Younger Generation Can Connect with American Civil Rights Movement During Dolores Huerta’s Presentation and Panel Discussion Oct. 23 and 24

Article by: Elaine M. Krift

Dolores Huerta, one of the country’s most influential Latina labor leaders in the American civil rights movement, will share her experiences and challenges during the past 50 years as part of a two-day event at Del Mar College. 

Huerta will be the guest speaker at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, at Richardson Performance Hall. Huerta, who co-founded the United Farm Workers (UFW) with César Chávez, also is scheduled to take part in a panel discussion at 9 a.m. in Wolfe Recital Hall on Saturday, Oct. 24, as part of a lineup of sessions that run from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Both facilities are located on Del Mar College’s East Campus at the entryway at Kosar and Ayers Street (online map is available at www.delmar.edu/East_Campus_Map.aspx).

“She’s a speaker of national importance,” said Teresa Klein, a member of the Coastal Bend Social Forum and assistant professor of psychology in Del Mar College’s Social Sciences Department. 

At 6 p.m. Friday, the program kicks off with a Ballet Folklorico performance by Teresa Saldivar.

Saturday’s event also will include breakout sessions on topics, such as domestic violence, homelessness in Corpus Christi, immigrant deaths and a cannabis reform movement.

To access a printable schedule of the two-day event, visit bit.ly/1hlvfSt.

The two-day event, hosted by the 2015 Coastal Bend Social Forum, is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Klein at 361-698-1629 or tklein@delmar.edu.

Event sponsors include the Del Mar College Department of Social Sciences, the Mexican American Studies Program, Title V, the DMC Chapter of the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education, the Corpus Christi Chapter of Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University-Kingsville and The Center for Progressive Studies and Culture.

“It is so exciting that our community will have the opportunity to hear a living legend like Dolores Huerta come and speak on issues that are so important,” noted Mariah A. Boone, M.S.S.W., LMSW-IPR, field education director and assistant professor of practice at Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s Department of Clinical Health Sciences Social Work Program. “We are also very excited about the panels and break-out sessions at the Forum on October 24th. It is so important that we all learn more about issues like human rights for refugees, hunger and homelessness and how racism and domestic violence impact our communities and our nation, so we can advocate for humane and effective social policies.”

Huerta continues her efforts in activism through her organization, the Dolores Huerta Foundation, and as an advocate in areas such as women’s rights, reproductive freedom and gay rights.

"Dolores Huerta is an unsung hero. Her commitment to social justice, unequivocally, enhanced the life chances of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people,” said Isabel Araiza, associate professor of sociology at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. “It is a privilege to have her visit our community and share with us the lessons she’s learned, and my hope is that people who come to these events will leave feeling hopeful and inspired.”

Huerta most recently was inducted into the U.S. Department of Labor’s Hall of Honor, and she was the first Latina to be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

“She’s a connection with part of American history that a lot of our folks here, the younger generation, hasn’t had the opportunity to connect with,” Klein added. “And to bring her here is going to be that connection.”

IN THE PHOTO: Latina Labor Leader Dolores Huerta will speak in Richardson Performance Hall Oct. 23 as part of a two-day event focused on labor and civil rights. 

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