Mujeres Empowerment
and Civic Engagement Virtual Conference

Inform, Inspire, and Connect for Community Action

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Hosted by:

Click to go to Fullerton Healthy Neighborhoods Website

Hosted by:

Mujeres, Get Involved in Your Community!

You have the power to make lasting changes for your community and your future. When we work together, our power becomes stronger.

Every mujer has the power to improve the community through actions like serving on boards, leading city council committees, volunteering in the schools, running for elected positions, and speaking out for the changes you would like to see.

Register for this FREE virtual conference and let us help you discover your power to engage in your community and make the changes you want to see.

The Agenda

Session I

Key Issues Facing Latinx Communities

Nationally recognized experts discuss critical issues facing the Latinx communities (e.g., health and education inequities, immigration issues, economic conditions, and housing and food insecurities). They also discuss how they started their work, the importance of Latina leadership, and recommendations on how to become involved with making changes in local communities.

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America Bracho, MD, MPH, Chief Executive Officer, Latino Health Access

Dr. America Bracho is the CEO for Latino Health Access, a health promotion and disease prevention center located in Santa Ana. This center was created under her leadership to assist with the multiple health needs of Latinos in Orange County. Latino Health Access facilitates mechanisms of empowerment for the Latino community and uses participatory approaches to community health education. The programs train community health workers as leaders of wellness and change.

Dr. Bracho worked as a physician in her native Venezuela for several years prior to migrating to the U.S. to obtain a master’s degree in Public Health at the University of Michigan. Upon graduation, Dr. Bracho created and directed the AIDS projects for Latino Family Services in Michigan, for four years. The program integrated HIV education programs that addressed needs confronted by the community, including access to employment, parenting, women’s health, drug treatment, and others. She has been a trainer, presenter, and consultant for numerous government and private agencies around the nation, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NCLR, U.S.–Mexico Border Association, Texas Department of Health, University of Michigan, UCLA, UCR, and Johns Hopkins University, among others.

Dr. Bracho serves as a consultant for the Pan American Health Organization and has been a valuable faculty member for several international courses in Latin America. Dr. Bracho has been involved with the Spanish-speaking media as host of a daily radio talk show and TV on health-related topics. She is highly respected in Latino health issues, health education, minority women, cultural competency, community organizing, diabetes education, and HIV.


America Bracho, MD, MPH

Chief Executive Officer, Latino Health Access

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Gloria Itzel Montiel, Ph.D., Health Equity Leader

Dr. Gloria Itzel Montiel is a DACA recipient and a Southern California-based health equity leader. Born in Guerrero Mexico, she immigrated to the United States at the age of 8. As an undocumented student, she obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Harvard University and was the first undocumented student to obtain a Ph.D. from the Claremont Graduate University.

In her professional capacity, Dr. Montiel has led the acquisition of more $30 million in grant funds for community-led programs in public health, education, and civic engagement. Dr. Montiel is currently a Research Scientist at the AltaMed Institute for Health Equity and the founding director of Community Outreach & Research Engagement Initiatives. She also serves as the Director of Strategy and Sustainability at Latino Health Access and a Faculty Fellow at the Claremont Graduate University, in the Allies of Dreamers Certificate Program. Her academic work has been published in the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, CDC’s Preventing Chronic Disease, and in various edited books. Dr. Montiel received AltaMed’s Visionary Award in 2021 for her leadership in designing a community-led COVID-19 outreach program and was named a 2022 Geiger Gibson Emerging Leader for her contributions to advancing equity and community engagement through community health centers.


Gloria Itzel Montiel, Ph.D.

Research Scientist at AltaMed Institute for Health Equity & Founding Director of Community Outreach & Research Engagement Initiative

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Patty Juarez, Head of Diverse Segments–Commercial Banking, Wells Fargo

Patty Juarez has spent more than 26 years in Commercial Banking, where she has held various leadership roles. Currently, she serves as the head of Diverse Segments creating, developing, and executing Diverse Segments strategy for Wells Fargo Commercial Banking. Juarez earned her bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis in accounting from the University of California, Berkeley, and her MBA from St. Mary’s College of California in Moraga.

Juarez is active in a variety of professional and community organizations. She was chairwoman and now board development chair of the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which represents the interests of Orange County’s 30,000 Hispanic-owned businesses. She is also chair of the board of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Orange County. CASA trains community volunteers to serve as powerful mentors and advocates for the community’s abused, abandoned, and neglected children. She is also a member of the Latinx Outreach Leadership Advisory Board at Delta Airlines, the Orange County School of the Arts Foundation Board, and on the advisory board of the Latino Donor Collaborative. Lastly, she sits on the dean’s board of counselors for Chapman University’s school of business and on Chapman’s Board of Governors.

Juarez often speaks about topics such as Diversity and Inclusion, diverse segments, multicultural marketing, and financial literacy. She is the president of Latin Connection, one of the largest employee resource groups at Wells Fargo, representing more than 40,000 Latinos. She also serves as co-chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council for Commercial Banking.


Patty Juarez

Head of Diverse Segments– Commercial Banking, Wells Fargo

Session II

Local Community Engagement

Local community leaders discuss how they are addressing issues within their own communities, why it is important to become involved, what motivates them to do the work they do, how to deal with challenges, and what type of changes they have been able to make to have a positive impact in their communities. They also provide suggestions on how anyone can become civically engaged at the local level, right where they live.

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Egleth Nuncci, Community Liaison for the CSUF Center for Healthy Neighborhoods

Egleth Nuncci is the Community Liaison for the CSUF Center for Healthy Neighborhoods housed at Richman Park in Fullerton. Nuncci is the Coordinator of the Community Building Initiative and works with resident leaders to train and empower them to address needs in the community and navigate political systems to help make policy changes for more equitable opportunities to thrive and succeed.

Nuncci is a champion for Equity and Equality Education for children. She started her civic engagement when her daughter attended the Head Start Program in Fullerton. Over the past several years, she has served as President of DELAC for the Fullerton School District; President of ELAC and School Site Council for Pacific Drive Elementary and Nicholas Junior High; Task Force member that developed the Dual Immersion Program in the Fullerton School District; Member of the Fullerton Police Chief Advisory Board; Board Member of the Fullerton Library Foundation; Ad Hoc Community Member for the Hunt Library in Fullerton; and Health Committee Member of Providence Health Alliance. Her community involvement has resulted in addressing several needs in the community, especially related to school and community safety, and food and housing insecurity. Nuncci has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work by the City of Fullerton, Orange County, and State of California, including the 2021-2022 Parent of the Year from the Orange County Board of Education, the 2020 #CA39 Hispanic Heritage Volunteer Award from Congressman Gil Cisneros, and the 2021 Woman of the Year for District 5 in Fullerton.


Egleth Nuncci

Community Liaison for the CSUF Center for Healthy Neighborhoods

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Gabriela Lemus, Community Activist

Gabriela Lemus was born in Guatemala and graduated as an elementary education teacher. She came to the United States to work and help save her parents’ house. Lemus has worked in the field, with the Girl Scouts, and with the Padres Promotores of SAC. She is passionate about supporting neighborhood youth and helping them avoid trouble and achieve successful futures. She is a contributor to local communities and considers herself “a friend of the people.”


Gabriela Lemus

Community Activist

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Erika Robles, President & Founder, United Across Borders Foundation

Erika Robles is the founder and CEO of United Across Borders Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to serving local communities with love, respect, integrity, and compassion. The organization’s mission is to assist families in underserved communities with grocery assistance and staple supply access, in order to meet its goal that no one ends their day in need or hungry.

In 1988, Robles immigrated to the United States with her parents, brother, and sister, from Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. As an immigrant raised in Santa Ana, California, she experienced firsthand the challenges many low-income families face every day to try and make ends meet. There was always a consistent need for basic supplies that most of these families could not afford and had no support or access to. This is where her passion to help others was born, and years later with the support of her own family, she founded the United Across Borders Foundation in 2012.

Robles’ greatest inspiration to continue her work in these communities are her husband and co-founder, Javier Robles, and her three children, Cassandra, Oscar Javier, and Jacqueline. She is also highly grateful for the contribution of like-minded community leaders and organizations that have taken part in expanding their goals.


Erika Robles

President & Founder, United Across Borders Foundation

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Guadalupe Díaz Lara, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Dept. of Child
and Adolescent Studies, Cal State Fullerton

Dr. Díaz Lara is an assistant professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Studies at California State University, Fullerton. She received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Sciences from Oregon State University with an emphasis on early childhood development and parenting.

Dr. Díaz Lara’s work is focused on connecting research, policy, and practice to understand, elevate, and address factors that influence the educational experiences of children and families from diverse backgrounds, especially, Latine/x families and dual language learners/English learners. Additionally, she has presented multiple workshops for parents and educators in English and Spanish and serves in multiple community-based committees focused on improving the educational outcomes for diverse communities.


Guadalupe Díaz Lara, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Child
and Adolescent Studies

Session III

ABCs of Community Engagement & Inspiration for the Future

Experienced leaders in government and education discuss the importance and the power of Latinas coming together to take collective action to make significant change and advance equity and opportunity within their communities through education and policy changes. You’ll be inspired to make a difference!

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Rose Espinoza, La Habra City Council; Founder of Rosie’s Garage

Rose Espinoza was first elected to the La Habra City Council in 2000, becoming the first Latina elected to the city council. Espinoza was reelected in 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020 and has served as Mayor in 2004, 2008, 2013, 2017, and again in 2021.

In 1991, she founded Rosie’s Garage, out of concern for the growing gang activity and low educational attainment of children in her neighborhood, and was the subject of the documentary “Rosie’s Garage,” which aired on KCET in 2002. The nonprofit celebrated 31 years of providing, educating, and inspiring the love of learning to low-income children.

Espinoza received the Points of Light Presidential Service Award from former President Clinton in 1994, and the National Caring Award, a prestigious honor that has been given to world-renowned people including Mother Teresa, the Rev. Billy Graham, and baseball Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken Jr., and she is recognized in the Frederick Douglass Museum and Hall of Fame for Caring Americans in Washington, D.C.

Her accomplishments have also been featured in Reader’s Digest, People magazine, Univision, O magazine, and CSUF Center for Oral and Public History’s “Voces de Liberarcíon: Latinas and Politics in Southern California.”

Espinoza has continually made a difference by contributing time, energy, and talent, and by embracing issues and causes most important to her and the community.


Rose Espinoza

La Habra City Council; Founder of Rosie’s Garage

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Martha Rivera, Director of Community Relations, Bright Prospect

Martha Rivera is a bilingual, biliterate, bicultural leader and practitioner with experience in strategizing and leading cross-functional teams to and through organizational transformation in support of positive community impact. She currently serves as the Director of Community Relations for Bright Prospect, a college access and success nonprofit in Pomona, California, where she brings almost 10 years of experience in college access and first-generation college attainment.

Previously, she served as the Chief Program Officer at Simon Scholars and as the Coordinator of Family and Community Engagement at the Santa Ana Unified School District. In her role at SAUSD, she was the lead in the successful implementation of the practice of Family and Community Engagement (FACE) and the Wellness Centers. She collaborated with nonprofits, community organizations, other SAUSD departments, and school sites to establish and leverage mutually beneficial relationships and programs in support of students.

Her work and commitment to the community have led to her recognition by Senator Umberg as a Woman of Distinction, and as the winner of Hispanic Education Endowment Fund (HEEF) Scholar Alumnus Award in 2018. Rivera is also honored to serve her community as a Board Member for Share Our Selves (SOS), Latino Health Access (LHA) and the Chapman Alumni Association.

As the proud daughter of immigrant parents and a first-generation college graduate, Rivera was born and raised in Santa Ana. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and Spanish from Chapman University and her master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2013.


Martha Rivera

Director of Community Relations, Bright Prospect

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Susie López-Guerra, Ed.D., Director of Community Relations, Santa Ana Unified School District

Dr. Susie López-Guerra is currently the Director of Community Relations for Santa Ana Unified School District, where she has developed a comprehensive network of partnerships with stakeholders throughout the county and leads Family and Community Engagement.

Dr. López-Guerra joined Santa Ana Unified School District in 1999 as a first-grade bilingual education teacher. During her tenure with SAUSD, she has served as a teacher, mentor teacher, community technology liaison, curriculum writer, professional developer, presenter,  and certificated learning and achievement specialist. Her work and commitment to the community has led to recognition from several city and state government and community organizations.

Dr. López-Guerra serves on the Board of Directors for California Health Initiative of Orange County (CHIOC), Heritage Museum of Orange County, KidWorks, and the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce, and she is President of the National Hispanic Business Women Association. She also serves in an advisory capacity in HEEF’s Gala Committee, Institute for Community Impact, Media Arts Santa Ana, CSUF, UCI, Grand Central Art Center’s Director’s Circle, and Community Relations of Orange County.

A first-generation college graduate, Dr. López-Guerra was born, raised, and resides in Santa Ana. She received her master’s degree from Cal State Fullerton and doctorate degree from the University of Southern California in Teacher Education in Multicultural Societies with an emphasis on literacy development for underrepresented youth in alternative educational settings.

Dr. López-Guerra’s mission is to provide all students with the opportunity to reach their social, emotional, and academic potential by making privileged knowledge, common knowledge through greater access to educational experiences.


Susie López-Guerra, Ed.D.

Director of Community Relations, Santa Ana Unified School District

Plan to Attend

Attend the conference virtually from any device where you have internet access.
When you register, we will send you the link and sign-in instructions.

A virtual conference doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. If you have internet access and a couple
extra chairs, invite your friends to attend at your home.

We are always stronger together!


Register Now

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Mujeres Empowerment and Civic Engagement Conference. 10.15.22 SoCal.


Visit our sponsors and thank them for their commitment to building healthy communities.

Patrocinador De La Sesión

Session Sponsor

California State University Fullerton Student Affairs

Patrocinador De Las Mujeres Poderosas

Powerful Women Sponsor

Kaiser Permanente

Patrocinadores De Empoderamiento

Empowerment Sponsors

California State University Fullerton Student Affairs Michi & Walter Weglyn Endowed Choir of Multicural Studies California State University Fullerton College of Health and Human Development CalOptima Health Supervisor Doug Chaffee Counter of Orange Supervisorial District 4

Patrocinador De Comunidad

Community Sponsor

California State University Fullerton Government and Community Relations Jamboree