Activist Dolores Huerta to speak at SMC Tuesday

Dolores Huerta, union activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers union, will speak at Santa Monica College's main stage Tuesday at 11:15 a.m. The speaking engagement, sponsored by SMC's Associated Students, MECHA and the Latino Center will be centered on "50 years of struggle against toxic pesticides, corporate greed, police brutality, and racism," according to a poster distributed by the groups.

"We're honored to have her here," says Marian Martinez of the Latino Club, a sponsor of Tuesday's event. "It's the 50 year anniversary of the UFW; she's a living legend."

Martinez says that the event is expected to be crowded, citing increased interest in social activism after protests at the college earlier this month. "It's just a coincidence that she'll be here after the incident; we've been planning it since December," she says.

Huerta, 83, co-founded the UFW with Cesar Chavez in 1962 to lobby for better working conditions for farm workers. She was portrayed in SMC's 2011 staging of Cesar and Ruben, an Ed Begley Jr. musical about Chavez that was performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Martinez says Huerta attended the play at the college last fall.