For Immediate Release

July 28, 2011

Statement by Eleanor Smeal on Sudden Death of Richard Estrada Chavez

The Feminist Majority Foundation is deeply saddened by the unexpected death, resulting from complications after minor surgery, of its dear friend and supporter Richard Chavez, the life partner of Dolores Huerta, a co-founder and board member of the Feminist Majority Foundation and its sister organization, the Feminist Majority.

Richard was the younger brother of Cesar Chavez, the co-founder along with Dolores Huerta, of the United Farm Workers (UFW). Throughout his life, Richard worked for social justice for all people and the labor rights of countless farm workers. He retired in 1983 from full time work at the UFW, where he served on its Executive Board.

For decades, Richard, together with Cesar and Dolores, was a driving force behind the farm workers movement that has had a lasting positive impact upon the lives of millions throughout the USA. He designed the famous UFW logo of a stylized Aztec eagle, which symbolizes dignity. A skilled carpenter and builder, he oversaw the development of La Paz Farm Workers Complex outside of Delano, CA, which included a union office and hall, a health clinic, as well as housing for union organizers and farm workers among other structures.

A strong supporter of women’s rights and the work of Dolores, Richard, together with their children, attended many Feminist Majority events. He was a board member of the Cesar Chavez Foundation and the Dolores Huerta Foundation. The Feminist Majority family will miss Richard and his strong presence in the fight for social justice—and our hearts go out to Dolores in her time of loss. To express your sympathies to Dolores and continue Richard’s work for social justice, you can donate to the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

###