SpeakersLearn about our speakers for this historic event.
In 2017, Kamala D. Harris was sworn in as a United States Senator for California, the second African- American woman and first South Asian-American senator in history. She serves on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on Environment and Public Works, and the Committee on the Budget.
Kamala has spent her life fighting injustice. It’s a passion that was first inspired by her mother, Shyamala, an Indian-American immigrant, activist, and breast cancer researcher.
Growing up in Oakland, Kamala had a stroller-eye view of the Civil Rights movement. Through the example of courageous leaders like Thurgood Marshall, Constance Baker Motley, and Charles Hamilton Houston, Kamala learned the kind of character it requires to stand up to the powerful, and resolved to spend her life advocating for those who could not defend themselves.
After earning an undergraduate degree from Howard University and a law degree from the University of California, Hastings, she began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
In 2003, Kamala became the District Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco. Among her achievements as District Attorney, Harris started a program that gives first-time drug offenders the chance to earn a high school diploma and find employment.
Having completed two terms as the District Attorney of San Francisco, Kamala was elected as the first African-American and first woman to serve as California’s Attorney General. In this role, she worked tirelessly to hold corporations accountable and protect the state’s most vulnerable people.
Over the course of her nearly two terms in office, Kamala won a $25-billion settlement for California homeowners hit by the foreclosure crisis, defended California’s landmark climate change law, protected the Affordable Care Act, helped win marriage equality for all Californians, and prosecuted transnational gangs that trafficked in guns, drugs, and human beings.
In the United States Senate, Kamala’s mission remains unchanged: fighting for the rights of all communities in California. Since taking office, she has introduced and cosponsored legislation to raise wages for working people, reform our broken criminal justice system, make healthcare a right for all Americans, address the epidemic of substance abuse, support veterans and military families, and expand access to childcare for working parents.
It’s the privilege of Kamala’s life to work on behalf of the people of California. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Doug Emhoff, and is stepmother to Ella and Cole Emhoff.
Blossom is a trans-health advocate, HIV/AIDS activist, actress, motivational speaker, Feminist, and producer. She graduated from Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Ms with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health Education and is the first Black Transwoman to graduate from the university. Her attention gained national attention when she appeared in Season 1 of Caitlyn Jenner’s docu-series “I Am Cait” and on the Ellen Show in which she received 20,000 to attend nursing school. She currently works for a non-profit and continues to be a fierce community activist.
The Honorable Lili Bosse was originally elected to the Beverly Hills City Council in 2011 and is currently serving her second term as mayor.
Mayor Bosse’s goal has always been to promote the values of inclusion and diversity, and create a new sense of community. During her time on the Council, Ms. Bosse has initiated a Healthy City program that encourages residents to adopt a healthy lifestyle and fosters a healthy business community and healthy government. Her weekly Walks With the Mayor routinely draw hundreds of walkers, who explore the city and visit both new and established businesses.
The only daughter of holocaust survivors, she grew up in Beverly Hills and graduated from Beverly Hills High School. She and her husband, Jon, are strong proponents of public education. Among their many contributions to the Beverly Hills schools, they started the the Bosse Leadership Academy for district employees.
Ms. Bosse is a long standing champion of women’s issues and is the cofounder of Visionary Women, a non-profit organization that emboldens women to achieve their full potential and advances the status of women in all spheres of society. She has devoted the past 25 years to philanthropic activities.
Judy Chu was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2009. She represents the 27th Congressional District, which includes Pasadena and the west San Gabriel Valley of southern California.
Rep. Chu currently serves on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over legislation pertaining to taxes, revenues, Social Security, and Medicare. In that Committee, Rep. Chu is a member of the Subcommitees on Health and Human Resources, giving her oversight over healthcare reform and crucial safety net programs
She also serves on the House Small Business Committee, which has oversight of the Small Business Administration, and is a member of the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access.
Chu was first elected to the Board of Education for Garvey School District in 1985. From there, she was elected to the Monterey Park City Council, where she served as Mayor three times. She then was elected to the State Assembly and then
California’s elected tax board, known as the State Board of Equalization. In 2009, she became the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress in history.
Martha Dina Arguello
For almost 40 years, Martha has been involved in social, health and environmental justice movements in Los Angeles. She joined PSR-LA in 1998 to launch their environmental health programs, and became Executive Director in November 2007. She is a leader in California’s environmental health and justice movement, and has expertise in environmental health and policy, related to: air pollution, urban oil drilling, climate change and health, pesticides and toxic chemicals. She serves as the Co Chair of the Standing Together Against Neighborhood Drilling and is committed to helping support and shape and intersectional movement that promotes a clean and just economy while promoting a carbon and nuclear free future.
Susan Dunlap is the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles (PPLA). Seeing 234,000 patient visits each year and providing comprehensive sex education in schools and communities across Los Angeles County, PPLA is one of the largest Planned Parenthood affiliates in the country.
Dunlap’s twenty year career with Planned Parenthood has included work with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America leading advocacy efforts in battleground states across the country, as well as with Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California as a registered lobbyist ensuring that California’s public policy framework truly aspires to reproductive health and justice for all Californians.
Prior to her work with Planned Parenthood, Dunlap worked as a producer for an award-winning public radio show.
Dunlap is an accomplished public speaker and author who has been recognized and honored by numerous organizations, including the American Political Science Association, the California Legislature, and Equality California.
Nourbese Flint serves as the Policy Director and manager of reproductive justice programs at Black Women for Wellness (BWW). Here, she directs reproductive and environmental health policy,organizese community advocacy and manages reproductive and sexual health programming as well as civic engagement.
Before joining BWW, Nourbese studied women’s health in both Spain and Cuba and journalism in Scotland. Nourbese communication’s background includes serving as Communication Director at the Center of Women’s Health and Human Rights, as well as reporting for KPFK evening news. Nourbese has a Masters of Arts in Women’s Health from Suffolk University, where she specialized in health disparities as it relates to media influence. In addition, Nourbese is a proud alumnus of San Jose State University, where she majored in Broadcast Journalism and African American Studies.Nourbese is a founding member of Trust Black Women; a national coalition dedicated to increasing respect and support of Black Women and is the co-chair of girls policy for the California Women’s Agenda.
Councilmember Lindsey P. Horvath was elected to the West Hollywood City Council on March 3, 2015. She previously served as a Councilmember for two years from 2009-2011, and as Mayor from April 2015 to April 2016.
Councilmember Horvath is widely known for her leadership on women’s issues and serves 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 also an Advocate for A Window Between Worlds, UN Foundation, and CARE. She was first appointed to the West Hollywood Women’s Advisory Board in 2007, focusing on the issues facing women and families in West Hollywood, 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 previously served in leadership for a variety of organizations, including as President of the Hollywood Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC) LA-Westside as well as Young Feminist VP of California NOW.
In addition to her service as an elected official, Horvath works as an entertainment advertising executive, and has created award-winning campaigns for movies and television. Horvath graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Political Science and Gender Studies from the University of Notre Dame.
She is determined:
- to create a just world
- to leave it a better place than I found it
- to reach out to those in need
- to be myself and love myself
- to respect others and live the Golden Rule
- to offer the best version of myself wherever I go
- to consider the impact on others while pursuing my dreams
- to live lovingly
- to be of service
Veronica Flores serves as CEO of Community Health Councils, an organization with a mission to promote social justice and achieve equity in community and environmental resources to improve the health and well-being of under-resourced populations. For the past 25 years, Ms. Flores has held executive positions in the private and nonprofit sectors as well as having a long history of active participation as an activist, volunteer, board member, and community leader on issues related to equity, poverty, sustainability and immigration. Her experience working to improve the health and well-being of low income communities has focused on public health and policy, community development, social innovation, and strategic and business planning. Prior to coming to CHC, she was the President of Triple Notion, a consultant group providing strategic leadership and capacity building to non-profits, public health agencies, and start-ups seeking to scale multi-cultural initiatives, programs, and social businesses while increasing financial sustainability. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Southern California – Sol Price School of Public Policy, and has authored and co-authored several journal publications.
Laura Friedman was elected to the California State Assembly in November 2016 to represent the 43rd Assembly District which encompasses the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and La Cañada Flintridge, as well as the communities of La Crescenta and Montrose, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Beachwood Canyon, Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Franklin Hills, and Silver Lake.
Laura has been a prominent figure in the community and taken on leadership roles in a variety of areas; as a small business owner, film and television producer, Mayor and City Councilmember, and on several boards and advocacy committees.
Laura got her start in the private sector working as a film and television executive and producer after receiving her B.A. from the University of Rochester, New York. In 2001, she launched her own web-based small business. Building on her years of community service, she was elected to the Glendale City Council in 2009, served as Mayor from 2011-2012 and was re-elected in 2013.
Laura has been active in local government for years, working to build a more sustainable future for all communities. She served for seven years on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. She is a Past President of the Independent Cities Association, was a Hollywood-Burbank Airport Commissioner, and a Board Member of the Southern California Association of Governments where she was a member of the Energy and Environment Committee. Laura also spent five years on the Glendale Design Review Board.
She has long been recognized as a steadfast advocate for the environment and the arts community. Laura was honored in 2014 with the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters’ Smith-Weiss Environmental Champion Award, and has been active with both the Society of Architectural Historians and the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee.
Her work in the private sector and activism in the community have shaped her work in Sacramento. In her first term in the Assembly, Laura secured $20 million in funding for the completion of the Glendale Riverwalk Project, and authored a package of bills to encourage water conservation, strengthen environmental sustainability, improve access to higher education and health care, and create new avenues for communities to tackle the affordable housing crisis. She has been tapped for several leadership roles in the legislature and currently serves as the Assistant Speaker pro Tempore for the Assembly, the Chair of the Joint Rules Subcommittee on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response, and the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Laura also serves as a member of the Assembly Committees on Appropriations; Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media; Transportation; Rules; and Water, Parks, and Wildlife.
Laura is a Glendale resident and lives with her husband Guillaume Lemoine, a landscape designer, and their daughter Rachel.
Assemblymember Cristina Garcia was elected to the state Assembly in November 2012 and re-elected in 2014 and 2016, representing California’s 58th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Artesia, Bellflower, Bell Gardens, Cerritos, Commerce, Downey, Montebello, Pico Rivera and Norwalk. She is often referred to as 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.
She currently serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources. In addition, Assemblymember Garcia currently serves on the following legislative committees: Judiciary, Ethics, Environmental Safety and Toxics, Utilities and Energy, as well as Budget Subcommittee 3 (Resources and Transportation). She also is former Assistant Majority Leader of the State Assembly.
In addition to serving on these committees, Assemblymember Garcia is also the Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus and Vice Chair on the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, working at the forefront of making impressive change for California’s women and girls. Assemblymember Garcia has made addressing gender inequity a priority by introducing Assembly Bill 1561, AB 9 and which would repeal the state sales tax on feminine health products and led the charge to update the definition of rape in light of the Brock Turner verdict, starting a national dialogue on both issues. In addition, she has been pivotal in ensuring that the Women’s Caucus plays an important role in budget and policy discussions. This includes being a mentor to encourage more women to run and hold positions in public office.
Before being elected to public office, Cristina Garcia had already staked her claim as a warrior for ethical conduct in local and state government. When the City of Bell corruption scandal broke, gaining national attention, Bell residents turned to Cristina to take action. She worked with concerned citizens to form the Bell Association to Stop the Abuse (BASTA), a local advocacy organization that forced Bell’s corrupt officials out of office and ushered in accountability and transparency for the first time in the city’s history.
To address the black cloud of corruption that hung over the state Capitol, Assemblymember Garcia introduced a wide ranging ethics and transparency package of bills, the “Political Conduct, Ethics and Public Trust Acts of 2014,” written to reform our political structure and help to restore the public’s trust in their government. Through the political turmoil, she succeeded in her legislative efforts and was rewarded when Governor Jerry Brown signed five of her reform measures into law.
Equal to being a tireless activist for higher ethical standards in government, Cristina is a passionate advocate on issues concerning civic engagement. Today, as a statewide leader, Assemblymember Garcia continues her efforts to protect and educate our state’s children and is dedicated to educating, engaging and empowering her community on all levels.
Assemblymember Garcia launched her Young Legislator’s program in 2013 to mentor high school students in her district to become the leaders of tomorrow. The Young Legislators are given hands-on experience, working within their communities, as they participate in local events hosted by Assemblymember Garcia’s district office. Young Legislators who successfully complete the program travel to the State Capitol in Sacramento where they participate in bill development, mock committee hearings and a floor session in the State Assembly chambers. Most recently, she started her Fellows in Government program to mentor 8th graders in her district to become the change agents of the future. Like the young legislators they are given a hands on experience to how government is structured and how change is made.
A math teacher for thirteen years prior to joining the Assembly, Cristina taught statistics at the University of Southern California, mathematics at Los Angeles City Community College and taught middle school and high school mathematics through the Jaime Escalante Program at East Los Angeles Community College and at Huntington Park High School.
As a teacher, Cristina understood the damage to students that bullying created, on both an emotional and physical level. This inspired her in 2012 to author AB 256, Cyber-Bulling legislation giving educators the authority to discipline students who engage in cyber bullying – harassment by electronic means – on, or away, from the school campus. AB 256 was signed into law by Governor Brown in 2013.
Cristina lives in the in the Southeast Los Angeles community of Bell Gardens, where she was raised and attended local public schools. She went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree from Pomona College, a Master’s Degree and a Secondary teaching credential from Claremont Graduate University and is presently a doctoral candidate at USC.
Cristina has been recognized by California Forward with the distinguished California Forward Thinkers Award, previously earned the Distinguished Woman of the Year Award from the California State Assembly. In 2013 and again in 2017 the Latino Journal & CAFÉ de California presented the Spirit of Latina Award to Assemblymember Garcia for her “exemplary work to strengthen California’s Democracy and advance the representation of Latinas in Public Service.”
Hanna Harris is a professional spoken word artist and educator. She has performed at LACMA & Dodger Stadium, live on KPFK, and at over 30 high schools in the LA area. She works with Get Lit, has been published in Melancholy Hyperbole & Bluepepper Magazine, and she was recently named a Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador. She is raising her cats to be feminists.
Carol Jenkins is a widely recognized leader in the women’s rights movement and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Equal Rights Amendment Coalition http://www.eracoalition.org/. As founding president of the Women’s Media Center, Ms. Jenkins was charged with turning the energy of a conversation–among leading feminists and media women gathered in Gloria Steinem’s living room– into the country’s largest advocacy organization fighting sexism and exclusion of women in the media. An Emmy Award-winning former television journalist, she hosts the Emmy-nominated interview show, Black America, on CUNY TV. Carol is also executive producer, writer and correspondent of its documentaries, including the PBS-aired “More Than a Building, A Dream Come True,” a film detailing the creation of the new African American Museum in Washington, DC and “Conscience of America: Birmingham’s Fight for Civil Rights, a special on the Birmingham National Civil Rights Monument.
Carol Jenkins has been honored by the Association of Black Journalists/New York Chapter with Lifetime Achievement and International Reporting Awards, UPI, The Feminist Press, The Daily News’ Front Page Award, YWCA, Girl Scouts of America, Save the Children, Single Parents’ Association, United Negro College Fund, Hale House, National Mothers Day Committee as Mother of the Year, the Police Athletic League as Woman of the Year, Abbot House as Humanitarian of the Year, and as Distinguished Alumna of New York University, among many others. She holds honorary doctorates from The College of New Rochelle and Marymount Manhattan College.
Juana Rosa Cavero
With a strong commitment to reproductive justice, Juana Rosa is committed to building power for transformative change. She has dedicated her professional career and community advocacy to projects that make real improvements to people’s lives. This vision has been crafted by roles within reproductive justice, public health, Latino/a policy research and civil rights advocacy. She gained her experience within the US and globally with organizations such as the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), Pacific Institute for Women’s Health, Advancement Project, Women’s Policy Institute of California and CoreAlign Generative Innovation Project, where she leveraged the policy advocacy process to improve health. Her passion is driven by Reproductive Justice principles leading to dynamic collaboratives that can achieve policy change. Currently, she is Director of the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom (CCRF), a statewide alliance of nearly 35 diverse organizations advancing sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice.
Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz took the oath of office to begin his first term representing the 5th District in 2009. He was re-elected in 2013 with support from 74.69% of the voters in the city’s primary election.
Born in the San Fernando Valley, Councilmember Koretz was raised and schooled in the 5th District, attending Canfield Elementary School, Palms Middle School, Hamilton High School, and UCLA, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history.
Councilmember Koretz’s father Erich escaped Nazi Germany in late 1939, emigrating first to Argentina and then settling in Los Angeles. He became a waiter and a dedicated member of the hotel and restaurant employees union. Councilmember Koretz often joined his father on picket lines and in other efforts aimed at improving the life of working people. His mother, Doris, grew up in Everett, Massachusetts, during the Great Depression after her family fled the pogroms in Russia and emigrated to the U.S. It was the lessons learned from his parent’s experiences that shaped Councilmember Koretz’s philosophy on service and social justice.
Councilmember Koretz lives with his wife Gail, daughter Rachel, and their two rescue cats, Chagall and Samantha, in the Beverly Grove neighborhood. A devoted husband and father, Councilmember Koretz strives to balance his council duties with his family life and apply the responsibilities of parenthood as a guide to inform his service to the public.
Councilmember Koretz helped lead the effort to incorporate the new City of West Hollywood in 1984, establishing greater local accountability, constituent service, and control over planning. He served on the West Hollywood City Council from 1988-2000, leading key efforts that boosted the city’s efficiency and accountability, promoted jobs and the local economy, protected renters and homeowners, championed human, animal and civil rights, fought for environmental protection, and made West Hollywood a regional model for providing quality city services and city management.
In 2000, he was elected to the California State Assembly, representing the 42nd Assembly District that included much of the City of L.A.’s 5th District. While serving in the State Assembly, he authored over 70 bills to protect workers and their families, fought for LGBTQ equality, and for live-saving public safety and health care measures including legislation to reduce gun violence.
Councilmember Koretz currently serves on the L.A. City Council, where he champions environmental protection including fighting climate change, conserving water, and protecting our natural resources. Councilmember Koretz is leading the fight against mansionization and working hard to solve our city’s long-time homelessness problem. He also created a program for greater enforcement of quality of life issues and authored several laws to protect animals from cruel practices. He has worked hard to pave our streets, trim our trees, and improve our parks.
During his years of elected service, Councilmember Koretz has always delivered on his commitment to governmental efficiency, transparency, accountability, and accessibility – principles that have guided his life of activism, service, and leadership.
Councilwoman Nury Martinez is the Assistant President Pro-Tem of Los Angeles City Council. As one of only two women 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.
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, Climate Change and Environmental Justice Committee, Vice Chair of the Transportation Committee, and a member of the Immigrant Affairs, Civil rights and Equity, as well as the Public Works and Gang Reduction 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.
Joselyn Olazabal is a 26-year-old political activist and student. She’s originally from Peru and is a DACA recipient. Joselyn came to the United States of America when she was 11 years old. She settled in Los Angeles, California. She qualifies as a “DREAMer”, an Obama-era policy that protects the children of undocumented immigrants from deportation. After graduating from University High School, she attended Los Angeles Pierce College before transferring to Northridge University. She is currently a junior and studies political science to become an immigration attorney. Joselyn Olazabal is the Founder of Dreams Alliance, an organization that promotes, mobilize, organize and educate the undocumented community and those who remain committed to the fundamental principles of social justice of undocumented immigrants and refugees throughout the United States.
In 2016, Secretary Padilla oversaw the state’s historic General Election. Working with statewide partners, the Secretary helped add upwards of one million registered voters to the rolls. More than 19.4 million Californians were registered and more than 14.6 million cast ballots on Election Day – both state records.
To expand voting rights to more Californians, in 2015, theSecretary sponsored legislation to establish vote centers, expand early voting and implement same-day conditional voter registration. He also sponsored the New Motor Voter Act which will eventually register to vote every eligible California citizen who goes to a DMV office to get a driver’s license or renew one, potentially registering millions.
Secretary Padilla also launched “Honor Veterans. Vote.” This program provides Californians an opportunity to dedicate their vote in honor of a family member or friend who has served or is actively serving in the military.
Padilla’s parents emigrated from Mexico and raised their family in the working class community of Pacoima, California. Padilla attended local public schools and went onto graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.
In 1999, at the age of 26, Padilla was elected to the Los Angeles City Council to represent the same east San Fernando Valley community where he grew up. In 2001, his colleagues elected him to the first of three terms as Council
President, becoming the youngest member and the first Latino to serve in this capacity.
Anthony Rendon was sworn-in as the 70th Speaker of the Assembly on March 7, 2016.
Rendon represents the 63rd Assembly District in the California State Assembly. The district includes nine cities – Bell, Cudahy, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, South Gate and a northern portion of Long Beach.
In 2017, Rendon led the most progressive and productive legislative session in memory – a year in which the Assembly passed a landmark $52 billion transportation funding plan, extension of California’s cap-and-trade program, first-of-its-kind clean air measure, and legislation to address the affordable housing crisis. The 2017 state budget included expansion of the earned income tax credit and child care eligibility, record investment in education, and reforms to the Board of Equalization and University of California.
Prior to serving in the Assembly, Rendon was an educator, non-profit executive director, and environmental activist.
He attended Cerritos Community College and California State University, Fullerton and earned a Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside.
Rendon resides in Lakewood with his wife Annie.
Jayna Zweiman is a multidisciplinary artist and designer. Her independent practice combines architecture, art and new media to focus on experiences that overlap physical, virtual and conceptual spaces.
Perhaps best known as the co-creator and co-founder of The Pussyhat Project, an international network and movement of women’s rights supporters, Zweiman has become a leading advocate of utilizing design innovation to enact social change. The Pussyhat Project became a worldwide phenomena at the 2017 Women’s Marches with one of the largest crowd-sourced art advocacy projects ever. She is also the creator and founder of Welcome Blanket, a reconceptualization of the 2000-mile length of the proposed border wall as 2000-mile length of yarn to make individual welcome blankets for new immigrants coming to the United States.
Zweiman received her AB from Brown University in visual arts and economics and her Masters in Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She lives and works in Los Angeles.
Angelica Salas is the Executive Director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), and is widely regarded as one of the most gifted activist/organizers in the country today.
Since becoming CHIRLA’s director in 1999, Salas has spearheaded and won several ambitious campaigns. She helped win in-state tuition and access to financial aid for undocumented immigrant students, and most recently helped win drivers licenses for the undocumented community in California. Salas is also a leading national spokesperson and organizer on federal immigration policy. She is a prominent figure in ethnic and mainstream press and is often quoted on the all issues related to immigrant well-being. Under Salas’ leadership, CHIRLA and its national partners have built the foundation for the upsurge in immigrant rights activism. She is a leader in national coalitions of organizations which have successfully mobilized millions of immigrants to demand comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship, family reunification, and protection of civil and labor rights. One of her greatest accomplishments at CHIRLA has been the transformation of a social service provision coalition into a statewide mass membership organization that empowers immigrants to engage in advocacy on their own behalf. Today CHIRLA weaves together organizing, electoral civic engagement, community education, policy advocacy and legal services to fully engage and empower immigrant families. Salas comes by her understanding of the immigrant experience firsthand. As a five year old, Angelica came to the U.S. from Mexico to rejoin her undocumented parents who had come to the U.S. to provide for their family. She grew up in Pasadena, California, and is a graduate of Occidental College. Angelica Salas is married to Mayron Payes, an immigrant from El Salvador, and has two children, Maya and Ruben Payes.
Sabel Samone-Loreca has engaged in HIV prevention and care work for much of her adult life. Ms. Samone-Loreca is currently a Commissioner on the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV, holding the SPA 4 Consumer seat.
Sabel Samone-Loreca was in the Profile of Cover Story for OUT Magazine October 2016, on the Cover of the 2016 Lesbian,Gay,Bisexual,and Transgender Hertigage Month, awarded 2015 Queen USA Most Popular Award
Samone-Loreca was on the Cover of The Fight Magazine Sponsor Los Angeles Pride 2015 ( Prep and Prejudice)
Samone-Loreca is the cover of Friends Community research ( Alexia’s Project ) Healthy Living Positive Living
Samone-Loreca started her career in social services in 2002, when she moved to Los Angeles. In addition to her HIV-focused work, she has been a ceaseless advocate for youth, trans people, and the homeless. She has worked with a number of agencies during her career, such as Californians Helping Alleviate Medical Problems (C.H.A.M.P), and Central City Hospitality House in San Francisco focusing on the homeless transgender community. She also worked with Minority AIDS Project and Skid Row Housing and Trust as a peer advocate outreaching to the homeless community. She was a case manager at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, working in the Division of Adolescent Medicine.
In 2004, Samone-Loreca decided to ‘go public’ and became an HIV Stops With Me spokesmodel. HSWM is a multi-component campaign that utilizes HIV positive spokespeople to deliver prevention messages to the community in person and through mass media. HSWM is one of the longest-running and most highly evaluated HIV prevention campaigns in the
U.S. She continued that form of community outreach for 5 years. She was 1st runner up for the original Quest for the Cover (now APAIT’s Quest Pageant) and she ran again (and won) in 2005. The Quest Pageant encourages the development and advancement of transgender people and celebrates the uniqueness and diversity of the transgender community. The main goals of Quest are: to empower the male-to-female transgender (MTF TG) community with information on HIV transmission and prevention; to provide positive role models and a sense of community to counteract the stigma that leads to low self-esteem and high-risk behaviors among this population; and to train MTF TG advocates and role models on issues of HIV. Samone-Loreca was a long-time organizer of Trans Unity.
Samone-Loreca continues to remain a visible, out, HIV-positive trans woman. She has participated in numerous panels and workshops, training both the community and the providers who serve them. She participated in PEP LA (Peers Educating Peers in Los Angeles). She was most recently on the 20/20 Panel Discussion, HIV Past and Present.
Hilda L. Solis is a lifelong resident of the San Gabriel Valley. A graduate of Cal Poly Pomona and USC, Supervisor Solis has served on the Rio Honda Community College Board, in the State Assembly and State Senate, and in the House of Representatives. Prior to becoming Supervisor, Hilda L. Solis served as Secretary of Labor under President Obama, the first Latina to ever serve in the Presidential Cabinet. Today, Supervisor Solis represents the San Gabriel Valley, Northeast, and East LA as the Los Angeles County Supervisor for the First District.
Aquilina Soriano Versoza
Aquilina Soriano Versoza is a founder and current Executive Director of the Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California, a nonprofit serving and organizing the low-wage Pilipino immigrant community in Los Angeles. Aquilina is also serving as the current President of the Board of Directors of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. She has served as Executive Director of PWC for 17 years and has been working in the Pilipino community for 22 years, both here in Los Angeles and in the Philippines. She has been at the head of PWC as it has been a part of the growing statewide and national movement of domestic workers. She studied her BA in Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. A mother of two, she sees her work for social justice as a life long endeavor that she hopes to pass on to her daughters.
Katherine Spillar is the Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) 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 organization’s diverse programs securing women’s rights since its inception. A specialist in community organizing, Spillar is also a trained economist and researcher, speaks to diverse audiences on a broad range of feminist topics, and appears frequently on television and radio.
Spillar has been a national leader in the struggle to counter the effects of extremist anti-abortion groups that target women’s reproductive health clinics. She has directed the research and public education activities, law enforcement relations, as well as grassroots organizing, mobilizing more than 60,000 community volunteers in some 26 states to keep clinics open in the face of extremist violence. She played an instrumental role in the organization’s landmark 1994 Supreme Court case upholding the use of buffer zones to protect clinics, Madsen v. Women’s Health Center, as well as the passage of the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances act (FACE).
In 1993, Spillar oversaw groundbreaking research and testified to the Christopher Commission on the need to dramatically increase women in the ranks of the Los Angeles Police Department to reduce police brutality. The following year, she established the National Center for Women & Policing, a division of the Feminist Majority Foundation, which has continued to research and advocate on the need for integrating police departments to address police violence, improve community relations and more effectively respond to violence against women.
In December 2001, the Feminist Majority Foundation became the sole publisher of Ms. magazine, and in 2005, Spillar was named Executive Editor. Under her oversight, Ms. has increased its award-winning investigative reporting and launched the Ms. Blog, today one of the largest feminist online news sites. Ms. in the Classroom is a digital program used by instructors for all levels of women’s and gender studies courses in hundreds of college and university programs across the country.
Amiya Wilson is an ambassador/ entertainment artist/ advocate from the historical city of Selma, Alabama. She grew up in the Bible Belt of the south with a ordained minister father and a mother who grew up Jehovah’s Witness. While conflicted with identity and spirituality, she moved to Los Angeles on a pursuit to find self love and her place in a city with girls like her. Amiya is a survivor of survival sex work, homelessness, and domestic abuse. She currently works for AHF giving back to communities in her humanitarian efforts to #STANDAGAINSTHATE and discrimination. Her aspiration in life is to be the best she can be and inspire a positive impact in people’s lives.
Ani Zonneveld is a writer, a singer/songwriter, speaker, a human rights defender, founder and president of Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV), a global, grassroots faith-based human rights organization. Founded in 2007 in Los Angeles, MPV advocates for egalitarian expressions of Islam, for women’s rights, LGBTQI rights, freedom of expression, and of conscience. MPV promotes these values at the United Nations by challenging human rights abuses in the name of Islam, and by offering an inclusive understanding based on universal human rights and justice, through its presence in 12 cities in eight countries.
Asmaa Ahmed is the Policy & Advocacy Coordinator with CAIR-LA. In this role, Ms. Ahmed advocates for just and inclusive policies with both local and federal government agencies, coordinates civic engagement efforts, builds and strengthens relationships with elected officials and community members, and monitors local and state legislative initiatives related to the American Muslim community. Ms. Ahmed graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and then pursued a Master of Public Policy, specializing in International Relations and Economics at Pepperdine University.
Mike Bonin represents Westside neighborhoods on the Los Angeles City Council, taking office in 2013 after a landslide victory in which he won every precinct in the sprawling 11th District, which includes Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, West LA/Sawtelle, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Venice, Marina del Rey, Playa Vista, Playa del Rey, Westchester and Ladera.
As councilmember, Mike has been a champion of neighborhoods, a force for smart, responsive government, and a progressive voice for social justice. His work has focused on building mass transit and reducing traffic, ending homelessness, protecting the environment, strengthening public safety, and fixing the city’s broken development process to better serve residents and put neighborhoods first.
After Susan’s five-year old son was accidentally hit and killed by a car, she numbed her grief through alcohol and drugs. As a result, she became enmeshed in the criminal justice system for nearly two decades before finding freedom and sobriety in 1997. Drawing on her personal experiences, she founded A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project (ANWOL) in 1998, dedicating her life to helping others break the cycle of incarceration. ANWOL provides resources such as housing, case management, employment, legal services, leadership development and community organizing on behalf of, and with, people who struggle to rebuild their lives after dwelling in an underworld of incarceration.
Susan is widely recognized as a leader in the national criminal justice reform movement. A past Soros Justice Fellow, Women’s Policy Institute Fellow and Community Fellow under the California Wellness Foundation’s Violence Prevention Initiative, Susan has served on the state’s Little Hoover Commission and the Gender Responsive Strategies Task Force. In recognition of her leadership, she was appointed by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas as a member of the Los Angeles County Sybil Brand Commission for Institutional Inspections. In this role she is authorized to inspect Los Angeles County correctional facilities and advocate for the health and well-being of people housed in the facilities.
Susan is a co-founder of All of Us or None (AOUON) and the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Movement (FICPM), both national grassroots civil rights movements comprised of formerly incarcerated individuals, their families and community allies. In collaboration with UCLA’s Critical Race Studies Program, she launched the Employment Rights Re-Entry Legal Clinic which has grown to be the largest of its kind in Southern California.
Susan has earned numerous awards and honors for her work. In 2010, she was named a CNN Top Ten Hero and received the prestigious Citizen Activist Award from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Susan is currently a recipient of both the Encore Purpose Prize (2012) and a James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award (2014). In 2015, on the 50th Anniversary of Selma and the Voting Rights Act, Susan Burton was named by the Los Angeles Times as one of eighteen New Civil Rights Leaders in the nation.
A New Way of Life was recently honored with a Ford Freedom Unsung Award that salutes “organizations that have positively impacted communities with achievements that inform and inspire others.”
Kimberlé Crenshaw teaches Civil Rights and other courses in critical race studies and constitutional law. Her primary scholarly interests center around race and the law, and she was a founder and has been a leader in the intellectual movement called Critical Race Theory. She was elected Professor of the Year by the 1991 and 1994 graduating classes. She now splits her time each year between UCLA and the Columbia School of Law.
At the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she received her LL.M., Professor Crenshaw was a William H. Hastie Fellow. She then clerked for Justice Shirley Abrahamson of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Professor Crenshaw’s publications include Critical Race Theory (edited by Crenshaw, et al., 1995) and Words that Wound: Critical Race Theory, Assaultive Speech and the First Amendment (with Matsuda, et al., 1993).
In 2007, Professor Crenshaw was awarded the Fulbright Chair for Latin America in Brazil. In 2008, she was nominated an Alphonse Fletcher Fellow. In the same year she joined the selective group of scholars awarded with an in-residence fellowship at the Center of Advanced Behavioral Studies at Stanford.
Maria Elena Durazo
The daughter of Mexican immigrant farm workers, Maria Elena Durazo learned the importance of hard work and determination at a very young age. As a child, she traveled from Oregon to California with her parents and nine siblings to work in the fields. Maria Elena started working at the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE) Local 11 as an organizer in 1983, and soon after launched a campaign to transform the local into a democratic organization that was truly accountable toward its membership. She was elected as President in 1989, and helped to build Local 11 into one of the most active unions in Los Angeles County. Maria Elena was the first Latina to be elected to the Executive Board of HERE International Union in 1996. In 2003, Maria Elena became National Director of the Immigrant Workers’ Freedom Ride, a national campaign to address the nation’s immigration laws. On May 15, 2006 Maria Elena Durazo was the first woman elected Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, a position she would hold for the next nine years. At the Federation, she represented the interests of more than 300 local unions and over 600,000 workers in every key industry. In 2010, Maria Elena was elected a Vice President of the national AFL-CIO Executive Council, where she served as the first leader of a local labor movement on the highest body of the AFL-CIO. She was also Chair of the National AFL-CIO’s Immigration Committee. On January 1, 2015, Maria Elena began her next chapter in life as International Union Vice President for Civil Rights, Diversity and Immigration with UNITE HERE. UNITE HERE currently represents 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries in the U.S. and Canada. Maria Elena has been elected to numerous national positions within the Democratic National Party. She has served on several Los Angeles City Commissions under mayors Tom Bradley, Richard Riordan, and Antonio Villaraigosa. She sits on various boards, including LAANE; the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board; the Los Angeles Coalition; and United Way. A resident of Los Angeles, Maria Elena is the mother of two sons, Mario and Michael, grandmother to Seneka and Sydney, and the widow of Miguel Contreras. Maria Elena is a graduate of St. Mary’s College in Moraga, and earned a law degree from the People’s College of Law in 1985.
Patti Giggans has been the executive director of Peace Over Violence since 1985, but her passion for social justice began before she even got her high school diploma.
“As a sophomore in high school geometry class I remember reading William Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” Giggans said. “I read it on my lap… I flunked geometry.”
Peace Over Violence, formerly the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women (LACAAW), is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit dedicated to intervention, prevention, education and advocacy for victims of abuse and violence. It offers a variety of educational programs and counseling services, and operates an emergency hotline. Peace Over Violence will honor USC Shoah Foundation at its 42nd Annual Humanitarian Awards Oct. 25.
In addition to Shirer, Giggans was influenced by learning about the Holocaust and the civil rights, feminist and gay rights movements of the 1960s. She said she chose to work in violence prevention “because there can be no equality or freedom when there is violence or the threat of violence.”
Giggans has held leadership positions in the field of sexual assault and domestic violence including president of The California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) and founding board member of the California Partnership To End Domestic Violence (CPEDV). She helped create violence prevention curricula, co-authored books on teen dating violence and women’s self-defense, and founded the first women’s martial arts school in Southern California in 1978.
She is currently researching violence against women and girls as a Durfee Foundation Stanton Fellow, and received awards including The California Peace Prize and the Lifetime Achievement Award from The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence.
“I have been blessed to have been able to work with Peace Over Violence for these past 30 years. The legacy of family violence runs deep in the human family and I can think of no other more sacred path then the path of peace over violence,” Giggans said. “We are committed to building healthy relationships, families and communities free from sexual, domestic and interpersonal violence. This is our mission and this is my life’s work.”
Jimmy Gomez proudly represents California’s 34th Congressional District, among the most diverse and culturally rich district in the country. He is a working-class progressive fighting to lift working families, defend our environment, and protect and expand access to high quality, affordable health care.
He serves on the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee. Rep. Jimmy Gomez also serves as co-chair in the House Democratic Caucus’ Rebuilding America Task Force and is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), and Future Forum.
Prior to his election to Congress in June of 2017, Rep. Jimmy Gomez served four and a half years in the California State Assembly, where he distinguished himself as a proven national champion on the issues of Paid Family Leave and combatting climate change. He became a key figure in authoring landmark legislation to address public health, environmental justice, water conservation, access to education, civic engagement, campaign finance disclosure, LGBT rights, and affordable housing. In only his second term, he served as chair of the influential Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Rep. Jimmy Gomez attended Riverside Community College before receiving a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and a M.A. in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He lives in Eagle Rock with his wife, Mary Hodge, and dog, Austin. He is a proud fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Before the Hammond Organ, the Keytar, the micro controllers, the mic, the flashing lights, there were always the songs Emiko wrote. Written under the dining room table when she was six, then moving to various studios around the US, Japan and Europe, and finally settling in L.A., Emiko has what can only be called a “whoppingly paramount” catalogue of over 3,000 songs including #1 pop songs, funk, R&B/soul songs, full theater and film scores, J-pop, and so much more.
Deeply rooted in classical music, Emiko began her career at the tender age of just two and a half, retiring as a traditional classical pianist by age 12.
This impressive catalogue of 3,000 songs has been put to good use; recognized by the Songwriters Hall of Fame in her early 20’s, it was clear Emiko would make her mark as a songwriter, performer, and composer for film and television. She’s graced the pages of Billboard, Music Connection, FM Sound, Keyboard Magazine, and countless other publications as an award winning songwriter for SONY/ATV, Universal Music Group, InGrooves, Fontana, 37 Records/McJames Music Publishing, and HAUS Music Publishing.
Emiko has toured across the globe, performing with legendary acts such as Jackson Browne, Chris Barron (The Spin Doctors) Keb Mo’, and most recently, played keyboards for Cyndi Lauper in her latest music video, “#HOPE.”
Emiko’s songs have hit #1 spots on radio charts and fan charts across the world and her concerts have had celebrity and foreign dignitaries in attendance. Most recently, Emiko’s music videos have caught on like wildfire through Viacom network platforms (MTV, VH1, FUSE, etc) and Emiko signed on for her first TV hosting and producing role as the co-founder of HTV, Hammond Organ’s TV network.
Funny, energetic, engaging, memorable … indescribably unique but as MTV put it, “Emiko is incredible live. She totally sucks you in!”
Keyboard Magazine has said “Invoking Billy Preston as much as Billy Joel, synth-slinging Emiko proudly doesn’t fit into the “singer-songwriter” box … we expect to hear a lot more from her in the coming months.”
In 2017, Emiko founded the I BELIEVE YOU Project. Inspired by the song off Emiko’s EP “Looking at Later” has been called a vital social statement and an opportunity for survivors to come together, heal, get the truth out, and offer others strength so that their voices may be counted. Shining a light on survivors of sexual assault, harassment, abuse, etc., The I BELIEVE YOU PROJECT and music video (which has already caught the attention of BuzzFeed, New York Times’ reporters, and made the front page of local/regional publications in the Southern California area) is committed to building bridges between survivors and the law enforcement/judicial communities to create lasting positive change through cultural and policy reform so sexually violent perpetrators are brought to justice more swiftly, and most importantly, survivors are not re-victimized within the system, but instead believed and their cases treated with urgency, transparency, compassion, and ultimately given the support they so desperately need.
Bamby is a national and international transgender Latina Woman who is pursuing a master’s degree in Latino/a Studies. Bamby is the President and CEO of the [email protected] Coalition, a national organization that focuses on addressing the issues of transgender Latinxs in the US. Bamby is currently developing the Center for Violence Prevention & Transgender Wellness, a multipurpose, multiservice space for transgender people in Los Angeles.
Bamby’s remarkable and wide-ranging activist work has brought voice and visibility to not only the trans community, but also to the multiple overlapping communities and issues that her life has touched including migration, HIV, youth, LGBT, incarceration and [email protected] communities. Through her instinctive leadership, she has birthed several organizations that created community where there was none, and advocate for the rights, dignity, and humanity for those who have been without a voice. Bamby’s work as a collaborator and a connector through a variety of organizations reflects her skills in crossing various borders and boundaries and working in the intersection of multiple communities as well as the intersections of multiple issues. Bamby has served and participated in many local, national and international organizations and planning groups. This work mediates intersections of race, gender, sexuality, age, social class, HIV+ status, immigration status and more.
Her activist public speaking has ranged from testifying to governmental bodies, human rights and social justice organizations, universities and colleges, demonstrations and rallies, and national and international conferences as featured speaker. Bamby speaks to diverse audiences on many topics and intersecting issues. Bamby has spoken about transgender-related issues, social justice, healthcare, social services, incarceration, immigration and detention as well as professional and economic development for transgender people. Bamby has been invited to participate in several panels at the White House including in 2016 The United State of Woman where she share stage with Vice President Biden at the opening plenary session and in 2015, Transgender Women of Color and Violence and LGBTQ People of Color Summit. Bamby has also participated as the Opening Plenary Speaker at several conferences, including The 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference, The United States Conference on AIDS in 2009 and 2012. She has participated as facilitator with The PanAmerican Health Organization while developing the Blue Print on how to provide competent health care services for transgender people as well as health care for LGBT people and Human Rights in Latin America and The Caribbean.
Her powerful, sobering and inspiring speeches and her warm, down-to-earth presence have provided emotional grounding and perspective for diverse gatherings. She speaks from the heart, as one who has been able to transcend many of her own issues, to truly drop ways of being and coping that no longer served her, issues that have derailed and paralyzed countless lives. Her words and experience evoke both tears and laughter, sobriety and inspiration through the documentary made about her life called TransVisible: Bamby Salcedo’s Story. Bamby has been feature in multiple media outlets such as People en Español, Latina Magazine, Cosmopolitan, the Los Angeles Times and 2015 OUT 100 among many other. Bamby has also being recognized for her outstanding work by multiple national and local organizations.
”’Peeling Back the Layers; I’m Ready Too…” is Samantha Jo-Dato’s motto for life and healing these days. An Atlantic City, NJ native. She found a love of Philadelphia and soon relocated there. While in Philadelphia she quickly became a force to be reckoned with. As an activist for Trans, P.O.C. and Women’s rights she was unapologetic, unowned and unedited. Her sassy and fiery personality made her a key player in the social justice movement locally and nationally. Serving the community by working on some of Philadelphia’s largest projects and events. Events like The Philly Trans* March, Trans Wellness Project, Creating Change, and The March to End Rape Culture just to name a few. She gained recognition on a International level when she became the Logistical Coordinator of the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, the largest trans Health conference in the country.
Sami Jo as she has been nicknamed became a 1st time author with her testimonial journal called “Sami Jo Shattered Perfect” that was published via Hope After 20 Publications, which she co-owns, in April 2016. This was her first book of a 3-part series titled ‘The Mirror Reflection’. Upholding her role on the leadership team of TWOCC (Trans Women of Color Collective) and successfully leading an international conference into inclusion. She continued to center the needs of the most marginalized communities into an all-time record high of visibility.
Samantha still struggled with trauma, acceptance, and self-worth. She continued to feel unfinished after all her external success. At the height of her career Samantha soundlessly relocated to Los Angeles CA in search of her internal happiness and power. There she began to Peel Back the Layers of her existence and unpack her fears, failures, and future. She was Ready to… share, provide, and heal but before that she had to cry, scream, and readjust her purpose in life.
Now as the Trans Wellness Center Program Manager in Los Angeles Ca, Wilshire district as well as an accomplished Makeup Artist, Author, Humanitarian, Activist, Motivational Speaker Samantha is unpacking and providing the tools to tackle intersecting life issues of self-esteem, self-respect, and healthy living.
Hector Villagra is executive director at the ACLU of Southern California, a post he has served since February 2011.
Hector launched the Orange County Office of the ACLU of Southern California in September 2005 and served as its director until October 2009, when he became legal director for the affiliate.
Before joining ACLU SoCal, Hector served as regional counsel for the Los Angeles Regional Office of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) from 2001 to 2005 and as a staff attorney at MALDEF from 1999 to 2001. He has led numerous civil rights cases involving such issues as educational equity, religious discrimination, immigrants’ rights and voting rights.
Hector received the Daniel Levy Award for outstanding achievement in immigration law from the National Lawyer’s Guild in 2008. In 2012, he received the Attorney of the Year Award from the Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County, the Excellence in Leadership Award from the National Latina/o Law Student Association and the Latino Law Students Association of Columbia Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Hector graduated from Columbia University and Columbia University School of Law, where he received the Jane Marks Murphy Prize, awarded to students who show promise of a professional career applying the highest standards of the lawyer’s craft to service of the public interest. After graduation, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert Wilentz, Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, and the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
He currently serves on the board of Just Detention International.
Born in Milford On-Sea, England to American parents, Frances Fisher’s itinerant childhood living in the UK, Columbia, Canada, France, Brazil, Turkey, Italy, Iowa and Texas undoubtedly influenced her decision to live the actor’s gypsy life.
Ms. Fisher started her career as an apprentice at the Barter Theatre in Virginia, learning by doing ~ every job it takes to put on a show. Ms. Fisher has starred in over 30 theatrical productions (experimental, touring, Regional, off-off Broadway, off-Broadway,) including Elia Kazan’s The Chain; Hay Fever; Cat on A Hot Tin Roof, Summer And Smoke; Orpheus Descending; 1984; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Fool For Love; Arthur Miller’s last play Finishing The Picture; Three More Sleepless Nights (Drama League Award); The Taper’s The Cherry Orchard; and Barbecue at the Geffen Playhouse, nominated this year for eight NAACP Theatre Awards. Ms. Fisher is a member of the Actors Studio, and her first acting teacher was Stella Adler.
On film, she is perhaps best known for her performance as Kate Winslet’s mother in Titanic, which garnered Fisher a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Best Ensemble Cast. The film went on to receive 11 Academy Awards. Her numerous film credits include the Oscar-winning Unforgiven; True Crime; The Big Tease; Tough Guys Don’t Dance; Laws of Attraction; Blue Car; The Rising Place; The Kingdom; House of Sand & Fog; Wild America; In The Valley Of Elah; Jolene; The Perfect Game; The Lincoln Lawyer; The Host; Woman in Gold, Outlaws And Angels; Titanic: Sinking of the Myths; A Beautiful Day. Run The Race and Someone Else’s Wedding are in the can, and she just wrapped Shrimp written and directed by Zelda Williams.
Television: Ms. Fisher played Lucille Ball in Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter and has guest-starred on The Shield; Eureka; Torchwood; Touch; The Killing; Masters of Sex; Law & Order; Roseanne; The Mentalist; Two and a Half Men; Sons of Anarchy; ER; Grey’s Anatomy; Children’s Hospital; Private Practice; CSI; Castle; The Expanse; Criminal Minds; Swedish Dicks and Fargo. She also starred on ABC’s critically acclaimed series, Resurrection.
Ms. Fisher’s activism runs the gamut from supporting Peace Over Violence, Hollywood Food Guild, Stand For The Silent, Environment California, Race to Erase MS & Survivor Mitzvah. She is an executive board member of the Environmental Media Association (EMA), and is serving her 18th year on the National Board of her acting Union, now called SAG-AFTRA. She is an Ambassador for NWHM, working to create a National Women’s History Museum in Washington, DC. Ms. Fisher was a surrogate for Bernie Sanders, spent time at Standing Rock, spoke at the #MeToSurvivorsMarch LA in November and is a member of #TimesUp. Twitter: @Frances_Fisher IG: @francesfisher