Latinos For Texas Blog

2005-Sep-10

Dolores Huerta in Austin

Filed under: — kevin @ 2:09 pm

Wow, Austin is really hopping in the next week+. Check out the info from a press release I received:

DOLORES HUERTA IN AUSTIN CELEBRATING
75 YEARS OF LIFE AND 50 YEARS OF ORGANIZING

(Austin, TX) — The Austin Dolores Huerta Organizing Committee today announced that Dolores Huerta will speak at an Austin fundraising event for the Dolores C. Huerta Foundation at Ruta Maya Headquarters on Monday, September 19, 2005 from 7:30pm-midnight.  Admission is $12.00 ($10.00 with student ID).

Austin will join the nation in celebrating the 75th birthday of civil rights and labor leader Dolores Huerta and her 50 years of organizing. Dolores is the co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America and the Founder and President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

Dolores Huerta established the Dolores Huerta Foundation with funds awarded to her for personal use. The Dolores Huerta Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization with a mission to train a new generation of organizers to build active communities working for fair and equal access to healthcare, housing, education, jobs, civic participation and economic resources for disadvantaged communities with an emphasis on women and youth.

Dolores has worked tirelessly as the co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union and is among the few remaining living icons of the Chicana/o Movement.  Join local musicians, poets, artists and social justice advocates in celebrating Dolores’ 75 years of life, her 50 years of organizing, and help support the work of her foundation.

All proceeds and contributions for Dolores’ 75th birthday celebration will help fund trained organizers, expand the number of Communities for Social Action, and continue the work of the Foundation.

I heard Dolores Huerta speak at Howard Dean’s Iowa headquarters in Des Moines a week or so out from the caucus in Jan. ‘04. She led about 70 union painters from IUPAT–gringos all–in chants of “Sí, se puede.” It was a trip. (Full disclosure: I’m a gringo too.) For a full biography of one the top Latina figures in the U.S. continue on.a was a founding member of the Stockton Chapter of the Community Service Organization (CSO), a grass roots organization started by Fred Ross, Sr. The CSO battled segregation and police brutality, led voter registration drives, pushed for improved public services and fought to enact new legislation. She became a fearless lobbyist in Sacramento and in 1961 succeeded in removing citizen requirements from pension and public assistance programs. In 1962, she lobbied in Washington D.C. for an end to the “captive labor” Bracero Program.

It was through her work with the CSO that Dolores met Cesar Chavez. They both realized the need to organize the UFW. In 1962, they formed the National Farm Workers Association, the predecessor to the UFW. In 1966, Dolores negotiated the first NFWA contract with the Schenley Wine Company.  This was the first time in the history of the United States that a negotiating committee comprised of farm workers and a young Latina single mother of seven, negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with an agricultural corporation. These contracts established the first medical and pension benefits for farm workers and safety plans in the history of agriculture.  Dolores spoke out early against toxic pesticides that threaten farm workers, consumers, and the environment.  The early UFWOC agreements required growers to stop using such dangerous pesticides as DDT and Parathyon. Dolores also directed the UFW’s national grape boycott that resulted in the entire California table grape industry signing a three-year collective bargaining agreement with the United Farm Workers. The boycott resulted in the enactment of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975, the first law of its kind that grants farm workers the right to collectively organize and bargain for better wages and working conditions.

For more than thirty years, Dolores Huerta remained Cesar Chavez’ most loyal and trusted advisor. Together they founded the Robert Kennedy Medical Plan, the Juan De La Cruz Farm Workers Pension Fund, the Farm Workers Credit Union, the first medical and pension plan, and credit union for farm workers.

As an advocate for farm workers rights, Dolores has been arrested twenty five times for non-violent peaceful union activities. Dolores Huerta is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards. In 1984 the California state senate bestowed upon her the Outstanding Labor Leader Award.  In 1993 Dolores was the first Latina inducted into the Nation Women’s Hall of Fame.  That same year she received the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty Award; the Eugene V. Debs Foundation Outstanding American Award, and the Ellis Island Medal of Freedom Award. She is also the recipient of the Consumers’ Union Trumpeter’s Award.  In 1998 she was one of the three Ms. Magazine’s “Women of the Year”, and the Ladies Home Journal’s “100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century”. In 1998 Dolores received the United States Presidential Eleanor D. Roosevelt Human Rights Award from President Clinton.  On December 8, 2002 she received the Nation/Puffin Award for Creative Citizenship.  In 2003 she received a short-term appointment as a University of California Regent.

Dolores has received honorary doctorate degrees from: New College of San Francisco, 1990; San Francisco State University, 1993; SUNY. New Paltz University, 1999; Cal State University, Northridge in 2003; SUNY School of Law in 2004; Wayne State University in 2004

At age seventy-five (75), Dolores Huerta still works long hours serving as President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation leading the development of the organization and the Organizing Institute as well as the community organizing.  It is not unusual to find her traveling regularly to cities across North America educating the public on public policy issues affecting immigrants, women, and youth.  Dolores C. Huerta is also Secretary-Treasure Emeritus of the United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO (UFW).  She is the mother of 11 children, 20 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

All contributions and proceeds from this event will be used to support the Dolores Huerta Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to build active communities working for fair and equal access to healthcare, housing, education, jobs, civic participation and economic resources for disadvantaged communities with an emphasis on women and youth.
For more information about The Dolores Huerta Foundation, please visit the Foundation website.

4 Responses to “Dolores Huerta in Austin”

  1. Lila Says:

    Wow! This sounds like such a great event. And Ruta Maya seems like an ideal location — to be so close to such a leader!

    Many times I get down about the state of Latino leadership. So often it seems like we are lagging in developing our Latino leaders. African Americans will always have MLK, Malcom X, Jesse Jackson, and Barack Obama…oh and Oprah too! But it seems like Latinos are so diverse in and of themselves that are leaders are less known.

    But events like these make me proud of our past and hopeful for our future.
    L.

  2. kevin Says:

    Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, etc.

    Latinos have some good current political leaders, but very few visible and nationally recognized sports and entertainment leaders like the African American community

  3. Socorro Tapia Says:

    Companeros Latinos,nesecitamos unificarnos,dejar el pasado y ver el futuro para el bien de nuestros hijos SI SE PUEDE

  4. Socorro Tapia Says:

    To Latinos in Texas,We need to unified,let’s leave the past and see the future for better opportunities for our children,YES WE CAN

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