Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF)
Dolores Huerta established the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF) in 2003 with proceeds from the Puffin/Nation prize for Creative Citizenship that she received a year earlier. Dolores Huerta remains active with DHF as a full-time unpaid volunteer, and sees the work of the foundation as a continuation of the non-violent civil rights movement of the 1970’s. Dolores’ youngest daughter, Camila Chavez, has served as Executive Director of DHF since its inception in 2003. She has led the organization through steady growth more than tripling the staff who conduct programs on civic engagement, education, LGBTQIA+ equality, health, and youth development. DHF is headquartered in Bakersfield with satellite offices in Arvin, Fresno, Tulare and Visalia.
The Dolores Huerta Foundation is a 501 (c)3 organization on a mission to inspire and organize communities to build volunteer organizations empowered to pursue social justice. DHF organizes at the grassroots level developing natural leaders with hands-on training through collective action working to establish Vecinos Unidos (Neighbors United) chapters in some of the most disenfranchised regions of California. In it’s 15 years DHF has formed chapters in Lost Hills and Cutler-Orosi, with currently active Vecinos Unidos groups in Arvin, Lamont, Weedpatch, Greenfield, and Bakersfield (Kern County) Tulare, Lindsay, and Woodlake (Tulare County) and Caruthers, Sanger and Parlier (Fresno County).
Our social justice grassroots organizing work is focused on Education, Health and Safety, LGBTQIA+, Equality and Civic Engagement. DHF is committed to dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline through student and parent training for meaningful engagement and advocacy. DHF works to create healthy, accepting supportive environments for LGBTQIA+ youth and family members by building support networks and safer school climates. Through our integrative voter and Census outreach and education, DHF has been instrumental in passing progressive local and statewide legislation to increase funding for public services. Please consider supporting this important work. We rely on the contributions of donors like you.
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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