Writer & Activist
Dolores Huerta is a labor leader and community organizer. She has worked for civil rights and social justice for over 50 years. Born on April 10, 1930 in Dawson, New Mexico, Huerta was the second of three children of Alicia and Juan Fernandez, a farm worker and miner who became a state legislator in 1938. Her parents divorced when Huerta was three years old, and her mother moved to Stockton, California with her children. Huerta received an associate teaching degree from the University of the Pacific’s Delta College. Huerta briefly taught school in the 1950s, but In 1955 she began her career as an activist when she co-founded the Stockton chapter of the Community Service Organization (CSO), which led voter registration drives and fought for economic improvements for Hispanics. In 1962, Dolores Huerta, and Cesar Chavez founded the United Farm Workers Union. She served as Vice President and played a critical role in many of the union’s accomplishments for four decades. Dolores has eleven children. She married Ralph Head in college. During her marriage to Ralph Head, she had two daughters. After divorcing Head, she married Ventura Huerta, with whom she had five children. She had four children with her life partner, Richard Chavez who passed away in 2011. She was the first Latina inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, in 1993. In 2002, she received the Puffin/Nation $100,000 prize for Creative Citizenship which she used to establish the Dolores Huerta Foundation. She has received numerous awards: among them The Eleanor Roosevelt Humans Rights Award from President Clinton in 1998. In 2012, President Obama bestowed Dolores with The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.
"Respecting other people's rights is peace."