Dolores Huerta documentary screen collaboration with Film committee

Dolores the person and the film highlighting her life’s work  shows the  multiplicity of forces that were arrayed against her in part due to her identity: ethnic minority, low wage agriculture worker, woman, from a historically  marginalized community in the USA.  Add to that, she exercised political agency that put her up against powerful other interest groups. Dolores helped to formulate and lead the Delano grape boycott in 1965. This boycott began in sympathy with the Filipino farm workers ultimately; the boycott lasted over five years.   While the Montgomery bus boycott had taken place a decade earlier, This boycott was a difference in kind.  Partly due to the type of consumer  good involved, and nationwide consumption of the good.   We visualize amber waves of grain, without thinking of the backbreaking work that goes into getting crop from the field to the table. The UFW called attention to the horrendous birth defects the children of the workers suffered because of exposure to dangerous pesticides. It was acceptable at that time to spray the laborers while they were in the field with no thought to their health.  This is still very much a battle with the current EPA overturning pesticides that had been previously banned.

Today we automatically choose the ‘fair trade’ labeled coffee, tea or chocolate when shopping. Large scale tragedies like the death by fire of textile workers in Bangladesh will cause us to pause, for a moment at least in our consumption of ‘fast fashion’. We can thank Dolores for raising our consciousness about our actions and choices and the consequences for the environment and on other people.  Below are links for more information on the current state of affairs regarding labor and environmentalist, health equity and resources for advocacy on environmental justice policy

 

Milman, O.  Pesticide that Trump's EPA refused to ban blamed for sickening farm workers,  The Guardian 17May2017

Robinson, D . How Unions and Environmentalists can work together. Scholars Strategy Network.  August, 2014.

Dyer,T. Pesticides and the United Farm Workers: An Extension of the Struggle for Social Justice  The University of Puget Sound Fall 2004.

NRDC   website Protect the Health of Low-Income Communities ,accessed  March 2018

Ahmed,A.  We can’t truly protect the environment unless we tackle social justice issues, too Popular Science 26 February 2018

Farm worker justice.org Environmental Health  accessed March 2018

Buford,T.  What It’s Like  Inside the Trump Administration’s Regulatory Rollback at the EPA  ProPublica 18 December 2017

GASP.org   Why Environmental Justice ?  accessed March 2018

Carmody,T.  How The Flint River got so Toxic  26 February 2016