Years ago Madison Principal and Latino Heritage board member, Sandra Macis, established the Cesar Chavez Art and Essay Contest. It seemed fitting that we would modify the contest to better reflect the work done by Cesar and Dolores by renaming the contest and adding material that was pertinent to her life.
Here is a brief but fairly inclusive timeline. I think you’ll see why it seemed a good idea to include her and to recognize her on this day.
April 10, 1930
Born in Dawson, New Mexico to Juan Fernandez and Alicia Chávez Fernandez.
Dolores’ parents divorce. Alicia Fernandez and family move to Stockton CA. Her mother has several jobs – at a cannery, as a waitress, managing a restaurant. Alicia Chavez eventually owns a boarding house.
Dolores enjoys school, has dance lessons and is a Girl Scout.
Marriage to Ralph Head.
Earns an Associate Teaching Degree and teaches at elementary school level.
Dolores left teaching and co-founded Community Sevice Organization, Stockton Chapter. The focus is on increasing voter registration.
Helped found the Agriculatural Worker’s Association. Juerta was instrumental in the passage of legislation that allowed for Spanish language ballots and driver’s licenese tests.
Csar Chavez becomes General Director of the CSO; Dolores Huerta his assistant.
Chavez and Huerta resign from CSO becuase it didn’t focu on Farm Labor organizing.
Chavez and Huerta establish NFWA in Fresno. She serves as First Vice President until 1999.
Union has first convention of 211 members.
September 16, 1965
NFWA votes to join Filipino workers on strike; grape boycott begins.
Dolores directed national boycott during the Delano grape strike. More than 5,000 grape workers were involved.
A 340 mile pilgrimage is made from Delano to Sacramento to draw attention to farm worker’s cause.
DiGiorgio grape boycott begins, Huerta was chief negotiator
The NFWA combines with the AWA to create the United Farm Worker’s Organizing Committee.
May 18, 1969
March from Coachella to Calexico draws attention to cause and increases particiaption as it passes through the area; work crews leave the field to join the march.
Headquarters moved to La Paz, CA from Delano, CA.
July 15, 1970
26 growers in Delano sign contractswith UFW.
July 30, 1970
Lettuce strike begins, conflict with Teamsters.
Dolores helps to organize the second grape strike.
July 30, 1973
Gallo boycott and strike.
August 14, 1973
Nergi Daifullah killed, first martyr of UFW.
august 16, 1973
UFW member, Juan de la Cruz is shot to death.
Harris Poll reports 17 million Americans boycott grapes.
Dolores with founding of the Coalition for Labor Union Women.
June 5, 1975
Huerta is chief lobbyist for the Agricultural Labor Relations Act: first time farm workers can organize and bargain for better wages.
Proposition 14 drive gets 719,000 signatures and passes, forcing funding of the Farm Labor Board.
March 10, 1977
Teamsters withdraw from farm labor organizing; a pact is signed with the UFW.
Rufino Contreras killed in Imperial Valley; moratorium for strike last for 25 days.
California State Senate bestows Outstanding Labor Leader Award to DoloresHuerta.
Dolores is severely injured at a peaceful demonstration; several ribs are broken and her spleen is destroyed by San Francisco Police baton strikes. She nearly dies. Crowd control policy is revised as result.
Dolores is inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She receives awards from the ACLU, Eugen V. Degs Foundation, and the Ellis Island Medal of Freedom.
Cesar Chavez dies, Dolores delivers eulogy.
The following are founded as a result of their work:
Robert Kennedy Medical Plan, Juan dela Cruz Farm Workers Pension Fund, Farm Workers Credit Union. They also formed the National Farm Workers Communication – Spanish language radio stations.
President Clinton bestows the U.S. Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award.
Dolores resigns as Vice President of the UFW.
Huerta suffers a tear in her aorta, is hospitalized for weeks, returns to work.
She is recipient of the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal, recognizing “distinguishe contribution to the advancement of areas of interest to the Smithsonian.
Dolores is recipient of the Puffin Nation, Prize for Creative Citizenship. She donates $100,000 to establish the Dolores Huerta Foundation.
Marches 165 miles from Merced to Sacramento, during summer, in support of a bill granting farme workers increased bargaining power.
Serves as University of California Regent
May 29, 2012
Dolores Huerta receives the Medal of Freedom from President Obama.