Who is she?
Dolores Huerta is a civil rights activist who advocates for equality for women and Latin workers and immigrants.
What did she do?
Huerta helped to start the Stockton Chapter of the Community Service Organization which fought for economic improvements for Latinos. She was the only Latin woman in a field of White man and was strongly criticized for that. But there was no deterring Huerta. She went on to press local governments to improve the barrios in California and co-founded the National Farm Workers Association with Cesar Chavez to help migrant workers bargain with an agricultural enterprise, the Schenley Wine Company, to earn better wages and have better working conditions.
After being severely beaten my the San Francisco Police Department during a peaceful protest in 1988, Dolores Huerta started a movement to change the SFPD crowd control policies. After a lengthy convalescence, she turned toward women’s rights, encouraging Latinas to run for office and advocating for more women in general to see political power. This campaign resulted in a significant increase in the number of women representatives in local, state and federal government.
Why does that matter?
Dolores Huerta has helped to empower migrant farmers and women to fight for their own rights and to make their voices heard. She brought public awareness to the plight of the farmers and helped to ensure that our food does not come at a high human cost. Because of Huerta, we are now up to 22% female representation in our nation’s capital and a stage average of 31%. That’s still far from 50%, so there is still work to do.