Category: Great Women
Civil Rights, Workers and Women’s Activist Dolores Huerta Honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom
May 29, 2012
United Farm Workers of America co-founder, Dolores Huerta Foundation president, and lifelong organizer Dolores Huerta today receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest honor a civilian American can receive, awarded to "individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
Susan Loubet for KUNM public radio in Huerta's birth state of New Mexico interviewed Huerta on her work, and on the current social and economic challenges for American women. Huerta says, "Here we have an economic crisis, we've got the war, and they're busy focusing on women's right to contraception. Jobless issues, people losing their homes, and they're worried about women's right to choose and gay rights... They should be focusing on the bigger pictures!"
Loubet and Huerta also talked about her foundation's work in community organizing—what Huerta calls "going back and reminding people that they have power"—as well as corporate media, the prison industry, and the inadequate representation of women in government.
Huerta, now 82, was honored today at the White House as one of thirteen 2012 Medal recipients, also including author Toni Morrison, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, and Juliette Gordon Lowe, who founded the Girl Scouts one hundred years ago.