Webinar Recording: Latinx with Disabilities and their Families United for Change!

Webinar Recording: Latinx with Disabilities and their Families United for Change!

Group of young adults discussing problems.

Webinar Recording: Latinx with Disabilities and their Families United for Change!

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On September 15, 2022, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Disability Rights California's Community Engagement Committee and Public Policy Committee in collaboration with Escuchen mi Voz y La Familia hosted a virtual webinar to promote change for the benefit of the disabled Latinx/Latino community. The event was primarily in Spanish with English interpretation. (Mira este seminario web en español)

Logos of the organization Sponsoring this event.

About this Webinar:

Assemblymember Dr. Joaquín Arambula was one of the guest speakers for the event. Assemblymember Arambula is the first Latino doctor elected to the California State Assembly, representing District 31 which includes the Central Valley. A message from California Senator María Elena Durazo, representing the 24th District which includes Central Los Angeles and East Los Angeles, was shared during the event. Members from the Latinx/Latino community spoke about issues including mental health and youth interactions with school police that affect the disability community. At the end of the event, members of the public were invited to share their stories and ask questions.


Assemblymember Dr. Joaquín Arambula

Dr. Arambula was born in Delano and grew up in Fresno, where he attended Fresno public schools. He later attended medical school, with the intention of returning to his home community to practice medicine and help make it a better place to live.

For about 10 years, he was an emergency room doctor in Selma. His experience there with people who couldn’t afford health care prompted him to run for California’s 31st Assembly District. He wanted to help address health care inequities and other issues that affect our most vulnerable and underserved communities.

Assemblymember Arambula was elected in April 2016. He proudly represents a district that includes 41 percent of the City of Fresno as well as the rural cities and communities in Fresno County. In the Assembly, he has championed health care issues, such as increasing access to health care for all Californians and addressing the critical shortage of doctors and other medical professionals in the Central Valley. He also is fighting for water supplies in the Valley. He has authored legislation to improve health and mental health services but has been vigilant to include measures that ensure transparency regarding management of these services and their costs.

Assemblymember Arambula and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Fresno with their three daughters.

Senator María Elena Durazo

María Elena Durazo serves as the State Senator to California’s 24th District, which she was elected to in 2018. Her priorities and accomplishments in the legislature include uplifting immigrants’ and workers’ rights, reforming the criminal justice system, and preparing California’s workforce for the 21st century. She is the current Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, made up of 30 members from across California, representing the largest ethnic Caucus in the state. She is also chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee #5, which oversees state departments on Labor, Transportation, Corrections, Public Safety, and the Judiciary.

Senator Durazo spent most of her adult life in the labor movement, serving in various leadership roles with UNITE-HERE International, Los Angeles Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, and the National AFL-CIO Executive Council. She also served as the Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee and as the National Co-Chair of the Barack Obama Presidential Campaign.

Senator Durazo was born the seventh child in a family of 11 children to migrant worker parents. They followed crops throughout California and Oregon, experiencing the hardships that migrant laborers suffer. She graduated from St. Mary’s College where she became involved in the Chicano Movement. She pursued an education in law at the People’s College of Law and earned her degree in 1985.

Maria Palacios

Maria Palacios, also known as the “Goddess on Wheels,” is a poet, author, spoken word performer, and workshop facilitator who has performed with Sins Invalid since 2007. Maria has published several books including Poetic Confessions Volumes I & II, Dressing Skeletons, and Criptionary. Maria’s work echoes the resilience of crip survival, through the lens of her own experience as a Latina, immigrant, disabled woman living in Houston.


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