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Civil rights activist Dolores Huerta to give keynote address Thursday


Latina civil rights activist Dolores Huerta speaks at a campaign rally in Oct. 20, 2018, at William J. McAdam Park in Palmdalem, California. Huerta will be speaking Thursday night in Franklin Hall. Tribune News Service

Chicana activist Dolores Huerta will speak Thursday in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month. 

Huerta will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday in Presidents Hall of Franklin Hall. The event, organized by the IU Latino Studies Program and La Casa Latino Cultural Center, is free to the public.

“We’re very excited for Ms. Huerta’s visit," Latino studies program director Alberto Varon said. "It’s a milestone for the university in all kinds of ways,.  Ms. Huerta’s commitment to the rights of the exploited is absolute, unwavering and, frankly, remarkable.”

Huerta is known for co-founding prominent labor unions such as the National Farm Workers Association and the Community Service Organization. Alongside César Chávez and through the United Farm Workers union, Huerta organized the Delano Grape Strike in 1965 which lasted five years and led to legislative protections for farm workers. 

She also advocates for gender equity, socioeconomic equality and racially marginalized groups.

Huerta received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. 

“She is a living witness to the successes of the civil rights movement, but also a reminder that the successes she helped create must be defended,” Varon said.

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