Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Moment

Don't Be a "Good Girl"

Don't Be a "Good Girl"

More From Dolores

In this video

Huerta criticizes raising young girls to be "ladylike" and encourages women to get in the fray and learn to be strong in every way.

Dolores's Biography

Cause of Choice: Dolores Huerta Foundation
Favorite Quote: “Respecting other people’s rights is peace.” — Benito Juarez, former president of Mexico.
Role Models: Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, Eleanor Smeal, Peg Yorkin, and the leader of her childhood Girl Scout troupe.
Mother Hen: She is the mother of 11 children.

Dolores Huerta is a union leader and an activist for the rights of farm workers and women. Along with Cesar Chavez, she founded the first successful farm workers union in the country, the United Farm Workers, in 1962. She is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
 
Huerta was born in New Mexico in 1930, where her father was a union activist and state legislator. Following her parents divorce, Dolores moved with her mother to California’s farm-filled San Joaquin Valley. 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. “I thought I could do more by organizing farm workers than teaching their hungry children,” she says.
 
To further her cause, she founded the Agricultural Workers Association in 1960 and used the organization to lobby politicians on a variety of issues pertaining to the rights of migrant workers. She left the AWA just two years later, when she and Cesar Chavez founded what would come to be known as the United Farm Workers union.
 
Over several decades, Huerta would play a critical role in many of the union’s accomplishments, including the strikes against California grape growers in the 1960s and the enactment of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975. Often she 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.
 
Huerta has since stepped down from her position at the UFW, but she continues to lecture on worker’s issues and women’s issues around the country. In addition to the Presidential Medal of Freedom, she has received numerous awards and recognitions—among them the Eleanor Roosevelt Humans Rights Award from President Clinton in l998the Ohtli award from the Mexican Government, and nine honorary doctorates from Universities throughout the United States.

Related Videos

Valerie Jarrett and The White House Summit on Working Families
Valerie Jarrett and The White House Summit on Working Families
Senior Advisor to President of the United States

This MAKERS Monday headlines with MAKER Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, and The White House Summit for Working Families. In honor of next week's White Hou...

Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg
Facebook COO

By now, Sheryl Sandberg has spent more than two decades achieving at the highest reaches of governmental and corporate America. And she’s determined to bring more talented y...

Rita Mae Brown
Rita Mae Brown
Author & Activist

Rita Mae Brown is an activist and author best known for her first novel Rubyfruit Jungle. She has written thirteen literary novels, more than two-dozen mysteries and several books ...

Jennifer Hyman
Jennifer Hyman
Co-Founder and CEO, Rent the Runway

Before starting Rent the Runway, Hyman was Director of Business Development at IMG, worked in ad sales at WeddingChannel.com, and served as an in-house entrepreneur for Starwood Ho...