Dolores Huerta
Labor leader and social activist
Born: Dawson, New Mexico

Best known for co-founding the United Farm Workers union, Dolores Huerta has fought for more than four decades to bring justice, dignity, and a decent standard of living to farm workers.

“My mother was a businesswoman and active in the community, so I never saw women in a passive role. She taught us that if you saw someone who needed something, you had to try and help them, and not expect anything in return.”

Huerta learned about social activism from her mother, a hotel- and restaurant-owner who often gave homeless farm workers a helping hand. Unlike most Hispanic women of her generation, Huerta went to college. After a brief stint teaching, she turned to civil rights advocacy, believing she could do more for her students by helping their parents. In the early 1960s, she joined César Chávez in founding the United Farm Workers.

“The main purpose of organizing is to develop leadership. The people you are organizing have to own the organization. Power is like love, the more you share, the more it grows.”


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Dolores Huerta, labor leader and social activist. Photograph by Celia Alvarez Muñoz, taken in the grape fields near Bakersfield , California

Dolores Huerta, labor leader and social activist. Photograph by Celia Alvarez Muñoz, taken in the grape fields near Bakersfield, California

Even after more than 20 arrests, broken ribs, and other strike-related injuries, Huerta insists on a non-violent approach to social change. Now in her 70s, she continues to work for social justice by empowering others to help themselves.

“Every one of us has to make a commitment to social justice. You have to have the courage to get out there and fight for it.”

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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