Magdaleno Rose Avila y Dolores Huerta

And still she continues working hard for all that is good and needed. The following is a poem that makes a serious attempt at capturing this tsunami of change.

No… I am Dolores

No, I am Dolores

I am a woman

Who, like many other women

was born into a society

Which believed that men

Were  better than women

Born into a world

Where people of color

Were not considered full citizens

I was born into Dawson New  Mexico

On April 10th 1930

No, look at me, I am Dolores

I was accused of having

Someone else writing

 My High school papers

They could not accept that

I was a good writer

My teachers could not believe

What their eyes were reading

And that I had written it..

And those teachers should

Know that I continue to write history

By my speeches and my actions

No, no, I am Dolores

I am the one who learned

How to organize house meetings

By the master of organizing

Fred Ross senior, who was

A major influence in my life

With his lessons, Cesar Chavez

and I organized CSO.

The Community Service Organization

And I there began lobbying for the poor

Changing attitudes and legislation

Fred’s lessons on organizing

Continues to help us all

No, I am Dolores

Co-founder of the UFW

Along with Cesar Chavez

Of the historic United Farmworkers Union

 And we Latinos joined a strike initiated

By Larry Itliong and the Filipino farm workers

We showed the power of farm workers

And the power of consumers by

Organizing successful grape and lettuce boycotts

And wining contracts

Improving the lives of workers

Wait a minute. I am Dolores

I am a warrior for environmental justice

I knew early on about the damage done

By herbicides, pesticides to farmworkers, farmers

The soil and the consumer.

I am fighting for laws that will protect Mother Earth

And all her creatures

No, No, No…, Yo, Yo soy Dolores

Chicana warrior

Órale, Raza…!

I embrace the struggle for freedom

And justice for all Chicanos

And all those who need our voices

And actions

Every day I am Dolores

An organizer in a freedom movement

While giving birth to 11 children

I was and am mother, organizer

And grandmother

Perhaps I should be in the Guiness

Book of world records

For having the most children

While being a full-time organizer

Órale…, I am Dolores

Who honors our indigenous roots

Our sweat lodges

Our drum ceremonies

Our cleansing

With the smoke of sage

And with our ‘danzantes’ Azteca’s

I too dance with them

And send my prayers

Up to the winds of our directions

So that all will fight for justice

Can’t you see that? I am Dolores

A peace activist

I believe in non-violence

And do not accept wars

As an answer

The damage that wars leave

Destroys people for years after

The last bomb or bullet is used

Peace is a lifestyle we must

All embrace, peace

And we must promote love

No, look at me, I am Dolores

A fighter for judicial reform

I work to eliminate

The school-to-prison Pipeline

And the unfair judicial processes

That targets people of color

And the poor  

And I know

that we must end the death penalty

Yes…, I am Dolores

I had dreams as a child

Of becoming a dancer

Music would and does move

My heart and my body

And I would have loved

To put my body to the test

So please, dance with me now

All the way into tomorrow

No, this really is me. I am Dolores

A school teacher who wanted to

Open the minds of so many students

As a teacher I knew that I could help

Students to succeed

I knew that I would be

A good teacher

For all students, and now

I must inspire not only students,


But also, educators.

Of course, I am Dolores

Protecting the LGBTQ community

Knowing that everyone is equal

When we protect their rights

We are ensuring that our rights

are protected

Yes, yes, listen to me. I am Dolores

All my life I have made sacrifices

I sacrificed my family

My friends

My health

My everything

So that I could help to create

a better future for everyone

Si, I am Dolores

Making ¡Sí se puede!

Not only a chant but a reality

Even today there are some who say

It can’t be done

But to them I say

Yes, it can

Sí se puede

But to make it a reality

You must work hard

Sometimes against

Incredible odds

And never give up

No, no, no, no, I am Dolores

A feminist to the bone

And a dreamer of full equality

I want all young girls to know

That they are equal

In every way, and

That we need to ensure that

This world of ours recognizes

And respects young girls

And women

So that they

Can help us

To move forward together

Let me be clear: I am Dolores

I love music

Mariachis, rancheras, hip hop

Rock and roll, Latino, country, soul,

Rap, folk and protest

In more than one language

But late at night

The music for my soul

Is Jazz…, which brings

So much of what my heart of hearts desires

And gives me a chance

To breathe deep and dream

Register this: I am Dolores

I was part of early efforts to register

Latinos for Bobby Kennedy 

And was standing with him on the stage

the night he was assassinated

I continue to register voters and also

Preparing them to become candidates

And win

To change laws and polices

To make them better

And I remind everyone to vote

For candidates who represent our values

What…? You know I am Dolores

I appreciate the arts

The poets, the artists, the dancers

The singers, muralists, musicians

The comics who make us laugh

Laughing frees our spirits

I love an artistic and colorful march

With full color banners and flags

I love that the arts give us life

No, listen…, I am Dolores

Who wants to meet everyone

At every event I attend

I want to hear their stories

I want them to know

That we need them

To stand with me…, with us

as we work to make this a better world

No, at last, you will learn that I am Dolores

Founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation

Who along with my family and friends

are building a working model

for activists of all colors

For everyone under the sun and moon

Who wants freedom and justice

My spirit and work will live on

Long beyond the time

when I have to leave this place and time

And from afar I will continue to whisper

To one and all

“Sí se puede”

Yes, it can be done!

¡Sí se puede!!

Yes, I am Dolores Huerta


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