1990 Inductee - Dolores Huerta


1990 Inductee - Dolores Huerta

Labor/Women’s Issues

Dolores Huerta, a recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt, “Woman of the Year” Award, is one of the best known women in the United States of American for the American Labor Movement. Huerta, in 1962 with Cesar Chavez founded the National Farm Workers Association. In 1966, Huerta, headed with Chavez to form the United Farm Workers. Cesar Chavez stated that Dolores Huerta is totally fearless both mentally and physically.

Huerta, for more than 20 years, has been one of the United Farm Workers most visible symbols. Huerta was acknowledged by presidential candidate Robert Kennedy for her assistance in winning the 1968 Democratic Primary. Huerta was selected as the co-chair with Assembly Speaker, Willie Brown and Assemblyman John Burton of the California delegates to the 1972 Democratic Convention.

She has received the ACLU Courageous Advocate Award, the Martin Luther King Award, the Humanitarian Award, and the PUSH Citizen Award. Huerta credits her mother, St. Francis of Assisi, and Cesar Chavez as role models who motivated her toward her career. Dolores received her education from Jackson Elementary School and earned her diploma from Stockton High School. Huerta also received her Associate of Arts Degree from San Joaquin Delta College. She is a woman dedicated to the cause of having the farm workers of America be given equality, and to be proud of whom they are.

Dolores, while teaching grammar school, made her decision to assist the farm workers. She states, “I couldn’t stand seeing students come to class hungry and needing shoes. I thought I could do more by organizing farm workers than trying to teach hungry students.” Without any hesitation, she has made her dream a reality, for she has accomplished more in her life equal to any other woman in the history of the United States.

Huerta’s cause came first, even during her child bearing days; as a mother of 11 children, she changed diapers between organized meetings, nursed babies during breaks and in negotiations. Huerta’s courage is demonstrated in 1988 while outside San Francisco’s St. Francis Hotel, where Vice President Bush was speaking. She was battered to the ground by police, but her injuries have not prevented this great woman from her cause. With her strong pride, Dolores still works long hours for the Farm Workers Union that she and Cesar Chavez founded and nurtured.

She has been in many cities in the United States to help her cause. She has been in Washington D.C., Arizona, Colorado, New York, and New Mexico. Today, Huerta is Vice President of the United Farm Workers. We thank Angela Torres for providing Dolores’ photograph.