Feature Category

ELAC Hispanic Heritage Month Highlight, Gloria Molina

September 15, 2023

By Alberto J. Román

Friday, September 15, 2023
This month, we want to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month by highlighting the work of the late Supervisor, Gloria Molina, an exceptional Chicana leader. Molina grew up as one of ten children in Pico Rivera, California, to a Mexican-American father and a Mexican mother. She attended public schools in her hometown and is a former alum of East Los Angeles College; she later attended California State University, Los Angeles. While attending college, she worked full-time as a legal secretary, later becoming an adult education instructor at the East Los Angeles Skills Center.
Gloria Molina was the first Latina elected to the California State Assembly, the Los Angeles City Council, and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. She built a strong reputation as someone committed to overseeing good government reforms, maintenance of the county’s public health care system, and quality-of-life issues for the millions of county residents living in unincorporated areas. Before being elected to public office, Molina served in the Carter White House as a Deputy for Presidential Personnel. After leaving the White House, she served as a Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Director in San Francisco.

She spent a lifetime of hard work, diligence, and steadfast service to the communities of Los Angeles. Molina’s career was spanned by her involvement in the Chicano movement, advocating for women’s health, and starting a nurse mentorship program with local community colleges. Two of Molina’s significant achievements were her involvement with the Mothers of East Los Angeles to oppose building a prison in East LA. In 2008, she piloted a program known as the Gloria Molina Foster Youth Education Program. This program attempted to improve the high school graduation rates of students in the foster care system.

In April 2006, Molina was honored as the “Hispanic Business Woman of the Year” by Hispanic Business magazine. Molina was awarded the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (LHD) from Whittier College in 2014.
As such, it is fitting and an honor for ELAC to dedicate a Gallery in the Vincent Price Art Museum (VPAM) to such a social justice champion. After the unveiling, join us for our first Fall 2023 Racial Equity & Social Justice Town Hall. In addition, please see the invitations to our other events.
Please join us in celebrating Gloria Molina’s life and accomplishments.
Dr. Alberto J. Román
East Los Angeles College