SpeakersLearn about our speakers for this historic event.
Soraya Deen is the founder of the Muslim Women Speakers Movement, and Co-founder of Peacemoms (Promoting Christian Muslim /Dialogue). She is a spiritual activist, lawyer, certified Nonviolent Parent Educator and author of PEACE MATTERS – Raising Peace Conscious children. Her vision is to create 10,000 VOICES OF HOPE. She encourages Muslim Women not to stay at the bottom because it is too crowded.
Sue Dunlap has been a leader in women’s health for over a decade. In 2011, Sue was named President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles (PPLA) and Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles. Prior to being named CEO, Sue served as the Vice President of External Affairs at PPLA. In that capacity she led the Public Affairs, Marketing, Communications, and Call Center operations of the agency. Sue has led Los Angeles-based efforts to defeat three anti-choice ballot measures in California, re-branded the agency through English and Spanish public education campaigns, and provided leadership to increase reimbursement rates for California’s family planning providers, among many other successes.
Prior to joining PPLA, Sue was the Deputy Political Director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in Washington D.C. During her time in Washington, Sue developed and implemented a national strategy to increase the visibility of women’s issues in the 2004 election cycle, including implementing Planned Parenthood’s first presidential debate.
In addition to her work at Planned Parenthood, Sue has worked as a producer of daily news and political programs for Public Radio. Her award-winning article, “Queer Citizenship/Queer Representation: Politics Out Of Bounds,” appears in The Politics of Gender (United Nations University Press, 2008). Sue received her B.A. in Political Science and Psychology and completed all coursework for a Masters degree in Latin American Studies at San Diego State University.
Planned Parenthood Los Angeles is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides reproductive health care—including life-saving cancer screenings, contraception, STD testing and treatment, and health counseling—to over 144,000 patients each year. In addition, PPLA reaches nearly 80,000 teens and families with educational programs each year, including information about the importance of abstinence, as well as the effective use of condoms and contraception to prevent pregnancy and STDs. The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles is a 501(c)4 organization focused on passing pro-choice legislation and supporting pro-choice candidates.
Jan Robinson Flint
Janette has been serving her community as a public health professional for over 30 years. She has attended the University of Southern California where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She is a community professional at Charles Drew University, where she teaches public health professionals, doctors, and nurses about reproductive justice and the impact of health policies on minority groups. Janette is also a member of the African American Studies Community Advisory Committee at UCLA. Early in her career, she worked as a peer educator informing women in Los Angeles targeting HIV education and outreach to Black women. Janette is involved in the Women’s Health Collaborative, California Pan Ethnic Health Network, the African American Task Force and the Leadership Development in Interethnic Relationships Advisory Council.
Yolie Flores is an advocate for children and families, education policy leader, former school board member, social worker, and candidate for United States Congress.
Yolie currently serves as Chief Program Officer for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, and on the non-profit, non-partisan Boards of Coro Southern California, The Education Trust, and the Center for the Study of Social Policy. From 2010 to 2012, she served as President & CEO of Communities for Teaching Excellence, a national education non-profit. Yolie was elected to the LAUSD Board of Education in 2007 and served 3 years as Vice President of the Board. During her tenure she ushered groundbreaking reform policies to empower parents, improve student performance, and expand early childhood and bilingual education. Prior to LAUSD, Yolie served for 8 years as the CEO of the Los Angeles County Children’s Planning Council. Yolie earned her Master of Social Welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles and has twice been named social worker of the year in her region.
In December Yolie announced her campaign for US Congress in the 34th District. The 34th Congressional District includes the communities of Downtown LA, Boyle Heights, Rampart Village, Chinatown, Lincoln Heights, Elysian Park, Highland Park and Eagle Rock.
Assemblymember Garcia has been called a “Force of Nature,” first as a dynamic community organizer and civic activist and now as a new generation of leader in the California State Legislature.
Assemblymember Cristina Garcia was elected to the state Assembly in November 2012 and re-elected in 2014, representing California’s 58th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Artesia, Bellflower, Bell Gardens, Cerritos, Commerce, Downey, Montebello, Pico Rivera and Norwalk.
In Sacramento, she crashed the good old boys network and is leading the way to empower women to take their seat at the table. She has insisted on parity in the tax code by introducing a bill to repeal the sales on pads, tampons and other menstrual items and lead the charge to update the definition of rape in light of Brock Turner verdict, starting a national dialogue on both issues. She has made gender equity a priority and has been pivotal in ensuring that the Women’s Caucus plays an important role in budget and policy discussions.
She is on a mission to educate, empower and engage constituents in the 58th Assembly District, women and disadvantaged communities. She fights for change, with a passion to improve the lives of working people and to brighten the path for the next generation. As a vibrant new leader of promise, she hasn’t forgotten where she came from but she also knows where California should be going.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn inherited a passion for public service from her late-father, Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, who held public office in Los Angeles County for fifty years and who left behind an incredible legacy of service.
Janice Hahn was elected to the Los Angeles City Council in 2001, and represented the 15th district spanning from the port communities of San Pedro and Wilmington through Harbor City, Harbor Gateway and Watts. She made a name for herself on the Council as a champion for working people, securing healthcare for LAX workers and a living wage for Los Angeles hotel workers. She operated by the philosophy that our communities could have clean air and good jobs and negotiated new green policies at the Port of Los Angeles. When gang violence surged in Watts, Janice Hahn created the Watts Gang Task Force which fostered new trust between the local community and law enforcement and is credited with reducing shootings among youth in the Watts area by two-thirds.
In 2011, Janice Hahn won a special election to Congress. For 5 ½ years, Congresswoman Hahn represented her constituents in Washington serving on the House Homeland Security Committee, Committee on Small Business, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. She founded the PORTS Caucus and recruited over 100 of her fellow House Members as colleagues in order to advocate for ports issues and infrastructure. She was a leader in the fight to implement commonsense gun violence prevention legislation and to reform our broken immigration system. During her time in Congress, Hahn had a reputation for working to find common ground across the political aisle on behalf of the American people.
In 2016, Hahn was elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, following in her father’s footsteps. Her win was a bright spot in what was a difficult election night for Los Angeles County progressives. For the first time in history, women make up a majority of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, holding 4 of the 5 seats. As Supervisor for the Fourth District, Hahn has made addressing the homelessness crisis her top priority. She also is working to step up the fight for environmental justice for communities plagued by pollution and health problems as well as improve public transportation services across the county as a Metro board member.
Councilmember Lindsey P. Horvath is widely known for her leadership on women’s issues.
In West Hollywood, she was first appointed to the Women’s Advisory Board in 2007, focusing on the issues facing women and families. She served on the City’s Emergency Contraception Task Force, guaranteeing every pharmacy in the city provided women and girls with access to emergency contraception. Later, as a member of the City Council, she created the first-ever West Hollywood Community Response Team to Domestic Violence. As Mayor, she welcomed a new Planned Parenthood health center to her city and committed to supporting their services.
In recent years, she has served as a Global Coordinator for One Billion Rising, a global campaign of the V-Day movement to end violence against women and girls. She is an Advocate for A Window Between Worlds, UN Foundation, and CARE. and has collaborated with community leaders and organizations in successfully advocating for the full funding of the backlog of untested rape kit evidence in the City and County of Los Angeles.
She is the Founding President of the Hollywood Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), a former Young Feminist VP of California NOW, and a former President of National Women’s Political Caucus – LA Westside. She has also served in leadership for the YWCA in Glendale, CA and in St. Joseph County, IN, and for Running Start’s Los Angeles Advisory Council to encourage high school and college age young women to consider running for office. In 2012, she worked with the Democratic Party’s national leadership to change their Convention policies, guaranteeing mothers had access to private nursing rooms and planning for on-site childcare services at future Conventions. She proudly began her feminist activism on her college campus as a Producer and Organizer of The Vagina Monologues.
Councilmember Lindsey P. Horvath has a long history of civic and social justice advocacy, fighting discrimination based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, national origin, age, and religion. She was elected to the West Hollywood City Council on March 3, 2015. She previously served as a Councilmember from 2009-2011 and as Mayor from 2015-2016.
In addition to her service as an elected official, Councilmember Horvath works as an entertainment advertising executive, and has created award-winning campaigns for movies and television. Councilmember Horvath graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Political Science and Gender Studies from the University of Notre Dame.
Laura Jiménez has worked with women of color organizations across the country on issues of reproductive justice, including the National Latina Health Organization (Oakland), the Dominican Women’s Development Center (New York) and SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective (Atlanta). Laura is passionate about issues of immigration, environmental justice, and birthing and parenting, as they intersect with reproductive justice. She is proud to be a California native, but holds dear the time she spent in New York and the South learning about traditions of resistance from powerful women nationwide. She holds degrees in Ethnic Studies from both UC San Diego and San Francisco State University. Laura is a proud mother to four awesome people and is the compañera of a gifted musician. She loves to support pregnant and birthing mamas, loves adventures in food (especially if the food goes well with avocado) and aspires to someday crochet an entire blanket all by herself.
Abbe Land is the former Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project, a nationally recognized nonprofit providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth. A recognized and respected health care professional and activist, Abbe has an impressive history of ensuring care to underrepresented populations and advocating for youth in the LGBTQ community. Prior to joining Trevor, Abbe served as Co-CEO of The Saban Community Clinic in Los Angeles.
Abbe has a wealth of public policy knowledge as an elected Councilmember of the City of West Hollywood from 1986-1997 and from 2003-2015, Abbe served as Mayor five times. She is known for her support and leadership on women’s issues, LGBTQ rights, and civil liberties. Through her political advocacy, she was instrumental in the development of the City’s Women’s and Disability Advisory Boards, and domestic violence prevention program for same-sex couples. In addition through her leadership the city enacted landmark gun control legislation and created innovative programs to address homelessness. She is also involved with the National Council for Suicide Prevention; Women Against Gun Violence; the L.A. County Department of Health Services’ Women’s Health Policy Council; Planned Parenthood Advocacy Board; and the AIDS Community Action Foundation. She has received numerous awards in recognition of her leadership and advocacy. Abbe is a frequent speaker and presenter at local and national seminars and conferences.
A long-time resident of California, Abbe lives with her husband, artist Martin Gantman, and continues to advocate for quality programs, access to healthcare, affordable housing, civil rights and opportunities for children, youth, and families in West Hollywood and beyond.
Councilwoman Nury Martinez is the Assistant President Pro-Tem of Los Angeles City Council. Not only is she the only woman elected out of 18 Los Angeles city offices, she’s the first Latina to ever hold a leadership position on the Council.
As the Councilwoman for the sixth district, Councilwoman Martinez is the champion of bringing the basic services of city government to the often-underserved communities she represents. She’s focused on the day-to-day issues of fixing sidewalks and roads to cleaning up trash, debris and bulky items on neighborhood streets. She works tirelessly to ensure the families in the district have safe neighborhoods where they live and their children play.
At City Hall, Councilwoman Martinez leads the Council on major initiatives such as fighting human trafficking, empowering women, and reducing the negative impact of those who would pollute our environment.
Councilwoman Martinez has dedicated her life to the San Fernando Valley where she was born and raised and was proud to serve her community on the L.A. Unified School Board from 2009-2013. The product of public schools and the first in her family to graduate from college, Councilwoman Martinez led the School Board and was devoted to expanding access to quality education for all communities.
As the Executive Director of Pacoima Beautiful, Councilwoman Martinez brought together competing interests to create economic opportunity with an eye towards environmental sustainability. As a result, she was able to turn around the former Price Pfister toxic waste site and replace it with the Pacoima Plaza: a LEED certified facility that has brought hundreds of good paying jobs to the community.
The daughter of immigrant parents, Councilwoman Martinez spent her childhood admiring her parents’ hard work and learning from them the importance of community involvement. Her father was a dishwasher who took the bus every day from Pacoima to Sherman Oaks while her mother worked on an assembly line at the Price Pfister factory in Pacoima. This stable, union job provided, for the first time ever, healthcare coverage for Councilwoman Martinez’s entire family. And when Price Pfister announced plans to relocate to Mexico, Councilwoman Martinez organized to save local jobs that supported working families.
Councilwoman Martinez was elected to the Los Angeles City Council on July 23, 2013 in a special election, and re-elected on March 3, 2015. In addition to serving as the Assistant President Pro-Tem of the council, she is the Chair of the Energy and Environment Committee, Vice Chair of the Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee, and a member of the Budget, Transportation, as well as the Ad Hoc Immigrant Affairs Committees.
Councilwoman Martinez is a graduate of San Fernando High School and California State University at Northridge. She and her husband Gerry live in Sun Valley with their daughter, Isabelle.
Mayor Lauren Meister
After nearly two decades as a neighborhood advocate, Mayor Lauren Meister was elected to the West Hollywood City Council on March 3, 2015.
Prior to her election, Mayor Meister served on numerous commissions and committees for the City of West Hollywood, including: Planning Commission, Public Safety Commission, Campaign Finance Reform Committee, Permit Parking Advisory Group and the District 1 Parking Committee. She worked to mitigate traffic and parking impacts of new and proposed projects in the City, supported creative parking solutions to help neighborhood businesses, initiated the City’s “Live, Work, Play, Be Safe” educational campaign, and supported new ideas to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety. She also worked on campaign finance reform and has been a strong advocate for a stricter code of ethics.
Professionally, Mayor Lauren Meister is the sole proprietor of her own marketing research firm based in West Hollywood. As a businesswoman and market research professional, she listens to public opinion to form action-oriented solutions, understands the importance of budgets and resources, and believes that the City must provide good customer service and be accountable. A 25-year resident of West Hollywood, Mayor Lauren Meister has been both a renter and a homeowner in the City. Mayor Meister’s parents, sister and rescue dog Spike also call West Hollywood home.
Senator Holly J. Mitchell
Holly J. Mitchell has served in California’s Legislature since 2011. She was elected in 2014 to represent the 30th Senate District, which stretches from Culver City to South Los Angeles, and includes Century City, Cheviot Hills, the Crenshaw District, USC, Downtown and a portion of Inglewood.
Senator Mitchell belongs to the Senate’s official leadership, chairing the Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services and serving on the Rules, Health, Insurance, and Labor Committees. She also founded the Senate Select Committee on Women and Inequality.
During her six years in the Legislature Ms. Mitchell has obtained passage into law of more than fifty bills. Her legislation seeks to improve human services, expand access to healthcare, secure women’s reproductive rights, protect the environment, end the trafficking of minors, defend the civil rights of minorities and the undocumented and, above all, reduce the numbers of children growing up in poverty.
Prior to becoming a legislator she headed California’s largest child and family development organization, Crystal Stairs, having previously worked for the Western Center on Law and Poverty. She is the proud mother of an inquisitive millennial.
Senator Mitchell has been recognized as the 2017 Lois DeBerry Scholar in the Women in Government Leadership program and has been awarded “Legislator of the Year” by the Courage Campaign, the UCLA Labor Center, the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project, the Sierra Club, the L.A. County Democratic Party, the Black Business Association, Community Coalition, Aging Services of California, the Miracle Mile and Culver City Democratic Clubs, the California Welfare Directors Association, Easter Seals and the United Cerebral Palsy Association.
Maria Louise Roman
Maria Louise Roman has been a leader in social services for the transgender community in Los Angeles for over 19 years. Maria is a 46 year old Puertorican Latina Woman who began her journey to self-discovery at age 19. Many doors would close in her path, but she was driven and determined to succeed. With this decision came empowerment and hardship. She has survived life on the streets and has overcome many of the issues her community continues to fight today. She has become an outspoken voice, an activist and a role model to the Transgender community.
Maria Roman is the Current Regent Empress 47 for the Los Angeles Imperial Court System. Maria has won several local and regent beauty pageant titles including Miss Universo 2001,Miss Gay International 2002, Miss LA Pride 2004- Miss LA Pride 2012,Miss Queen USA 2004, Miss Quest 2009, Miss Queen Of the Universe 2013, Miss California Panache 2014. Maria w With all this attention, Maria has continued to have her feet on the grown, staying humble and not forgetting were she came from, taking any opportunity to influence change with her presence advocating for the women that continue to walk the streets with broken spirits and shattered dreams. She currently Serves as a Los Angeles County HIV Commissioner and as a California Certified Addiction specialist and works at APAIT providing counseling services for transgender women dealing with trauma and addiction.
Hillary has been the executive director of the National Council of Jewish Women/ Los Angeles since 2004. Hillary’s leadership has created a vibrant organization that meets the needs of women, children and families throughout Los Angeles. She has provided the vision to expand the organization over the past 11 years, including doubling the number of individuals served to more than 12,000, quadrupling the number of event attendees through increased programming, and increasing the budget from $4 million to $10 million.
Hillary’s commitment to social justice began as she marched for the rights of Soviet Jewish refuseniks in the 1970s. Making a difference in the life of children and families has always been her passion. She has lobbied in Sacramento and Washington on issues that affect those in-need. She created the West Hollywood Job Fair and Health Fair in the early 2000s, and opened up NCJW/LA to host the first Transgender Job Fair and Wellness Fair.
Hillary has received several awards including the Jewish Communal Professionals of Southern California’s Bobbi Asimov Award for Professional Mentorship, the City of West Hollywood’s Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Women in Leadership Award. Hillary has worked on public service announcements for early detection for breast cancer.
Hillary has been CEO of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, senior assistant executive director of Jewish Community Centers/ Los Angeles, and Young Judaea regional director. She has been an instructor in the MBA-Non-Profit Management School at American Jewish University and guest lecturer at Hebrew Union College- School of Jewish Nonprofit Management. She holds an MBA in non-profit management from American Jewish University and a BA in the teaching of history from University of Illinois.
Hillary is a member of Congregation Kol Ami. She is married to Bonnie Anderson, the program coordinator for Casting for Recovery – Southern California.
Hilda L. Solis
Supervisor Hilda L. Solis was sworn in as Los Angeles County Supervisor for the First District of Los Angeles County on December 1, 2014.
Prior to becoming Supervisor she served as Secretary of Labor. Supervisor Solis was confirmed on February 24, 2009, becoming the first Latina to serve in the United States Cabinet. Before that, Supervisor Solis represented the 32nd Congressional District in California, a position she held from 2001 to 2009.
In the Congress, Supervisor Solis’ priorities included expanding access to affordable health care, protecting the environment, and improving the lives of working families. A recognized leader on clean energy jobs, she authored the Green Jobs Act which provided funding for “green” collar job training for veterans, displaced workers, at risk youth, and individuals in families under 200 percent of the federal poverty line.
In 2007, Supervisor Solis was appointed to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the Helsinki Commission), as well as the Mexico — United States Interparliamentary Group. In June 2007, Solis was elected Vice Chair of the Helsinki Commission’s General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions. She was the only U.S. elected official to serve on this Committee.
A nationally recognized leader on the environment, Supervisor Solis became the first woman to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2000 for her pioneering work on environmental justice issues. Her California environmental justice legislation, enacted in 1999, was the first of its kind in the nation to become law.
Supervisor Solis graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California. A former federal employee, she worked in the Carter White House Office of Hispanic Affairs and was later appointed as a management analyst with the Office of Management and Budget in the Civil Rights Division.
Katherine Spillar is the Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation and the Feminist Majority, national organizations working for women’s equality, empowerment, and non-violence. One of the founders, Spillar has been a driving force in executing the organizations’ diverse programs securing women’s rights both domestically and globally since its inception in 1987. Spillar also serves as the Executive Editor of Ms. magazine, which the Feminist Majority Foundation took over publishing in 2001.
Spillar is a trained economist and researcher and a specialist in community organizing. She speaks to diverse audiences nationwide on a broad range of domestic and international feminist topics and appears frequently on television and radio. She has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition, 60 Minutes, the Rachel Maddow Show, NPR’s Fresh Air with Terri Gross and Tell Me More with Michel Martin, the O’Reilly Factor, CNN, ABC Nightly News, CBS News, NBC, FOX, the Tavis Smiley Show, Politically Incorrect, and Hannity & Colmes.
Jerilyn has been a feminist since age 5 and was already a union activist working on wages, working conditions and the image of women and minorities in film and TV as Co-Chair of the AFTRA Women’s Committee when she joined NOW. Jerilyn is the Chair of the Labor Task Force: Organized Sunkist Lemon Demonstration/Grape Boycott for Farm Workers; Chair of the Media Committee: Lead national letter writing campaign to keep Cagney & Lacey on TV. Written about in the book “Defining Women: Television and the Case of Cagney & Lacey on (pages 44, 87 & 88) by Julie D’Acci. As a student at Los Angeles Valley College, she established the Commissioner of Women’s Concerns seat on the student council, organized rallies and “teach ins” for the ERA and Reproductive Rights. Jerilyn is a Los Angeles delegate to the California NOW Board and served on the CANOW PAC and convened and co-founded the Hollywood Chapter of NOW, served as acting President, Former Executive Vice President, Hollywood NOW and Vice President Action, chapter delegate to the CANOW Board and Chair the CANOW Media Reform Committee and is the CA State Coordinator for a campaign for a US Department of Peace and Nonviolence.