Artist, Writer and Entrepreneur Kim Guerra

Kim Guerra is an artist, writer, and entrepreneur. She is the creator of Brown Badass Bonita, a brand and movement that she considers a work of self-love and love for her Latinx community. She wants every person to wear Brown Badass Bonita products as a statement and shield. She wants people to feel like a living and walking revolution when they wear Brown Badass Bonita products. She designs merchandise that celebrates our culture and the intricacies of being a woman, Latinx, survivor, and warrior. She regards her art and work as a responsibility to her community and to women.

Brown Badass Bonita is a brand and movement centered around inspiring and empowering Mujeres to give themselves wings through revolutionary self love. BBB products are meant to be worn and displayed as a statement and shield. "I want people to feel like a walking and living revolution when they wear a Brown Badass Bonita tee." BBB was created to celebrate our culture and empower mujeres. Brown Badass Bonita includes revolutionary love letters, artwork, poems, and books that explore the complexities of being a Latinx, mujer, PoC, survivor, and guerrera. Brown Badass Bonita is dedicated to the community and badass mujeres.

Journalist, Filmmaker and Cultural Historian, Elsa Sevilla

Elsa Sevilla is a multi-Emmy nominated and award-winning Journalist and Filmmaker for her work with KGTV-10 and KPBS-TV. She is the Creator, Executive Producer and Host of “Historic Places with Elsa Sevilla.” She and her husband and partner, Guillermo Sevilla, have produced 85-documentaries for KPBS-TV, so far.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez was elected in May of 2013, promising to fight for our state’s working and middle classes, and she hasn’t stopped yet.

Lorena is the first Latina in California history to Chair the Assembly Appropriations Committee. She is also Chairwoman of the Select Committee on Women in the Workplace and Chair of the Latino Caucus.

Lorena’s father immigrated to California from Mexico and initially worked in the strawberry fields in North San Diego County. Her mother was a nurse. Lorena is a graduate of Stanford University, has a Master’s degree from Georgetown University and a Law Degree from UCLA. She remains a member in good standing of the California State Bar.

Prior to being elected to the Assembly, Lorena was a labor leader and organizer, serving as the first woman and first person of color to be elected CEO and Secretary-Treasurer for the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO. Lorena also previously worked as the Senior Advisor to California’s Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante, and she served on the California State Lands Commission and the California Coastal Commission.

Lorena’s most cherished title, nonetheless, is that of mother. In the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego, Lorena and her husband, Nathan Fletcher, have a home with four of their children. Lorena's eldest child, her daughter Tierra, lives in Los Angeles.

Chula Vista Mayor, Mary Casillas Salas

Mayor Mary Casillas Salas was elected to the City Council in 1996 and re-elected in 2000. In 2004, she served as the first Latina Sweetwater Authority Director. In 2006, she was elected to the California State Assembly and served until 2010. She returned to the City Council in 2012 and in 2014, she made history as the first elected Latina mayor in the County of San Diego.

She has advanced the development of the Chula Vista Bayfront, a 1600-room resort hotel and 275,000 square foot convention center. Mayor Salas continues to work to bring a four-year university and the revitalization of western Chula Vista.

She has two daughters Michele and Sara and is grandmother to Michael, Adriana, and Marissa. Mary graduated with honors from San Diego State University.

Southwestern Community College Governing Board President, Nora E. Vargas

Nora E. Vargas is a dynamic and accomplished leader with broad experience in non-profit management, executive management, government, public policy, and political management. Ms. Vargas served as Vice President of Community and Government Relations at Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest where she was responsible for community collaboration, outreach, education and advocacy.

She also serves as a trustee of the Southwestern Community College Governing Board, is a governor appointee to the 12-member California State Teachers' Retirement (CalSTRS) board, is a champion for Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), and a San Diego Urban Corps board member.

Fully bilingual and bicultural, Ms. Vargas is a sought-after speaker and has appeared in news stories in California and around the nation. Nora is passionate about ensuring that Latinos are included in the public dialogue about important issues like health access, energy, technology and telecommunications, consumer protection, the environment, civic engagement and education.

MANA de San Diego Scholarship Recipient and Hermanitas Alumna, Isela Reyes

Isela Reyes is a MANA de San Diego Scholarship Recipient and Hermanitas Alumna. She is a first generation immigrant and higher education professional, passionate about social justice, equity and inclusion. Currently, Isela is in Career Development at the University of San Diego, working with their Career Readiness Program and liaison to our undocumented and DACAmented students. She is working on her Master's degree focused in Higher Education and Higher Education Administration from University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Sciences.

Escondido Deputy Mayor, Consuelo Martinez

Consuelo Martinez was born in Southern California and has lived in Escondido since the age of four. She is the proud daughter of hard-working immigrant parents. Consuelo attended public schools in District 1 and graduated from Escondido High School then went on to graduate from Palomar College and received her bachelor's degree in Political Science and Women's Studies from California State University of San Marcos. Consuelo has been involved in the community for almost two decades. She has served as former commissioner for the City of Escondido's Community Services Commission and the former police chief's community advisory group. She currently works as a leadership development specialist for the nonprofit, Mid-City Community Advocacy Network (CAN) where she trains and prepares residents to serve as community leaders and future commissioners. Consuelo is passionate about leadership and civic engagement.

California Secretary of State, Alex Padilla

Alex Padilla was sworn in as California Secretary of State on January 5, 2015. He is committed to modernizing the office, increasing voter registration and participation, and strengthening voting rights.

Padilla previously served in the California State Senate (2006-2014) where he chaired the Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Communications. He pursued an ambitious agenda in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart grid, and broadband deployment.

Padilla's parents emigrated from Mexico and raised their family in the working class community of Pacoima, California. His father worked as a short order cook and his mother cleaned houses. Padilla attended local public schools and went on to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. He recently completed a five-year term as a member of the MIT Corporation (Board of Trustees). Padilla is often asked how he moved from engineering to public service. He explains that in many ways they are similar; the goal of each is solving problems.

As an engineer, Padilla is committed to the promise of science and advanced technology. After working for Hughes Aircraft in Southern California, Padilla participated in the Coro Fellows Program where he received leadership and public affairs training. He would later work for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and then-Assemblymember Tony Cardenas.

In 1999, at the age of 26, Padilla was elected to the Los Angeles City Council to represent the same east San Fernando Valley community where he grew up. In 2001, his colleagues elected him to the first of three terms as Council President, becoming the youngest member and the first Latino to serve in this capacity.

As Council President, Padilla provided citywide leadership at critical times. He was Acting Mayor during the tragedy of September 11, 2001. He assisted in the interview and selection of William Bratton as Chief of Police and helped negotiate the approval of LA Live and the modernization of Los Angeles International Airport.

In 2005, Padilla was elected President of the League of California Cities. He advocated on behalf of California cities in the State Capitol and fought to protect their budgets and advance their legislative priorities. In 2006, Padilla was elected to the California State Senate. He was reelected in 2010. Over the course of eight years, Padilla established a diverse and groundbreaking legislative record.

Padilla lives with his wife Angela and their three sons in the San Fernando Valley.

National City Mayor, Alejandra Sotelo-Solis

Alejandra Sotelo-Solis was first elected to the National City Council in 2008, having been the 2nd woman elected. Ten years later Alejandra was proud to receive overwhelming support to become the first Latina Mayor of National City. Regionally, she serves on the SANDAG, Sweetwater Authority and MTS Board.

Mayor Sotelo-Solis is a third generation National City resident, graduate of Sweetwater High School and alumnae of UC San Diego with a degree in Political Science. She is a proud board member of the SUHi Foundation which provides college scholarships to graduates of her alma mater and serves on the NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected Officials) Educational Fund Board of Directors.

Professionally, Alejandra is President/CEO of her consulting company La Pluma Strategies focusing on non-profit advocacy and grant writing and is raising her 3 daughters alongside her husband Arturo, Sweetwater Union High School District Trustee.

ACLU - San Diego and Imperial Counties Board Chair Leticia Cazares

For the last 17 years, Leticia Cazares has dedicated her personal life and career to advancing underrepresented and disadvantaged communities in San Diego, primarily working to eliminate health inequities. She serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) of San Diego-Imperial Counties where she is able to further carry-out her deep passion for civil liberties and social justice issues including immigration rights and criminal justice reform. Leticia received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Ethnic Studies degree from San Francisco State University, and in 2007 earned a Master of Public Health degree from San Diego State University.

Yoga Instructor, Dalia Haas

Traveling and learning around the world, Dalia became a compassionate, charismatic and professional yoga teacher either for individual, group or corporate classes.

She has been practicing yoga since 2004 and got certified as a 200 and 500 hour Yoga Teacher in 2007 and 2013.

She has been a devoted student of Ashtanga since 2006, studied Tibetan Buddhism, Ayurveda medicine, Yoga for different types of communities, Healtherapy, Range of Mobility among many ancient traditions and disciplines.

In 2015, she decided to settle down in California and started sharing her experience with those who are seeking self transformation through a connection body, mind and spirit.

​Dalia lives a healthy lifestyle by following an Ayurvedic and a plant based diet where nature is the medicine we need to heal ourselves and the environment.

Relevant Links

You can access any materials needed for the different sessions here.

You can register for this event here.

You can access the symposium here.

You can access the agenda here.

Thank you to our sponsors and community partners who have made this event possible.