My Role Model: Dolores Huerta


Marina Velaochaga

Dolores Huerta was a person who went through discrimination which is what helped her become a labor activist, she was one of the best one in the 20th century. When Dolores was younger her parents got divorced and Dolores and her 3 younger siblings were raised by their grandparents. Dolores was accused of cheating in school by her teacher because her papers were well written.

In 1945, her brother was beaten by white men for wearing a Zoot-Suit, a Latino fashion. While she was in college she married by the name of Ralph Head, she had two daughters but she ended up divorcing him. Soon after she married activist Vetura Huerta, she ended up having five children. She used to be a teacher in the 1950s, she saw so many hungry farm children going to school so she thought she could do more to help them by organizing farmers and farm workers.

In 1955 Huerta started her activist career, she helped to establish the Stockton section of the Community Service Organization (CSO), which drove citizen enrollment drives and battled for financial upgrades for Hispanics. She additionally established the Agricultural Workers Association. Through a CSO partner, Huerta met lobbyist César Chávez, with whom she shared an interest in getting sorted out ranch laborers.

In 1962, Huerta and Chávez established the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA), the archetype of the United Farm Workers’ Union (UFW), which was framed long term later. Huerta filled in as UFW VP until 1999.  In 1965 Huerta helped organize the Delano Strike of 5,000 grape workers and was the lead negotiator in the workers contract that followed. Huerta also fought for unemployment and healthcare benefits for agricultural workers.

In the 1990s and 2000s, Huerta worked to elect more Latinos and women in political office and has championed women’s issues.