The legacy of Dolores Huerta

The National Hispanic Cultural Center will honor two big icons of the civil rights movement.On April 2, the center will host the 29th annual “Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta Day Celebration.” The event will highlight the accomplishments of Chavez and Huerta, as well as honor front-line essential workers who have helped during the coronavirus pandemic.Huerta will be a keynote speaker this year.”As an organizer, my job is to go out there and to organize people. To show that they can support essential workers,” Huerta said.The New Mexico native is considered one of the most influential labor activists of the 20th century.For decades, Huerta worked tirelessly for laborers who didn’t have basic working rights. Especially those working in agriculture.” are out there every single day, picking the food that people need they have on the dinner table,” Huerta said. “Like many essential workers, invisible.”Her efforts didn’t come easy, despite decades of fighting during the Farmworkers’ Movement in the 1960s and 1970s.She added that her struggles are still a vivid memory.”We think of them, many of them who went to jail, many of them who were beaten. It’s kind of tragic that people had to die just to get the basic human rights of a toilet in the field and cold drinking water,” Huerta said. More than 50 years later, she’s still not giving up on the fight. Huerta has now turned her focus to frontline workers, including teachers and nurses. The professions were some of the hardest-hit groups during the COVID-19 pandemic.”If we think about our essential workers, let’s not just call them essential,” Huerta said. “Let’s make sure that they are paid a livable wage so that they can support their families.”She’s calling for better wages, great benefits, and equal treatment for essential workers.All while inspiring those across the country, especially those in the Latino community.”I hope that they think of me as an organizer, as someone that was out there getting people involved. Because the one thing that people have to understand that we can’t do this by ourselves. We’ve got to get out there, and we’ve got to get people to help. Get people to join the movement,” Huerta said.Outdoor events, including a car show and a blood drive, will begin at 9 a.m. at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on Saturday, April 2. The private event, where Huerta will speak, is scheduled from 12 to 3 p.m. It will be livestreamed on the “Recuerda a Cesar Chavez” Facebook page and website, located here.