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Larry Itliong: Breaking Barriers in the Labor Movement

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Larry Itliong (October 25, 1913- February 8, 1977) was a Filipino American labor organizer. Itliong immigrated to the United States in 1929 at the age of fifteen. Itliong worked throughout the country as a farm laborer and in the salmon canneries of Alaska. In response to oppressive treatment of Filipino farmworkers, Itliong organized labor strikes. Itliong contacted Cesar Chavez and asked Mexican farmworkers to join the strike with the Filipinos. He believed that all workers had to stand together in their fight for justice. The National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) voted unanimously and the Mexicans joined the Filipinos in the Great Delano Grape Strike. A year later, AWOC and NFWA merged to become the United Farm Workers (UFW). The Delano Grape Strike lasted for five years. As director of the UFW, Chavez took the limelight, but co-founder and former assistant director Larry Itliong has been cast in the historical shadows. 

The media and sources in this collection can be used alongside the National History Day SEARCH Historical Context Graphic Organizer and the Ethnic Studies Praxis Story Plot from the Journey for Justice Teachers' Guide. Both resources help students think critically about Larry Itliong's life, accomplishments and activism and help provide context for the labor movement more broadly.

#NHD #NHD2020 #EthnicStudies *This collection was created to support Unit 2: What is the history?, Civil Rights Movements of the Austin ISD Ethnic Studies Part A course.

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.