Austin, Texas –September 23, 2014 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) is pleased to welcome Dolores Huerta, labor leader and civil rights activist to be the keynote speaker at the our bienniel Statewide Conference in Galveston, Texas on Tuesday September 23, 2014 from 4 to 5 p.m.
Dolores Huerta is visionary leader of social change and a national treasure. In 1962, she co-launched the National Farm workers Movement with Cesar Chavez, and quickly moved to fight for the rights of women and children farm workers in particular.
Five decades of labor and feminist organizing later, in 2012, Huerta received The Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama — the highest civilian award in the United States. Upon receiving this award Dolores said, “The freedom of association means that people can come together in organization to fight for solutions to the problems they confront in their communities. The great social justice changes in our country have happened when people came together, organized, and took direct action. It is this right that sustains and nurtures our democracy today. The civil rights movement, the labor movement, the women’s movement, and the equality movement for our LGBT brothers and sisters are all manifestations of these rights. I thank President Obama for raising the importance of organizing to the highest level of merit and honor.”
The civil rights leader who currently works on LGBT issues and continues to work tirelessly developing leaders and advocating for the working poor, women, and children will also participate in a VIP Reception and photo opportunity from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
As founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she travels across the country engaging in campaigns and influencing legislation that supports equality and defends civil rights. She often speaks to students and organizations about issues of social justice and public policy.
The Huerta Legacy
Huerta co-founded the National Farm workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers (UFW). When working as a teacher in Stockton, California, she could no longer bear to see her students come to school with empty stomachs and bare feet, and thus began her lifelong journey of working to correct economic injustice.
Dolores found her calling as an organizer while serving in the leadership of the Stockton Community Service Organization (CSO). During the 1960’s she founded the Agricultural Workers Association, set up voter registration drives and pressed local governments for barrio improvements. She continued a lifelong passion for helping the disadvantaged and partnered with Cesar Chavez co-founding what is now the United Farm Workers Union.
On June 5, 1968, Huerta stood beside Robert F. Kennedy on a speaker’s platform at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles as he delivered a victory statement to his political supporters shortly after winning the California Democratic presidential primary election. Only moments after the candidate finished his speech, Huerta was a safe distance behind Kennedy as he and five other people were wounded by gunfire inside the hotel’s kitchen pantry. Only 15 min before the shooting, Huerta had walked through that pantry alongside the US Senator from New York while Kennedy was on his way to deliver his victory speech. Kennedy died from his gunshot wounds on June 6.
She also traveled the country for two years on behalf of the Feminist Majority’s Feminization of Power: 50/50 by the year 2000 Campaign encouraging Latina’s to run for office. The campaign resulted in a significant increase in the number of women representatives at the local, state and federal levels.
There are four elementary schools in California, one in Fort Worth, Texas, and a high school in Pueblo, Colorado named after Dolores Huerta.
She has received numerous awards: among them The Eleanor Roosevelt Humans Rights Award from President Clinton in l998, Ms. Magazine’s One of the Three Most Important Women of l997, Ladies Home Journal’s 100 Most Important Woman of the 20th Century, The Puffin Foundation’s Award for Creative Citizenship: Labor Leader Award 1984, The Kern County Woman of The Year Award from the California State Legislature, The Ohtli Award from the Mexican Government, The Smithsonian Institution – James Smithson Award, and Nine Honorary Doctorates from Universities throughout the United States.
Huerta is president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, which she founded in 2002. The Dolores Huerta Foundation is a 501(c)(3) “community benefit organization that organizes at the grassroots level, engaging and developing natural leaders. DHF creates leadership opportunities for community organizing, leadership development, civic engagement, and policy advocacy in the following priority areas: health & environment, education & youth development, and economic development.” At 84, Huerta continues to work tirelessly developing leaders and advocating for the working poor, women and children.
The event is open to the public and a few seats are still available for her keynote address. If you are interested in attending the cost are $20 for the public to attend the keynote address. The keynote speech is Tuesday, September 23, 4:00-5:00 p.m. The cost to attend the VIP event and photo opportunity is $50.00 and will take place from 5:30-6:30 at the Tremont Hotel in Galveston, Texas.