News Release| Chicano Movement; Cal State L.A.


Note to editors and news directors: Reporters are invited to interview the panelists (in English or Spanish) about the role of women in community activism and particularly the Chicano Movement. To make arrangements, contact Cindy Aragon at or Associate Professor of Chicano Studies Dionne Espinoza at 323-343-5348 or


Women pioneers of Chicano movement
to discuss how empowerment works 

Cal State L.A. hosts panel of long-time activists Thursday, May 6

Los Angeles, CA –  Six pioneers of the Chicano Movement will discuss how the empowerment of women – including themselves – advanced it and other civil rights efforts Thursday, May 6, from 6:10 to 8:50 p.m., at Cal State L.A.

The panel—to be presented in Salazar Hall, Room E184—will include Anna Nieto Gomez, Lydia Lopez, Gloria Arellanes, Vickie Castro, Soledad “Chole” Alatorre, and Irene Tovar, who will moderate. (Brief biographies follow.)

For details about the event, call Cal State L.A.’s Department of Chicano Studies at 323-343-2190 or e-mail event organizer Cindy Aragon at

Here’s more about the panelists:

Anna Nieto Gomez helped found Las Hijas de Cuautemoc at CSU Long Beach; established the first Chicana feminist journal, Encuentro Femenil; and was active in the Chicana Service Action Center and the Chicana Welfare Rights Organization. 

Lydia Lopez, the first Chicana to serve on a grand jury, served as president of the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) while a member of the Church of the Epiphany. She also worked at La Placita Church along with Father Olivares.

Gloria Arellanes, as minister of correspondence and finance in the Brown Berets, coordinated the East Los Angeles Free Clinic.  She also helped found “Las Adelitas de Aztlán,” an all-female anti-war group. Arellanes recently donated historical materials from the period to the University library’s special collections.

Vickie Castro, a Cal State L.A. alumna and formerly vice president in the Young Citizens for Community Action, was active in the East Los Angeles school walkouts. She also served on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education.

Irene Tovar, long active in the black civil rights efforts and the Chicano Movement, helped found the Chicano Studies program at CSU Northridge (when it was San Fernando Valley State College). She was active in the Chicano Moratorium Committee and was the vice-president of the Greater Los Angeles Urban Coalition.

Soledad “Chole” Alatorre, a native of San Luis Potosi in Mexico, began organizing workers in the 1950s. As a union steward and contract negotiator, she led strikes that sparked improved working conditions. She was also a co-founder of CASA.

For details about the Department of Chicano Studies at Cal State L.A., visit this link: /academic/chs/.

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