Most people know Dolores Huerta for her work with the UFW (United Farm Workers union) and Cesar Chavez. I remember just her strength and determination.
I have not always been a fan of the personalities tied to farm labor organizing – including mine, hahaha. Long, long, long ago I freaked out my parents when I volunteered to work with FLOC, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee based in Toledo, Ohio. FLOC and the UFW started about the same time but they had different philosophies of how to approach worker rights and they were also on different coasts. UFW rose in popularity because of location, local support and, of course, for all that it was doing to defend the rights of farm workers.
Even years ago when FLOC let me loose in the farm worker camps to coordinate a medical clinic with volunteer doctors and nurses to do basic screenings, even THEN, the housing camps were only a few feet away from the crops. There was a large sign that said something about pesticide spraying begins here… uh, so if I stood a few feet on the side where they don’t spray does that mean an invisible barrier was protecting us?? It was one fight at a time. Let’s just hope inhaling some of the man-made clouds gave me a longer life, ha!
Dolores Huerta, though, was a true leader and dedicated her life to the cause. Her life will be honored today with a concert to benefit her foundation. The foundation is set-up to continue fighting for social justice for people with little voice, mainly in the California area.
If I were in California – I would definitely have been at this concert. Instead I can just support from afar. Happy 80th birthday, Dolores Huerta!!