FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2023
Contact: Jen Booth
Pasadena, CA — YWCA Glendale and Pasadena is proud to announce that three outstanding women leaders and one local organization who are champions for equity and social justice will be honored at the 21st annual Women for Racial Justice Breakfast on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, 8:00 am at the Noor Sofia Ballroom in Pasadena,CA. Tickets for the event, featuring a keynote speech by the Founder of the Women’s March Foundation, Emiliana Guereca, can be purchased at https://wrjb.swell.gives/.
The Women for Racial Justice Awards recognizes women, especially women of color, who advocate for and advance the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. Angelica Salas, Lena Louise Kennedy, and Pricilla Chavez, three outstanding women alongside Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley are widely acknowledged as champions for equity and social justice and will be honored for their extraordinary efforts.
Angelica Salas makes Pasadena, California her home, the first city she arrived at as a child and immigrant from Durango, Mexico. Angelica is a state and national leader in the advocacy for immigration reform and immigrant justice. She joined The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) in 1995 and became CHIRLA’s Executive Director in 1999. In her role, she has transformed CHIRLA into one of the nation’s largest and most effective immigrant rights organizations that organizes, advocates, educates, and provides legal services to all immigrants. She has spearheaded ambitious statewide and national campaigns to expand immigrant rights and helped found organizations and coalitions to advocate for immigrant workers, youth, and families.
Lena Louise Kennedy’s career as a community builder and strategic consultant began over thirty-five years ago when she assisted with fundraising for the Pasadena NAACP and campaign activities for Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley’s Campaign for California Governor. Lena is President and CEO of L. Kennedy & Associates Consulting Firm. She is a visionary leader and tireless volunteer. In 2000, Lena founded the Southern California Women’s Health Conference and Expo, which has brought together more than 34,000 attendees over the years to empower them with informative and practical lectures on health, wellness, and lifestyle by renowned physicians and other healthcare professionals.
Priscilla Chavez is manager of business development for PCL Construction Services – California Buildings in Los Angeles and has been with the company for 7 years. In her previous role at PCL, Chavez was the architect for the region’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy. Her leadership in the DEI space has contributed to the success of many: PCL’s California region and its clients, small and diverse certified firms, and the local workforce, which includes individuals from marginalized communities. From her new vantage point of business development, Priscilla is uniquely positioned to continue acting as an agent for change in diversity and inclusion by assisting and consulting with clients how they can be impactful in the space. She can simultaneously speak to how community investment impacts lives while connecting it to the bottom line.
Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley will be presented with the WRJB Racial Justice award in recognition of their contributions to reproductive justice, rights, and health for women of color. This award highlights the intersectionality of sexual and reproductive health and racial justice. Planned Parenthood of San Gabriel Valley has contributed to sexual and reproductive health, education, and advocacy in our region for decades: paving the way for more women in leadership, ensuring health care services to patients, breaking stigma by sharing personal stories, and normalizing the lived experiences of diverse communities, and building bridges across movements by creating a future where all people have access to the health care they need when they need it – regardless of who they are, how much they earn, and where they live.
“Every one of our honorees plays a part in making our racial justice movement happen. Our 2023 Women for Racial Justice Breakfast reaffirms our commitment to fight for racial justice together – to reimagine a better future where we meet one another with compassion and affirmation in building bridges to create a robust, intergenerational, and intersectional movement. Building bridges allows us to collectively build a world of belonging, open new possibilities, and connect across movements and sectors. When we build bridges, we create solidarity,” said Tara Peterson, Chief Executive Officer, YWCA Glendale & Pasadena.
Proceeds from the Women’s for Racial Justice Breakfast support the YWCA Glendale and Pasadena’s girls empowerment programs and other resources that help change the lives of girls within the region. A special thank you to our 2023 Gold Sponsors: Bonnie & Daniel James and The California Wellness Foundation.
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YWCA Glendale and Pasadena is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. Its purpose is to ensure the health, safety, and economic empowerment of women, children, and families and to strengthen communities to prevent and break the cycle of domestic violence. To learn more, visit www.ywcagp.org