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Grace Forum with Dolores Huerta: Sí, se puede (In-Person) 

Sunday, October 23 @ 9:30 am 10:30 am

Join our Dean, Malcolm Clemens Young, and Miguel Bustos, Senior Director for the Center for Social Justice at Glide, and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a conversation with workers’ and civil rights hero and feminist icon Dolores Huerta.  

Dolores Huerta founded the Agricultural Workers Association and launched the National Farm Workers Association with César E. Chávez, now called United Farm Workers of America. She was instrumental in the enacting of laws to protect workers and has worked to elect numerous candidates including President Clinton, Governor Jerry Brown, Congresswoman Hilda Solis, and Hillary Clinton. While breaking down one gender barrier after another, she has also had a tremendous impact, not only on farm worker women but also young women everywhere. At 89, Huerta continues to work tirelessly developing leaders and advocating for the working poor, women, and children. As founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she travels across the country engaging in campaigns and influencing legislation that supports equality and defends civil rights. Among the many recognitions and awards for her work, in 2012 President Obama bestowed upon her The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. 

The Forum will be posted on our Youtube channel for viewing.    

Watch DOLORES Official Theatrical Trailer, a 2017 American documentary directed by Peter Bratt 

About the Guest 

Dolores Clara Fernandez was born on April 10, 1930 in Dawson, a small mining town in the mountains of northern New Mexico. Her father Juan Fernández, a farm worker and miner by trade, was a union activist who ran for political office and won a seat in the New Mexico legislature in 1938. Dolores spent most of her childhood and early adult life in Stockton, California where she and her two brothers moved with their mother, following her parents’ divorce. Dolores found her calling as an organizer while serving in the leadership of the Stockton Community Service Organization (CSO). During this time, she founded the Agricultural Workers Association, set up voter registration drives and pressed local governments for barrio improvements. In 1955 CSO founder Fred Ross, Sr. introduced her to CSO Executive Director César E. Chávez, a likeminded colleague. The two soon discovered that they shared a common vision of organizing farm workers, an idea that was not in line with the CSO’s mission. As a result, César and Dolores resigned from the CSO, and launched the National Farm Workers Association in the spring of 1962. Dolores’ organizing skills were essential to the growth of this budding organization. The first testament to her lobbying and negotiating talents were demonstrated in securing Aid For Dependent Families (“AFDC”) and disability insurance for farm workers in the State of California in 1963, an unparalleled feat at the time. She was also instrumental in the enactment of the Agricultural Relations Act of 1975. This was the first law of its kind in the United States, granting farm workers in California the right to collectively organize and bargain for better wages and working conditions. Robert F. Kennedy acknowledged her in helping him secure the 1968 California Democratic Presidential Primary just moments before he was shot in Los Angeles. Throughout the years, she has worked to elect numerous candidates including President Clinton, Congressman Ron Dellums, Governor Jerry Brown, Congresswoman Hilda Solis and Hillary Clinton. While Dolores was busy breaking down one gender barrier after another, she was seemingly unaware of the tremendous impact she was having on, not only farm worker woman but also young women everywhere. She traversed the country for two years on behalf of the Feminist Majority’s Feminization of Power: 50/50 by the year 2000 Campaign encouraging Latinas to run for office. The campaign resulted in a significant increase in the number of women representatives at the local, state and federal levels. She also served as National Chair of the 21st Century Party founded in 1992 on the principles that women make up 52% of the party’s candidates and that officers must reflect the ethnic diversity of the nation. At 89, Dolores Huerta continues to work tirelessly developing leaders and advocating for the working poor, women, and children. As founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she travels across the country engaging in campaigns and influencing legislation that supports equality and defends civil rights. She often speaks to students and organizations about issues of social justice and public policy. She was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in March of 2013. She has received numerous awards: among them The Eleanor Roosevelt Humans Rights Award from President Clinton in l998, Ms. Magazine’s One of the Three Most Important Women of l997, Ladies Home Journal’s 100 Most Important Woman of the 20th Century, The Puffin Foundation’s Award for Creative Citizenship: Labor Leader Award 1984, The Kern County Woman of The Year Award from the California State Legislature, The Ohtli Award from the Mexican Government, The Smithsonian Institution – James Smithson Award, and nine Honorary Doctorates from universities throughout the United States. In 2012 President Obama bestowed Dolores with her most prestigious award, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.  

About the Moderator 

The Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm Clemens Young is the dean of Grace Cathedral. He is the author of The Spiritual Journal of Henry David Thoreau and The Invisible Hand in Wilderness: Economics, Ecology, and God, and is a regular contributor on religion to the Huffington Post and San Francisco Examiner.    

Miguel Bustos is the Senior Director of the GLIDE Center for Social Justice at Glide. He previously served as policy adviser for President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore; Deputy District Director for Congresswoman Barbara Lee; Director of Boards and Commissions for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom; and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for Oakland Mayor Ronald V. Dellums. He is a Deacon at Grace Cathedral.  

About  The  Forum  

The Forum is a series of stimulating conversations about faith and ethics in relation to the important issues of our day. We invite inspiring and illustrious people to sit down for a real conversation with the Forum’s host and with you. Our guests range from artists, inventors and philosophers to pop culturists and elected officials, but the point of The Forum is singular: civil, sophisticated discourse that engages minds and hearts to think in new ways about the world.  More about Grace Forum

Event Details

The Forum takes place in Gresham Hall, on the lower level of the cathedral. Enter from the garage or Taylor Street, or from the lower doors on California Street.

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