Southern Poverty Law Center Premieres New Documentary, ‘Viva la Causa’

Southern Poverty Law Center Premieres New Documentary, ‘Viva la Causa’

Film About California Grape Strike Will Be Distributed to Classrooms Nationwide


MONTGOMERY, Ala., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) will premiere its newest documentary film, “Viva la Causa,” in Los Angeles on Sunday as part of an effort to teach students across the country about a seminal event in the march for human rights. Hundreds of schoolchildren and farmworkers, many of whom appear in the film’s reenactments, will attend.

“Viva la Causa” documents the victorious California grape strike and boycott led by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in the 1960s. The 40-minute documentary will be distributed with teaching resources to an estimated 50,000 educators, free of charge, over the next two years. Millions of students will see the film.

“The story told by ‘Viva la Causa’ couldn’t be timelier,” said SPLC Founder Morris Dees. “Latinos and immigrant workers of color are on the front lines of our country’s most burning human rights struggle. We’re seeing a rising tide of xenophobia and immigrant-bashing that’s being fueled by opportunistic politicians and demagogues in the media.”

Dees noted that:

— The SPLC has documented a 50 percent increase in the number of hate groups in the U.S. since 2000;

— California is among the states leading this growth and is now home to 80 hate groups — – more than any other state; and,

— Hate crimes against Latinos in the U.S. rose by 35 percent between 2003 and 2006 — and by 50 percent in California, according to FBI statistics.

The film will premiere at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28, at the Wilshire Theatre in Los Angeles. Dees will introduce the film. Special guests will include Dolores Huerta and Bill Brummel, the film’s co-director and producer.

The teaching kit, which includes the film, will be available free of charge to educators in late October. Teachers can order it at

“Viva la Causa” is the sixth film produced by the SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance program. Four of the program’s past documentaries have been nominated for Academy Awards(R), and two films — – “A Time for Justice” and “Mighty Times: The Children’s March” — – have won the Oscar(R) in the short documentary category.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Montgomery, Ala., is a nonprofit civil rights organization that combats hate and discrimination. For more information, visit

Southern Poverty Law Center Premieres New Documentary, ‘Viva la Causa’