Delta honors Huerta with plaza naming

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Alicia Arong, Dolores Huerta’s sister, speaks at the unveiling of the plaque in Huerta’s honor. PHOTO BY STEPHANIE JIMENEZ

“It was here in Stockton where she learned to be an activist,” said Griselda Alonzo Cruz, the student speaker for the unveiling of the Dolores Huerta plaque. “Her story is your story.” 

The scene at the heart of campus was upbeat on Thursday, Sept. 19, as a dedication ceremony took place to name the plaza area between the Science and Math building and the Shima Center in Huerta’s honor. 

Griselda Alonzo Cruz, the student speaker for the event addresses the crowd. The event took place in Delta’s plaza. PHOTO BY STEPHANIE JIMENEZ

The unveiling event brought many people together. The Associated Students of Delta College had flautas for Mustang Pass holders. Green, pink and white conchas – Mexican sweet bread – were handed out to passersby. A crowd danced to the live sounds of Trueno Norteno.

Dr. Sarah Seekatz, associate professor of history and a Cultural Awareness Program Chairperson at Delta College, helped organize the event. 

Seekatz said the dedication to Huerta is important because “students see themselves in her story.”

The plaque went through committees and was presented to the Board of Trustees for approval. It’s placement is symbolic, History Professor Lynn Hawley told those present for the dedication, because it is at the heart, or corazon, of the campus.

The dedication was a community effort. Students wrote letters in regards of the plaque, along with making donations. 

Members of the campus community donated to erect the plaque, now standing at the mouth of the plaza near the North Forum. More than $3,500 was raised for the plaque.

Any leftover money will be going to the Dolores Huerta scholarship, which funds continue to  be raised for.

This implementation is bigger than a plaque.

This is the story of many students here on Delta college’s campus. Many Delta students are first generation college students who also try to fight for social justice, just like Huerta. Fifty-percent of students at Delta are Latino.

The crowd exchanged chants of Huerta’s famous phrase: “Si se puede”  or “Yes we can.”

Huerta wasn’t present for the event due to a previous engagement. Her sister Alicia Arong came in her place. 

To close the event the crowd chanted: “Who got the power, we got the power, the people got the power”

Huerta continues to be active in activism, getting arrested in August at a Fresno Board of Supervisors meeting for protest against unfair labor practices.