Dolores Huerta

Born:April 10, 1930 (age 94)
Career:Labor leader, civil rights activist
Education:Associate degree, Delta Community College

Dolores Huerta is a labor leader and civil rights activist who was instrumental in the migrant farm workers' union movement. Huerta has received many awards for her community service and advocacy for workers', immigrants' and women's rights.

Huerta was born on April 10, 1930, in Dawson, New Mexico. She spent most of her childhood and early adult life in Stockton, California. Originally planning to be a teacher, Huerta earned her provisional teaching license from the University of Pacific's Delta Community College. After not being able to stand to see her students, children of migrant workers, come to class hungry, barefoot or not at all, Huerta left teaching and became an activist.

Huerta joined the Stockton Community Service Organization (CSO) in 1955 and co-founded the Agriculture Worker's Association in 1960. It was through her work with the CSO that she met César Chávez, with whom she would co-found the United Farm Workers Association in 1962. In 1966, Huerta negotiated a contract between the UFWOC and Schenley Wine Company, the first time that farm workers successfully bargained with an agricultural enterprise. While directing the first National Boycott of California Table Grapes from 1965 to 1970, Huerta also began challenging gender discrimination within the farm workers' movement.

After a suffering a serious assault at the hands of San Francisco police officers in 1988, Huerta took a leave of absence from union work and focused on women's rights. In 2002, she founded the Dolores Huerta Foundation, which supports and influences public policy on health and the environment, education and youth development, and economic development. Huerta still works to confront the issues faced by working poor, women, LGBT+ and children. In 2012, she received the President Medal of Freedom.

Photo courtesy of Dolores Huerta Foundation.


Dolores Huerta Foundation (n.d.). “Dolores Huerta” Dolores Huerta Foundation. Retrieved November 28, 2022.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica (1999, April 26). “Dolores Huerta” Britannica. Retrieved November 28, 2022.

Godoy, M. (2017, September 17). “Dolores Huerta: The Civil Rights Icon Who Showed Farmworkers 'Sí Se Puede'” NPR. Retrieved November 28, 2022.

National Park Service (n.d.). “Dolores Huerta” National Park Service. Retrieved November 28, 2022.

Michals, D. (2015). “Dolores Huerta” National Women's History Museum. Retrieved November 28, 2022.