Dolores Huerta is beloved in the Hispanic community as well as respected in the activist world. She has devoted much of her life to organizing around labor and farm workers rights.
She was brought to campus yesterday by Associated Students, The Latinx Center For Academic Excellence at HSU and M.E.C.H.A, a student club on campus.
Huerta gave a thought-provoking and informative lecture, covering an array of social justice issues as well as relaying to the audience the power of community organizing. She also discussed the mis-education of American citizens due to the absence of the contributions and experiences of people of color in our public school systems.
“Somehow in our school books, we were never taught the true history of the United States of America.”
Huerta noted the importance of making sure that all American citizens know the true history of this country, especially the children.
“Unless we start teaching this, especially to our children of color, they will never have the dignity they deserve and they will grow up with this inferiority complex. I had one of those.”
“What happens to our Anglo children? They grow up tainted, with this poison that somehow they are superior, because they are white.”
One of the most inspiring portions of Huerta’s lecture was when she discussed how The Dolores Huerta Foundation is actively working to disrupt the school to prison pipeline, specifically within the Bakersfield area where her foundation is located.
This is done by empowering parents who have children within the school system to take on the school board–ultimately leading to the firing of school administrators who were not serving the best interest of the children. This was done by the organizing of parents, some who are immigrants and some who did not graduate high school.
During one point in her lecture, Huerta noted the recent murder of HSU student David Josiah Lawson in the local community and inquired on organizing efforts to address the injustice. It has been seven months and no one is in custody for his murder.
Huerta also mentioned her time working with the farm worker’s union with Ceaser Chavez as well as the sacrifices of having to leave her children while doing most of her work. Huerta’s children did not see their mother that much growing up but their sacrifices helped to improve the lives of so many laborers and disenfranchised people in this country. It was an honor to hear the wisdom and insight of Dolores Huerta.
You can check out Huerta’s lecture below in full which starts after the 20 min mark of the video above:
UPDATE*** Dolores Huerta’s foundation is based in Bakersfield not San Bernardino.