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Labor Activist Dolores Huerta is Keynote Speaker for Pacific's Latino Heritage Month Celebration

Sep 16, 2010

Dolores Huerta, labor activist and co-founder of United Farm Workers, will be the keynote speaker for University of the Pacific's Latino Heritage Month celebration this year. The celebration coincides with National Hispanic Heritage Month, which started this week and runs through October 15. Huerta will speak at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 29 on Pacific's Stockton campus in Grace Covell Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Perhaps the most prominent Latina labor leader in the United States, Huerta has advocated on behalf of migrant farm workers, immigrants, the poor and women for nearly half a century. After spending most of her childhood in Stockton, Huerta rose to national prominence after co-founding the United Farm Workers (UFW) with Cesar Chavez and launching the 1965 Delano Grape Strike, which grew into a national boycott and led to groundbreaking legislation in California.

She currently serves as vice president emeritus of UFW and is the founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, which focuses on developing indigenous leadership and helping communities organize and address economic disparities in housing, education, health and employment. Huerta was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1993.

"Over the course of Dolores Huerta's advocacy work on behalf of poor and immigrant communities, education has been at the core of her message of self-empowerment," said Ines Ruiz-Huston, Pacific's Latino/a Outreach Coordinator. "As an institution of higher education, we find that message just as relevant to our celebration as it is to those families who have been impacted by her efforts."

Huerta is one of three speakers during Pacific's fifth annual Latino Heritage Month celebration. Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, Mexico's consulate general in Sacramento, and Venezuelan political leader Eduardo Fernandez will also give lectures. Other activities include Latin dance lessons, a showing of the film "La Mission (2009)" and roundtable discussions. Pacific also will hold a series of discussions and presentations on vital and controversial issues related to immigration throughout September and October.