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NEWS & IDEAS

A MAKER You Should Know: Dolores Huerta

Happy Cinco De Mayo! On this holiday that celebrates Mexican heritage and pride, we are proud to share "A MAKER You Should Know," Dolores Huerta.

While you've probably heard of Ceasar Chavez, you may not have heard of Dolores Huerta, the union leader and activist, who, along with Chavez, founded the first successful farm workers union in the country, the United Farm Workers.

In 1967, it was Huerta who suggested a nationwide food boycott to pressure the growers for higher wages. By 1970, the grape industry signed a historic agreement that increased wages and improved working conditions for farm workers.

Five things to know about Dolores Huerta:

1. Her favorite quote "Respecting other people’s rights is peace.” — Benito Juarez, former president of Mexico.

2. Her role models include: Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, Eleanor Smeal, Peg Yorkin, and the leader of her childhood Girl Scout troupe.

3.  She was inspired to fight for workers rights when, as a young school teacher, she noticed that many of her students were showing up to school ill or malnourished.

4. Huerta risked life and limb in order to ensure the rights of farm workers—in 1988, a San Francisco police officer beat her so badly that she was left with several broken ribs and a ruptured spleen.

5. President Barack Obama presented Huerta with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in May 2012.

Watch Dolores Huerta's MAKERS interview here.

Photo: Getty Images