Dolores Huerta, a pioneer of the farm-labor movement, feminist and tireless civil-rights activist, will visit Cal Poly Pomona and address issues involving social justice on Thursday, Oct. 23, as part of the Kellogg Distinguished Public Lecture Series.
The speaker series provides a forum for world-renowned speakers to educate the campus community about scientific, technological, cultural, political, ethical, philosophical and social problems confronting the world, thanks to a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Huerta will speak on “Weaving Social Movements: Transforming People and Communities” and will touch on topics including workers’ rights, youth, immigration, health and environment, economic development, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
“We are ecstatic to have Ms. Huerta come to Cal Poly Pomona to share her strength and wisdom; igniting the same fire of social justice and change within our students and local community as was ignited in her,” says Professor Terri Gomez, chair of the ethnic & women’s studies department at Cal Poly Pomona.
“Beginning with her work with the United Farm Workers, Ms. Huerta continues to be at the forefront of local and national organizing across a broad spectrum of movements for human rights and dignity,” Gomez adds.
Huerta is most famously known as co-founder of the United Farm Workers Association along with Cesar E. Chavez, which was established 1962. Huerta’s visionary leadership and ability to lobby elected officials thrust the plight of the farm workers into the national spotlight. She quickly became the voice of farm laborers and their families, working tirelessly for better working conditions and wages for farm workers.
Her unwavering commitment for justice resulted in the monumental enactment of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975. Since then, Huerta has found it difficult to stay quiet and has been a constant force advocating for social reform for the working poor, women, and children for more than half a century.
As president and founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, Huerta continues to organize grassroots community campaigns and support legislation aimed at equality and civil rights. Her organization focuses on civic engagement, health and the environment, economic development, education, and youth development. Her mission, as stated on her website, is to “create networks of healthy, organized communities pursuing social justice through systemic and structural transformation.”
She is the recipient of the 1998 Eleanor D. Roosevelt Human Rights Award from President Bill Clinton and the 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom presented by President Barack Obama, the highest civilian award.
“Dolores Huerta is one of the most important civil rights leaders of our time,” Gomez says. “She provides an extraordinary example of leadership and democratic engagement in our multicultural nation.”
“Her appearance as a Kellogg distinguished speaker aligns with the university’s mission to foster change, through teaching and learning, that continues to addresses the needs of a diverse culture and dynamic economy,” says Marten denBoer, Cal Poly Pomona’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.
The upcoming event will begin with check-in and a light dinner at 6 p.m., with the lecture commencing at 7 p.m. in the Bronco Student Center, Ursa Major. A question-and-answer session will start at 8 p.m. with photo opportunities with Huerta immediately following the question-and-answer session.
The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. No photography or audio/video recording will be allowed during the lecture. Parking is $5 for the public. To register, go to www.cpp.edu/~kellogglectures.