Dolores Huerta

April 23, 2009

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Dolores C. Huerta is the cofounder and first Vice President Emeritus of the United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO (UFW). Huerta has played a decisive role in the American civil rights movement. She's also the mother of 11 children, 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

As a founding member of the Community Service Organization (CSO), Huerta helped battle segregation and police brutality, lead voter registration drives and push for improved public services. She also organized and founded the Agricultural Workers Association. She was a fearless lobbyist and succeeded in removing the citizenship requirements from pension and public assistance programs. Huerta led the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee (UFWOC) and negotiated the first UFWOC contract with the Schenley Wine Company. This was the first time in U.S. history that a committee of farm workers negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with an agricultural corporation.

Huerta also spoke out against the toxic pesticides threatening farm workers, consumers and the environment. Huerta's early UFWOC agreements required growers to stop using dangerous pesticides such as DDT and Parathyon. Now more than 70 years old, Huerta still works long hours to promote "La Causa" (the farmworkers' cause) and women's rights.

 

Recorded Thursday, April 23, 2009 at Northeastern Illinois University - Physical Education Complex.