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Farm Workers Co-Founder Huerta Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom


Jennifer Kauffman, AFL-CIO Immigration Policy & Training associate, sends us this. 

Labor and civil rights activist and icon Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, for her lifelong work fighting for economic justice and workers’ rights. President Barack Obama honored Huerta and 12 others at the ceremony on Tuesday and said of the labor activist:

Dolores helped lead a worldwide grape boycott that forced growers to agree to some of the country's first farmworker contracts. And ever since she has fought to give more people a seat at the table.

Along with César Chávez, Huerta founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers of America) in 1962. In the 50 years since its inception, UFW members—many of whom are immigrants—have used boycotts, strikes, marches and even hunger strikes to help lift the working conditions for farm workers and win collective bargaining agreements.

A stalwart believer in the power of community organizing, Huerta established the Dolores Huerta Foundation in 2002 to support the next generation of organizers and leaders.

You can watch the ceremony here.

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