2021 Summer WMNL: Solidarity is our Strength

During the last year, our Education Department at the Dolores Huerta Foundation has been busy empowering parents, teachers and students to make real change in their schools. Throughout the summer and fall of 2020, DHF Education Committees of Vecinos Unidos® participated in a research study to have the necessary information to be able to effectively advocate for healthier and more accessible school meals. This spring Vecino Undios® Chapter members were able to highlight the results of the study to advocate for change. Their advocacy resulted in concrete wins for students and the Sanger Unified School District agreed to offer healthier meal options for students and continue to engage parents on designing a menu that meets the nutritional needs of students.

In April of this year we were also excited to have 8 school districts pass board resolutions to honor Dolores Huerta day on or around April 10th. As part of our efforts to educate students about the life and activism of Dolores Huerta, we hosted the Life of Activist Dolores Huerta Webinar with 7 educators presenting their curriculum as a tool for other educators and parents to educate students about this important work using the Dolores Huerta Curriculum. We had 150 participants from all over California, Texas and Colorado!

And finally, in the last few months, parents and youth have been engaged in the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) process to ensure the needs of our communities are heard. We were able to train 33 Vecinos Unidos® chapter members, who were ready to make sure their priorities were addressed. Through a series of town halls, we had Vecinos provide recommendations and ask questions to the following districts: Kern High School District, Sanger Unified School District, Parlier Unified School District, Lindsay Unified School District, and Woodlake Unified School District.

Vecinos were empowered with the training they needed and moved to make recommendations to improve their schools. The recommendations they made prioritized: mental health, nutrition and quality of meals, and parent engagement.

We continue to work together in the struggle for education justice and we want to take this opportunity to celebrate with all of you. The struggle continues, but as always, our solidarity is our strength.

2021 Summer WMNL: Introducing LYFE

The Dolores Huerta Foundation is excited to announce our newest youth program component, Liberated Youth for Empowerment (LYFE). LYFE offers young people opportunities to develop a critical lens on history and systems of inequity. LYFE incorporates three vital pathways for personal and professional development: Civic Engagement, Transformational Art, and New Media & Technology. This immersive 5 year program includes a pathway crafted to meet the intersection of community engagement and health/wellness all while amplifying the voices of our future leaders.

DHF Fresno Youth Lead Elisha Mendoza, has been instrumental in keeping her peers motivated and engaged during the planning process. Elisha and other youth leaders played key roles in developing the curriculum and new name for this program; in fact the name, LYFE, was handcrafted by many of them! 

Along with this rebrand, we are happy to announce a few promotions and changes to staff. Congratulations are in order as Maria Romero leads the team as Youth Program Director, Gabriela Fernandez enters her new role as Youth Program Manager for Kern & Antelope Valley and last but not least Cesilia Acevedo transitions into Youth Program Manager for Tulare & Fresno. We are proud and honored to have these three leaders in our growing organization as they embody our values and passion for social justice.

2021 Summer WMNL: Donor Spotlight – Julie Greenfield

Julie Greenfield, has been a sustaining donor supporting the work of the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF) for over a decade. The retired nurse, originally from Long Island, New York, resides in Castro Valley California and lives by the quote, “You are not required to finish the work, yet neither are you permitted to desist from it” by Rabbi Tarfon, The Talmud.

Early on, her father encouraged his daughters’ involvement in the anti-war movement. At 14, her sister, Wendy, started a boycott of their local supermarket in support of the United Farm Workers’ (UFW) grape boycott. Angered by a store manager pushing her sister, Julie joined Wendy in clearing the grapes from all their local markets.

Julie volunteered for the UFW as a student at NYU. At 19, she joined thousands of picketing farmworkers in the Salinas Valley. Later, she worked on the New York lettuce boycott, helped build a farmworker clinic in Delano and sometimes cared for Dolores’ small children.

Julie said, “Dolores understands organizing better than anyone. The house meeting model is based on relationships and addresses community needs and wants. Dolores is a skilled organizer who understands how political power works. While others moved to urban centers to do this work, DHF is on the frontlines where communities face huge challenges.” Julie is excited about DHF’s efforts to put an end to discriminatory discipline practices that lead to mass expulsions of students of color.”

She encourages others to support, “If you really want to make an impact, you have to support the people most affected, working class families, in fighting their own battles. This is as “grassroots” as it gets and DHF has an immediate impact. DHF needs support to continue their work and to establish a Peace and Justice Cultural Center.”

According to Julie, “Dolores biggest legacy is giving everyone hope and self determination in their lives. She illuminates the possibilities and shows it can be done!”

2021 Summer WMNL: Healthcare for All!

Historically, the undocumented population has been barred for medical and other healthcare benefits. About ten years ago, California moved to cover children 0-18 under medical, and some years later included those 18-26. Recently, the California legislature has approved funding for coverage of the undocumented 50 years and older in the budget, but that’s not enough!

Recently, in partnership with Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula and Senator Maria Elena Durazo, DHF Community Organizers coordinated a press at Governor Newsom’s Office at the State Capitol for Assembly Bill 4, known as the #Health4All bill. We delivered more than 3,000 postcards and petition signatures in strong support of AB4. A California for ALL cannot roar back fully from the COVID-19 pandemic if anyone is excluded and left behind.

When passed, AB4: Healthcare 4 All, will commit the state to include all undocumented individuals of all ages in medical coverage. Join us in urging Gov. Newsom to pass AB4 to extend health care coverage to our undocumented community. Undocumented adults—our parents and siblings, friends and neighbors, taxpayers and workers in our economy—remain locked out of comprehensive healthcare, making them the largest population in California with no health insurance.

Providing health care is a human right. Sign the petition at https://www.change.org/health4all. Your signature is an act of solidarity for social justice. To view the recording visit our Facebook @DoloresHuertaFD

2021 Summer WMNL: People Powered Maps

The Dolores Huerta Foundation is working to make sure that every person is fairly represented. The 2020 Census was the initial step related to the redistribution of districts and that is when this process begins.

We organized communities to make sure their voices are heard throughout the redistricting process. We have worked hard to educate folks on how each district’s maps are defined and ultimately why proper representation matters. We saw the greatest opportunity for civic engagement in Porterville, Woodlake, Visalia, Tulare, Lindsay, Orosi, Earlimart, and Pixley as they have the lowest representation in government in the Central Valley. We reached people through food banks, community campaigns, and Spanish-language media and collected 550 signatures across the Central Valley to submit to the county board of supervisors for each area in support of accessibility, transparency and community engagement in the redistricting process.

 It was through this process and your support that we were able to accomplish so much!

Through this effort, we asked that these communities be a part of the redistricting process and that their voice be heard! While our current effort is focused on redistricting, the ultimate goal is to empower people. We want them to see that through community organizing, they can hold leaders accountable and can make real change. All this would not be possible without your help. Your donations that help DHF travel, educate and organize each community. For more information please visit doloreshuerta.org or contact Civic Engagement Director Lori Pesante at Lpesante@doloreshuerta.org

2021 Summer Weaving Movements Newsletter

2021 Summer Weaving Movements Newsletter

Please check out the latest issue of the Dolores Huerta Foundation’s Weaving Movements Newsletter to learn more about the important gains and accomplishments we made this year. Big thanks to all of our esteemed volunteers and generous donors who make this work possible!

Utilice el botón amarillo “Translate” en la esquina inferior derecha para traducir estos artículos al español.

To read more about People Powered Maps, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/2021-summer-wmnl-people-powered-maps/

To read more about Healthcare for All!, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/2021-summer-wmnl-healthcare-for-all/

To read more about Donor Spotlight – Julie Greenfield, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/2021-summer-wmnl-donor-spotlight-julie-greenfield/

To read more about Introducing LYFE, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/2021-summer-wmnl-introducing-lyfe/

To read more about Solidarity is our Strength, visit: https://doloreshuerta.org/2021-summer-wmnl-solidarity-is-our-strength/

Letter from the President

As I reflect on the last year and a half, I’m filled with sadness for all that we have lost and at the same time with pride for all that the Dolores Huerta Foundation has been able to achieve through the support of people like you. Last year we saw images of police violence against the Black community – images that sadly are familiar  to the experience of so many. As we shared when the verdict was rendered in the Chauvin case, “Transformative solutions are rooted in true community power and the enactment of social, racial and economic justice policies. It will require civic engagement, advocacy, and accountability from our public officials to end systemic racism. ”When our communities face attacks, we stand by our core values ​​and remember that solidarity is our strength. 

Many people lost their jobs, our children lost the ability to learn in person, most painful of all,  many of us lost loved ones. Those losses can’t be recovered, but together we offer encouragement and comfort to one another. Thanks to your generous donations, we were able to distribute $250,000 in financial assistance to community members in need, expand meal access to school children and provide PPE to thousands of families. We continue to provide education and information about available vaccines. The effort against COVID continues and we ask that if you or someone you know needs assistance in finding a vaccination site or registering for an appointment, please call us at: 833-564-6393 or 661-383-2588.

Finally, I want to acknowledge all of you in a very special way. The Dolores Huerta Foundation exists to empower communities through your gracious continued support. This year brings new challenges and our work is not done yet. We are now working to ensure that districts fairly represent our communities. In this newsletter you will find information on how to support these efforts. Together, despite the pandemic, despite the losses and despite the challenges – we are still standing strong!

The Power of Courage ft Dolores Huerta hosted by Courage California

The Power of Courage ft Dolores Huerta hosted by Courage California

Tune in for “The Power of Courage,” a conversation with activists Dolores Huerta, Nadya Okamoto, and Aria Sa’id on July 29, at 5:30 pm, a event hosted Courage California!

We’ll hear from Ms. Huerta, a living civil rights leader, and changemakers Okamoto and Sa’id about what we can accomplish with the power of courage as we stand against fear mongering and unjust policies sweeping the state and nation.

Register HERE: https://bit.ly/powerofcouragetickets

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