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Labor Leader Dolores Huerta to Deliver Keynote Address for Hispanic Heritage Month at Penn State

by on September 24, 2019 12:55 PM

American labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will visit Penn State to deliver the keynote address for Hispanic Heritage Month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 27 in Schwab Auditorium.

Along with César Chávez, Huerta co-founded the National Farmworkers Association (now the United Farm Workers) in 1962. She played an integral role in transforming the lives of farmers across the country by advocating for better wages and benefits on their behalf.

To help see her efforts come to fruition, Huerta helped organize the Delano Grape Strike in 1965 and was the lead negotiator in the workers’ contract created after the strike. She’s dedicated her life to helping those less fortunate than herself, work that continues to this day.

In 2002, Huerta founded and was elected president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation — a hands-on training center for community organizing, leadership development and policy advocacy.

Huerta has been recognized on many occasions for her dedication to improving workers’, immigrants’, and women’s rights. She’s also the first Latina to be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She’s been awarded the Eugene V. Debs Foundation Outstanding American Award and the United States Presidential Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights.

In 2012, Huerta was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient by President Barack Obama. During his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama used the slogan “Yes, we can” in many of his speeches — a phrase he borrowed from Huerta’s “Sí, se puede,” which became a rallying cry for farm workers' campaigns and UFW's motto.

Huerta’s keynote address is free and open to the public. Her talk will lead into day of service on Saturday.


Emma Dieter is a writer for Onward State.
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