NKY Hosts Dolores Screening

Dolores Panel members Brenda Moran, Heyra Avila, Monick Chia, and Irene Encarnacion

On September 22nd the Northern Kentucky chapter of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth partnered with LULAC – Cincinnati, Mass Action for Black Liberation, Northern Kentucky University’s World Languages World Literatures, Northern Kentucky Justice and Peace Committee, Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center, and Mother of God Parish’s Education Committee to screen the documentary Dolores as part of the chapter's ongoing racial justice film series. The film details the life, struggles, and accomplishments of Dolores Huerta, who helped found the United Farm workers, and has worked for justice in our country throughout her life.

Following the film there was a panel of young Latina activists discussing what the film and Dolores meant to them. Moderated by Professor Irene Encarnacion from NKU’s World Languages World Literatures department, the panel consisted of Brenda Moran (NKU student and board member of LULAC – Cincinnati), Monick Chia (dual Peruvian and American Citizen, member of UC Latino Law Student Association), and Heyra Avila (former Xavier student, undocumented activist since she was 13, and a current board member of IJPC).

Professor Encarnacion asked panelists a series of questions, ranging from what similarities they saw between themselves and Dolores Huerta, why fewer people know about Dolores Huerta then other Civil Rights and social justice icons from her era, and if they identified as a feminist. The answers were a range from a love to dance, stubbornness, growing to love and share their Latin heritage, and a desire to see justice done. The panel also felt her being a woman had pushed her into the background, and erased her from many of the stories told about the successes of labor and civil rights.  To a person, the panel called themselves feminists. They shared stories of thinking of feminism as a dirty word growing up, but their experiences over the last few years has lead each to embrace the term. They discussed the conflict many felt and shared within their communities around these issues.

Professor Encarnacion called each of these women the Dolores of our communities, who have demonstrated a commitment to justice within their community, and a desire to organizes both within their communities and with allies facing similar struggles.

Reflecting on the film, member Janiah Miller remarked how the line that hit closest to her was from Angela Davis. Speaking about how today we talk about and learn about intersectionality, but that ‘back then we lived it.’ Dolores Huerta continues to illustrate the need to do community organizing across our different identities, and to remember that ‘Si se puede!’