Women in Leadership: Dolores Huerta

Women in Leadership: Dolores Huerta
An iconic image of an iconic leader: Dolores Huerta at a rally in the 1960s.

Even though it's Earth Month 🌍, we're going to linger on Women's History Month 💪 for just one more issue. We'll hop into Mama Earth next week – and oh, April is also National Poetry Month, so we might sneak in a stanza or two 😉.

Yes, Women’s History Month ended two days ago, but since this past Sunday was César Chávez Day, I thought I’d sneak in one more piece honoring another woman leader, Dolores Huerta.

As many are aware, César Chávez was a leader with the United Farmworkers, working to protect the rights of immigrant farmworkers in California during the 1960s.  He is remembered for a famous strike to boycott grapes on behalf of workers who toiled in substandard conditions for little pay.

While we should celebrate César Chávez, we should also honor Dolores for her pivotal role alongside César and many others in protecting immigrant farm worker rights.

I’m ashamed to say that until a few years ago, I was unaware of Dolores Huerta.  Yes, I certainly knew of César Chávez, but not about Dolores.

I’m guessing I’m not alone in that. For others who might not know about Dolores, she was pivotal to the farmworkers’ movement – many would say even more so than Chávez, who became the face of the movement. Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time that a man received public credit while a woman did most of the work.

Dolores Huerta is still organizing and advocating well into her 90s.

It’s instructive to note that in the Wikipedia listing for the United Farmworkers, the first paragraph is about Dolores and her early work as one of the founders of the Community Service Organization in the 1950s, which she later furthered by creating the Agricultural Workers Association in 1960.  She co-founded the United Farmworkers with Chávez and Larry Itliong in 1962.

She is the creator of the slogan, "Sí se puede," (Yes, we can), which became a rallying cry for the cause and exists to this day as a powerful message in the organized labor and civil rights movement. As a branding guy, I can't think of many slogans that are as enduring.

Her work until that point would have filled many lifetimes, yet she’s continued her activism for social justice.  Dolores will turn 94 next week and is still working to help communities achieve equitable change through grassroots and education initiatives with the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

Dolores Huerta and Malala Yousafzai - two of the social and environmental justice champions honored with murals on Inspiration Alley.

So, back to my admission that I hadn’t known about Dolores. When I did learn about her lifetime of sacrifice and accomplishment, it was a no-brainer to feature her in our Inspiration Alley murals here in Boise honoring heroes of social and environmental justice. Dolores' mural is an iconic image of her at a protest rally with a bullhorn giving voice to those without one.

Thank you, Dolores - Sí se puede!

Godspeed, friends.


☺️ How Happy Are You: Round 2

How happy are you, dear reader? We're keeping this survey live for one more week. Three survey questions and less a minute to register your relative happiness here. We'll report aggregate results in an upcoming issue.

💬 Quote of the Week

“We must use our lives to make the world a better place to live, not just to acquire things. That is what we are put on earth for." Dolores Huerta

💥 Quick Hits

A whale of a story – We've written previously about the movement to give legal rights to nature (The Rights of Rivers); indigenous peoples in the Pacific are now seeking to enshrine legal personhood for whales. Precedence already exists for this – the Wanganui River in New Zealand has previously received this status.

🤔 Trivia Time

What percentage of young people are eco-anxious?

• 28%

• 39%

• 55%

• 70%

Today's trivia answer can be found at the bottom of this newsletter.‌‌‌‌‌

Find the Most Meaningful Work of Your Career

Our partner One Work has you covered with meaningful work that goes beyond a paycheck, a cubicle, or a weekly team Zoom call. You'll find purposeful jobs like those below, along with many more at the One Work job board.

Olly - Bring brands together so they can go further by working for this health and wellness B Corp with a focus on mental health. Partnership Manager, San Francisco, CA

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Help Scout - Your chance to be a good scout by helping others at this B Corp provider of help desk software. Director of Product, REMOTE.

Trivia Answer

Seventy percent of young people are eco-anxious. Climate anxiety relates to feelings of stress, overwhelm, fear and grief towards the climate and ecological crisis. Climate anxiety’s close cousin is ecophobia - the feeling of powerlessness in the face of environmental catastrophe. Source: Force of Nature

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