Please check out the latest issue of the Dolores Huerta Foundation’s Weaving Movements Newsletter to learn more about the important gains and accomplishments we made this year. Big thanks to all of our esteemed volunteers and generous donors who make this work possible!
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Letter from the Executive Director
The real power lies within the communities we serve. We are inspired by their perseverance and hard work. We have been fortunate enough to provide the tools necessary to continue to build the movement. However, we need your support to sustain this growth. Beyond sharing updates and news, we hope this can be a space where we build community and cherish the advances in social and educational justice. During the past few years, we’ve been able to reach people like never before, in ways that we did not think possible. We hope to continue mobilizing folks with your collective support. Your contributions enable us to launch new strategies, establish new partnerships and service more communities in the Central and Antelope Valleys. We appreciate the confidence that our members and donors have placed in us and our work. We will strive to be better each day and look forward to partnering with you on future campaigns.
As a community organization, the Dolores Huerta Foundation hosted numerous door-to-door canvassing, Candidate Forums, and voter engagement outreach throughout the Central Valley, Antelope Valley & Los Angeles County to encourage voters to power to the polls. During these events, community members, youth, and Vecinos Unidos members had the opportunity to ask questions, get to know their candidates, and learn about the importance of their vote.
Some folks even joined these efforts as a “Democracy Defender” by volunteering to get the vote out to their neighbors! The fight is not over. Now the real work begins. We must mobilize our communities who represent California’s majority. We must hold the new administration and all of our elected officials accountable for our needs and demands. For just a small donation you can help the Foundation reach our goal of contacting 1,300 voters in Kern County. Your donation will go towards educational training, forums, and outreach materials needed to connect with voters.
During recent primary elections, the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF) hosted numerous door-to-door canvassing and other voter engagement outreach efforts throughout the Central Valley, Antelope Valley & northern Los Angeles County to encourage voters to show their power at the polls. Community members, youth, and Vecinos Unidos members had the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the candidates at DHF hosted Candidate Forums. These “Defenders of Democracy” also volunteered to get out the vote amongst their own neighbors. In total, DHF staff, canvassers and volunteers contacted over 10,000 eligible voters, who were reminded of the importance and power of their vote. Now it is time to focus on the work of holding newly elected officials accountable.
We must mobilize these communities who represent California’s majority, to engage in legislative advocacy and action and demand that their needs are met! Your financial support helps DHF continue this outreach by providing educational training, forums, and materials needed to connect with these marginalized voters year round.
Youth Spring Into Action
In April, 98 youth from the DHF “Liberated for Youth Empowerment” (LYFE) Program gathered virtually at local parks in Fresno, Bakersfield, and Tulare for a 2 day retreat. DHF Youth Organizers led learning sessions about critical social issues addressing the community, such as the “School-to-Prison Pipeline”, which is the systemic pushout of black & brown kids through unfair and discriminatory discipline practices . They learned how to make recommendations through their school’s Local Control & Accountability Plan (LCAP) to support efforts that prevent these types of practices from happening in their school districts.
Students participated in team-building exercises, sports, trivia games, a scavenger hunt, and created art with a social justice and political advocacy lens. Throughout each activity, youth members had the opportunity to work with each other to build their communication skills and gain trust with one another. DHF LYFE member Katherine, (she/her/hers) Age 16, said, “I was able to meet youth I haven’t seen before, it helped reunite youth who have been on zoom for so long. During the end of the retreat, we had a picnic, painted, listened to music, and other youth were playing soccer. It felt like I was at a picnic with my friends and family. ” The LYFE program aims to increase civic engagement participation among low-income, disenfranchised youth and their families to reduce racial and socio-economic disparities through evidence-based practices. These retreats give the youth an opportunity to recharge and get ready to spring into action. Currently, they are focused on LGBTQIA+ Rights and the upcoming general elections. Youth members are also excited about upcoming events. Emma (she/her/hers) Age 12 said, “I am looking forward to the Pride Prom in June!” You can support these youth experiences! A donation of $25 contributes to educational and wellness activities for a DHF LYFE member this summer.
Raúl has been a donor and supporter of the DHF for more than 10 years. His family came from Mexico to the state of Texas in 1921 where Raul was born and lived with his mother Jesusita Marrufo, his brother, and two sisters. In 1963, at the age of 12, he and his family moved to California. He left school at a young age to work and support his family. He worked as a farmworker in the fields from the age of 13 to 32. He met Dolores Huerta in 1970. He joined the Reedley Strike and later worked with Cesar Chavez to negotiate a contract. At 32, Raul was hired at a bread company where he worked until he retired at age 65.
From his time in the field, he says that he felt committed to justice, stating “I cannot abandon the cause.” Learning that Dolores founded an organization, he became a supporter. Since February 2010, Raúl has taken the time to travel to his local post office, purchase a money order and mail it to DHF every single month, without fail! Raul’s message to Dolores as she continues to work for justice is, “May God bless her and give her strength, and may her fight continue.” His wish is that the community will continue supporting the cause. The DHF is incredibly grateful for Raul’s monthly gift. He is an example that our solidarity is our strength!
Next month, Raul at 71 years old, will make his 150th monthly pilgrimage to his post office to purchase his money order and mail it to DHF. Can you please take a few minutes of your time to join Raul in becoming a monthly donor as well, by visiting Give2DHF.org?
2022 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award
DHF is honored to announce that Camila Chávez, Co-Founder and Executive Director, was awarded the 2022 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award, which recognizes innovative leaders whose breakthrough solutions to critical state challenges improve lives, create opportunity, and contribute to a better California. This award is a reflection of her dedication to social justice, as well as the hard work and victories accomplished alongside the DHF Vecinos Unidos® members and volunteers.
May Day March
On May Day, the DHF marched the streets of Fresno & Tulare with SEIU, the United Farm Workers, and other community organizations, to stand in solidarity with workers & immigrants around the world. Although May Day is not recognized as an official holiday in the United States, DHF will continue to honor and commemorate the efforts, struggles and victories for labor rights and living wages of blue collar workers each year.
DHF’s COVID-19 Education & Safety Team continues to inform community members and provide options for easily accessible vaccines. DHF is proud to report that, to date, we’ve co-hosted more than 100 vaccine clinics and a total of 7,744 vaccines have been administered! Together we can overcome the pandemic. We need your help to branch out to even more communities in the Central and Antelope Valleys & Northern Los Angeles County. Please consider supporting this work at Give2DHF.org.
Groundbreaking Celebration Bakersfield College's New Campus
The Dolores Huerta Foundation was honored to be part of the groundbreaking celebration for the new Kern Community College District campus in Arvin, California. In 2016, DHF and Vecinos Unidos® worked to pass Measure J, allocating $500 million for the new Arvin campus that is expected to open in 2024.
Bans Off Our Bodies
In response to the leaked draft of the Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade, the Dolores Huerta Foundation, in partnership Planned Parenthood and local partners, organized the “Bans Off Our Bodies” rally held in Kern, Fresno, and Tulare County to advocate for abortion rights for all.
DHF believes in the right of all people to have bodily autonomy and decide when/if they want to have a child.
>>Download Application<<Position Title: Communications CoordinatorFLSA Status: Non-ExemptLocation: KernReports to: Communications DirectorPay rate: $22 - 25.00/hourly The OrganizationThe Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF) is a growing 501(c)(3)...
Join us in making a difference in the lives of young people. Every donation counts towards our goal of raising $500,000 or $10,000 to sponsor each camper and create a transformative experience. Make a contribution today.
Join us for a magical evening celebrating Dolores Huerta's 93rd birthday and her honorary and her honorary degree of Doctor of Science honoris causa from the University of Southern California. FRIDAY, MAY 12, 2023 La Plaza de Cultura y Artes501 N. Main Street,...
The Dolores Huerta Foundation’s (DHF) Celebrity Golf Classic Committee is excited to announce our 18th Annual Richard E. Chavez Celebrity Golf Classic & Ben Maddock Memorial Awards Dinner on Friday, October 6, 2023 at the Links at Riverlakes Ranch Golf Course in...
Please check out the latest issue of the Dolores Huerta Foundation’s Weaving Movements Newsletter to learn more about the important gains and accomplishments we made this year. Big thanks to all of our esteemed volunteers and generous donors who make this work...
In honor of #MayDay our organizers along with community members marched the streets of Fresno & Tulare standing in solidarity while commemorating the efforts and victories of Workers & Immigrants Rights around the world. May Day is not recognized as a holiday...
Please check out the latest issue of the Dolores Huerta Foundation’s Vecinos Unidos® Newsletter to learn more about the important gains and accomplishments that DHF Vecinos made this year. Big thanks to all of the esteemed volunteers and generous community members who...
https://youtu.be/Q9pCriJuqy8 The Impact Fund and Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability hosted their 3rd annual Clean Water Forum in Bakersfield on April 1-2. The free two-day conference brought together practitioners, experts, and community groups to...
Redistricting determines if residents have fair representation in government and whether their representatives will reflect their interests. District lines can keep a community together or split it apart, thus leaving it without a representative who feels responsible...
Legendary organizer and activist Dolores Huerta grew up in an integrated community in Stockton, Calif. As a schoolteacher, she noticed that her students, many of whom were children of farm workers, were living in poverty. It was this realization that led Huerta to...
“We congratulate Justice Patricia Guerrero on her historic appointment to California's Supreme Court and thank Governor Gavin Newsom for his extraordinary vision. Justice Patricia Guerrero’s appointment honors all Latina women and inspires Latina girls to reach their...
This week, The James Irvine Foundation announced that our Co-Founder and Executive Director Camila Chávez was named as one of the 2022 Leadership Award recipients. The Award comes with a $250,000 grant to continue the Dolores Huerta Foundation’s work of strengthening...
An important day is fast approaching. December 12 is the last day of this legislative session in which an immigration bill with a path to citizenship could pass the House of Representatives to go into conference with the bill that passed the Senate last year (S.744). It’s a day that highlights the inaction of the Republican party and on top of that they are trying to take our 6 million DAPA/DACA win by suing the president and passing nonsense bills to play a political game. We have to protect what we have won so we can build on that. Also, December 12 is an important day to much of our community since it is Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe.
The Kern Coalition for Citizenship will be having a procession from Jastro Park (10:00am) to McCarthy’s office where we will have a press conference (12:00) and leave red and white roses for McCarthy that symbolize the pain and hope that is felt in our community.
Please join us this coming Friday for this important community action.
From Aljazeera America: “In an exclusive interview this week with The Stream ranging from the latest “Cesar Chavez” movie to issues impacting Latinos in the United States, prominent labor rights activist Dolores Huerta said that getting U.S. Latinos to express their political power through voting is the biggest challenge facing one of the country’s fastest-growing and most populous minority groups.
“We have many people who are comfortable to vote but just don’t vote,” Huerta said on the phone from her office in Bakersfield, Calif.
Her comments come at a time when voter turnout for eligible Latinos has declined, according to Pew. Although a record number of Latinos – an estimated 11.2 million – voted in the 2012 national elections, turnout was at 48%. This is a drop from 2008, when an estimated 49.9% of eligible Latinos voted. In contrast, the 2012 turnout rate for blacks was 66.6% and 64.1% for whites.
Huerta, who co-founded the United Farm Workers (UFW) in 1962 with Cesar Chavez and now heads up the Dolores Huerta Foundation, believes that the lack of political interest has to do with how little value Latinos place in voting. Such revelations are important, she says, given that bills surrounding comprehensive immigration reform — strongly favored by Latino voters — still languish in Congress.”
Please join our campaign to increase our number of sustaining monthly donors to 84 in celebration of Dolores Huerta’s 84th Birthday!
Just 84 supporters, making a tax deductible donation of $20 a month, would contribute $20,000 a year to the DHF!
These valuable resources help us organize for social justice, create networks of communities that prosper by engaging all members in the democratic process, and develop leaders who are advocating for sustainable policies and systems changes.
This is what a few of our current monthly donors have to say…
“If we want social change, we need to invest our time and resources. I have been a monthly donor with the Dolores Huerta Foundation because I believe they are an effective organization that is yielding results”. – David Arizmendi, STC Assistant Professor, Sociology
“I am proud to contribute with an automatic monthly deduction. I know this is one small contribution I can make towards sustaining the efforts of an organization that is principled and effective, and whose influence will be felt for years to come in the lives of the people who will be transformed by these experiences. ¡Sí se puede!” – Wendy Greenfield, Bilingual Educator and Activist
In this official White House video, Dolores discusses her work and receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
2011 Medal of Freedom recipient Dolores Huerta is a civil rights, workers, and women’s advocate. With Cesar Chavez, she co-founded the National Farmworkers Association in 1962, which later became the United Farm Workers of America. Huerta has served as a community activist and a political organizer, and was influential in securing the passage of California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975, and disability insurance for farmworkers in California. In 2002, she founded the Dolores Huerta Foundation, an organization dedicated to developing community organizers and national leaders. In 1998, President Clinton awarded her the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights.
On Thursday, January 23, 2014 the Department of Homeland Security announced a decision to halt its troubling practice of arresting individuals at Kern County courthouses. “Stopping arrests in Kern County Courthouses a first step to start respecting the immigrant residents of this county who make up the majority of the worker base of this economy,” said Dolores Huerta.
In October, the ACLU called on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to put an end to the sweeps through Kern County’s courthouses that led to the arrests of immigrants who were merely getting married, paying fines, or seeking domestic violence restraining orders. The Dolores Huerta Foundation and other community leaders from Kern Coalition for Citizenship protested to stop this dangerous policy of removing “safe zones” for undocumented immigrants who are attempting to comply with local laws.
We are asking The Department of Homeland Security to apply the Kern County policy nationwide and order all DHS personnel to refrain from conducting immigration enforcement actions on courthouse grounds. People go to courts to participate in important legal matters. People need to access the courts, without risking deportation. This is a matter of public safety, victim protection, and equal justice.
The MLK Living Legacy Celebration continues with a keynote address by Dolores Huerta at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, in the Student Union Jordan Ballroom.
Dolores Clara Fernandez Huerta is a labor leader and civil rights activist who, along with César Chávez, co-founded the National Farmworkers Association. That organization later became the United Farm Workers (UFW). Huerta has received numerous awards for her community service and advocacy for workers’, immigrants’ and women’s rights.
At the keynote event, Boise State University Symphonic Winds will present the regional premier of “Homage to the Dream,” a new concert piece written by Mark Camphouse commemorating the 50th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech delivered Aug. 28, 1963. by Dr. Martin Luther King. The Symphonic Winds are conducted by Marcellus Brown.
On December 3, Dolores fasted in solidarity and joined “Fast for Families: A Call for Immigration Reform and Citizenship,” taking place on the National Mall, steps away from the Capitol. Leaders and immigrant members of the community have been fasting fast every day and night, abstaining from all food—except water—to move the hearts and compassion of members of Congress to pass immigration reform with a path to citizenship.
The fast in Washington, DC is being held in conjunction with dozens of local and solidarity fasts, events, and actions already underway in key congressional districts across the country. Fasters will be joined nationwide by groups and activists who are prepared to make sacrifices for the passage of immigration reform with a path to citizenship.
Bakersfield Citizens Launch ‘11 Days for 11 Million: A Vigil to Vote’ to Press Kevin McCarthy to Act Now on HR-15: The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act
Camila Chavez, Executive Director of the DHF, and constituent of Republican Whip, Kevin McCarthy sent the congressman a strong message…Don’t DUCK AND HIDE! Face your constituents. We want our congress representatives to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill with a pathway to citizenship, NOW. We want our congress to pass HR 15 just the way it is written and proposed.
On November 20, our coalition successfully organized a 24 hour fast in front of Liberty Bell. There were 13 Fasters, all local, and all McCarthy’s constituents, who sacrificed food for 24 hours to demonstrate to the community that we will do whatever it takes to get immigration reform passed.
The 13 Fasters came together to write and deliver a letter to McCarthy, and were dismayed by his office reactions upon arriving. McCarthy’s office latterly ran to lock the door, turned off the lights and ducked to the ground and crawled around on their knees to avoid these fasters, to avoid these constituents.
Lori DeLeon and Juana Chavez of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, in association with 11 other courageous women from the UFW, CHIRLA, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, the Kern Coalition for Citizenship, the CA Table and We Belong Together, participated in a protest at Republican Whip, Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s office yesterday. (more…)
An open driveway led to a dusty front yard and white tire swing with the word “Dream” scrawled on it hung from a tree.
“It’s exciting, especially when you find someone who’s uninsured and they realize they could actually get coverage.”
— Karla Zonbro, field director for California Calls
Canvassers Amando Gayosso and Peter Villa strode toward the east Bakersfield home, ready to launch into their spiel about the Affordable Care Act.
But a few steps into the yard, one dog appeared. Then another. Then another.
One hound, a beefy unrestrained rottweiler, kicked up dust as it charged and barked at the two young men.
But Villa and Gayosso remained calm, moseyed down the driveway and back onto the road. They knew that the yards of Bakersfield can be inhospitable.
For the last week, Villa and Gayosso have braved dogs, slammed doors and sprinklers as they tried to chat with voters about one of the country’s most divisive laws.
They hope to set the record straight on what the Affordable Care Act, also referred to as “Obamacare,” means for people and to encourage folks who are eligible for new insurance options to sign up.
The two canvassers are part of a network of about 300 paid workers and about 700 volunteers staffing a statewide campaign to spread information about the Affordable Care Act.
The four-week outreach effort is coordinated by the group California Calls through local partner organizations in 12 counties ranging from San Diego in the south to San Francisco in the north.
Millions of Californians and tens of thousands of Kern County residents are predicted to gain access to insurance under the Affordable Care Act, but outreach workers said they are up against a lot of misinformation about the health care reform law. For example, Karla Zombro, field director for California Calls, said some people don’t know that California is expanding its Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, so more people are eligible to enroll.
The campaign is a great way to have a direct conversation with people and answer their questions, she said.
“It’s exciting, especially when you find someone who’s uninsured and they realize they could actually get coverage,” she said.
In Kern County, California Calls teamed up with the Dolores Huerta Foundation to reach voters through phone banking and door-to-door visits. They had already reached 5,440 residents as of Friday.
On Saturday morning, Villa and Gayosso added to the tally as they trolled Rosewood Avenue, Royal Way and Fillmore Avenue. Villa, 23, and Gayosso, 19, tapped gates with their keys to draw people out of houses with fenced yards. They repeatedly pressed doorbells and rapped on doors with no answer in return.
Still, they said it’s exciting and important work. Villa is glad that people who are sick will no longer be denied insurance because of their conditions. Gayosso knows what it’s like to go without health care coverage and how good it felt when he finally got insurance.
“We usually (talk to) people who already have insurance, but they do support (the Affordable Care Act)” for people who don’t have insurance, Villa said. If people are interested in signing up for insurance, Villa said the canvassers give them several entities to contact for more information, including Covered California, the state-run health benefit’s exchange, and local health care nonprofit Clinica Sierra Vista.
On this particular warm morning, the pair stopped by about 20 houses, but were only able to speak with people at about seven homes. For the people willing to answer a few questions, Villa and Gayosso told them a bit about the law and asked if they support it.
One resident of the neighborhood they canvassed said she appreciated what Villa and Gayosso were doing, though she already has insurance. Standing just inside her front door, Juana Valdenegro, 29, said she has Medi-Cal and so does the rest of her family. Valdenegro, who has six children and is self-employed as a tree trimmer, said she has heard that people will be required to have insurance under the new law.
“It’s good” that Villa and Gayosso were going door to door, she said, because they were helping people understand what the law is about. No one would like to have their job because you don’t know how rude people might be, she laughed.
The two men won’t be standing up to yapping canines and locked gates much longer.
The four-week statewide campaign concludes Sunday and organizers were confident that they would surpass their goal of contacting 100,000 people. The outreach efforts had already reached more than 99,000 voters as of Friday.
Sunday November 10, 2013 – 9:00 am PST to 2:00 pm PST
Location: Obamacare Grassroots Campaign Headquarters
Address: 1527 19th Street
2nd Floor Conference Room
The Dolores Huerta Foundation, in partnership with California Calls, is launching a 3 week campaign promoting Obamacare. We are targeting Kern County Voters to encourage enrollment and educate the community about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. We are also providing resources and information on how to enroll in public and private insurance.
Please join us in going door-to-door to inform the community about access to affordable, quality health insurance coverage.
Against Our Own Best Interests – Press Event
Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 @ 12:30 p.m.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office
800 Truxtun Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93301
Bring Flags, Banners, and Posters
The Kern Coalition for Citizenship and The American Civil Liberties Union are bringing people from the community to talk about how denying justice to a large segment of our population creates an unsafe community for us all. Speakers will tell personal stories about broken families that were working hard within the system to obtain full compliance with our broken immigration system. (more…)