Monday, March 13, 2017

I Was a Stranger, Day 13: Dolores Huerta

Dolores Huerta, American labor leader, civil rights activist, and "born-again feminist," has been fighting for labor rights, in particular for Latinos, for 60 years. She cofounded the National Farmworkers Union, which later became the United Farm Workers of America. She was born in New Mexico and raised by a single mom after her parents divorced when she was three. Her mother, Alicia Chávez, owned a restaurant and a 70-room hotel where she welcomed low-wage workers and farm worker families for affordable prices and sometimes even for free. This served as the inspiration for Huerta's caring and willingness to help farm workers later on in her life. Huerta stated that “The dominant person in my life is my mother. She was a very intelligent woman and a very gentle woman." Her mother’s generous actions during Huerta's childhood provided the foundation for her own nonviolent, strong spiritual stance.

"Don't wait to be invited; step in there."

She's been organizing since the age of 25, arrested over two dozen times. At 86 years old, she continues to be active, and she was an honorary co-chair of the Women's March on Washington in January 2017. Here she is a few years ago, after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama:

Here's her speech from the Democratic National Convention last summer:

"Every Democrat has to be an activist." And every person of faith should be one too.

Read more of my "I Was a Stranger" entries here.