Editor in Chief
In celebration of the newly established holiday honoring Dolores Huerta, the Latino Student Forum hosted an event in Sneaky Park to give students an opportunity to learn more about Dolores Huerta.
Last July, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 2644 establishing April 10, as Dolores Huerta Day to honor and recognize Huerta for her long-lived community activism. Huerta is known for her role in establishing the National Farm Workers Association with Cesar Chavez, as well as her advocacy within the education system.
“She’s still alive today and she hasn’t passed so we want to celebrate while she’s here,” Lorali Mossaver-Rahmani, senior anthropology major, said. “She’s aged and she’s still fighting against all of these corporations because she cares and I think that’s really important for students to learn about. A lot of times, men in history get the credit so it’s really cool to rally for her today and do a little community organizing in her honor.”
Huerta’s second daughter, Lori Huerta-De Leon, spoke to the crowd between performances by a live jazz band about life with her mother.
She worked alongside her in the Dolores Huerta Foundation for many years.
“Dolores may be 89 years old and has spent the last 50 years working on civil rights, but she doesn’t want to live in the past,” Huerta-De Leon said. “Her legacy is the future and her legacy is in each and every one of you. You guys are our future.”
One way to truly honor Dolores Huerta and all that she has done within her lifetime is through advocacy and giving back to communities, Huerta-De Leon said.
The Latino Student Forum put on the event to honor the first day, of many to come, that has been dedicated to Dolores Huerta across several states including California, Washington and Nevada.
“One of the visions that we had for this event was to have different organizations and clubs be united as a whole to represent their philanthropies or their social movements,” Anthony Parell, president of the Latino Student Forum, said. “One crucial reason why we wanted to have that was to provide unity, and I truly believe that by being united we can change something here at the University of La Verne.”
Daniel Loera, director of multicultural affairs, came to the event to honor Huerta, who he described as a superhero who has continuously given herself to advocacy of important causes, and has never once slowed down at showing others that it is possible to emulate her work, even at the age of 89.
“This is a long overdue recognition of somebody who has given so much of her life and, I think, has really suffered in the process in terms of giving sacrifice,” Loera said. “She has exemplified what it means to be there for others and not think about her own well-being so much as her children’s, her grandchildren’s, and, by extension, all the familia’s in the community.”
Several booths were placed throughout Sneaky Park, some of which were tabling for the Dolores Huerta Foundation, while others were promoting their clubs on campus and advocating for mental health, like Phi Delta Theta.
“We’re promoting mental health awareness; this is important because I feel like a lot of people brush away the fact that they are struggling and the fact that they do need help,” Quintus Alton, sophomore sociology major, said. “It’s okay to feel stressed and it’s okay to feel your feelings, just know that somebody is always going to be there for you. We’re always going to have somebody to be able to help you, whether it’s CAPS or just somebody who wants to offer a helping hand.”
Jocelyn Arceo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.