Erasing California's Latinx Communities The intersection of xenophobia and eugenics and 12 reasons why Latinx COMMUNITIES are here to stay

Description of Image: background image above depicting of hospital paperwork directing the forced sterilization of a patient


The utilization of sterilization measures as a preventive approach to terminating family lines with "defection" or "unfit" genetic traits took place not only in California but thought the entire world. California was the third state within the United States to introduce explicit eugenic legislature through the implementation of sterilization laws in 1909. Within California, forced sterilization was, seen as incredibly progressive and socially pragmatic. Considering eugenics "progressive" is paradoxical, as these measures became highly radicalized and biased agains people of marginalized backgrounds by nature. The above approach to population control became so entrenched in California's social-engineering efforts that forced sterilization quickly ballooned to be used as a socio-economic "remedy" for the purported over-population crisis during the 1960s. The approach was unequivocally classiest, and radicalized, affecting poor women of color significantly more than any other population.

Photograph of State Hospital in Napa, CA, where over 12,000 people were forcefully sterilized in an area that is roughly 50% Hispanic

Description of the image above: a red building with many vertical windows; three distinct towers with the tallest one in the middle and a corridor of trees leading up to the main entrance

In the beginning, to the mid 20th century, roughly 60,000 people were sterilized under U.S. eugenics programs. Eugenic laws in 32 states allowed and encouraged government officials in public health, social work, and state institutions to render people they deemed 'unfit' infertile. California led the nation in this effort at social engineering. Starting in the early 1920s [and the 1970s] ... 20,000 other people – one-third of the national total – were sterilized in California. People of Mexican descent were disproportionately targeted, especially if they did not speak English.

Figure 1: Latinx individuals were at times 3 times as likely to be sterilized, with out even taking into account population proportions
Eugenic propaganda in California, dehumanizing and devaluing "unfit" people by alluding that non-white Americans (as the man seen in the picture) preclude the development of a fruitful society

Description of the image above: a yellow background with a white mad pained with red coloring. The man is muscular and holding a bucket of seeds. The text above reads "Only healthy seeds must be sown!"


List of reasons why eugenics is beneficial to CA society by The Human Betterment Foundation

Description of image: Effects of Sterilization in California (Title of piece, centered and bolded.) Ensuing catalog: 1. Only one effect -- it prevents parenthood; 2. It is now way desexes the patient; 3. In no way imparts health of the patient; 4. It is a protection, not a punishment; 5. Patients and families are among the best friends of sterilization; 6. It is approved by the medical staffs, social workers, probation and parole officers, who have come into contact with the patient before and after the operation; 7. It allows may patients to return to their homes who would otherwise be confined to institutions for years; it thus prevents break up of families; 8. It prevents the birth of children that would probably have bad heredity, who could not be cared for properly, by their parents, and who would probably become state charges; 9. It releases patients from confines in state institutions; thus, increasing the care for more defectives without increasing the cost to the taxpayer; 10. It has not increased sex offenses; on the contrary, sterilized patient in California, for many reasons, chiefly educational discipline, show great improvements over their former record of sex delinquency; 11. It enables many handicapped people to marry and have a normal life in most respects, whose marriage without sterilization would otherwise be unwise if not disastrous; 12. Conservatively and sympathetically administered, it is a practical, humane, and necessary step to prevent race deterioration.

Another representation of how the 12 assertions above were transcribed for younger audiences by inculcating intolerance. The image depicts two young children and a house designed in a blue motif. The text around the children and the house explains that sterilized individuals often become normal members of society and that no children deserve to be "born to subnormal parents"

The document above, which purports the ostensive benefits of forced sterilization of "mentally-handicap" citizens, exemplifies how the prejudiced pseudo-science that already eugenically targeted individuals with mental health problems could easily be amplified to larger demographics. At face value, The Human Betterment Foundation seems to be solely addressing "institutionalized patents" by celebrating sterilization, when in reality their ambiguous rhetoric amplifies their insinuations to greater sectors of marginalized Americans, such as the Chicanx community in California. This amplification is achieved through repeated use of radicalized phrases like "bad heredity," prevention of "race deterioration." The convenient placement of phrases like these in the middle and later end of the catalog of benefits regarding sterilization inconspicuously begins to sow in radically biased rhetoric into a pamphlet that originally only addressed mental health issues. The association of racially charged assertions with the "dangers" of mental health problems with "race preservation" serves to either plant or cement the notion that people of color are somehow cognitively deficient. Furthermore, the catalog's implementation of the serial-position effect, a psychological theory that claims people are more likely to remember the first and last sections of a list rather than the middle, ties the notions of benevolent patient protection, mental health, and race. This association of race with sterilization is substantiated and quantified by Figure 1, above.

Beyond just rhetorical implications, the peddling of pseudo-science and misleading ethos to justify forced sterilization was crucial in cementing and legitimizing the practice. The involvement of "medical staffs, social workers, probation and parole officers" creates the notion of methodical and multidisciplinary investigation in order to provide care for the patient, when in reality many of these procedures were ordered impetuously and by few medical staff. As mentioned above, the attempt to quantify the value of sterilization to save the taxpayer money is also incredibly misleading, as sterilization and institutionalization was a project taken up by the state anyway. Therefore, if the state was to really save the taxpayer money, it would completely disband the institutions that held people or that sterilized them. Such ramifications are evidenced in transcripts of conversations in the LA county hospital where many of these sterilizations occurred. Such ramifications are evidenced in transcripts of conversations in the LA county hospital where many of these sterilizations occurred. These sterilizations were the basis for the film No Más Bebés, which describes the stories of a set of 6 Latina women in detail from when they went to the hospital to give birth but left sterilized with no legitimate indication of content. The director Renee Tajima-Peña not only captures the facts and opinions regarding the sterilizations through interviews with the women, doctors, and sociologists, but she also follows the women's stories through the court case, Madrigal v. Quilligan -- the lawsuit initiated by lawyer Antonia Hernández in an effort to rectify the injustices against the sterilized women.

Doctor Rosenfeld, the whistleblower of the striations, claims he heard his college, Dr. Mathews asserted, "I developed a whole new prejudice... I had nothing against Mexicans when I came here," to which another doctor, Dr. Forster, replied, "Ya, all they do is screw, drink, and drive." From this rhetoric, the blatant and explicit racism that was inculcated into these doctors had negative ramifications on the practice. Moreover, it creates a radicalized institutional problem with what is supposedly a public service center. The notions that Mexicans just "screw, drink, and drive" also feeds into a whole other: the criminalization and incarceration of people of color due to racial profiling, which in of itself has lead to thousands of sterilizations within the prison system. In conclusion, the words of the Human Betterment Foundation convey a message that expands past its face value... it is really not just about mental health, but race as well, and the ensuing effects rhetoric has on human ideology, behavior, and law.

The 12 purportions postulated by the Human Betterment Foundation are entirely erroneous and directly refutable by the experiences of the women who underwent these procedures. The claim that these sterilizations have only "one effect - to prevent parenthood," is deserving, to say the least. Yes, it presents parenthood, but it does so much more. The procedure often destroyed families, broke marriages, and devastated the hopes of a family for many Latin-Americans.

In the film No Más Bebés, Maria Hernandez recounts how the news of the sterilization completely wrecked her marriage. Her husband made her keep the sterilization a secret from her friends and relatives, often becoming violent and accusing her of becoming "una mujer de la calle" (a woman of the streets) because she could supposedly have affairs without consequences.Maria quickly became depressed, would not eat, and was socially disengaged. Herandez at one point almost jumped off a bridge overlooking the highway that ran by Terraza Alta out of pure anguish and emotional pain. Simultaneously, her husband drowned his sorrows in alcohol, exacerbating the situation exponentially.

Clearly, the notion that unconnected sterilization is as simple as preventing parenthood, that it is beneficial to the patient's health, and that it does not burden the patient with humiliation and stigma is completely vacuous. Maria's story also demonstrates how absurd it is to claim that such procedures also "do not affect the health of the patient," as the procedure clearly had a devastating effect on her mental health -- which is incredibly paradoxical, seeing that the original development of eugenic sterilizations was intended to combat mental health problems.

Image description: the movie poster for No Mas Bebes, which is a yellow and red-tinted picture of USC County Hospital, with the above written: "No Mas Bebes/No More Babies." Those words are centered, and above those words is a picture of one of the sterilized women holding a plastic crib inside a hospital room. Another woman can be seen in the farther corner.

A eugenic certificate that depicts and romanticizes a white couple as the benchmark for ideal "procreators," further underscoring the radicalized lends though which eugenics was executed

Description of the Image Above: A eugenic certificate that outlined in read, which a circular cartoon containing a white couple getting married. The writing reads "Eugenic Certificate: This Guarantees that I have examined the sender of this card and find a perfect physical and mental balance and unusually strong eugenic love possibilities, well fitted to promote happiness and future welfare of the race."

One of the biggest contradictions postulated by the Human Betterment Foundation is that patients are "best friends" with the idea of sterilization, and are aware of the benefits that ensued the procedure. Despite this claim, doctors in the Los Angeles County Hospital and USC Medical Center were sued by a group of women sterilized in the hospitals, represented by Antonia Hernandez, because they made women sign content wavers for sterilization while going into labor, often threatening that they or their babies would die from complications during birth if they did not sign.

Women who when through this process would claim some doctors stated: "If you don't sign this form we can't operate on you, and if we don't operate on you and your baby will die." Essentially, these papers was a matter of life and death for many Latina women. They were forced to pick between their life, their babies life, and their humanity. Sometimes the doctor would go so far as to "grab (their) hand and sign for (the women)" if the refused, as happened to Maria Figueroa, one of the women sterilized in LA county.

To make matters worse, many of these pamphlets were written in English, had cryptic notes on them written by the doctors, and often featured jargon. The women, who mostly spoke only Spanish, were never given time to read the document, let alone offered an interpreter. This lack of sympathy on behalf of many of the medical professionals is not unsurprising, though, in light of the fact that doctors and patients had practically no relationship, in contrast to what the Human Betterment Foundation would have one believe. Many of the doctors in LA county hospitals had absolutely no relationship with the patients they sterilized, making it easier for the medical profession to dehumanize Latina women.

Description of the image above: A black and white caricature of women of color of various ages and ethnicities holding up fists and looking very determined and impassioned. Above the text reads "Stop Forced Sterilization: Alto a Esterilizacion Forzada"

Los Angles Times front page with a photograph of two of the sterilized women taking action by suing LA County Hospital and the Headline "11 Latin Women File Suit on Sterilization"

Description of Image: The background of the image above is a black-and-white copy Los Angeles Times with an image of two frowning women, ones face completely shown and the other with her face partially covered with her hand. The headline reads "11 Latin Women File Suit on Sterilization."

One of the most popular excuses used by eugenicists was the people of low socio-economic class were an economic burden on society because they depended on welfare support. This allusion is seen in claim number 9, where the Human Betterment Foundation essentially claims that hospitals will not need to hold people deemed "unfit" because people no longer need to worry they will reproduce, allowing the hospital to institute/ sterilize a new group of people, and so on and so forth. Therefore, looking through the lens of broader eugenic measures, eugenicists often suggested that sterilizing the poor would safeguard economic growth. While it is extremely convenient to blame groups of people for their own hardships, the growth of poor Latinx communities in Southern California is not a product of some intrinsic impotence, but unregulated capitalism. Many Chicanx families worked 12 hour days 6 or 7 days a week simply to put food on the table, and still depended on welfare to get by because they were paid so little and given such little work benefits. The perpetuation of the socio-economic divide was therefore not the growth of Latinx families, but rather the systems that precluded social mobility.

Description of the image: a congregation of protesting women of color, depicted in black and white, holding picket signs. One of them reads "We demand reproductive freedom for all women!"


In light of the 12 fallacies brought forward by The Human Betterment Foundation, I believe it is important to counter them by telling the stories of 12 women who consistently work to refute such dangerous radicalized and ableist rhetoric. In No Más Bebés, the film mentioned above, one sees the courage of women adversely affected by forced sterilization and their conviction on combating such a dehumanizing practice. Inspired by these women, I have created a list of 12 women who have helped shape my values as a Hispanic-American, and who postulate their own 12 pillars for developing a healthy society. If these 12 women had not been born, I can say with certainty that our society would be worse-off.

Doctora Dolores Delgado Bernal

Colored picture of Dr. Bernal, wearing a blue blazer, black shirt, and blue neckless and earnings.

1. To catalyze social progression, we, as Chicanx individuals, must embrace our testomonios - our oral tradition - and bequeath it to the next generation. Doctora Dolores Delgado Bernal is a self-identified Chicana feminist methodologies, whose work critically analyzes "educational (in)equity, Latinx educational pathways, feminista pedagogies, and different forms of resistance." She grew up in a Mexican-American household, and graduated from UCLA with a Ph.D in Chicano Studies. She recently came to speak at UC Berkeley, giving a talk to the Casa Magdalena Mora Theme house program about her seminal paper, "Examining Transformational Resistance Through a Critical Race and Latcrit Theory Framework: Chicana and Chicano Students in an Urban Context." As the Theme House Residential Assistant, I witnessed Doctora Bernal explain how Lain-American oral tradition is rooted in resilience and persistence. She explained that our "barrios" and our "comunidades" depend on us to keep our history, our language, and our culture alive in order to create a country where all feel welcome. She inculcated in us the value of loving our brown skin, our Spanish, our danza, and the dangers of hiding it behind our English, our western-education, or our ability to pass. She is an inspiration to all who listen to her, as she truly proves that Hispanic culture is a seminal part of the Californian identity. This culture is not one to expunge, but rather to embrace.


Colore picture of Diana Lizarraga, center left, interacting with students as she gives a presentation. She is wearing a blue vest and a "super-woman" shirt. She is smiling and gesturing with positive emotion white the students behind her smile.

2. To develop an educated and responsible society, we must take action to advance marginalized communities who have not had the privileges of elite schooling. Diana Lizarraga, one of the founders of the Cal Nerds program, is an instrumental STEM-inist at UC Berkeley. For over 20 years, Lizarrga has fought for representation of minority communities in STEM, a field that is predominately white and male. She provides vision for diversity initiatives (ex: STEMinist data science and coding boot camps in R/Python and technology-centric work-flow management). Her bio on the Cal Nerds website reads, "She works to recruit and build vibrant student communities (especially with first-generation and women in Tech), promote career opportunities, and close achievement gaps for educationally disadvantaged and non-traditional students." Moreover, she directs a budget of over 4,500,000 dollars to make sure these communities are getting the assistance they need to succeed in a field biased against people low-income, low-funded communities. All in all, Lizarrga is "re-engineering" Berkeley's education system to better society by fostering bright minds in places overlooked by anglo-centric academia.

Sonya Sotomayor

A head-shot of Sonya Sotomayor wearing a black jacket and looking up at the camera while smiling

3. "Until we get equality in education, we won't have an equal society." We must create spaces in schools for students of disadvantaged backgrounds so that the doors that seemed perpetually closed are opened at last. Years after Brown v. Board of education, this quote by Sonya Sotomayor still stands true. As a Supreme Court Justice, Sotomayor is an embodiment of Latina power and potential. Sotomayor was born in Brooklyn to Puerto Rican parents, and got her JD from Yale Law school, after which she worker her way up circuit courts up to the Supreme Court. Thought her work, Sotomayor has challenged the education systems by writing passionate dissents on racially charged cases such as Schuette v. BAMN, Utah v. Strieff, and Trump v. Hawaii. Most notably though, Sonya Sotomayor was instrumental in legalizing gay marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges, proving how instrumental having someone who understands the difficulties of prejudice involved in legislation and constitutional analysis. Not only though her simple existence as a powerful woman in politics, but though her prolific accomplishments, Sotomayor demonstrates the potential of Latina women to better the United States when given the chance.

Sylvia Rivera

Black and White picture of Sylvia Rivera with her hair down and looking stoically into the camera. She has a hairband and dark lipstick on.

4. The rights of all women, cis or trans, rich or poor, brown or white or anything in-between, are central in developing an American society that is consonant with the freedom we claim to uphold as a nation. Sylvia Rivera was a trans woman and a community leader in New York City, best known for her contributions as a social justice warrior and her work progressing queer and trans rights. Some of her contributions include co-founding STAR, an organization dedicated to serving the homeless LGBTQ+ community, as well as advocating for the passage of SONDA, a law implemented in NY that banned discrimination based on sexual orientation. Sylvia Rivera’s politics stressed the importance of addressing systematic poverty and inequality that intersects with multiple aspects levels of our identity as Latinx individuals. She was heavily involved in the investigation of Marsha P Johnson’s murder by the police and in the years leading up to her death, she revitalized her political advocacy for trans rights. The politics of the new millennium represented a divergence from the radical politics of the 60s that Rivera supported. Angered by what she deemed to be an assimilationist agenda, Rivera denounced the efforts centering around inclusion into the military and state recognition of marriage, instead suggesting that the movement center its efforts around poverty and inequality.

Elvira Arellano

A colored picture of Elvira Arellano, who is wearing a brown dress and a rosary. She is hugging her son, who is small and is wearing a black shirt. Elvira and her son both have dark skin, brown eyes, and are looking at the camera seriously.

5. The sanctity of families supersedes the validity of laws that seek to criminalize parents who are looking to give their children better futures. Elvira Arellano is a Mexican activista (activist) who defends the human rights of undocumented immigrants, especially those of parents. In 2002, she fell into immigration custody and instead of appearing to her hearing, Arellano took refuge in a church to fight against the separation from her son. In 2007, Arellano was arrested and deported after leaving her refuge to attend a rally in L.A. for the undocumented community. She continued fighting for her rights within Mexico and in 2015 was allowed to return to the United States. Arellano’s conviction in her rights as a mother helped fuel a movement against the separation of families.

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

A colored picture of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez sitting on a staircase with tattered black paint. She is wearing a turquoise suit with black shoes. She has her hair down and is wearing lip red lipstick. She is staring stoically into the camera with her hands crossed and leaning in.

6. The sage voices of working-class women of color cannot and will not be muffled -- they are the ones who truly understand what it means to be an American and struggle like one, despite juxtaposing the American prototype entirely. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez made history during the 2018 congressional elections by becoming the youngest Mujer (woman) ever elected to Congress. She broke headlines after beating Congressman Joe Crowley, a 10 term democratic and the 4th most powerful Democrat in House. Ocasio broke political and cultural barriers by highlighting her gender, age, and cultural background. She has gained celebrity for going against the status quo and defending the rights of the working class. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is most famous for reshaping the values of the democratic party towards a progressive body that is uncompromising when facing issues like climate change and gun issues. Her most ambitious project thus far has been the Green New Deal, a comprehensive call for reform that would dramatically improve American's relationship with environmental sustainability.

Sandra Cisneros

A black and white picture of Sandra Cisneros sitting with her legs up on a couch. She is wearing dark jeans, a loose fitting shirt, and no shoes. Her hair is black and curly, and she is staring into the camera with a serious face.

7. Allowing people of oppressed communities to express themselves through literature and art is essential in defining and exploring the multivalent framework of American society. Without understanding who we are, we will never understand how to better ourselves. Sandra Cisneros is a Renaissance woman of the literary world; she writes poetry, short stories, novels, essays, and performances that analyze the lives of the working-class. One of her most famous works is her novella The House on Mango Street, which details the growth of a young Latina girl in Chicago as she discovers herself in the context of 20th century mid-western America. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellowship, several honorary doctorates and national and international book awards, including Chicago’s Fifth Star Award, the PEN Center USA Literary Award, and the National Medal of the Arts award presented to her by President Obama in 2016.

Cherríe Moraga

A colored headshot of Cherríe Morga smiling at the camera. She is wearing a gray shirt, gold earring, and is against a turquoise background. She has short hair, tan skin, and dark eyes. She also has a beauty mark on the top right corner of her mouth.

8. Understanding and asking important questions regarding the multifaceted identities of Americans as they emerge into politics is critical in representing the true interests of our people. Cherríe is an openly gay Chicana writer who was one of the first authors to introduce the idea of Chicana Liberalism into literature. In 2009 Moraga published the essay “Still Loving in the (Still) War Years: On Keeping Queer Queer", through which she questioned the mainstreaming of LGBT politics. Thought the essay she also analyzed the position of transgender people in queer communities and critiqued the augmenting appearance of trans issues in LGBT politics. She sustains that young people are being pressured into transitioning by the larger queer culture, stating “the transgender movement at large, and plain old peer pressure, will preempt young people from residing in that queer, gender-ambivalent site for as long and as deeply as is necessary.” The intersectionality that not only Cherríe embodies, but analyzes thoroughly, makes her work essential in defining how the progressive movement manifests itself for queer Latinx individuals.

Virginia Espino

A black and white headshot of Virginia Espino wearing sunglasses and smiling at the camera. She has her hair down and is wearing earrings. She is also wearing a back turtleneck sweater.

9. American society suffers when people are complacent with the oppression of other Americans. It is though perpetual inquisition and analysis of our cultural practices that we can break our cycle of marginalizing people we have naively labeled as "lesser." Virginia Espino is a Chicana film producer that produced the groundbreaking film No Más Bebés. This documentary, detailing the clandestine sterilization of Latina women in LA County during the 1960s and '70s though government-sponsored eugenic efforts, was central in educating later generations of the dangers of eugenics and general complacency during times of systematic oppression. Her work specifically demonstrates the tremendous psychological and emotional consequences that such racist and targeted efforts had on the Latinx community in California. Nevertheless, her work also demonstrated the uplifting social and legal achievements that can be galvanized by activism. In doing so, Espino demonstrates both the dangers of social complacency in the face of oppressive practices as well as the power of individuals to cause systemic changes for the better. She now works at UCLA, doing research regarding population control efforts in California and in the United States through the Chicano studies department. As a Latina feminista, Virginia Espino embodies what it means to devote yourself to social betterment, not though racist and/or gilded agendas, but through compassion, empathy, and a passion for critical analysis of social dynamics.

Antonia Hernandez

A colored headshot of Antonia Hernandez smiling and looking directly at the camera. She has her hair back and is smiling. She is wearing a pink blazer, a pearl neckless, and pearl earrings.

10. Inciting courage within marginalized communities can often uncover shared experiences that uplift others who before though they were alone. Acknowledging the harms that have been done to communities of color is the first step in remedying the harm done to them. Antonia Hernández is a Latina attorney, activist, and philanthropist currently serving as the President and CEO of the California Community Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on addressing the needs of marginalized communities in the Los Angeles area, specifically people of color and low income. Antonia Hernández is most well known for her involvement in Madrigal v. Quilligan (1975), the class action lawsuit filed by ten Latina women who were sterilized at the Los Angeles County Hospital without consent. Despite having lost the case, Antiona Hernandez demonstrates how mobilizing legally and socially can eventually lead to great progress toward lawful protection. Moreover, she demonstrates how fostering courage within the Latinx community can amplify our voices and uncover shared experiences that were before silences by shame and oppressive practices.

Patricia Macari

Picture of Patricia Macari smiling, looking beyond the camera to the side. She is wearing a white blouse, red earrings, and polarized glasses. She is sitting and has her arm around a cushion.

11. Having pride and conviction in one's Latinx identity is important in helping others do the same. Visibility and community are catalysts for representation and strength. Patricia Macari, a close family friend of ours, is an amazing exemplification of what it means to work for the advancement of the Latinx community within medicine. As a young adult, she moved to the United States to study English, and now is a professional interpreter for Spanish speakers at the Davis Hospital. She dedicates herself constantly to make sure patients are fully informed of what is happening within the clinic as to maximize transparency and make people who already face a language barrier do not feel more out of touch than they already often do, especially with a topic as personal as health. Patricia also avidly engages with Argentinian culture in Davis, often organizing cultural exchange events, asados (Argentinian barbeques), and musical executions, as well as general Latin dance performances. She embodies the pride and spirit that define the Latinx indemnity unapologetically.

Cecilia Agüero

A colored headshot of Cecilia holding a leaf from the vineyard plants she is investigating. She is wearing a blue sweatshirt and a green t-shirt. She is smiling and looking at the camera. Her hair is short and she is wearing earrings and a neckless.

12. First generation Latinx immigrants often give up a lot to afford their kids a better future. Welcoming immigrants and giving them the chance to find a home in the United States not only permits them to find security but also to contribute to our pre-established communities. Cecilia Agüero is a genetic researcher at UC Davis, a professor at Santa Rosa Junior College, and an ex-professor La Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina. She currently researches the resistance sequence for Fan Leaf in Vines, a disease that causes millions of dollars worth of crop damage in California. She is widely published and is soon to become a senior specialist researcher at the university. Before Cecilia was able to become the seller researcher she is, though, she had to move to the United States to pursue an education. Cecilia moved from Argentina to pursue a Ph.D. as a full bright scholar and was fully funded. Despite speaking Spanish and Italian as a first and second language, she worked hard to learn English; she did this not only while mastering her studies and researching, but while raising a newborn baby boy as well. Cecilia's experience with members of her community has also lead her to become a passionate activist, working with church leadership and for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election cycle in order to further Latinx interests in California. She has sacrificed a lot, leaving her family, moving halfway across the world to pursue a better future for herself and her family, and because of that, I can say I could not ask for a better mother. I love her eternally.

Works Cited

Administrator. “About.” Cherrie Moraga, cherriemoraga.com/index.php/about-cherrie-moraga-1.

“Antonia Hernández.” California Community Foundation, www.calfund.org/about-ccf/staff/presidents-office/.

“California Once Targeted Latinas for Forced Sterilization.” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 22 Mar. 2018, www.smithsonianmag.com/history/california-targeted-latinas-forced-sterilization-180968567/.

“Department of Chicana(o) and Latina(o) Studies.” Cal State LA, 11 Feb. 2019, www.calstatela.edu/academic/cls.

Horowitz, Carl. “Elvira Arellano Archives.” National Legal & Policy Center, nlpc.org/tag/elvira-arellano/.

Meet Our Staff - Diana Lizarraga, Student Equity & Success STEM Leader | Cal NERDS, calnerds.berkeley.edu/nerds/profile/diana-lizarraga.

Novak, Nicole L et al. “Disproportionate Sterilization of Latinos Under California's Eugenic Sterilization Program, 1920-1945.” American journal of public health vol. 108,5 (2018): 611-613. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2018.304369

“Representative Alexandria Ocasio.” Cortez, ocasio-cortez.house.gov/.

“Sandra Cisneros.” Sandra Cisneros, www.sandracisneros.com/.

Smith, Hakeem. “How Eugenics Legislated Sterilization Around the World.” Medium, Medium, 12 Jan. 2017, medium.com/@chsmithiii/how-eugenics-legislated-sterilization-around-the-world-eb5a226d4641.

"Sonia Sotomayor." Oyez, www.oyez.org/justices/sonia_sotomayor. Accessed 14 May. 2019.

Stern, Alexandra Minna et al. “California's Sterilization Survivors: An Estimate and Call for Redress.” American journal of public health vol. 107,1 (2016): 50-54. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2016.303489

Stern, Alexandra Minna. “Sterilized in the name of public health: race, immigration, and reproductive control in modern California.” American journal of public health vol. 95,7 (2005): 1128-38. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2004.041608

“Sterilization Practices.” Modern US History, blogs.dickinson.edu/modern-us-history/eugenics-sterilization/.

Tajima-Pena , Renee, director. No Más Bebés. UC Berkeley Library Data Base , UC Berkeley , 14 June 2014.

“Who Was Sylvia Rivera?” SRLP (Sylvia Rivera Law Project), 19 Feb. 2019, srlp.org/about/who-was-sylvia-rivera/.

Wolf, Jessica. “UCLA Professor's Film Documents Forced Sterilization of Mexican Women in Late '60s and Early '70s L.A.” UCLA, UCLA, 25 Oct. 2017, newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/ucla-professor-s-film-documents-forced-sterilization-of-mexican-women-in-late-60s-l-a.

“Virginia Espino.” UCLA Department of Chicana/o Studies, www.chavez.ucla.edu/content/virginia-espino.

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