Wayne “Chris” Hartmire combined his Christian upbringing and his desire for social justice in his work with César Chávez and the Farm Workers Movement in the biggest labor struggle of the 1960s. He fought for the rights denied to Mexican farm workers, including economic and civil rights. Chris was born in 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was trained by his mother and the Presbyterian Church, which said that it was “more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). He studied civil engineering at Princeton University followed by studying for the ministry at Union Theological Seminary. Chris worked in East Harlem until his wife was physically assaulted. They moved to California where Chris took a job as Director of California Migrant Ministry with César Chávez, organizing migrant farm workers who had no legislation to protect their civil rights. The farm workers were overworked, underpaid with no affordable housing or education living always under the fear of deportation. César Chávez and Chris worked together in the Community Service Organization (CSO) to form a farm workers’ union. Chris supplied the financial support and the ministry to help organize strikes, boycotts, and church support, changing the course of history. Chris and César Chávez utilized collective action toward a common goal. A community led by God, all shouting the same message, can create a just society to end suffering here on Earth.
Click the links below to hear his interview
https://soundcloud.com/archiving-living-history/chris-hartmire-interview-track (Track 2)