Thank you! Muchas Gracias!

We appreciate all you do to work for justice. We are proud to stand with you in expanding the organizing power of our communities to make real and lasting change. The Vecinos Unidos (Neighbors United) have made incredible gains by engaging with school boards to push for education reform to achieve better academic outcomes for their children, in advocating to local elected boards to demand fair and just representation, and increasing voter participation in local and general elections. At our first Annual Vecinos Unidos Leadership Conference in 2019 we brought together hundreds of youth and adult leaders from the nine Vecinos Unidos chapters in Kern, Tulare, and Fresno counties.

We are pleased to share the launch of our Youth and Family Civic Engagement Initiative (YFCEI) program. We are developing the leaders of the future. These young people are learning about civic institutions, public speaking, and developing an understanding of meaningful leadership and self-expression through art and poetry and hands on civic engagement opportunities.

In 2017, Governor Brown declared April 10th Dolores Huerta in the state of California. We hope we can count on you to help us make this a day that extends beyond California to inspire people to learn more about the power of grassroots community organizing and to volunteer in service of their local communities. In addition, the DHF Education Department worked with a team of expert educators to create the Dolores Huerta Curriculum which we hope will be adopted by school districts to teach civil rights and community organizing.

We share our excitement and gratitude with you as we celebrate 15 years of organizing communities to pursue justice and look hopefully towards the future!

¡Si Se Puede!
Dolores Huerta
President

Muchas Gracias!

Thank you for being a part of this movement! I feel honored and privileged to spend my days working together to inspire and organize communities to build volunteer-based organizations empowered to pursue social justice.

¡Sí Se Puede!

Dolores Huerta

Dolores Huerta and the Dolores Huerta Foundation Mourn the Loss of Helen Chavez

Dolores Huerta and the Dolores Huerta Foundation Mourn the Loss of Helen Chavez

I am heartbroken by Helen Chavez’s passing. She was a dear friend whom I admired and cared for deeply. She was the godmother of my son Emilio Huerta and a great support for all of my children, especially during the early years when we struggled against great obstacles to form the United Farm Workers.

Helen was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend to many. She will be dearly missed. My prayers and deepest condolences are with her family during this difficult time.

Helen was somewhat of a reluctant hero who always believed she was just doing her job. She served her family and the United Farm Workers humbly and diligently. She managed their home life to free her husband, the late Cesar Chavez, for the important work of organizing. She was a rock and the unwavering foundation of the UFW. Cesar could not have accomplished all that he did without her physical and emotional support. She also supported the volunteers and staff of the UFW. She made sure Cesar’s legacy would continue in his children and grandchildren.

As much as Helen cherished her privacy, she always made time for marches and picket lines. Although she disdained publicity, she didn’t hesitate to lend her voice to a good cause. For instance, she recently spoke out in a campaign appealing to the New York Times to stop using ethnic and racial stereotypes. She called on them to use the word “undocumented” instead of “illegal” when referring to farm workers and Latinos immigrants.

While we mourn the loss of an incredible woman, we also celebrate her remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people everywhere to work hard and dedicate themselves to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.

We can honor Helen’s example of service, accomplishment and modesty, by continuing to work for that which she and Cesar dedicated their lives to: promoting the civil rights of others and pursuing social justice for all. !Si Se Puede! – Dolores Huerta

Photo credit: C. Legerrette - Dolores Huerta and Helen Chavez taken at the 50th Anniversary Convention of the UFW

Photo credit: Carlos LeGerrette – Dolores Huerta & Helen Chavez. Los Angeles 2001

America’s Social Arsonist: Fred Ross and Grassroots Organizing in the Twentieth Century Now Available

America’s Social Arsonist: Fred Ross and Grassroots Organizing in the Twentieth Century Now Available

8834a816d5e92d9d279935d7_372x560Today, America’s Social Arsonist: Fred Ross and Grassroots Organizing in the Twentieth Century is now available to purchase online and at your local bookstore.

This first biography of my father is very readable and it’s telling of why my father became an organizer and how his efforts were impacted by the historic times in which he lived. Labor journalist and author Gabriel Thompson shares the stories of the courageous men and women who my father trained to become leaders in the fight for social justice. Amongst those he mentored were some of the most influential organizers in American history including Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. Thompson helps to recover a forgotten chapter of American history and provides vital lessons for all organizers today.

Take a look at this great review for America’s Social Arsonist in the San Francisco Chronicle!

You can order your own copy of America’s Social Arsonist: Fred Ross and Grassroots Organizing in the Twentieth Century here online or pick one up at your local bookstore.

I would be grateful to have your help spread the word of the book’s release to all your friends and family.

There’s also currently a special, limited-time promotion through UC Press, which is offering a 30% off the price of the book. You can purchase the book at this website and enter the code “16M4197” to receive the discount.

You can also follow’s the book’s Facebook page here.

If you would like to host a book event, class presentation, web discussion or anything else, please email thompson.gabriel@gmail.com.

In Solidarity,
Fred

Dolores Huerta and the DHF mourn the passing of Vice President, Deacon Sal Alvarez

Dolores Huerta and the DHF mourn the passing of Vice President, Deacon Sal Alvarez

It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the passing of our Vice President, Deacon Salvador Alvarez. Sal was an educator, activist, and leader in the faith community. “He was a selfless person who worked tirelessly, giving totally of himself to improve the lives of youth and communities of color,” said President, Dolores Huerta

He played a pivotal role in the passage of IRCA, The Immigration Reform Act of 1986 which gave amnesty to millions of undocumented residents. He was a founder of the Hispanic Round Table in San Jose, which advocated for the Latino community. Their collaboration with Harvard University accomplished major changes in the practices of the Juvenile Court system to end discrimination against Latino and African American youth.

Sal worked as a legislative advocate to protect the Agricultural Labor Relations act. Prior to becoming ill, he was working full time on legislation to reform California’s worker’s compensation laws.

His widow, Sylvia Alvarez has asked that we share the following message:

My beloved husband was called home by God on Sunday evening, June 7, 2015, the Feast of Corpus Cristi. Our family is grateful for the outpouring of love and respect for Sal’s life as an instrument of the Holy Spirit.

On behalf of my family, I kindly ask that you please widely disseminate the following information for Sal’s funeral services.

The Vigil will be held
at 7pm on Tuesday, June 16, 2015
St. John Vianney Catholic Church
4600 Hyland Avenue
San Jose 95127

The Mass of Christian Burial will be concelebrated by Bishop Patrick J. McGrath of the Diocese of San Jose and Bishop Richard Garcia of the Diocese of Monterey
at 11am on Wednesday, June 17, 2015
St. John Vianney Catholic Church
4600 Hyland Avenue
San Jose 95127

With gratitude,
Sylvia

To read more about Sal’s life and work, see links for the following articles:

Farm worker champion Sal Alvarez: A life grounded in faith and service

Sal Alvarez, Catholic deacon and social activist in San Jose, dies

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Axioms for Organizers by Fred Ross Sr., Trailblazer for Social  Justice

Axioms for Organizers by Fred Ross Sr., Trailblazer for Social Justice

ROSS_SPLASH_0903_3-AvailableNowThe induction of Fred Ross Sr. into the California Hall of Fame coincides with the publication of an E-Book, Axioms for Organizers by Fred Ross Sr., Trailblazer for Social  Justice.  The bilingual E-book (English & Spanish) is a treasure trove of  axioms culled from five decades of organizing for racial and economic justice throughout the United States. It will be used as part of ongoing training of the next generation of community and labor organizers.  It will be available for to download across all electronic book mediums.

Click here to learn more about Axioms for Organizers by Fred Ross Sr., Trailblazer for Social  Justice.

Read more about the induction of Fred Ross Sr. into the California Hall of Fame by clicking here.

Dolores’ 84Strong! Washington DC Birthday Pachanga

Dolores’ 84Strong! Washington DC Birthday Pachanga

On Thursday, June 12th, supporters and friends of Dolores came out to support the Dolores Huerta Foundation with a somewhat belated, but exceptionally beautiful birthday celebration.

A great was time was had by all and a substantial amount was raised to support our community organizing efforts.

Special thanks to our host committee. all of our generous sponsors, and those in attendance.

Video: Dolores Huerta Interview in NewsChannel 8, Washington DC. 6/13/14

Video: Dolores Huerta Interview in NewsChannel 8, Washington DC. 6/13/14

During a interview with News Anchor and Talk Show Host Melanie Hastings, Dolores Huerta talked about immigration and received the medal of liberty from president Obama.

Camila Chavez talked about the work of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, in specific about the education and civic participation. Also made a request to ask for monthly donations from individuals to support the work.

To see the video click here:

Paul Schrade – Executive Board Member

 

Paul Schrade

Paul Schrade is a former director of the United Auto Workers in California. His involvement with the union dates back to the time of founder Walter Reuther. Schrade was also a close associate of Sen. Robert Kennedy and an aide in Kennedy’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in ’68. He was one of the five people wounded on the night RFK was assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on April 5, 1968.

Since that historic day, Paul’s mission has been to carry on Kennedy’s work. Understanding Kennedy’s passion about education, he proposed that a school be built at the site of the former Ambassador Hotel. The school would serve to relieve overcrowding and eliminate forced bussing and offer students of the historically underserved communities of Los Angeles’ Pico-Union and Koreatown a state-of-the-art educational facility.

Paul Schrade was Coordinator of the RFK-12 Community Task Force. The task force was successful in getting a 4000 seat, Kinder through 12th grade school to open in the same location where 43 years ago he lost his good friend and his life would be changed forever. He continues to be an activist for auto worker and social justice issues.

Rev. Deacon Sal Alvarez, M.S.W – Founding Executive Board Member (December 10, 1940 – June 7, 2015)

 

Sal Alvarez PhotoRev. Deacon Sal Alvarez, M.S.W, was the Director of the Institute for Non-Violence, Office of Human Relations, Santa Clara County—a community organization providing training from the perspectives of Ghandi, King, Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Msgr. Romero, and Mother Teresa on peace building, conflict resolution, mediation, and negotiations for civil rights and human rights advocates.

Sal was a member of the International Association for Conflict Resolution and served as a delegate in numerous international humanitarian works including: South Africa Dialogue on Apartheid and Reconciliation; Israeli-Palestine Conflict; Muslim-Christian Conflict in Manila; and Tanzania Aids Crisis. He served with the National Farm Workers Ministry; Legislative Rep. United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO; the Dolores Huerta Foundation, and many other service organizations.

Martin Sheen – Executive Board Member

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Martin Sheen is one of the busiest, most conscientious actors in Hollywood, putting together a Herculean body of work. He became established playing youths run amok, and though the resume boasts its share of villains, he has grown over the years into a patriarchal figure, whose rectitude and social responsibility is in keeping with his very liberal Catholic activism.

Born Ramon Estevez to immigrant parents, Sheen left his Dayton, Ohio home for the bright lights of NYC, apprenticing at Judith Malina and Julian Beck’s Living Theatre. He grabbed attention (1964) in Frank Gilroy’s “The Subject Was Roses” with a Tony-nominated turn as a returning war veteran opposite Jack Albertson, later reprising his roll in the 1968 film version. Sheen’s feature debut came as a delinquent terrorizing the occupants of a subway car in “The Incident” (1967), but his real breakthrough came as the alienated, amoral yet charismatic killer on the run with Sissy Spacek in Terrence Malick’s “Badlands” (1973).

In the 70’s Sheen embarked on a series of critically acclaimed projects for the small screen, earning an Emmy nomination for his sensitive portrayal of the deserter in “The Execution of Private Slovik”. Also, that same year was the powerful “The Missiles of October” which saw him slip into the skin of Attorney General Robert Kennedy, his first of many fictional forays into political life. Sheen’s turn as the military assassin sent to terminate the command of crazed Marlon Brando in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” remains one of his signature roles.

Despite the time devoted to social justice, his amazing output of film and TV roles has never slowed. He donated his salary for his work on “Ghandi” (1982) to various charities and he portrayed a union official father at odds with the insider-trading world of his financier son (Charlie) in Oliver Stone’s absorbing “Wall Street” (1987). He executive produced and starred in two features, playing Bernard Hughes’ son in “DA” and a trial judge in Leo Penn’s “Judgment in Berlin”, and he also executive produced and starred in the TNT movie “Nightbreaker” (1989), in which son Emilio essayed his character at an earlier stage.

One of the nost prominent feature roles of the 90’s came as an advisor of “The American President” (1995), which introduced him to screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. So it perhaps came as no surprise when he surfaced as US President Josiah Bartlet on the critically acclaimed “The West Wing”. Finishing up seven years on “The West Wing”, Sheen released three new movies in 2006 including Martin Scorsese’s “the Departed”, Gregory Nava’s “Bordertown”, and “Bobby” which was written and directed by Martin’s son Emilio.

Martin has been married to his wife Janet for over forty years and their four children, Emilio, Renee, and Ramon Esteve and Charlie Sheen, are all involved in the entertainment business.

Martin Sheen actively promotes the principles of Catholic social thought in word and in action. His passion for activism and its necessary place in today’s political, humanitarian, and social arenas has inspired generations. For over four decades, he has been an ardent supporter of causes that advocate peace and encourage justice throughout the world.

Cruz Phillips – Executive Board Member

 

Cruz

Cruz Phillips spent 15 years as a community organizer in the farm worker movement.  She was the National Director of the successful Campbell Soup Boycott for the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, Development Director for the National Farm Worker Ministry, and Community Organizing Director for the United Farm Workers of America.

Cruz has been a field coordinator for several political campaigns including Hilda Solis for Congress and Alan Cranston for Senate.  She has been an organizer trainer for both unions and community organizations including the United Domestic Workers, SEIU, Neighbor to Neighbor, and PUEBLO of Santa Barbara.  She has worked with Dolores since the formation of the Dolores Huerta Foundation.  Cruz currently is working as a horse trainer and an organizing consultant for community organizations and campaigns.  She is on the boards of four non-profits, PUEBLO in Santa Barbara, the Dolores Huerta Foundation and two riding organizations.

Dr. Fidel Huerta – Executive Board Member

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Dr. Huerta received his Medical Doctorate Degree from University of California, Los Angeles. He went on to complete his Internship and Residency Program in Family Practice at Kern Medical Center.  Dr. Huerta joined the Kern Medical Center faculty as a Staff Physician at Kern Medical Center in 1998 as an Associate in the Department of Family Practice.

Dr. Huerta completed a Fellowship in Family Practice at Kern Medical Center in 1990 where he went on to work as a staff physician at Sequoia Community Health Center before working in private practice.

Dr. Huerta is the Medical Director at Kern Regional Center where he serves citizens with developmental disabilities and their families in Bakersfield, California.  Dr. Huerta is a member of the faculty of the Kern Medical Center Family Practice Residency Program. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Practice and the Los Angeles Shrine.  Dr. Huerta sits on the boards of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD) and Valley Achievement Center.

Certificates and Affiliations: California Rural Health Federation, American Academy of Family Practice, United Farm Workers of America, California Latino Medical

Jamila Guerrero-Cantor, EdD, NCC – Executive Board Member

Jamila Guerrero-Cantor, EdD, NCC was raised in Los Angeles, CA where she has worked as a School Counselor for diverse Deaf students and other students in K-12, community college, and university settings. She became a young activist at Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden’s political/performing arts camp Laurel Springs in Santa Barbara, CA.

Through her high school years she learned about organizing with the Los Angeles Student Coalition – protesting apartheid on the steps of the South African Consulate in Beverly Hills. Later, her passion for music and social justice merged together to form a band, “Wozani” (a call for the people to come in Zulu), that toured throughout the U.S. She has with a B.A. in Community Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she did her fieldwork within the organizing efforts of the United Farm Workers – and then joined on as an Organizer and National Coordinator.

She is a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and graduated with a M.A. in School Counseling and Guidance from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. -the first and only university for the Deaf in the world. She holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from California State University East Bay where she researched intersectional oppressions experienced by Latinx Deaf students who are living as undocumented in California.

She has done counseling work with Deaf youth in the coastal region of Oaxaca, Mexico enabling her to learn about the complexities of their realities as well as Mexican Sign Language. She has served on projects as a member of the California Mental Health Services Act Multi-Cultural Coalition and the National Counselors for the Deaf Association. As a Board Member for the Dolores Huerta Foundation she is committed to supporting the work of social justice – the legacy of Dolores Huerta.

John X. Fernandez, Jr. – Executive Board Member

John x fernandez

Prior to establishing Hawley Morton Productions, Inc. in 1995 John X. Fernandez, Jr. provided more than ten years of technical and management expertise to The Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall.

John Fernandez has had the privilege of working with several of America’s leading arts institutions including five years at The Metropolitan Opera as the Assistant Technical Director and seven years at Carnegie Hall as Director of Operations. In this position he oversaw license agreements, rental fees, capital needs, collective bargaining, box office services, food and beverage, stage labor, ushers house managers and other staff. He implemented services to facilitate the successful presentations of all front-of-house staff, ensuring a well produced event. Additionally, he was co-producer for the Carnegie Hall Centennial, producing a variety of television programs and over 100 live performances.

During his tenure at the Metropolitan Opera, John Fernandez assisted in the management of twenty-one different Unions, while managing the success of twenty-five operas in repertory for a thirty-five week season. He worked in managing all areas of opera production including design of scenery, props, costumes, lighting, wigs and make-up. He managed the stage crew and over two hundred employees involved in the successful mounting of an opera production.

Barbara Carrasco – Executive Board Member

barbara carrasco photo

Barbara Carrasco is an artist and muralist.  Her works have been exhibited throughout the U.S., Europe, and Latin America and her work has been featured in numerous publications: Ms. Magazine (2008), Los Angeles Times, New York Times; USA Today; Artforum; Boston Globe; new England Journal; High performance, and Flash Art.

She received her M.F.A. in art from California Institute of the Arts (1991) and her B.F.A. in Art from UCLA (1978).  Carrasco created numerous mural banners for the United Farm Workers Union (1976-1991).  She was invited to the former USSR to paint murals in Leningrad and Armenia (1985 and 1987).  Carrasco created computer animation PESTICIDES! That was presented on the Spectacolor Light-board at Times Square in New York (1989).

Her original mural sketches and drawings are included in the Permanent Collection of Works on paper at the Library of Congress, Washington D.C. (1989).  Documentation of her mural work is archived in the California Murals Collection at the Smithsonian Institution (1983).  A permanent collection of her papers has been established and archived at Stanford University Special Collections Mexican American Manuscript Collections (1996).  Her oral history is archived at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution (1999)

Carrasco had her Mid Career Survey Exhibition, A Brush With Life, in 2008 at the Vincent Price Gallery at East Los Angeles College.  Carrasco was appointed the 2002-2003 UC Regents professor for the Spring Quarter at UC Riverside.  She has also taught at UC Santa Barbara and Loyola Marymount University.  In 2008, The Girl Scouts of America created a merit patch based on Carrasco’s image of Dolores Huerta.

Angela Cabrera, R.N. – Executive Board Member

angela and mom

Angela began her nursing career in 1995 at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, California. The experience she gained at this county facility was both exciting and troubling. Recognizing a lack of bilingual nurses, Angela saw more clearly than ever the need for the work and education of the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

Her interest in cardiac care led her to the Bakersfield Heart Hospital where she spent ten years working in their ER and cardiac catherization lab.

Her nursing career has led her to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation where nursing care and reform are needed more than ever. The disproportionate amount of young men of color in the prison system demands adequate care.

Angela has two wonderful daughters, Karena and Christina, both of whom are socially conscious and kind. Her husband of twenty-five years, David, has also taken justice, professionalism and kindness to his long career with the California Highway Patrol. Together, Angela’s family will continue the legacy her mother started.

Alicia A. Arong – Executive Board Treasurer

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Alicia was born and raised in Stockton, California. She attended local schools and was involved in the arts and culture of her community at an early age. Ms. Arong continues to be involved at many levels in local and state activities.

Ms. Arong is a retired executive with Macy’s West. Ms Arong was extremely involved in the creation and programs of the Community Service Organization Stockton Chapter and the United Farm Workers Support Committee. She has been involved with the Mexican Heritage Center, Inc. at its inception in 1997. She served on the Citizen’s Advisory Committee of the Northern California Women’s Correctional Facility until its closure in 2002.  She is Past President of the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce sits on the Boards of KVIE Public Television, Stockton Arts Commission, San Joaquin County American Heart Association and Treasurer elect of the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

Richard E. Chavez – Founding Executive Board Member (November 12, 1929 – July 27, 2011)

Richard Chavez

Richard Estrada Chavez  was an American labor leader, organizer and activist. Chavez was the younger brother of labor leader César Chávez, who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, now known as the United Farm Workers (UFW). Richard Chavez is credited with building the United Farm Workers into a major California agricultural and political organization.

Chavez was born to a migrant family on November 12, 1929, near Yuma, Arizona, on a family farm.[1][2] He worked as a child migrant worker during the Great Depression. He transitioned from farm work to carpentry and moved to San Jose, California.[1] In the early 1960s, Chavez would leave his job as a carpenter in order to assist Cesar Chavez in his effort to organize California farm workers.[1] Richard Chavez was a co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association, which would later become known as the United Farm Workers (UFW).

Richard Chavez spearheaded the construction of the United Farm Workers’ union hall, which became its headquarters, in Delano, California. In 1962, Richard Chavez designed the now iconic logo of the United Farm Workers, which features a black Aztec eagle.(Cesar Chavez chose the red and black colors of the union. Decades later, U.S. President Barack Obama called the eagle “a symbol of hope that has helped carry the struggle for the rights of farm workers forward for almost five decades.”

In 1966, Chavez became the founding director of the National Farm Workers Service Center, which opened up social services to farm workers. Chavez also put his own home up for collateral to establish the UFW’s credit union. Chavez helped organize the Delano grape strike and boycott, which spanned five years during the late 1960s. He later helped organize other strikes in Detroit and New York.

Richard Chavez served as the third Vice President of the United Farm Workers from 1972 until his retirement in 1984. Chavez retired from the United Farm Workers union in 1983, but continued to serve on the board of directors of the Cesar Chavez Foundation and the Dolores Huerta Foundation. Chavez worked as a Los Angeles-based custom home builder during the 1990s after he received a California contractor’s license.

Chavez had a long-term romantic relationship with labor leader, Dolores Huerta. Chavez and Huerta never married, but had four children during their relationship.

Richard Chavez died from complications of surgery at a hospital in Bakersfield, California, on July 27, 2011, at the age of 81. He was survived by ten children, six from his first marriage and four from his relationship with Dolores Huerta. Chavez was also survived by two sisters, Rita Chavez Medina and Vicki Chavez Lastra, and one surviving brother, Librado Chavez.

President Barack Obama issued a statement calling Chavez a “symbol of hope.”Chavez had visited Obama at the White House in 2010 to mark Cesar Chavez Day.