First published in the Sept. 10 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.
YWCA Glendale and Pasadena will honor four female leaders who are “champions for equity and social justice” at the 20th annual Women for Racial Justice Breakfast on Tuesday, Oct. 11.
The event will run from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the Pasadena Hilton. Tickets for the event, which will feature keynote speaker Angela Davis, can be purchased at 2022wrjb.swell.gives.
The Women for Racial Justice Awards recognize women, especially women of color, who advocate for and advance the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. Angela Aguirre, Giovanna Brasfield, Connie Chung Joe and Surina Khan justice will be honored.
“We are excited to build upon the legacy of the of the Women for Racial Justice Breakfast, which was established 20 years ago to celebrate and showcase women, girls and organizations for their work and impact in racial justice, advocacy, civic engagement and women’s empowerment,” said Tara Peterson, CEO of YWCA Glendale and Pasadena, in a statement.
Aguirre is a Los Angeles-based Chicana author, speaker, poet and educator. She uses her art and platform to “empower women, girls and her vibrant community,” according to the YWCA. An advocate for people with disabilities, Aguirre has worked in classrooms and other academic settings for more than a decade, speaking, performing and leading interactive workshops at middle and high schools and universities across the country.
Brasfield is a diversity, equity and inclusion advocate with more than 10 years of experience in leadership consulting, training and education within the construction industry and related trades. In 2020, she was featured as a Game Changer by Diversity Professional Magazine. The following year she was named an Inspirational Women finalist by the Los Angeles Times and in a 2022, the Los Angeles Business Journal named her a Women of Influence for Construction, Architecture and Engineering.
Joe, CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice — Los Angeles, has dedicated her career to advocacy and activism. Prior to joining Advancing Justice — L.A., she served as the executive director of Korean American Family Services, an agency providing culturally and linguistically responsive services to immigrant families.
As CEO of the Women’s Federation California, Khan leads efforts to advance gender, racial and economic justice by building community-based power, making strategic investments in nonprofit organizations, training local leaders in policy advocacy, forging partnerships and mobilizing significant financial resources. For more than 30 years, Khan has been a groundbreaker in the philanthropic and nonprofit social justice sector, beginning with community-based publishing in New England before shifting to national and global work on gender justice, LGBT and human rights and democratic and civic engagement.
“Our four honorees embody the YWCA’s mission. And through their work they strive to make our communities places where women, girls, and people of color can thrive,” Peterson said. “We honor them for their vision, their courage, their tenacity and their example.”
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.