Hilda Solis, first Latina Secretary of Labor, discusses Cesar Chavez in the 21st Century

Wednesday, April 3rd, Hilda Solis, the first Latina Secretary of Labor, will speak at the UC San Diego Price Center Ballroom. This talk, titled “A Look at What Cesar Chavez Symbolizes in the 21st century,” is presented by the UC San Diego Helen Edison Lecture Series and the Cesar Chavez Month Committee.

hilda-solis.jpgSolis has achieved many “firsts.” She was the first member of her family to go to college, earning degrees from California State Polytechnic University, (Cal Poly) Pomona and University of Southern California. She was the first Latina to be elected into the California State Senate, in 1994 and was re-elected in 1998. In 2000, Solis was the first woman to win the Profiles in Courage Award from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. In Congress, she was the first Latina to become a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Solis won the seat of a Democratic incumbent in her election into the House of Representatives, representing the 31st and 32nd congressional districts of California. After her five term stint in the House of Representatives, President Obama nominated Solis to be the Secretary of the Department of Labor, making her the first Latina to serve in the U.S. Cabinet.

The third of seven children, she grew up in a modest home just east of Los Angeles in La Puenta, California. Her mother worked in a toy factory, her father in a battery recycling plant, where he contracted lead poisoning.

Before she was in the senate, Solis served one term in the California State Assembly, where she was a prominent advocate for immigrants in the argument about illegal immigration to the United States.

While in Congress, Representative Solis championed the interests of working families and women and focused on legislation concerning health care, education, and environmental protection. She also authored 17 bills for the prevention of domestic violence.

As Labor Secretary, she led the Labor Department during a period of high unemployment and complex worker issues catalyzed by the recession. She was also responsible for advancements in fair employment practices during her tenure.


Please join The UC San Diego Chancellor’s Office, The Office for Equity Inclusion & Diversity, Office of Student Affairs, the Cesar Chavez Month Committee and the Helen Edison Lecture Series as Solis shares her perspective on the critical role that higher education plays in creating a foundation for a highly skilled and diverse workforce.

The event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations required. For those patrons arriving by car, enter at Gilman Drive and Park at the Gilman Parking Structure. Parking is $4.00 after 4:30pm.

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