In this official White House video, Dolores discusses her work and receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
2011 Medal of Freedom recipient Dolores Huerta is a civil rights, workers, and women’s advocate. With Cesar Chavez, she co-founded the National Farmworkers Association in 1962, which later became the United Farm Workers of America. Huerta has served as a community activist and a political organizer, and was influential in securing the passage of California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975, and disability insurance for farmworkers in California. In 2002, she founded the Dolores Huerta Foundation, an organization dedicated to developing community organizers and national leaders. In 1998, President Clinton awarded her the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights.
On Thursday, January 23, 2014 the Department of Homeland Security announced a decision to halt its troubling practice of arresting individuals at Kern County courthouses. “Stopping arrests in Kern County Courthouses a first step to start respecting the immigrant residents of this county who make up the majority of the worker base of this economy,” said Dolores Huerta.
In October, the ACLU called on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to put an end to the sweeps through Kern County’s courthouses that led to the arrests of immigrants who were merely getting married, paying fines, or seeking domestic violence restraining orders. The Dolores Huerta Foundation and other community leaders from Kern Coalition for Citizenship protested to stop this dangerous policy of removing “safe zones” for undocumented immigrants who are attempting to comply with local laws.
We are asking The Department of Homeland Security to apply the Kern County policy nationwide and order all DHS personnel to refrain from conducting immigration enforcement actions on courthouse grounds. People go to courts to participate in important legal matters. People need to access the courts, without risking deportation. This is a matter of public safety, victim protection, and equal justice.
The MLK Living Legacy Celebration continues with a keynote address by Dolores Huerta at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, in the Student Union Jordan Ballroom.
Dolores Clara Fernandez Huerta is a labor leader and civil rights activist who, along with César Chávez, co-founded the National Farmworkers Association. That organization later became the United Farm Workers (UFW). Huerta has received numerous awards for her community service and advocacy for workers’, immigrants’ and women’s rights.
At the keynote event, Boise State University Symphonic Winds will present the regional premier of “Homage to the Dream,” a new concert piece written by Mark Camphouse commemorating the 50th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech delivered Aug. 28, 1963. by Dr. Martin Luther King. The Symphonic Winds are conducted by Marcellus Brown.