Dolores Huerta, a civil rights advocate and labor leader who fought for farmworkers rights alongside César Chavez, will be honored with one of the nation's highest civilian honor -- the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Huerta told The Daily Beast that news of the honor came as a surprise to her.
“I was humbled, thrilled, and surprised,” she said. “I never expected to be nominated.”
Huerta is now 82 years old, a mother to 11 children, and grandmother to seven. Huerta considers her proudest accomplishments to be, "Spanish-language ballots for voters, public assistance for immigrants, toilets in the fields, drinking water protection from pesticides," and an immigration act which gave legal statust to over a million farmworkers, according to The Daily Beast.
Alongside activist César Chávez, Huerta co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, and then served as the first vice president of the United Farm Workers. As a fearless advocate for civil rights, Huerta has been arrested twenty-two times, and has been severely beaten by police while protesting.
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, who met Huerta during her time in the California State Legislature, said in a press statement on Tuesday that she was profoundly inspired by the civil rights leader.
"I don't know if Dolores inspired me to become a public servant, but I do know that she inspired — and insisted — that I become the best public servant I could be," Solis said. "Wherever there was injustice... Dolores was there."
On Tuesday, Huerta will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom alongside 12 others, including Bob Dylan and Madeleine Albright.
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