Dolores Huerta has received an honorary doctorate from Yale University. The 91-year old was recognized as an Honorary Doctor of Laws at the college’s commencement ceremony in May.
“From the fields to the state house, you have united people in pursuit of justice,” said University President Peter Salovery. “Your skills as an organizer are matched by your strength of your convictions that there is a dignity in labor, that rights are worth fighting for and that people’s power is the strongest force on earth.”
Dolores echoed her long message of bringing respect to workers in her acceptance. “This honorary doctorate honors workers who sustain society but are often not rewarded, recognized or respected. A formal education obligates one to serve workers and create a world of justice,” Huerta said in a press release.
Huerta has been an advocate for civil rights for over six decades. She founded the Agricultural Workers Association in 1955. Then, in 1962 she and César Chávez created the National Farm Workers Association (now United Farm Workers). Most recently, The Dolores Huerta Foundation has given out thousands of pounds of food to those who suffer from food insecurity while directing a quarter of a million dollars to community members in need during the coronavirus pandemic.
Huerta was one of nine honorary recipients of doctorate degrees this year. Also in the group were director Ava DeVernay who received a Doctor of Fine Arts, Stephen Colbert who earned a Doctor of Humane Letters and Judy Blume who received a Doctor of Letters.