Longtime activist and community organizer motivates Crossroads students to take action.
On Nov. 30, after filming the most recent conversation in the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Equity & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series, featured speaker Dolores Huerta led her five Middle and Upper School student-interviewers in a call and response. “Who’s got the power?” Huerta asked. “We’ve got the power!” they replied in unison. The exchange was just one of the many in which Huerta encouraged the young people to recognize their ability to effect change.
The roughly hour-long interview began with an introduction by Equity & Justice Institute Founding Director Derric J. Johnson, who relayed Huerta’s numerous achievements—from co-founding the United Farm Workers union with Cesar Chavez in 1962 to receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2012. In discussion with Derric, Huerta recounted stories of becoming an organizer after a brief stint as a teacher, being a woman in a leadership position, witnessing the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy and ensuring the next generation of leaders continue her life’s work.
Questions followed from Crossroads students Sofia Trejo, a ninth grader and Alma Latina member; NAALA Ephriam, a seventh grader and Girls of Color Alliance member; Gabby Lucio, a 12th grader and Alma Latina member; Charley Ordeshook, a 10th grader and APIDASU co-president; and Karla Montano, a 12th grader and Alma Latina member. Huerta repeatedly offered spirited words of wisdom in response.
“One of the things I would like to do is make everybody become an activist,” Huerta asserted. “Each one of us has power. … If each one of us can become an activist, then each one of us can help change the world and help make it a better place.”
Both the Middle and Upper School facilitated student discussion in preparation for and in response to the Equity & Justice Institute event. During Advisory, Middle School students learned more about the Delano grape strike that Huerta helped to organize and reflected on the many workers responsible for the food they eat, especially over the holidays.
The interview with Huerta will be rebroadcast on Dec. 14, 4-10 p.m. PDT, with Spanish subtitles. Click here to register.