13 Facts About Baldemar Velasquez


Baldemar Velasquez was born on February 15,1947 and is an American labor union activist.


Baldemar Velasquez was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1989, and awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle in 1994, the highest honor Mexico can bestow on a non-citizen.


Baldemar Velasquez's maternal grandparents fled to Pharr in 1910 after the Mexican Revolution, and his mother, Vicenta, was born there in 1920.


Baldemar Velasquez enrolled at Pan American University in Edinburg, Texas, in 1965, intending to major in engineering.


Baldemar Velasquez graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology in 1969.


Baldemar Velasquez spent several weeks in the summer of 1968 working with CORE and living with an African American family in Cleveland, Ohio.


Baldemar Velasquez asked migrant workers in 1978 to strike growers with contracts with Campbell's, and 2,000 farm workers walked off the job.


Campbell's denied any involvement in the strike, and Baldemar Velasquez announced a boycott in 1979.


In 2010, Baldemar Velasquez led FLOC in joining with the United Auto Workers in announcing a boycott of JPMorgan Chase to protest the banking concern's efforts to begin extensive foreclosure proceedings against homeowners nationwide.


In 1990, Baldemar Velasquez obtained a degree in practical theology from Florida International Seminary.


Baldemar Velasquez helped organize the National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in 1991, and in 2006 served on the board of directors of Agricultural Missions, a nonprofit corporate arm of the National Council of Churches.


Baldemar Velasquez received an inaugural Bannerman Fellowships in 1988 for helping organize people for racial, social, economic, and environmental justice.


Baldemar Velasquez has received honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from Bowling Green State University in 1996, Bluffton College in 1998, and the University of Toledo in 1998.