Meet Our 2013 Women Leading Change Honorees


CHIRLA is Proud to Honor the Following Women
for our 2013 Women Leading Change Event

The theme of this year’s event is is Leading from the Heart. In keeping with that theme, we are proud to honor:

Bishop Minerva Carcaño

In 2004, Bishop Minerva Carcaño became the first Hispanic woman to be elected to the episcopacy of The United Methodist Church, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. Today, she is one of 69 active bishops leading more than twelve million members of her denomination worldwide. She currently serves as Bishop of the Phoenix Episcopal Area, Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church, and is the official spokesperson for the Council of Bishops on the issue of immigration. Bishop Carcaño is a 1975 graduate of the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, and received a Masters of Theology from Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University in 1979. A native of Edinburg, Texas, Bishop Carcaño spent her early years aspiring to make a difference in the lives of persons who faced poverty and discrimination. Not forgetting her roots and early hopes, her ministry has always involved work with the poor, with farm workers, immigrants, and refugees, even as she encourages congregations to work ecumenically and to be active in community organizing. Of her tireless work, she has said, "The road of ministry has not always been easy, but it has always been an incredible blessing, and it has always been home."


Sylvia Carranza:

Sylvia Carranza is a Lead Organizer at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFLCIO.  The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor represents over 600,000 workers from key industries including health care, transportation, entertainment, public sector workers, construction, hotels, carwash, and janitors. Prior to that, Sylvia devoted 20 years of her life to the labor movement in the garment industry and hotel/food service workers industry.  Sylvia has led many picket lines and actions in the fight for workers’ dignity and respect such as striking workers at USC, Walmart, grocery workers, hotel workers, laundry workers and car wash workers.  She has participated in fasts for justice, civil disobediences, coordinated voter outreach campaigns and helped organize a 3 day march from Hollywood to the Docks in Los Angeles.  She has also supported workers in other states, in solidarity with Wisconsin and Ohio workers to beat anti-union attacks and in Arizona to fight for immigrant rights. Sylvia proudly represents Labor in immigrant and civil rights coalitions across the country. Organizing and marching along thousands in May Day marches, Selma to Montgomery March, and workers’ rights marches. Civic participation being a key component, Sylvia has participated in lobby visits in California and Washington, DC and led voter registration drives in California, Arizona, and Florida.


CHIRLA’s Household Worker Committee

For over 2 decades, CHIRLA has been organizing Domestic Workers in Los Angeles.  Household work has long been a means for poor women to secure a wage and is often the first job of new immigrants to this country. CHIRLA’s Household Worker Committee is a dedicated group of women leaders that work for justice for low wage domestic and other women workers.  This group has been a leader in the fight for a California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights since the first attempt in 2006.  CHIRLA’s Household Worker Committee worked tirelessly to pass the current Bill of Rights through hundreds of legislative visits, actions, marches, and press events, and was present at the signing of the Bill with Governor Jerry Brown. We are proud to honor their contributions at this year’s Women Leading Change Reception.  CHIRLA is a founder and member of the California Domestic Workers Coalition and the National Domestic Workers Alliance.