Dolores Huerta

Gloria Molina 1

An activist for all her 81 years of life, Dolores Huerta has played an indispensable role in transforming communities all over California and the rest of the nation. Her natural aptitude for lobbying and negotiating has improved the lives and working conditions of millions of agricultural workers since the 1960’s. Working in tandem with César Chávez, she helped to launch the National Farm Workers Association in 1962, and secured Aid for Dependent Families and disability insurance for farm workers in the State of California in 1963. She was also instrumental in the enactment of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act, an unprecedented law that granted farm workers in California the right to collectively organize and bargain for better wages and working conditions.

As a spokeswoman for the Latino community in California, she was able to mobilize their voting power and influence the outcomes at the ballot box. Throughout the years, she has assisted numerous candidates in being elected, including President Clinton, Congressman Ron Dellums, Governor Jerry Brown, Congresswoman Hilda Solis, and Hillary Clinton. Huerta was also heavily involved in the Women’s Liberation movement and challenged gender discrimination within the farm worker’s movement. She is an advocate of non-violent change, and Huerta continues to work tirelessly to develop leaders and serve as an advocate for the poor, women, and children. As president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she travels the country as a speaker on social justice and public policy. Awards and honors Huerta has received during her auspicious career have been: the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012, the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award in 1998; Ms. Magazine’s top three most important women of 1997; Puffin Foundation award for Creative Citizenship Labor Leader Award in 1984; Kern County’s Woman of the Year by California State legislature; as well as Nine Honorary Doctorates from various Universities nationwide.