Dolores Huerta’s ¡Sí Se Puede! at 90 Birthday Celebration raises over $400,000 for Covid-19 Relief Efforts
On May 30th, 2020, civil rights activist and labor leader Dolores Huerta celebrated her 90th birthday with an online fundraiser called ¡Sí Se Puede! at 90 which raised over $400,000 for the Dolores Huerta Foundation’s Covid-19 relief efforts for immigrant, low-income, and farmworker communities that are being disproportionately affected by the global pandemic. Over 55,000 people have tuned in to watch the event since it aired. The success and the line-up of special guests of the event reflected the great rippling effect Dolores’ activism and life has had on the world.
The digital event was hosted by renowned comedian, actress, and writer Cristela Alonzo and featured comedy, music and lively conversations about feminism, climate justice, coping with Covid-19 and more.
Friends, old and new, recounted how Dolores has impacted their life. Danny Glover spoke about being with Dolores at picket lines, marches, and rallies fighting for education and immigration reform. Actress Eva Longoria and Cristela reminisced together how Dolores encouraged them to get involved in activism when they were just starting out in the entertainment industry. Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors gave her condolences to those affected by the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor and acknowledged how Dolores’ life has inspired her own activism. Edward James Olmos gave a tearful and passionate speech on national George Floyd protests and how it has reminded him of the importance of Dolores’ contributions and sacrifices. He said, “Without you, there is no Si Se Puede. Without you, we would not be who we are today.”
Dolores showed that, even at 90 years old, she’s still actively educating and empowering younger generations of activists. Dolores and Gloria Steinem talked to one of their biggest fans, a young girl named Francesca, about feminism, activism, and Latinx identity. Later, Dolores tested the cast of Penny Dreadful: City of Angels about Mexican American history during the 1930s, the time that Dolores was born and raised as well as the setting of the TV show.
Throughout the night, viewers were treated to exclusive musical performances by the likes of Carlos Santana and Cindy Blackman, Sheila E. and Pete Escovedo, Aloe Blacc and Maya Jupiter, and Ozomatli. All-female mariachi group Flor de Toloache closed out the night with their rendition of Las Mañanitas and Happy Birthday.
“In my 90 years, I have seen the progress in our country towards improvements for women, our LGBTQ+ community and people of color, but we know we have not yet achieved the equity we deserve. So as we go forward for the next century, we can learn from the lessons of the past to reimagine and shape the future for a world that is just and fair for all,” Dolores stated.¡Sí Se Puede! at 90 can still be watched on DHF’s YouTube and Facebook pages. You can donate to DHF at www.give2DHF.org or buy exclusive 90th birthday merchandise at www.bit.ly/dhfstore.
Dolores Huerta Foundation Stands with Black Lives Matter
The Dolores Huerta Foundation recognizes that the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others are the direct consequence of systemic police brutality and racism in the United States. DHF stands in solidarity with activists around the world protesting the injustice and violence that has been perpetuated against Black people for centuries. Two black men have recently been murdered: Robert Forbes of Bakersfield and Robert Fuller of Palmdale. We are outraged at the lack of attention, urgency, and accountability that these two pending investigations have been given by the police and by the media. We support Black Lives Matter and continue to work to make sure that our Black brothers and sisters have equal rights and protections.
DHF headquarters are based in Kern County which was named the deadliest county in the United States in 2015 for the highest percentage of civilian deaths at the hands of law enforcement as reported by the Guardian. According to Campaign Zero’s Police Scorecard, when compared to other police departments in California, Bakersfield Police used tasers, batons, strangleholds, and other weapons 86% more often and had 99% more racial bias in arrests and deadly force.
DHF is fighting against anti-blackness and police brutality by intentionally addresssing the racial discrimination that plagues our Central Valley institutions in our communities, starting with dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. DHF advocates for defunding police in schools to dismantle our education system’s dependence on law enforcement. We demand educational budgets that reflect a commitment to restorative practice: an investment in the health and well being of our students and our communities.
DHF staff gave personal testimony about their experience with police brutality and advocated to defund the police and terminate their contracts in schools.
“Our students, for far too long, have had to endure an education system that relies on punitive practices like ‘zero-tolerance” rather than a holistic and restorative approach. It is an indisputable fact that racism and implicit bias exist within law enforcement and the over-policing of students has led to disproportionate rates of school pushout for black and brown students; further perpetuating the school-to-prison pipeline, and contributing to mass incarceration,” said DHF Education Policy Director Cecilia Castro,
DHF California City Organizer Carol Watkins said, “I am an African American female. I have three sons and four daughters. Recently, all I can do is worry. All I can do is see my sons’ faces in the face of Mr. George Floyd. I can’t tell you how our community is frightened and suffering and angry because of the Injustice that some of you just witnessed a few days ago, but has been going on within the African-American and Latino community for decades, even centuries. Despite the wreckage, the pain, and the mental anguish, we still are hopeful for a brighter tomorrow. However, we cannot do it alone.”
Make Sure YOU’RE Counted in the 2020 Census
Across the nation, we are seeing the power of people uniting to make their voices heard to create lasting change. Unfortunately, the communities we serve are not showing up to be counted in the 2020 Census. This threatens to negatively impact funding and political representation for decades to come. There’s no excuse for this lack of participation because it has never been easier to fill out the Census. Together, we can determine the future of our communities by being counted in the 2020 Census. Your count funds schools, housing and healthcare for the next 10 years! Respond online TODAY at www.my2020census.gov or by phone at 844-330-2020. Your personal information is legally protected and will remain confidential. The last day to self-respond to the Census is October 31st. Speak up. Be heard. Get counted. Please contact Eliana Honeycutt at email@example.com if you have any questions about the Census.
Take the Fight to the Polls
Millions of people are fighting back against the injustices and racism that has been perpetuated in our country for centuries. We encourage everyone who is fueled by compassion and wants to make a change to take the fight to the polls! Together, we can build collective power and vote for the future we want to see. If you are not eligible to vote, you can still help by joining our efforts to increase voter turnout by educating and encouraging your family, neighbors, and community members to cast their ballots this November. Help us secure essential resources into our communities and strengthen our democracy by increasing civic participation in underrepresented communities. With your participation, we can have a tremendous impact that would lead to better schools and healthier neighborhoods. Make a difference in your community by registering, voting and educating others!
Covid-19 California Central Valley Resource Map
The Dolores Huerta Foundation and Building Healthy Communities South Kern have compiled and verified Covid-19 resources for Central Valley residents. The interactive maps includes food distribution centers, health care services, covid-19 testing centers, utilities and low-cost internet providers, and other resources for undocumented workers, LGBTQ+ people, small businesses, and more. You can view the map and find resources near you here:
The map is updated on a weekly basis. You can send any changes to BHC South Kern Policy and Strategic Facilitator Alejandra Garcia firstname.lastname@example.org. The map was created in partnership with the Equity and Social Justice GIS Special Interest Group (ESJ GIS) which aims to provide a space for GIS professions, students, and interested community members to share ideas, collaborate, and learn from one another.
We Can Win Through Schools and Communities First
We are celebrating a signature gathering victory! Schools and Communities First has officially qualified for the November ballot garnering 1.7 million signatures of support. Making history by gathering more signatures in the shortest amount of time than any other initiative on record. SCF will help to correct economic disparities within communities of color by reclaiming $12 billion a year.
California currently faces severe shortfalls; Communities are now faced with the prospect of devastating cuts to essential workers, local services, and schools. Now more than ever, schools, emergency services, and essential frontline workers deserve our support. There is a strong solution on the horizon.
In November, we can close corporate tax loopholes and level the playing field for small businesses who are already paying their fair share of taxes. SCF estimates that 78% of revenue would come from just 8% of the wealthiest corporations. Corporations have profited off of the labor of everyday people for a long time. SCF will help us reclaim the wealth that we have created and use it to benefit our families and our communities. This will not affect homeowners, agricultural properties, or small businesses. Schools & Communities First will make sure large multi-million dollar corporations pay their fair share in property taxes so we can make the investments in our local schools, public health, and economy that will help correct under-investment in communities that need it the most. We need YOU to make it happen! You can take action today by writing a letter to your local newspaper with just a few clicks of your mouse scf.vote/LTE. Remember to vote YES on Schools and Communities First during the general elections on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020.