Dolores Huerta

by Amy from Hillsborough, North Carolina

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"Real heroes are men who fall and fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they've stayed true to their ideals and beliefs and commitments."

~Kevin Costner

The quote above signifies a Hero that sticks to his or her culture, ethnic beliefs, along with personal desires. A hero who truly stays true to him or herself. Dolores Huerta is much like the quote above because of how Dolores is able to overcome the environment she is in. Huerta overcomes all obstacles and issues that serve as friction for her, but she does not stop nor slow down.

Huerta received many awards, including the U.S. Presidential Eleanor D. Roosevelt Human Rights Award in 1998. She was also awarded The Puffin Prize for her commitment to the plight of farm workers. She is known for being co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, now known as United Farm Worker. In 1993 she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

Not only did she stand out as a Hispanic leader but she also was a woman leader, which in her culture, sadly, Women's rights are still in a continuing struggle for equality. Although, she did not let any of this discrimination stop her it was a challenge. She did keep her culture's beliefs and ideals; and went against something wrong and discrimination.

Instead of slowing her down, this made her stronger. Her determination strengthened her.

Dolores moved to Stockton, California, due to parent's divorce and moved with her mother and siblings. This affected her culturally, politically and socially. During these time periods, discrimination, racism, sexism and inequality were major issues that America faced. Especially for those immigrant workers who came with nothing and worked to get something better than they had in their home land. Hope for a better living and return in their riches and fortunes.

Huerta was fortunate enough, to unlike many immigrant-worker single mother's child to go attend High School along with completing it. That also unlike many women of her era, she went on to college, after graduating from Stockton High School. This was a big step and demonstration to other high school and college students that it is possible, if fully committed and determined.

Huerta went through personal, social, political problems while fighting during her journey. When protesting against the policies of the presidential candidate George H. W. Bush in California in 1988, she was assaulted by an baton-wielding officer who broke four of her ribs and ruptured her spleen. This caused public outrage toward the San Francisco Police Department and they changed their policies regarding crowd control and police discipline. Huerta was awarded an out of court settlement.

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Dolores became an organizer while serving in the leadership of the Stockton Community Service Organization. She also founded the Agriculture Workers Association to set up Voting Registration encouragements and pressed local governments for home improvements. She also demonstrated in securing Aid for Dependent Families and disability insurance for farm workers in California in 1968.

As Dolores agrees, her mother Alicia was very influencing in the matter of being feminist. As she worked hard to break down barriers in the subject of sex discrimination she was unaware of the movement she was growing and the impact she had on many women throughout the country, not only farmworkers. She was a huge help when it came to collaboration and organization. Dolores served as a leader when in the 1960's she held a Women's Liberation movement. Also, she directed the very first National Boycott of California Table Grapes out in NY where she came to meet Gloria Steinem, who also much like Huerta, was a strong feminist. This filled her as a person and she continued to challenge gender discrimination along with the farm workers movement.

Chavez and Huerta supported ballots that would benefit communities in California, such as Proposition 30, which consisted of preventing $6 billion in education cuts. It also protected vital services much like health services.

Dolores did indeed accomplish much for her people and culture. If she had not stepped up, many would not be in positions where all are today. Chavez wouldn't have had support from Huerta and they wouldn't have been such an unstopble team.

Dolores is an inspiration to many out there. She was inspired herself, from her own parent. She saw the need for those hungry and barefoot farmworkers' students in her class. Dolores knew she could do something better, to create in them motivation and self confidence. To believe in themselves. To have faith. She saw the need of help in her own race. Her noble self stood up for herself and her race. She realized she could do something bigger in her life. Huerta could make a change on her race, change in mind for those who discriminated. She proved to many that anything is worth fighting for. Huerta went through her own journey just like everyone else. Dolores kept to her ideals, to her beliefs, determined to be who she is and stand up for what she believes. Huerta was determined to stay true to herself and her people.

Page created on 8/12/2014 3:41:12 PM

Last edited 1/7/2020 9:34:53 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.


Foundation, Dolores Huerta. "Dolores Huerta Biography-The Feminist Seed Is Planted." [Online] Available

Dolores, Huerta. "Encyclopedia Britannica Online." [Online] Available

Huerta, Dolores. "Dolores Huerta Calls for Action: Co-founder of the United Farm Workers Asks You to Make a Difference." Newspaper Article. Vol. 36 Issue 43, P7

Engber, Gillian. Dolores Huerta: Voice for the Working Poor. Vol. 107 Issue 9/10


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