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Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: Fighting for Workers' Rights

Building the American Dream | VOCES

Septmeber 21, 2020

By Beatrice Alvarez

As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month we want to show an appreciation for all the achievements in workers' rights. This week, we highlight six stories of Hispanic labor activists and how their contributions to the cause benefit all workers in the country.

Building the American Dream | VOCES

VOCES brings us an unflinching look at the hardworking immigrants who make up a large part of the construction workforce. Behind a housing boom in Texas we find abusive industry practices and despite this, we find a community that remains resilient.

Dolores Huerta | Dolores

In this clip from Independent Lens' film: Dolores, we get a glimpse of a young woman who took on elected officials and the powers that be for all farmworkers. Dolores Huerta is a force of nature and this film (streaming is available to Passport Members) lets audiences get to know her fully.

Cesar Chavez | Latino Americans

In this clip from the seminal series Latino Americans we learn more about the strength and leadership of Cesar Chavez. He remains a hero to the labor movement long after the painstaking work of gaining national attention to the plight of migrant farmworkers in the 1960s, most of whom were Mexican-American and Mexican immigrants.

Emma Tenayuca | La Tejana Pasionaria

Long before the sweeping UFW strikes of the 1960s, San Antonio native Emma Tenayuca led 12,000 pecan shellers in the largest strike in San Antonio, Texas history. Learn more in this profile of activist Emma Tenayuca from Latinos in 60 Seconds.

Monica Ramirez | Hispanic Heritage Awards

Monica Ramirez was one of four honorees to receive the Leadership Award at the 2018 Hispanic Heritage Awards. Ramirez comes from a farmworker family and has dedicated her life to expanding civil rights and raising awareness of the injustices that migrant farmworkers endure. Her speech (starts at the 8:38 mark) highlights how the fight for workers' rights in one industry benefits all workers, of all cultures, because it comes from a place of love for one another.

This year's Hispanic Heritage Awards airs on October 6, 2020.

The Hand That Feeds | America ReFramed

The staff at a popular Manhattan café are paid sub-legal wages, handle dangerous machinery, and withstand managerial abuse. America ReFramed follows as this group of largely undocumented food service workers come together to call attention to their atrocious working conditions. They risk losing their jobs, and sometimes deportation, in their quest for justice. The Hand That Feeds begins streaming September 23, 2020.

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