January 17, 2024
Dolores Huerta Receives the ‘Courage Award’ at LA County’s 2023 John Anson Ford Awards
Legendary labor leader and activist, Dolores Huerta was awarded the Yvonne B. Burke Courage Award in Los Angeles at the 2023 LA County John Anson Ford Human Relations Awards on Tuesday, January 16.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Renowned civil rights leader and activist, Dolores Huerta, was honored at the 2023 John Anson Ford (JAF) Human Relations Awards hosted by the LA County Human Relations Commission on Tuesday, January 16. The event was held at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration building in downtown Los Angeles. The awards are named after former LA County Supervisor John Anson Ford. Mr. Ford represented the County’s 3rd Supervisorial District from 1934 to 1958. The JAF Awards have identified and honored human relations champions throughout LA County since 1972.
Civil rights activist Dolores Huerta was among seven honorees on Tuesday. The 93-year-old Huerta, co-founded the United Farm Workers union with Cesar Chavez and founder of The Dolores Huerta Foundation, was awarded the Yvonne B. Burke Courage Award in downtown Los Angeles. The prestigious award is given to an individual for their bold, dauntless action to advance human relations. Ms. Huerta was unable to attend and, her daughters Juanita Chavez and Maria Elena Chavez accepted the award on her behalf.
From left, Board Chair Supervisor, Lindsey Horvath, Juanita Chavez, Maria Elena Chavez, and First District Supervisor Hilda Solis Director at the John Anson Ford Awards. Ms. Huerta’s daughters, Juanita and Maria Elena accepted the award for their mother at the Los Angeles Hall of Administration on Tuesday, Jan 16.
“I am honored to receive this award from the LA County Human Relations Commission,” said Dolores Huerta in a provided statement. “So much of my life’s work aligns with the historical work of the Commission, beginning with the Community Service Organization, which started in Los Angeles – founded by Ed Roybal to fight discrimination against Latinos, which resulted in the passage of significant legislation: Public Assistance for Legal Immigrants; which included Old Age Pensions, Aid to the Disabled including Blind and later, Aid to Needy Children, removing deputy registrars as a requirement for voter registration, voting in Spanish, and driver’s license exams in Spanish. The Human Relations Commission gives legal support for the racial equity work with tangible results needed for our American society today as we set the model for the rest of the world,” Ms.Huerta stated.
Board Chair, Lindsey Horvath, and First District Supervisor Hilda Solis were able to attend the recognition event in person. Supervisor Solis was especially touched that Ms. Huerta was being honored for her dedication to social justice. In recognizing her dear friend Dolores Huerta, Supervisor Solis added: “I could not think of anyone more deserving of our Commission on Human Relations’ Courage Award. Dolores is an inspiration that transcends generation after generation. She has dedicated her life to advancing the rights of farmworkers, women, and other marginalized communities. Never did I imagine as a young girl growing up in the San Gabriel Valley that I would get to meet her, let alone partner with her in uplifting our most vulnerable. So, today we come full circle.”
Kent Wong, professor and long-time director of the UCLA Labor Center, was recognized with the John Allen Buggs Leadership Award, which honors a public official for their human relations advocacy and leadership. Mr. Wong has dedicated his entire adult life to bringing together workers and communities of all backgrounds to stand up for social justice, fair wages, and humane working conditions. During his tenure as director of the UCLA Labor Center, he ensured that the Labor Center is a beacon of hope for groups who have been historically underrepresented in the U.S. labor movement. These include communities of color, immigrants, the undocumented, women, youth, and the LGBTQ community.
Five other awardees were recognized for their outstanding human relations projects and programs throughout the county — one for each of the five LA County Districts.
In District 1, represented by Supervisor Hilda Solis, the Stop Hate Survey of Asian Youth Center was recognized for its multicultural youth phone-banking team, which helped survey adult Asian Americans experiencing hate in their communities.
“It is a privilege to recognize the Asian Youth Center as the First District’s John Anson Ford Human Relations Awards honoree for their incredible work on the ‘Stop Hate’ survey,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, First District. “As we saw a surge in anti-AAPI hate during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian Youth Center stepped up to rally residents in the San Gabriel Valley against hate and violence. I am proud of their leadership and look forward to continuing to work alongside them to build communities of acceptance and love.”
From left, First District Commissioner Yuen, First District Awardee, Bryan Chau from the Asian Youth Center, and First District Supervisor Hilda Solis at the 2023 John Anson Ford Awards.
In District 2, represented by Supervisor Holly Mitchell, The Testif-i Program of, A New Way of Life was honored for its multi-media initiative about mass incarceration, transforming public dialogue with the help of personal stories and lived-experience of formerly incarcerated women.
From left, Second District Awardee representatives Susan Burton and Pamela Marshall from Testifi-i Program, Second District Deputy Marina Escobedo, and Second District Commissioner Chin at the John Anson Ford Award ceremony in Los Angeles on Jan 16, 2024.
In District 3, represented by Lindsey Horvath, the GALAS LGBTQ+ Armenian Society was recognized for its work as one of the first LGBTQIA+ organization founded by Armenian Americans and serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning individuals of Armenian descent.
“I am so excited to honor so many incredible individuals and organizations that have contributed so much to our Los Angeles communities. The Third District is honoring GALAS LGBTQ+ Armenian Society for its remarkable education programming work throughout our region, challenging and pushing back against harmful narratives affecting our LGBTQ+ community,” said Chair Lindsey P. Horvath, Third District. “LA County is also proud to honor Kent Wong with our annual leadership award, celebrating the work that Kent has done for workers and for the Asian American community. We are so proud to celebrate these recipients today and every day.”
From left, Third District Awardee Erik Adamian (second from left) and Third District Supervisor and Board Chair, Lindsey Horvath at the John Anson Ford Award ceremony in downtown Los Angeles on Jan 16.
In District 4, represented by Supervisor Janice Hahn, ÓRALE was honored for its wellness workshops, providing safe spaces and practical tools for migrant and immigrant communities. this placeholder text.
From left, Fourth District Deputy Nick Holden, Fourth District Awardee representatives Gaby Hernandez, Maribel Cruz, Khiabeth Sanchez from ÓRALE, and LA County Human Relations Commission President IIan Davidson at the 2023 John Anson Ford Awards.
In District 5, represented by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, H. E. Art was recognized for its project to advance human relations though multicultural performing arts and initiatives to promote diversity.
From left, Fifth District Deputy Monica Banken, Fifth District Awardee Eartha Robinson from H. E. Art, and Fifth District Commissioner Keushkerian at the 2023 John Anson Ford Awards in downtown Los Angeles.
“Dolores Huerta, Kent Wong, and all the wonderful people and programs we are honoring, should inspire us all to do more about the rise in hate: educate yourself, get trained, and step up to work across the divides,” said the Commission’s long time Executive Director, Robin S. Toma. “We are facing a presidential election campaign period which is likely to bring more scapegoating, blame, and negative stereotyping aimed at vulnerable members of our community, and we need all the help we can to build our anti-hate infrastructure to strengthen, protect, and connect us all.”
The award ceremony was led by the LA County Human Relations Commission and included a presentation of JAF awardees by the LA County Board of Supervisors and their representatives, along with a reception for awardees, guests, friends, civil leaders and community partners.
From left, Board Chair Supervisor, Lindsey Horvath (ninth from left), First District Supervisor Hilda Solis and LA County Human Relations Commission Executive Director Robin Toma on stage with all the 2023 John Anson Ford Awardee representatives in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday, Jan 16.