Resource

Life Story: Dolores Huerta (1930– )

Labor Rights Activist

The story of a labor rights activist and champion for farmworkers.

Dolores Huerta Audio-Taped by Grower Jack Pandona at the Picket Line Delano

Dolores Huerta Audio-Taped by Grower Jack Pandona at the Picket Line Delano, 1966. Courtesy of the Farmwork Movement Documentation Project, by UC San Diego.

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Photo of Dolores Huerta, Richard Chavez, Rick Tejada-Flores

Photo of Dolores Huerta, Richard Chavez, Rick Tejada-Flores, c. 1972. Courtesy of the Farmwork Movement Documentation Project, by UC San Diego.

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Suggested Activities

  • Ask students to analyze the pair of images connected to this life story. How do these two images speak to some of the roles Dolores took on as a union leader? 
  • Invited students to compare the lives of Dolores Huerta and Emma Tenayuca, two important Latina activists of the 20th century. How was each woman’s life shaped by her activism? Why was each woman drawn to labor activism even though they benefited from a mostly middle-class upbringing? 
  • Reflect on the intersections between motherhood, activism, and labor by comparing the life stores of Dolores Huerta and Ella May Wiggins. Ask students to reflect on the similarities and differences between these women’s lives. 
  • Take a more in-depth look into Latina activism in the 20th century by inviting students to pair this resource with the life stories of Jovita Idar, Emma Tenayuca, and Antonia Pantoja. How did each woman advocate for the Latinx community and beyond?
  • Dolores is not the only woman in WAMS who broke six ribs publicly advocating for causes she believed in! Connect her life story to that of Clara Lemlich Shavelson. Think about the similarities and differences between these two tough union activists. 
  • Dolores spoke before the National Organization for Women and was tangentially involved in the broader feminist movement. Connect her life story to the resources in the third section of this unit, Feminism and its Backlash
  • Dolores believed that women’s rights and labor rights were closely linked. After reading this life story, invite student to read the Muller v. Oregon decision and discuss to what extent issues of gender and labor are connected. 

Themes

WORK, LABOR, AND ECONOMY; ACTIVISM AND SOCIAL CHANGE

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