Camila Chavez, Executive Director of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, received a certificate of recognition from the James Irvine Foundation for her and the organization’s leadership within the Kern County community.
Supervisor Leticia Perez presented the Leadership Award to Chavez at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.
“This is a very special moment for Kern County. This is a very special moment for me,” said Perez. “The Leadership Award recognizes individuals and organizations that are confronting the states critical challenges with innovate and effective solutions that improve peoples lives and contribute to a better California.”
With this award, the James Irvine Foundation provides recipients and organization with a grant of $250,000.
“From the DHF headquarters in Bakersfield, Ms. Chavez oversees strategic direction of this organization that seeks to empower historically disenfranchised communities with the training and skills to make transformational changes in their communities,” said Perez.
Under Chavez’s leadership, the Dolores Huerta Foundation has increased political representation of communities of color, addressed voting and education inequities and has secured millions of dollars for neighborhood improvements.
“I am honored to receive this recognition,” Chavez said at the meeting. “I share this recognition with my coworkers, my esteemed colleagues who work so hard every day, and I want to take a moment to highlight some of our accomplishments.
Volunteers and DHF staffers reached 84,000 people throughout the Central Valley to engage in 2020 Census. During the pandemic, the organization also held 93 food banks within last two years, serving 450,000 pounds of food to 13,000 families, Chavez said. The organization has also held multiple vaccination clinics, administering 6,800 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with the United Against COVID Coalition.
Despite these efforts, Chavez spoke of how the gap of Latino communities and people of color continue to widen.
She told the board, “We all have our work cut out for us.”