Assemblymember Eloise Reyes (D-Colton) has introduced Assembly Bill 2644 (AB 2644) to amend the Education Code (EC) to establish April 10 as Dolores Huerta Day. The bill would designate Dolores Huerta Day as a statewide recognized day that includes the implementation of education curriculum to incorporate into our schools to educate students on the contributions made by this amazing social justice warrior.
Dolores Huerta worked alongside of Cesar Chavez as an activist and labor leader and co-founded the United Farm Workers (UFW). She also created the Agriculture Workers of America in 1960 and has been fighting not just for rights for farm workers for women specifically.
Now 88-years-old, Dolores continues to travel all around the country promoting workers and women’s rights.
Dolores remains a fierce advocate and activist despite her age and despite her experiences. In 1988, while protesting against then Vice President George H.W. Bush, who was making a speech at a political fundraiser, Dolores was beaten so badly by San Francisco police that she nearly lost her life! Amazingly, despite having six broken ribs and a ruptured spleen, she recovered and has persisted. It’s definitely time to recognize her life’s work and fight toward social justice.
The bill states in part (b): “On Dolores Huerta Day, all public schools and educational institutions are encouraged to conduct exercises remembering the life of Dolores Huerta, recognizing her accomplishments, and familiarizing pupils with the contributions she made to this state.”
This is great because our children need to know the rich history of the state of California particularly as it pertains to role models that are relatable to them. In August of 2000, State Senator Richard Polanco’s (D-Los Angeles) legislation designating March 31 as Cesar Chavez Day in the state of California was signed by then Governor Gray Davis. That bill also included a mandatory curriculum requirement that we have seen make a difference in maintaining the legacy of the life works of Chavez. You are hard-pressed to find a child in the K-12 education system in California that does not know who Cesar Chavez is. The California Department of Education (CDE) provides schools with models of curriculum to teach and/or celebrate Chavez Day as I am sure will be provided for the upcoming Dolores Huerta Day!
It is so important to have these days estashling and creating space to remember and appreciate the struggle of those that came before and improved conditions for so many. We want to thank Assemblymember Eloise Reyes for putting forth this bill and look forward to the governor signing it! We expect to be celebrating the birthday of Dolores Huerta (this time next year) as a holiday and in all classrooms!
To learn more about this extraordinary and beloved icon:
You can watch PBS documentary on Dolores Huerta here.
Watch the Independent film Dolores Huerta here.
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