Who is Dolores Huerta
Dolores Huerta is an activist and labor leader who co-founded what would become the United Farm Workers.
Activist and labor leader Dolores Huerta has worked to improve social and economic conditions for farm workers and to fight discrimination. To further her cause, she created the Agricultural Workers Association (AWA) in 1960 and co-founded what would become the United Farm Workers (UFW). Huerta stepped down from the UFW in 1999, but she continues her efforts to improve the lives of workers, immigrants and women.
Dolores Huerta Quotes
1. If you haven’t forgiven yourself something, how can you forgive others?
2. My dad was very intelligent, had a very strong personality. I was amazed with my father.
3. My mother never made me do anything for my brothers, like serve them. I think that’s an important lesson, especially for the Latino culture, because the women are expected to be the ones that serve and cook and whatever. Not in our family. Everybody was equal.
4. I think organized labor is a necessary part of democracy. Organized labor is the only way to have fair distribution of wealth.
5. I think organized labor is a necessary part of democracy. Organized labor is the only way to have fair distribution of wealth.
6. My mother was a very wonderful woman. When she and my dad divorced, she moved to California and worked two jobs in the cannery at night and as a waitress during the day. But she saved enough money to establish a restaurant.
7. Professional farmworkers who know how to do a number of different jobs, whether it be pruning or picking or crafting, they see themselves as professionals, and they take a lot of pride in that work. They don’t see themselves as doing work that is demeaning.
8. When you have a conflict, that means that there are truths that have to be addressed on each side of the conflict. And when you have a conflict, then it’s an educational process to try to resolve the conflict. And to resolve that, you have to get people on both sides of the conflict involved so that they can dialogue.
9. I remember as a little girl going down to the beet fields in the Dakotas and in Nebraska and Wyoming as migrant workers when I was very, very small, like, I was, like, 5 years old, I believe. And I remember going out there, you know, traveling to these states and living in these little tarpaper shacks that they had in Wyoming.
10. We’re here celebrating a new civil rights movement, and it’s headed up by Latinos.
11. Giving kids clothes and food is one thing but it’s much more important to teach them that other people besides themselves are important, and that the best thing they can do with their lives is to use them in the service of other people.
12. went back to our old culture, the Latino culture.
13. We are inspired by what is happening here. The revolution here is electoral. It has inspired us to take these lessons to our country and to inspire our people too.
14. Employers able to work together with workers and sharing gains and profits will lead to a much better world, getting away from income inequality.
15. Our society is connecting workers with the products people consume and recognizing workers for their contributions. It is important to do that, and to have organized labor – a middle class – to preserve our democracy.
16. We need to keep ringing the bell, wake people up to get our democracy together. Farm workers are like a symbol, and it is good that people are paying attention.
17. In fact, the corporations are driving out the competition and it is not getting better, especially when they are not paying income taxes. Thank goodness for the social media out there, because we sure can’t count on the corporate media to get the word out.
18.As we’ve focused more on our food and where it comes from, people now have greater awareness of what’s being put onto our food, pesticides, labeling issues, and consumer health.
19. I’m glad that the fact that people are still getting poisoned by pesticide drift is gaining attention.
20. If you don’t know, your labor unions and community organizations, there’s somebody you can ask to guide you. A lot of people, especially in the Latino community, they have this big ballot and all these names and propositions on it, and they say ‘Oh my God’. They don’t know which of these to vote for, so they don’t vote.
21. I am happy to see that, increasingly, people care about farm workers. There is tremendous interest in where and how our food is grown.
22. The first time when I was organizing, I went out and started knocking on doors to see if people were registered to vote. I was a door knocker. I didn’t even have the confidence that I could register people, so I just was out there door knocking. That was my first experience.
23. I call myself an addicted organizer.
24. My kids have lived experiences that could have never been duplicated otherwise. That’s one thing about people who get involved in activism, you live so many experiences that otherwise they wouldn’t be there. This is why peoples’ lives are so enriched.
25. The majority of Latinos in this country are 28 years old or younger. All of those people out there attacking the Latino community, when you see a Latino going down the street with a baby carriage and a couple of children walking beside them, they should say ‘Hey, there goes my social security and my Medicare.’ Those are the people that are going to contribute to keep our social security system funded and our medical system funded.
26. Exercise your right to vote.
27. We know we only have about half of our population that’s voting.
28. As organizations, we have to find ways to create more opportunities, especially for our young people. A lot of corporations, they have to make opportunities for young people – create internships, for example, even if it’s only half-time.
29. It’s important to realize that we all need to work together. With Weaving Movements, we are all interdependent and we all have to work together. If we could just realize that and understand that, we’ll keep our country strong.
30. Gloria Steinem in the women’s movement. Eleanor Smeal of the Feminist Majority. There are all of these great wonderful women I’ve met that are so inspirational.
31. Going door to door and talking to people, convincing them to vote – this is what I call Organizing 101.
32. Once you see the outcomes and the results, and you see how many people are helped and benefitting, you want to keep on doing it because it’s so simple.
33. I was very fortunate to have known Fred Ross Sr., who was organizing the Community Service Organization (CSO) way back in the late 50’s and early 60’s. I was able to work with him.
34. I think, if anything, my children are the ones who have sacrificed because I’ve had to too many times be absent from them. But, at the same time, they have lived very enriched lives and probably experienced things they wouldn’t have if not for the movements. So, there are some rewards.
35. When you talk about sacrifices, the ones in my family who have sacrificed are my children, because I love what I’m doing. I love the work. I love to go out there and talk about organizing the people. To me, that’s something I really enjoy.
36. Leadership is a choice one makes.
37. Sometimes, we have to promote ourselves. Just go out and be very active about trying to find an opportunity.
38. I hope people become inspired to become active in their community. That’s the important thing.
39. If we can just convince other people to get involved, this could make some major changes in our society. It’s very exhilarating.
40. When a group of people get together, it’s collective power. You know that you’re doing it for the good.
41. Once I learned about grassroots organizing, I got so enamored with it because I thought ‘Wow this is the way you do it!’
42. I had been a Girl Scout from the time I was 8 to the time I was 18 years old. I had belonged to my church organization and youth groups. But, you never really found a way that you could make a change.
43. If we don’t have workers organized into labor unions, we’re in great peril of losing our democracy.
44. Why is it that farmworkers feed the nation but they can’t get food stamps?
45. How do I stop eleven million people from buying the grape?
46. The racist rhetoric from politicians is inspiring people to organize, as more people see what happens by not getting active.
47. I think we brought to the world, the United States anyway, the whole idea of boycotting as a nonviolent tactic. I think we showed the world that nonviolence can work to make social change.
48. My mother was a dominant force in our family. And that was great for me as a young woman, because I never saw that women had to be dominated by men.
49. Especially as a teenager, I was always being racially profiled by the police. You just see all this injustice, and you want to do something about it, but you don’t know how.
50. Walk the street with us into history. Get off the sidewalk.
51. Organized labor is the only way to have fair distribution of wealth.
52. Don’t be a marshmallow. Walk the street with us into history. Get off the sidewalk. Stop being vegetables. Work for Justice. Viva the boycott!
53. People would say ‘Who is a leader?’ A leader is a person that does the work. It’s very simple. It’s a personal choice for people who choose to put in their time and their commitment to do the work. It’s a personal choice.
54. The thing about nonviolence is that it spreads. When you get people to participate in nonviolent action – whether it’s a fast, a march, a boycott, or a picket line – people hear you, people see you, people are learning from that action.
55. People can take power over their communities and over their lives. Some people don’t realize they can do that. They think ‘It’s OK for other people, but I myself can’t do it.’ Hopefully, that will come out of the film.
56. My son, Emilio Huerta, is running for congress. He was a young man who was marching and picketing.
57. That’s the history of the world. His story is told, hers isn’t.
58. We criticize and separate ourselves from the process. We’ve got to jump right in there with both feet.
59. As a youngster and being a Latina, you see so much injustice.
60. Every minute a chance to change the world