This month we celebrate inspirational and influential women. This year Women’s History Month is dedicated to trailblazing women in labor and business, and the honorees are recognized for challenging cultural, structural and legal forms of discrimination against women and girls.
We’re spotlighting one woman each week who has changed society with her ambition and passion. Last week we featured Dorothy Height, civil rights and women’s rights activist. This week we introduce Dolores Huerta.
Dolores Huerta (1930-)
Huerta is a living civil rights icon who fought for better working conditions for farmworkers and the rights of the downtrodden. She co-founded The United Farm Workers of America union and coined the famous slogan, Sí, se puede, which translates to “Yes, we can.”
Growing up, Dolores and her family struggled. Her parents divorced, but Dolores continued to stay in touch with her father, a union activist and New Mexico state assemblyman. Her father’s political and labor activism served as inspiration for Dolores. In addition, her mother was also adamant that Dolores and her siblings participate in youth activities.
After graduating from Stockton College with a teaching degree, Dolores became an elementary school teacher but decided to go a different route after learning of her students poor conditions, many of them children of farm workers. As a result, Dolores co-founded the Stockton chapter of the Community Services Organization, a group that fought to end segregation, discrimination, police brutality and improve social and economic conditions of farm workers and their families.
Dolores would go on to start the Agricultural Workers Association and the National Farm Workers Association where she worked alongside Cesar Chavez. She later received the Ellis Island Medal of Freedom Award and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993.
Take a moment to recognize the women in your life, today and everyday! Celebrate women's history every day with timeless folktales for our Women’s History Month reading list.