Dolores Huerta Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
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Dolores Huerta is the co-founder of National Farmworkers Association in 1962. She is remembered for fighting for women and immigrant workers rights.
Dolores Huerta was born in Mexico on 10th April 1930. She is the daughter of Juan Fernández and Alicia Chávez. She learnt about union organization from his father at a young age.
Huerta's parents divorced when she was three. She stayed with her mother in California while her father moved to New Mexico to work in the state legislature. Her mother, who had a lot of influence in her life, was known to be a selfless woman was always ready to help others in need.
As a student at Stockton High School, Dolores Huerta participated in various co-curriculum activities such as majorette and was a member of the scouting club. Having faced discrimination in school because of her race, she believed that the society needed to change.
After graduating from High School, she went to the University of Pacific, where she received temporary teaching credentials. She taught at an elementary school for a short period before embarking on a mission to correct the economic injustices existing in the society.
Determined to change the poor condition of the workers' children, Dolores Huerta and Fred Ross started Community Service Organization in Stockton. Their organization aimed to end discrimination of workers, police brutality and to improve the welfare of farm workers.
Dolores Huerta married Ralph Head while in college. The two had two children together. After divorcing with Ralph Huerta married to Ventura Huerta who was also a labor activist. The two had five children together.
Her little time at home cost her second marriage. Huerta later had a romantic relationship with Chávez but never got married.
In 1960, Dolores Huerta went outside her familiar jurisdiction of fighting for workers' rights to taking her issues to the national level. She founded the Agricultural Workers Association in 1960. She aimed to see the U.S. immigrants receive the privileges received by other U.S citizens.
Her effort to have CSO expands and help farm workers were futile. This saw her leave the organization together with Gilbert Padilla.
Dolores Huerta and Gilbert Padilla went head to form National Farm Workers Association. NFWA and CSO however combined in 1965, to create one strong united workers union. Her work in the union saw workers receive better pay and improved working condition after a historic agreement with grape growers.
Huerta was hit by a setback in 1988 when she was mercilessly beaten by police officers during a protest. Her spleen was ruptured, and she suffered several broken ribs.
Dolores Huerta fierce fight for equality and social justice earned her an Ellis Island Medal of Freedom Award. In 1993, she was inducted into the National Women Hall of fame.
A year before she relinquished her post at United Farm Workers she was awarded Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship.
She is the founder of Dolores Huerta Foundation, which seeks to bring together and organize training to the low-income earners in the society. Dolores Huerta continues to speak in public forums on topics touching on immigration, rights of women a social issues concerning immigration.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
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