Dolores Huerta is a living legend, and at 91 years old, this labor movement leader and civil rights activist continue making an impact in society.
Known for working with César Chávez in the National Farm Workers Association and as the first Latina inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, Dolores wants younger generations to continue the job she started.
In an interview with Today, Huerta recalled the moment that she became an activist without even knowing it. “I remember when I was eight years old, I put a bumper sticker on a car for Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I don‘t know where I got the stickers or whose car I put it on. In my family, the idea of being informed about what was happening in the world was just part of our growing up,” she said.
“When I was 21 years old, my mother took me to vote, and that was very important. I was a Girl Scout for ten years of my life, doing a lot of community work, and during World War II, part of our contribution to the war effort was to sell war bonds. In high school, I got an award for selling the most war bonds,” she reveals.
Dolores kept herself involved in multiple activities. “Growing up, I was kind of an activist in a way. I was in the choir and did community service, and I was really socially involved. But I didn‘t know how to organize until I met Fred Ross Sr. (a community organizer). I always wanted to learn to really change things, but I didn’t know how,” she told the publication.
For Huerta, younger activists mustn’t give up and use their free time to help others. “You have to do the work and get involved because that is the way we learn,” she says.
“There will be elections coming up next year. Get involved at the grassroots level. Go out there and pass leaflets. Get involved through phone banking, calling people up, going door to door, getting people out to vote, and volunteering. There are so many organizations that are active right now. You can do it in person; you can do it online. This is what we have to do,” the activist suggests.
“What we need right now is civic action. We can‘t have a democracy if people do not engage, and we all have a responsibility to engage. Just before he was assassinated, Senator Robert Kennedy said, ‘We all have obligations and responsibilities to our fellow citizens,’ and that is so true,” she added.
“And that also applies to what we‘re all going through right now, the pandemic. We’re doing vaccine clinics, we‘re doing vaccine outreach and going door to door, and getting people to sign up. We’re doing food banks. These are things that everybody can engage in, so if you haven‘t done it yet, it’s never too late,” she concluded.