Student Curated Biographies | Chicana por mi Raza

Student Curated Biographies

CPMR relies on the brilliance and motivation of many dedicated undergraduate students to preserve, identify, and create new content related to our holdings. These biographies reflect over 5 years' work by students whom have participated via classes, independent studies, and research seminars. Students are entirely responsible for the creation of these biographies and each biography is an ever-expanding, previously unavailable record of knowledge. Please contact us at with any concerns or updates to the information displayed here.

Gloria Arellanes "I understand my power as a woman because I give life, I am a teacher, I am a nurturer, I provide spirituality teachings, and when we collectively come together as women, it's such a powerful thing."

Gloria Arellanes was born in East Los Angeles in 1946, but for the majority of her life, she has resided in El Monte, California, living in the same home for over fifty years. Her father was a first generation Mexican-American whose family migrated to the United States from Chihuahua, Mexico, and her mother was a Tongva Native American. In the 1950s and 1960s, El Monte experienced extreme racial tension, and Arellanes witnessed race riots throughout her high school years. She attended college briefly before choosing to drop out, pursuing travel and more life experience.

Alicia Escalante “Don’t ever underestimate the power of a woman."

Alicia Escalante was born in El Paso Texas, in 1933 to what she describes as a traditional family. She was the second oldest of seven children, and she shared an intense bond with her mother. After 15 years of marriage, Escalante’s mother decided to divorce her father due to his infidelity, alcoholism and abuse. At the divorce court proceedings, her father was granted custody of all seven children, because of  her mother’s lack of employment and housing.

Yolanda Alaniz "I am a socialist feminist because I strongly believe that everybody can someday be equal and that we can end the oppression that we as 3rd World Women as well as other oppressed groups face."

Yolanda Alaniz was born in Brownsville, Texas and raised in Sunnyside, Washington in the Yakima Valley where she and her family worked as farmworkers. Tired of earning very low wages, her mother organized rallies along side other farm workers and most notably union leader Caesar Chavez to protest the unjust conditions and unfair wages many workers faced.