Celebrated labor leader and Feminist Majority Foundation Board member Dolores Huerta won the second annual Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship. The award carries with it $100,000, which Huerta said she would use to “create and strengthen communities of conscience.” Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union (UFW) with Cesar Chavez, is famous for organizing with Chavez the grape boycotts in the 1960s that won the farm workers national support, and she was key in subsequent lettuce and Gallo wine boycotts in the 1970s.
This year, Huerta was instrumental in ensuring that Governor Gray Davis of California signed landmark legislation that will lead to broad reforms for farm workers by forcing growers into mediation when negotiations fail. Huerta also organizes on a wide range of issues, including workers’ disability insurance, bilingual voting ballots, unemployment assistance, and women’s rights.
“Dolores is a true leader for labor, Latino and women’s rights, and she deserved to be recognized for her tireless activism,” said Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal. “Dolores was instrumental in recruiting women candidates for office, particularly Latina candidates, as part of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s recruitment campaign. We are lucky to have such an inspiring and dedicated leader working with the feminist movement.”
Huerta is a founding board member of the Feminist Majority Foundation. She was inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993 and in 1998 was named one of three Ms. magazine “Women of the Year” as well as one of the Ladies Home Journal‘s “100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century.” She will be presented with the Prize for Creative Citizenship at a ceremony on December 8 in New York.