Dolores Huerta was born on April 10, 1930 in Dawson, a small mining town in the mountains of northern New Mexico. Dolores found her calling as an organizer while serving in the leadership of the Stockton Community Service Organization (CSO). During this time, she founded the Agricultural Workers Association, set up voter registration drives and pressed local governments for barrio improvements.
In the spring of 1962, she and Cesar Chavez launched the National Farm Workers Association. Dolores’ organizing skills were essential to the growth of this budding organization. While Dolores was busy breaking down one gender barrier after another, she was seemingly unaware of the tremendous impact she was having on, not only farm worker woman but also young women everywhere.
At 89, Dolores Huerta continues to work tirelessly developing leaders and advocating for the working poor, women, and children. As founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she travels across the country engaging in campaigns and influencing legislation that supports equality and defends civil rights.
She has received numerous awards during her lifetime, in 2012 President Obama bestowed Dolores with her most prestigious award, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. Upon receiving this award Dolores said, “The freedom of association means that people can come together in organization to fight for solutions to the problems they confront in their communities. The great social justice changes in our country have happened when people came together, organized, and took direct action. It is this right that sustains and nurtures our democracy today. The civil rights movement, the labor movement, the women’s movement, and the equality movement for our LGBT brothers and sisters are all manifestations of these rights. I thank President Obama for raising the importance of organizing to the highest level of merit and honor.”