By Monica Carranza
The Tuesday before Spring Break, hundreds of students stood in line in front of the Van Duzer Theatre awaiting the arrival of political activist and United Farm Workers Movement leader, Dolores Huerta. Huerta co-founded of the United Farm Workers along with Cesar Chavez. The UFW was a labor union created to help get workers unemployment insurance and basic worker’s rights to farm workers in 1962. The on campus organization, F.R.E.E (Find Resources through Empowerment and Education), fundraised for over a year to bring the keynote speaker to lead a discussion on empowerment through unity. Many HSU students are knowledgeable on movements such as this and appreciate the chance to meet fellow activists.
Bryan Fiallos, a senior at HSU, was one of those students.
“I know of her, but not much,” he said. “I’m here to gain insight on the movement, I know that she stands up for undocumented people, farmer’s rights… And as an elder she has lots to offer for the next generation of activists. I’m also really excited to see Danza Azteca open for her. A Chicano student body acknowledging an indigenous group is awesome!”
Angelica Lua, a junior at HSU, has a more extensive knowledge on Huerta’s work and was excited to see her speak.
“This is very interesting opportunity,” she says. “She’s also involved with an organization that helps undocumented students, and I want to touch up on how that’s going.
Melissa Estrada, a senior at HSU, says she was impressed by the opportunity to see Huerta.
“This is an amazing opportunity to meet an individual who’s done so much for the latino community,” Estrada says. “We don’t get many activists on campus that are willing to give their time to talk to us and answer our questions. She’s an inspiration. This is truly an honor.”
After the keynote speech, Huerta signed autographs at the MultiCultural Center; giving students a chance to talk to her one on one.
Emily Narvaez, a junior at HSU, agrees that the event was more “amazing” than she’d expected.
“I agreed with pretty much everything she said,” Narvaez says. “She spoke the way I would like to speak. She’s really inspirational. She kept telling us that if we were to come together we’d be able to achieve our goals a lot easier.”