Tonight on PBS!
“Dolores”, the documentary.
Rebel, Feminist, Activist,
Champion of the Poor.
She will out-stand you at protest. She will out-walk you at a march, and she will out-dance you on the dance floor. When you need a break, she’s just getting started. She will be 88 years old on April 10th, but Dolores Huerta is still fighting tirelessly for social and racial justice. Following in the footsteps of her hero, Mahatma Gandhi, she uses her voice to organize non-violent action to bring awareness and inspire society to join her noble cause.
Dolores is universally considered one the most influential women of the 20th and 21st century, an icon, a living legend, who shuns materialism and advocates for a “we are one” and “sharing and supporting” mentality to replace the greed and division that currently grips the world.
to La Causa/The Cause
Beginning in the 1960s, on behalf of the United Farm Workers, she fought for fair pay and work conditions for farm workers along with Cesar Chavez. At the time, farm workers and their children (yes, children were working the fields) were subjected to near-slavery conditions in the central valley of Southern California, all of which should be illegal and unacceptable in the United States.
She and Chavez organized a global grape boycott that brought the agriculture industry to their knees across the United States. Their boycott spread all the way to across the Atlantic after labor leaders from Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Scandinavia brought the boycott of non-UFW grapes and lettuce to Europe. This powerful non-violent organizing forced the agriculture industry to offer fair and humane wages and living conditions to their employees.
Dolores’ razor sharp intelligence gifted her with the ability to personally negotiate contracts against teams of high-powered lawyers hired by the agriculture industry. Meeting their match, she got what she wanted for the farm workers.
Robert F. Kennedy was a ardent supporter of the UFW’s plight, but is said that his loyalty stemmed from Dolores’s magnetic charisma and inspiring and rousing speeches. They were natural friends.
In 1968, RFK was running for president and had just won the California primary. He was addressing supporters on a stage at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, along with his wife, his campaign team an Dolores. Minutes later, he was assassinated. Today, Dolores remains faithful to his legacy and often promotes awareness of Kennedy’s values and vision for the country.
RFK said of her (at 5:20), “Dolores Huerta, who is an old friend of mine and has worked with the union. We have certain obligations and responsibilities to our fellow citizens which we talked about during the course of this campaign and I want to make it clear that if I’m elected President of the United States with your help I intend to keep it up.”
In 1988, during a protest in San Francisco, she was severely beaten by a police officer with a baton, leaving her with life-threatening injuries, including four broken ribs and the need to have her spleen removed.
Music legend Carlos Santana, who produced “Dolores“, explains why he made the documentary, “Ella es mi Reina, She is my Queen, El Reina de Luz (Queen of Light). Her tools are equality, fairness and justice. And this voice kept haunting me, telling me you must do this with and for Dolores, offer her center stage, and put all the light on her, so that her light can go through all the corners of the world and inspire women to claim back their magnanimity, fearlessness, courage.” Yesterday, Santana told Billboard, “The Dolores Huerta Film Will Inspire ‘Sisters of All Ages.”
“Dolores” will have you jumping out of your seat to cheer her on—Si Se Puede!—and wondering how you never knew more about this petite, 5-foot tall powerhouse whose roar and raised fist has changed the world.
Receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama
Si Se Puede! Yes We Can!
Support The Dolores Huerta Foundation
Dolores Huerta, President, remains active with DHF as a full-time unpaid volunteer, and sees the work of the foundation as a continuation of the non-violent civil rights movement of the 1970s.
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