Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF)
DHF is a 501(c)3 community benefit organization which recruits, trains, organizes, and empowers grassroots leaders in low-income communities to attain social justice through systemic and structural transformation. DHF hires and trains full-time organizers who form neighborhood organizations called Vecinos Unidos (United Neighbors). Through this program, DHF has built a powerful network of over 20,000 supporters, volunteers, and voters in the rural agricultural communities of Arvin, Lamont, Weedpatch, Greenfield, Bakersfield, and California City (Kern County) Lindsay and Woodlake (Tulare County) Sanger and Parlier (Fresno County). The residents of these communities are primarily Latinx, immigrants, and low-income.
The Vecinos Unidos chapters work with DHF on community concerns they have identified as being important such as education, health, the environment, civic engagement, youth development, and economic development. Vecinos Unidos members are trained to work with their neighbors to bring about change in their respective communities by developing campaigns, circulating petitions, developing allies, and communicating with public officials to advance policy changes. DHF uses a grassroots house meeting organizing model to recruit members and to engage the community in Vecinos Unidos chapters.
The Dolores Huerta Foundation partners with multiple organizations through local, regional, and statewide networks. Their strongest base is in South Kern, one of the Building Healthy Communities initiatives supported by the California Endowment.
DHF was a founding member and staffs the Kern Education Justice Collaborative (KEJC) working for education reform through reducing suspension and expulsion rates and incorporating programs to increase support for low-income, English learners and students with disabilities in Kern County. Building on the successes of the KEJC, DHF is working with partners to replicate this model through the Central Valley Movement Building project.
DHF also belongs to two statewide education coalitions working on education reform: Fix School Discipline and Dignity in Schools. This local and statewide work is directly connected to national efforts on school discipline reform being conducted. DHF is an anchor organization of the statewide California Calls alliance working to increase the civic participation of youth, immigrants, and people of color.
DHF is also a member of the Kern LGBTQ Youth Roundtable and Immigration Rapid Response Network.
Issues of women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights, labor rights and civil rights are individual threads of a much larger tapestry of justice and universal human rights. Through a combination of new media, traditional media, coalition building, and speaking engagements, DHF staff, board, and volunteers raise awareness about human rights, encouraging professionals and young people alike to become activists. DHF president, Dolores Huerta, travels around the country speaking to diverse groups about the importance of civic participation.If you are interested in booking a member of the DHF team for a speaking engagement, please visit our Speaker’s Bureau.
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