Dolores Huerta, Bob Dylan, Madeleine Albright and others honored by White House with Medal of Freedom
By LARA FERNANDEZ
In a ceremony taking place at the White House today, President Barack Obama is honoring political and cultural icon Dolores Huerta with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Rock legend Bob Dylan (who has said he is recording in Spanish this year), former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and beloved author Toni Morrison are among the other recipients – thirteen in total.
“These extraordinary honorees come from different backgrounds and different walks of life, but each of them has made a lasting contribution to the life of our nation. They’ve challenged us, they’ve inspired us, and they’ve made the world a better place. I look forward to recognizing them with this award,” President Barack Obama said in a statement.
Along with Cesar Chavez, Huerta co-founded the National Farmworkers Association in 1962 that later became the United Farm Workers of America. The movement recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Huerta has served tirelessly as a community activist and was influential in securing the passage of California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975, as well as disability insurance for farmworkers in California. In 2002, she founded her own eponymous foundation, dedicated to the development of national leaders and community organizers.
This isn’t the first time Huerta has been recognized by a U.S. president. Bill Clinton awarded her the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights in 1998.