Dolores Huerta on how she led a historic boycott against the grape industry to gain better working conditions for farmworkers. (Produced by MAKERS: Women Who Make America)
At 81, Dolores Huerta continues to work tirelessly developing leaders and advocating for the working poor, women and children.
She brings "An Evening with Dolores Huerta" to Sonoma State University at 7:30 p.m. on March 27 in the ballroom of the new Student Center to discuss her legacy in social justice, education and public policy.
The event is sponsored by the H. Andréa Neves and Barton Evans Social Justice Lecture Series at Sonoma State University, in collaboration with the School of Education, School of Social Sciences and On Campus Presents.
Tickets are $10 (Senior citizens $5) and are available at the SSU Box Office after March 3. SSU students are admitted free but must reserve a ticket at https://tickets.sonoma.edu/Online/.
Huerta is best known for working with Cesar Chavez to co-found the National Farmworkers Association in 1962, which later became the United Farm Workers of America.
She has long served as a community activist and a political organizer, and was influential in securing the passage of California's Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975, and disability insurance for farmworkers in California.
In 1998, President Clinton awarded her the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights and in 2002 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As voluntary President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she travels across the country speaking to students and organizations about issues of social justice and public policy.
There are thousands of working poor immigrants in the agriculture rich San Joaquin Valley of California. They are unfamiliar with laws or agencies that can protect them or benefits that they are entitled to. They are often preyed upon by unscrupulous individuals who take advantage of them. They feel hopeless and unable to remedy their situations.
Huerta teaches these individuals that they have power and that personal power needs to be coupled with responsibility and cooperation to create the changes needed to improve their lives.
The work she does through her foundation for social justice and education involves community engagement in schools. This includes training parent committees on navigating school systems, improving communications with teachers and school administrators, and advocating for systemic change to ensure academic success for all students.
Informed and active parents partnering with culturally competent teachers and administrators is an effective formula that contributes to the academic success of students, she says.
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