labor leader María Elena Durazo will be the keynote speaker at the 4th Annual Cesar Chavez Convocation on Wednesday, May 16, at 7 p.m. in the College Nine and Ten Multipurpose Room.
One of the most dynamic labor leaders in Los Angeles County
, Durazo was elected executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County
Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO in May 2006. The daughter of Mexican immigrant farm workers, she traveled as a child from Oregon
with her parents and nine siblings to work in the fields.
A former president of the hotel workers union UNITE-HERE, Local 11, Durazo restructured Local 11 to become one of the most active unions in Los Angeles County
and a major force that is helping to shape the future of Los Angeles
. As national director of the Immigrant Workers' Freedom Ride, Durazo has been involved in efforts to reshape the nation's immigration laws.
As a union leader, Durazo has worked with and represented diverse constituencies comprised largely of immigrants, including high percentages of African-American, Latino, and Asian-American workers in sectors that include apparel manufacturing, distribution, and sales, textile manufacturing, industrial laundries, hotels, casinos, foodservice, airport concessions, and restaurants.
A resident of Los Angeles
, Durazo is the mother of two sons and the widow of Miguel Contreras, former executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County
Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. She is a graduate of St. Mary's College in Moraga and the People's College of Law.
The convocation celebrates the life and achievements Cesar Chavez, the organizer and first president on the United Farm Workers of America, and celebrates the inauguration of the new UCSC Center for Labor Studies, based in the Humanities Division.
Durazo's appearance is being sponsored by the Chicano Latino Resource Center (El Centro), College Ten Programs, the Chicano Latino Research Center (CLRC) in collaboration with the UCSC Center for Labor Studies, with support from the Cesar Chavez Convocation Planning Committee. For more information or for accommodations, call (831) 459-5449
or e-mail email@example.com