"Exhibiting You" - Story

Dolores Huerta

Submitted: 02/25/2013

Dolores' Selections

Two Million Women Leaders and Counting

The women in the Hunger Project have two million women leaders and counting, and the fact that they are doing village organizing for women is a huge risk. For example, they tell the story about one woman who was was killed because she had the audacity to run as a political candidate. However, then her daughter stepped up and also ran for the same position, and was elected!  Go to the selection >>

Taking Up Space at Greenham Common

This story is a great example of women organizing and protesting, especially because they did it in a nonviolent way. This exemplifies the lesson that nonviolence is not a passive force; it is an active force. It is one thing to say “we want peace in the world,” but if you start going after the weapons and ammunition, as these women did, then that’s one way that we will get peace. Go to the selection >>

Ring the Bell

Domestic violence is a big issue, and this is such a simple way to address it: Just ringing the bell. When an idea is so simple that other people can copy it, it means that it has the potential to be an international movement. Domestic violence is an issue, and we want women to be able to speak up and talk about the fact that they have been victims of domestic violence. Go to the selection >>

Serving the Whole

The Global Oneness project touches on so many issues that are affecting our communities. With issues like gang violence, a lot of times people throw up their hands and say they don’t know what we can do about these people. But then you get this story, and see how people work with formerly very violent gang members, and it’s just great. Go to the selection >>

The Real Story of Superheroes

I chose this selection because we have had so much anti-immigrant bashing. The story of super heroes is a great way to bring some sympathy to immigrants, so that people can understand what these immigrant families go through in trying to support their children here, while also supporting their families back home. Go to the selection >>

Rahel Nardos

Many of these women’s lives are totally ruined if they cannot have their fistulas repaired.  Because of the work of Rahel Nardos, women have been able to live a normal life again. This is also something that can be duplicated by getting other doctors to join in so that more women can be helped in Africa and elsewhere. Go to the selection >>

Mujeres Constructoras

This piece is about being able to create jobs for women. Women can come in and be maintenance workers, construction workers, and carpenters. That, to me, is just fantastic. The whole idea of creating work for women is essential, because work is sacred. It gives women so much independence when they can have a skill and a trade. Go to the selection>>

Big Ideas: Activist Grandmothers

I love this story because grandmothers have such an influence, especially on young people. A grandmother can influence young people more than their own mothers can. I think that grandmothers, just like mothers, establish the values in our families, especially our activist values world. Go to the selection >>

Suma Veritas: Women Helping Women

Job creation for women is number one, because we know that people who work in small businesses can have a very positive output. My own mother was a small business woman, and not only did she hire other people, she was also a leader in the community. Especially in our immigrant communities we have so many women that do small businesses, it is added courage and influence. Go to the selection >>

Curator's Statement: Dolores Huerta on Community

Many of the stories featured in IMOW exhibitions are so moving, it’s actually difficult to decide which to include. But my bias is community organizing, so some of my decisions are made from that point of view, as well as stories that focus on ideas that have the potential to grow—ideas that can be duplicated to positively impact women everywhere. 

In addition, I wanted to feature stories of women taking power. Putting women in positions of power must be at the top of our agendas. When I see these wonderful stories of women who are taking power in their communities, I am inspired. We need to have women in power if we are going to save our world. I guess that’s a biased statement, but I am using the “f-word” a lot lately—feminism. A feminist is a person who cares about women’s rights, women’s health, immigrant rights, workers and union rights, the environment, and civil rights and civil liberties. When that description of a feminist is used, it means that it will also include men who believe all of the above mentioned values.

About Dolores Huerta

Dolores Huerta is the President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and Co-founder of the United Farm Workers (UFW). Her lifelong journey has been working as a Community Organizer and Social Activist for over 50 years. 


Huerta has played a major role in the American civil rights movement. A founding board member of the Feminist Majority Foundation, she also serves on the board of Ms. Magazine. Numerous awards received among the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award from President Clinton ’98, Ms. Magazine’s one of the three most important women of ‘97, Ladies Home Journal’s 100 most important woman of the 20th Century, Puffin foundation award for Creative Citizenship Labor Leader Award 1984, Kern County’s woman of the year by California State legislature, the Ohtli award from the Mexican Government, Smithsonian Institution - James Smithson Award and the Icons of the American Civil Rights Movement Award, bestowed to her in 2011 by the National Civil Rights Museum. She is a former UC Regent and has earned nine honorary doctorates from Universities throughout the United States. Her most recent recognitions include her induction to the U. S. Department of Labor Hall of Honor and the 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom. 


As one of the most famous and celebrated Latinas in the US, Huerta has been an advocate for women’s rights, and reproductive freedom. She continues working to develop community leaders, for working poor, immigrants, women and youth, with the Dolores Huerta Foundation. She speaks at universities or organizational forums on issues of social justice and public policy.

Get to Know Dolores Huerta

Learn more about Dolores Huerta and why she's involved in IMOW's  Curating Change.

  • IMOW Matters to me because...it brings to light some of the stories of women that are suffering, but also the stories of women that are able to overcome, those that are doing something to change the sexism and the discrimination against women. I think that this can provide a great deal of hope to women that read these stories. IMOW is about real people and the things that they are doing.
  • A mantra to live by is...“Si Se Puede,” which means “It can be done,” or “We can do it.” That is my mantra to live by. I was in Arizona, and Cesar Chavez was doing a fast, and I met with all these professional Latinos and tried to have them join in. These guys were all community workers, I was trying to get them to come and visit Cesar, and there was a lot of fear in Arizona among immigrants, as there still is now. They told me, “No, Dolores, you can do all this stuff in California, but you can’t do it in Arizona.” My response was “Si Se Puede in Arizona”—of course we can do it in Arizona! That is where “Si Se Puede” was born, and now everybody uses it all over the world.
  • I Exhibit Change By…constantly organizing and bringing together new ways of networking. I say this as an 82 year old woman, and a lot of people say to me “Shouldn’t you just be out having a good time now, haven’t you had enough?” My answer to that is no. Because there is still so much that needs to be done! We cannot rest on our laurels when we still have so much work that needs to be done to make the world a better place, especially for women. So I exhibit change by giving people examples of how people have changed things in our world.

Take Action

Learn which causes and organizations matter most to Dolores Huerta and how you can connect with them.

Delancey Street Foundation

Delancey Street treats people who are former alcoholics, persons with drug problems, or who have emotional issues. Delancey Street is tackling issues that nobody else wants to tackle. They are a sterling organization and have a great success rate, and Delancey Street is very active in the community and give a lot of service.

Dolores Huerta Foundation

At the Dolores Huerta Foundation we create leadership at the grassroots level. We create organizing opportunities for people that can allow them to be leaders. We have issues in the community but instead of us doing the work we organize ordinary citizens to do the work in the community, address the issues, and grow their leadership in doing so. Once people know that they have power, and once they can make changes, there is nothing to stop them.

The Board of People for the American Way

This organization was started by Norman Lear, and this is an example of somebody that used their wealth and celebrity to continue to create a better world. PFAW is doing a lot of work in the Southern United States on the issue of gay marriage and trying to change the attitudes of ministers on gay/lesbian/transgender issues. They also have another program for young adults that provides training and encourages them to run for office. Many of these young people have been elected, and some of them are as young as in their twenties.


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