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K-State News
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Longtime civil rights activist, labor leader Dolores Huerta coming to K-State

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


MANHATTAN — Leader, activist and feminist Dolores Huerta will speak at Kansas State University at 7 p.m. Friday, March 30, in the K-State Student Union's Grand Ballroom.

Huerta's presentation is sponsored by the university's Hispanic American Leadership Organization, or HALO, and the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Student Affairs in the Division of Student Life. The event is free and open to the public.

Born in a small northern New Mexico mining town, Huerta grew up in Stockton, California, where she became a leader in the Stockton Community Service Organization. Her projects included founding the Agricultural Workers Association, organizing voter registration drives and more. In 1955, she met César Chávez, the executive director of the national Community Service Organization. In spring 1962, the two launched the National Farm Workers Association, now known as United Farm Workers of America.

Among Huerta's efforts to help California farm workers included securing Aid for Dependent Families and disability insurance for them. She helped with the enactment of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975, which granted California farm workers the right to collectively organize and bargain for better wages and working conditions. She also has taken on gender discrimination in the farm workers' movement.

Now in her 80s, Huerta continues to advocate for the working poor, women and children. 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.

Her many awards for her work include receiving the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, from President Obama in 2012; being inducted into the California Hall of Fame in March 2013; receiving the Eleanor Roosevelt Humans Rights Award from President Clinton; being named to Ladies Home Journal's 100 Most Important Woman of the 20th Century; and receiving the James Smithson Award from the Smithsonian Institution.

For more information about Huerta's presentation and other upcoming intercultural events at Kansas State University, check the KSUnite calendar at k-state.edu/ksunite. KSUnite is a communitywide movement to uphold the value of human diversity and inclusion.


Mirta Chavez