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