Civil Rights Legend Dolores Huerta Calls on All Educators To ‘Step Up and Organize’

When Dolores Huerta was a young teacher in Stockton, California, she said she couldn’t bear to see her students come to school with empty stomachs and bare feet. She saw their parents’ poverty as the real issue, and her concern led to a lifelong journey for economic justice in this country. In 1962, alongside César Chávez, Huerta launched the National Farm Workers, later known as the United Farm Workers, an organization that helped win American farm workers the right to collectively organize and bargain for better wages. Now 83, and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she is still advocating for the working poor, especially women and children. In July, she spoke to NEA members at the annual NEA Joint Conference on Concerns of Minorities and Women, and talked to NEA Today about teachers’ political power and organizing. “Teachers are the ones who educate us and make us into a civil society, to make us into a democratic society,” Huerta said.