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October 06, 2023

Civil rights icon, labor leader Dolores Huerta featured in ABA Presidential Speaker Series Oct. 12

CHICAGO, Oct. 6, 2023 – Dolores Huerta, civil rights icon, American labor leader and activist will be featured in the American Bar Association Presidential Speaker Series Thursday, Oct. 12.

The free online conversation is a special Hispanic Heritage Month program. Huerta will be interviewed by the Rev. Miguel Bustos, the Episcopal Church’s manager for Racial Reconciliation and Justice for the U.S. and Latin America and former executive director of the California Latino Civil Rights Network. The programt is co-sponsored by the Hispanic National Bar Association.

The program will start at 3 p.m. ET and will be available to watch on the program webpage. Advance registration is not required.

Huerta, who with Cesar Chavez is a co-founder of the United Farmworkers Association, is recognized as one of the most influential labor activists of the 20th century and a leader of the Chicano civil rights movement. In 1973, Huerta led a consumer boycott of grapes that resulted in the ground-breaking California Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975, which allowed farm workers to form unions and bargain for better wages and conditions. Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, Huerta worked as a lobbyist to improve workers’ legislative representation. During the 1990s and 2000s, she worked to elect more Latinos and women to political office and has championed women’s issues.

The recipient of many honors, Huerta received the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award in 1998 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

The Huerta conversation is the second in the Presidential Speaker Series. The first episode featured Ivo H. Daalder, former U.S. ambassador to NATO and current chief executive officer of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The interview can be viewed here.

The ABA Presidential Speaker Series, an initiative of ABA President Mary Smith, is a collection of diverse virtual conversations with globally recognized figures, spotlighting trailblazers and thinkers shaping our collective future. Under the theme "Lifting Our Voices, Charting the Future," these fireside chats will promote dialogue, civility and exposure to diverse viewpoints, innovative ideas and career insights.

Future speakers in the series will include:

  • Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese and Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear, Oct. 19
  • U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and a panel of Native American women “firsts,” Nov. 2
  • A discussion about artificial intelligence featuring a panel of special advisers to the ABA Task Force on the Law and Artificial Intelligence, Nov. 9           

  • Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Charles Johnson and former federal judge J. Michael Luttig, Dec. 7

Additional programs will be announced. To introduce the series, the first four installments will be free to ABA members and the public. Thereafter, programs will be free for ABA members but will include a charge for non-members. More information on the Presidential Speaker Series can be found at

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.