Co-founder of the United Farm Workers Association, Dolores Clara Fernandez Huerta is one of the most influential labor activists of the 20th century and a leader of the Chicano civil rights movement. At 89, Dolores Huerta continues to work tirelessly developing leaders and advocating for the working poor, women, and children. As founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she travels across the country engaging in campaigns and influencing legislation that supports equality and defends civil rights. She often speaks to students and organizations about issues of social justice and public policy.
The recipient of many honors, Huerta received the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award in 1998 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. As of 2015, she was a board member of the Feminist Majority Foundation, the Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus of the United Farm Workers of America, and the President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation.
DOLORES FOUNDATION PROGRAMS
Civic Engagement, Education Policy, Geographic Information Systems, Youth Program and Vecinos Unidos (United Neighbors).
The Dolores Huerta Foundation provides organizing training and resources to rural, low income, communities. Our community organizing model engages residents in a process of determining and prioritizing their community needs, trains them to speak directly with organizational leaders and public officials, and provides them with a platform to advocate for desired changes. Our active base calls themselves the Vecinos Unidos (United Neighbors).
In partnership with the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center, the DHF is currently launching the Youth and Family Civic Engagement Initiative to increase civic participation among low-income, disenfranchised youth and their families to reduce racial and socio-economic disparities.
The Dolores Huerta Foundation’s focus within the education program is on organizing, training, and empowering parents to advocate for the rights of their students, including advocacy for lower suspensions, expulsions, and involuntary transfers, which are currently perpetuating the school-to-prison pipeline.
The number of youth and community members actively engaging their elected officials on local governing boards and school districts has increased dramatically. Since 2016, DHF has expanded its scope and reach of voters, community members, elected officials, and the general public.
An Organizer is Born
Dolores found her calling as an organizer while serving in the leadership of the Stockton Community Service Organization (CSO). During this time, she founded the Agricultural Workers Association, set up voter registration drives and pressed local governments for barrio improvements. In 1955 CSO founder Fred Ross, Sr. introduced her to CSO Executive Director César E. Chávez, a likeminded colleague. The two soon discovered that they shared a common vision of organizing farm workers, an idea that was not in line with the CSO’s mission.
As a result, César and Dolores resigned from the CSO, and launched the National Farm Workers Association in the spring of 1962. Dolores’ organizing skills were essential to the growth of this budding organization.
The first testament to her lobbying and negotiating talents were demonstrated in securing Aid For Dependent Families (“AFDC”) and disability insurance for farm workers in the State of California in 1963, an unparalleled feat at the time. She was also instrumental in the enactment of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975. This was the first law of its kind in the United States, granting farm workers in California the right to collectively organize and bargain for better wages and working conditions.
While the farm workers lacked financial capitol, they were able to wield significant economic power through hugely successful boycotts at the ballot box with grassroots campaigning. As the principal legislative advocate, Dolores became one of the UFW’s most visible spokespersons.
Make a Difference ...
Donate to the Dolores Huerta Foundation
The Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF) is a 501(c) (3) community benefit organization working at the grassroots level to engage and develop natural leaders and a strong base of volunteers. Through the Vecinos Unidos (United Neighbors) program, DHF has trained hundreds of community members, the majority of which are immigrants, farm workers, and women to advocate for policies at the local, state, and federal levels. Our mission is to create a network of organized healthy communities pursuing social justice through systemic and structural transformation. Thank you for being a part of this movement.
I feel honored and privileged to spend my days working with you to connect community-based organizing to state and national movements to register and educate voters, advocate for education reform, bring about infrastructure improvements in low-income communities and advocate for greater equality for the LGBT community
¡Sí Se Puede!
Sign the Petition to support Healthcare 4 All!
Join the Dolores Huerta Foundation, in urging Gov. Newsom, Speaker Anthony Rendon & President Pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins to pass AB4 to extend health care coverage to our undocumented community. Providing health care is a human right.
Any effort towards universal coverage, whether in California or nationally, will not be successful until everyone, regardless of status, has access to care. Your signature is an act of solidarity for social justice.
Dolores Huerta will be speaking at the upcoming iLumn8 Summit - Imagining in Action