Dolores Huerta will be the guest of honor for a musical tribute hosted by The Soraya on Sunday, November 13 at 7 p.m. One of the most influential women of the 20th century, Dolores is an American labor leader and civil rights activist who has worked tirelessly for decades to challenge gender barriers, campaign for women’s rights and correct economic injustice.
Dolores was born in a small town in New Mexico. Her father was a farm worker and miner, as well as a union activist who won a seat in the New Mexico legislature in 1938. Her mother was an entrepreneur and activist. Dolores spent most of her childhood and early adult life living in Stockton, California. While working as a schoolteacher, she was distressed to see students with empty stomachs and bare feet, so she found her calling as an organizer.
Much of her work has centered around fairness for farm workers like her father. She has advocated for safer working conditions, fought for unemployment and health care benefits, and with Cesar Chavez cofounded the organization that today is known as the United Farm Workers. She was instrumental in the enactment of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975, which allowed agricultural workers to form unions and bargain for better wages and conditions.
(Left) Cristela Alonzo. Photographed by Troy Jensen. (Right) Gaby Moreno
Dolores has received many honors throughout her years of service, including the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award in 1998 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. Four schools are named after her, and she was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in March 2013.
At age 92, she continues to work tirelessly developing leaders and advocating for the working poor, women and children. She works with immigrants in the San Joaquin Valley ensuring they become familiar with laws and agencies that can protect them and the benefits to which they are entitled. As founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she travels the country engaging in campaigns and influencing legislation that supports equality and defends civil rights. She often speaks to students and organizations about issues of social justice and public policy.
Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar. Photographed by Luis Luque | Lunque Photography.
At “Concierto Para Dolores: A Musical Tribute to Dolores Huerta,” performers and audience members will unite for an evening honoring Dolores’ lifetime devotion to the labor and civil rights movements. Directed by Dan Guerrero and musical director Cheche Alara, entertainers include comedian and the evening’s host Cristela Alonzo; musicians John Doe, La Marisoul, David Aguilar, Gaby Moreno, and Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.; a world-class house band; and Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar.
While many know Dolores for her accomplishments and global impact, what might not be as well known is her passion for music, dance and culture. In creating this concert, The Soraya started with Dolores herself—her fondest memories and the music that inspired activist movements. The result is a unique collection of folk music, R&B, ballads and mariachi. The event will include clips of Dolores speaking to a variety of groups, courtesy of the Pacifica Radio Archives and radio station KPFK.
There is no better stage for such a celebration than the one at California State University, Northridge, where Dolores has had a longstanding relationship including receiving an honorary doctorate in 2002. The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya) offers a wide variety of performances throughout the year that reflect Los Angeles’ many distinctive communities, featuring new and original work from local and international artists.
The Soraya’s 2022–2023 season features a vibrant program of nearly 50 classical and popular music, dance, theater, family and international events to uplift and inspire its audiences. Contact The Soraya for ticket information.