Huerta meets with, inspires students

Christian Pardo Villa and Rio Popper

Students and teachers met American labor leader Dolores Huerta at the 13th Annual Anne & Loren Kieve Distinguished Lecture at Stanford Jan. 11. Huerta was originally an activist working towards greater equality for latinos. Recently, she has continued this goal while also focusing on gender equality.

“I wanted to bring students, preferably Latina females, to see Huerta,” history teacher Teresa Yeager said. “I wanted them to be empowered. When I was in college, one of the most valuable things I got to do was see speakers that visited campus. They really broadened my worldview and showed me other voices. I wanted to show [the students] that same experience.”

Yeager took several students and teachers with her, including senior Alejandra Sanchez.

“It was very motivating to see what someone who is similar to me in certain ways can accomplish,” Sanchez said.

Now 87, Huerta is in large part responsible for the increase in rights for Farmworkers in the 1960s and 1970s. A recent documentary on her life, ‘Dolores,’ premiered Jan. 2017, the night before one of the largest women’s marches in history.

At the lecture, Huerta highlighted how latinos could be heard in the current political climate and how they could support one another.

“Even at 87, she’s just a badass,” Yeager said.

Huerta became the cofounder of the National Farmworkers Association with companion Larry Itliong. Huerta was also involved in the Delano grape strike, which took place on Sept. 8, 1965. This strike went on for five years, from 1965 to 1970. Huerta also worked closely with union leader and labor organizer Cesar Chavez.