Lori de Leon


Lori de León is the current Archives Director of Dolores Huerta and the Dolores Huerta Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to empower disfranchised communities in the San Joaquin Valley.

Lori is currently the eldest child of Dolores Huerta.  As such, she witnessed and participated in the early farm worker organizing activities of Dolores and Cesar Chavez in the early 1960’s in the Central Valley.  Her teenage years were spent on picket lines, rally’s, working in the UFW office answering phones, stuffing envelopes, and on marches.  She also became a member of El Teatro Campesina, the UFW’s farm worker theatre group.  She acted in skits pertaining to the grape strike, and traveled throughout California and on a nationwide tour while with El Teatro.  Lori was also on the grape boycotts in the cities of San Francisco and Brooklyn, New York during the first grape boycott of the late 1960’s and in 1975 on the second grape boycott In Manhattan, New York.  She picketed in front of stores asking consumers not to buy grapes and participated in a large march in support of the farm worker strike.  She also spoke at public schools informing students of the grape strike.

As a young adult she continued working on the boycott in the Bay Area and was a monitor on the March on Gallo.  She engaged in multiple activities including organizing fundraisers and concerts.  She moved to La Paz, the farm worker union headquarters in Keene, CA.  She was a liaison for Cesar Chavez, President, and the non-profit organizations the UFW established which included the Robert Kennedy Medical Plan, the Juan De la Cruz Pension Fund, the Martin Luther King Jr. Campesino Centers, and the National Farm Workers Service Center and the National Farm Workers Health Group that created health clinics for farm workers throughout California.

She later attended and graduated from the newly established UFW Paralegal school.   She was assigned to Salinas and worked directly with farm workers filing unfair labor practices on farmworkers behalf with the passage of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act.  She successfully represented the UFW at an ALRB administrative hearing by growers.  Subsequently she was assigned to work on multi-million dollar civil litigation cases against the UFW for lost profits due to the farm workers strike.  She developed the discovery which resulted in the majority of cases being dismissed.

After the passing of Cesar Chavez, Lori became the Acting Director of the Cesar Chavez Foundation. In this position she promoted Cesar’s legacy and worked with many institutions across the country including Apple Corporation’s Think Different Campaign, many universities and public schools; and the Smithsonian Institution, where she was provided travel and archival training.  She was also influential in bringing in experts and working with the Chavez Family and UFW in establishing the National Cesar Chavez Monument and Memorial Garden in La Paz, Keene, CA.

In 2000, the Dolores Huerta Foundation was established and Lori began working with the organization full time in October of 2000.  Lori has worked in many capacities from youth programming to Development Director.  She later became the organization’s business manager and human resources manager until 2020.  Lori has also worked on many special projects during this time with various museums, organizations, schools and authors, across the country whose interest has been to display artifacts on Dolores and Cesar and the farm worker movement.  This has come about not only of her familiarity of the history of the farm workers’ movement but also because its historical significance.  Lori has spent the majority of her life collecting and preserving important artifacts pertaining to her mother, Dolores, lifelong work and the work of the Dolores Huerta Foundation. Her aspirations are to establish the Dolores Huerta and the Dolores Huerta Foundation Archives for future generations.   

D O N A T E ♡