Civil Rights Icon Huerta Connects Past & Present Movements While At MSU

Feb 27, 2018

Dolores Huerta, the community organizer and civil rights leader who started the chant "Si Se Puede!" (Yes, we can!) wowed people of many generations during appearances at Michigan State University on Tuesday.

Huerta was in the Capitol region as part of Michigan State University’s eighth annual César E. Chávez Commemorative Celebration. 

Later, she appeared at the WKAR studios to screen and discuss the documentary about her life which will air in late March on PBS stations across the country.

Huerta is 87-years-old, but you wouldn’t be able to tell when talking with her. She has been an activist for over half a century and was instrumental in fighting for civil and economic improvements for farm workers, Latinos, and unions.

Dolores airs Tuesday, March 27 at 9pm on WKAR HD 23.1

Huerta said how the “Me Too” movement resonates not just with women in Hollywood and on Capitol Hill, but also with women who work in labor jobs.

"People have to understand that nobody is going to do this for you," said Huerta. "You’ve got to stand up and you’ve gotta fight for yourself. To me that’s what the ‘Me Too’ movement stands for. And I think that the ‘me too’ movement is inspiring women at all walks of life and in all occupations to get out there and stand up for themselves.”

Huerta delivered the keynote address for this year’s Cesar E Chavez Commemorative celebration at MSU’s Kellogg Center.

Later, she attended a screening of the "Dolores" at WKAR studios. The film highlights Huerta’s fight for racial and labor justice alongside Cesar Chavez.

After receiving a standing ovation from an audience of more than 150 people, she discussed her life and the issues that are important to her with John Valadez, Peabody winning documentary filmmaker and MSU director of the documentary unit.

Click on this sentence to see the post-screening discussion featuring Huerta and Valadez.

"Yes we need to do them [marches & protests] but the only we way we can make the policy changes is by voting," said Huerta.

The Independent Lens documentary "Dolores" premieres on WKAR-TV on March 27 at 9:00 p.m.