State John Kerry said Curtis was held by an al-Qaida-linked militant group fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    A senior administration official said Curtis was released in the Golan Heights, where he was met by U.S. government personnel who were transporting him to Tel Aviv. The official was not authorized to speak by name and discussed the release on the condition of anonymity.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/us-says-american-held-syria-freed-184009076–politics.html

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    Come on over to my newest post titled: ”Animal Welfare Act of 1966 ″

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