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Legendary Labor Leader Dolores Huerta to speak at Mills College Convocation

Oakland, CA–September 7, 2010. Mills College celebrates the start of the academic year on Friday, Oct. 1, 2010 with a Convocation address delivered by legendary labor leader and civil rights activist, Dolores Huerta. The Convocation ceremony begins at 10:15 am in the Littlefield Concert Hall. Huerta will receive an honorary degree. All members of the public are invited.

Often referred to as "the female Cesar Chavez," Huerta is the co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union and is credited for negotiating the first farm labor contract in the history of the United States. She led the national table grape boycott in support of the farm workers strike, bringing the plight of farm workers to the forefront of the American consumer. The boycott was supported by an estimated 17 million Americans and led to the passage of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act, the first law granting farm workers the right to collectively organize and bargain for better wages and working conditions.

In 1975 Dolores Huerta spearhead legislation granting amnesty to farm workers who had lived, worked, and paid taxes in the United States for many years but were not extended the privileges of citizenship. Her efforts resulted in the Immigration Act of 1985 in which 1,400,000 farm workers received amnesty.

For more than 50 years, Huerta has been a champion of social justice advocating for the civil rights of farm workers, women, immigrants, and the LGBT communities. "Mills College is proud to pay tribute to Dolores Huerta for a lifetime of standing on principle," said Mills College President Janet L. Holmgren. "Her legacy of social activism has helped pave the way for future generations of women to make a positive difference in the world."

Today, Huerta continues to fight for human rights through her nonprofit organization, the Dolores Huerta Foundation. Among its most recent accomplishments, the foundation was instrumental in helping to pass the historic healthcare reform legislation, mobilized significant support for civil rights of farm workers, women, immigrants, and the GLBT communities.immigration reform and wage increases for farm workers, and defeated an anti-immigrant resolution in the City of Bakersfield, California.

Huerta serves on the Board of the Fund for the Feminist Majority and Ms. Magazine advocating for women's rights worldwide and tirelessly promoting "La Causa," "the farm workers cause" and women's rights. 

She is nationally recognized for her activism and is the recipient of many awards including the United States Eleanor D. Roosevelt Human Rights Award bestowed upon her by President Clinton in December 2000.

About Mills College
Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity to approximately 950 undergraduate women and 550 graduate women and men. Since 2000, applications to Mills College have more than doubled. The College is named one of the top colleges in the West by U.S. News & World Report, and ranks as one of the Best 373 Colleges by The Princeton Review. Forbes.com ranked Mills a "Top Ten: Best of the All-Women's Colleges." For more information, visit www.mills.edu.

Jeanne Herrera
Director of Media Relations

Last Updated: 2/27/17