Civil Rights Activist Dolores Huerta to Speak at UCSD Tomorrow

Dolores Huerta will speak tomorrow from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in Eleanor Roosevelt College’s Great Hall, in conversation with Associated Students of UCSD President Lesly Figueroa.

Huerta is often credited with coining the phrase “Sí se puede” or “Yes, we can,” which was adapted by then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential run. A childhood native of Stockton, California, she co-founded the local chapter of the Community Services Organization (CSO), where she met fellow organizer Cesar Chavez. In 1962, along with Chavez and Filipino American labor organizers Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz, Huerta founded the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee (UFW).

UFW successfully led several fair-wage strikes for farmworkers and paved the way for them to practice collective bargaining, as they were excluded from the the Fair Labor Standards Act until 1966.

“Students in the 50th Anniversary picked Dolores Huerta for her work in environmental justice, before anyone was calling it environmental justice,” said Muir College Provost Wayne Yang. “Rather than invite her to speak as a heroine—which she certainly is—they wanted her to be in dialogue with this generation of student organizers.”

Huerta is speaking as part of Muir College’s yearlong 50th anniversary celebration and the event will be open to UCSD students, staff, faculty, campus workers, and community members.  

Gabe Schneider is the News Editor at The Triton. You can follow him on Twitter @gabemschneider