Dolores Huerta is one the century’s most powerful and respected labor movement leaders.
Huerta left teaching and co-founded the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez in 1962: “I quit because I couldn’t stand seeing kids come to class hungry and needing shoes. I thought I could do more by organizing farm workers than by trying to teach their hungry children.” Huerta raised her own eleven children while organizing for the labor movement.
The 1965 Delano Grape Strike launched UFW into a period of fast-paced organizing, with Huerta negotiating contracts with growers, lobbying, organizing strikes and boycotts and well as spearheading farmworker political activities. Always politically active, she co-chaired the 1972 California delegation to the Democratic Convention. She led the fight to permit thousands of migrant / immigrant children to receive services. She also led the struggle to achieve unemployment insurance, collective bargaining rights, and immigration rights for farmworkers under the 1985 Rodino amnesty legalization program. The recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Huerta continues as an outstanding labor and political activist.