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.

Don't Be a "Good Girl"

MAKERS Moment

Don't Be a "Good Girl"

More From Dolores

Watch in Cinema View

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

Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor
Director of Theatre & Film

Director Julie Taymor was born into theatrics. Raised outside of Boston by a family who encouraged her early independence and passion for theater, Taymor entrenched herself in perf...

Renée Loux
Renée Loux
Green Expert & Chef

Renée Loux is a champion for the environmental and sustainable food movements. She is an author, television personality, chef and monthly columnist for Women’s Health ...

Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett
First Woman Variety Show Host

A child of Hollywood, but not of means, Carol Burnett had to fight her way into the playwright program at UCLA. An acting class was a requirement and Burnett would always remember ...

Mae O'Malley
Mae O'Malley
Attorney & Entrepreneur

When San Francisco attorney, Mae O’Malley got pregnant, she realized she needed an innovative alternative that would give her the opportunity to balance work with the needs o...