#HiddenHistory: Get to know Dolores Huerta
“Sí, se puede.” (Yes, we can!) -- Dolores Huerta
To celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month (September 15th - October 15th), our #DailyRevolution is to kick off the next 30 days by learning about one of our nation’s most incredible leaders, Dolores Huerta. Founder of the United Farm Workers (UFW) formerly known as Agricultural Workers Association (AWA), Huerta has worked to to fight discrimination and improve social and economic conditions for farm workers.
Huerta was born in New Mexico, and she was raised by her mother in Central California in a farming community. Her mother, Alicia Chávez, cared for the farming community by offering her 70 room hotel to low-wage workers and farm working families at an affordable cost, or sometimes even for free.
In the farming community she grew up in, Huerta had a brief stint as an elementary school teacher. Deeply upset by the poor living conditions of her students, she resigned and became a dedicated activist. In the 1950’s she worked to end segregation, discrimination and police brutality while improving social and economic growth for farm workers. Huerta believed that in order to be completely involved within the community, she must be fully immersed and live within it.
In the 1960s Huerta started AWA, hosting voter registration drives and lobbying for non-US citizen migrant workers to receive public assistance, pensions, and translated voting ballots. She and her husband, Cesar Chavez, lead strikes such as the Coachella Valley grape strike of 1965 (which lasted 5 years!) and the Salad Bowl Boycott, which lead to the largest farm worker strike in US history.
In 1975, thanks to the incredible leaders and resistors within the farm worker community, the Agricultural Labor Relations Act was passed.
Huerta remains a protestor to this day at the ripe old age of 87. She is an incredible person with so many incredible stories, we couldn’t include them all here. We recommend reading more about her and watching her documentary released earlier this year.
“If you’re Democrat or Republican or Green or Independent, get involved in your local political party so we can make sure progressive people get elected to office,” she said. “No one is going to do it for you.” - Dolores Huerta
The new documentary ‘Dolores’ has a few lessons for the #resistance - Washington Post