April 26, 2002

United Farm Workers Co-Founder to Speak at UCSD as Finale to Month-Long Activities Honoring Cesar E. Chavez

Dolores Huerta, a pioneering voice for workers’ and women’s rights, will speak on Las Generaciones: Our Past, Present, and Future at 7 p.m. April 30 in Copley Auditorium of the Institute of the Americas at the University of California, San Diego. The event is free and open to the public.

Huerta is the co-founder with labor leader César E. Chávez of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) and today continues to serve as emeritus vice-president of the United Farm Workers (AFL-CIO).

Huerta’s April 30 talk is being presented in conjunction with month-long activities on the UCSD campus during April celebrating the life and achievements of Chávez as a champion of human rights and principal figure in the Chicano Civil Rights Movement.

Together, Chávez and Huerta brought the United Farm Workers to life in the 1960s, transforming it from a local labor union to a major social and political movement for progressive change.

Huerta wrote the UFW’s first contract and became an early symbol for women’s empowerment. She was a key member of the Robert F. Kennedy presidential campaign. She directed two of the largest and most successful boycotts in U.S. history, the UFW’s grape and lettuce boycotts of the late 1960s.

Almost a decade after Chávez’s death in 1993, Huerta, the mother of 11 children, grandmother to 14, and great-grandmother to four, continues as a major figure in the history of the American civil rights movement.

For her service and her dedication to promoting and preserving human rights, Huerta has received numerous awards, including the California State Senate Outstanding Labor Leader Award, the ACLU Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty, and the Ellis Island Medal of Freedom. She was named one of the 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century by the Ladies Home Journal.

Las Generaciones: Our Past, Present, and Future is being presented by the Helen Edison Lecture Series and the UCSD César E. Chávez Recognition Planning Committee. It is the grand finale of UCSD celebratory and educational events which began April 5 to honor Chávez.

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