Activist Video Archive

Preserving progressive, multicultural voices of Los Angeles area activists and philanthropists.

Preserving progressive, multicultural voices of Los Angeles area activists and philanthropists.

Angela Sanbrano

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Angela Sanbrano, was born in Juarez, Mexico. She grew up in El Paso, Texas. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from People's College of Law, Los Angeles and bachelor's degree in psychology from Pitzer College of the Claremont Colleges. Angela has dedicated her life to the struggle for peace with justice and to improve the quality of life of Latinos. For Angela community organizing and empowerment has been a continuous motivating force. 

In the 70's, as member of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlan (MEChA), Angela organized in support affirmative action, Chicano Studies, UFW grapes boycott and bilingual education. In the 80's she co-founded "Inquilinos Unidos" an organization which continues to work to defend tenant rights in the area of Pico-Union.

As a law student she became in contact with Salvadoran refugees fleeing the civil war from the United States supported military dictatorship. She soon realized the urgent need to build a solidarity movement to prevent a Vietnam-type war in Central America. In 1985, she was elected National Director of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES). She traveled throughout the United States building solidarity and to end US intervention in Central America. In 1992, she was invited as an official witness to the signing of the Peace Accords in Mexico City.

In 1989 she became the highest ranking Chicana in the US Peace movement through her appointment as Co-Chair of Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze) the largest grassroots peace organization in the country. She has organized and participated in several peace and elections observer delegations that have taken her to Cuba, Chiapas, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, South Korea and Venezuela.

From 1993-95 she lived in El Salvador where she co-founded the International Solidarity Center (CIS). In 1994, the CIS organized an international observer's delegation to the first democratic elections from twelve countries.

In 1995 Ms. Sanbrano joined the staff of the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN-LA). She served as the Executive Director from 1996 to 2007. CARECEN is the largest Central American community center in the United States serving thousands of women, men, youth and children annually with immigration legal services, citizenship, after school programs, education leadership development, organizing and a day labor center. She serves as the president of the Board of Directors.

In 2006, Angela was a key organizer of the immigrant rights march that mobilized over one million people in LA to protest the criminalization of undocumented immigrants and called for a just and humane immigration reform.

In 2004, Ms. Sanbrano co-founded the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) and from 2005 to 2013 served as president of the Board of Director's. NALACC is an immigrant-led organization that advocates for a just and humane immigration reform. In 2010 NALACC received the Mac Arthur "Award for Creative and Effective Institutions." In 2013 Angela was named President Emeritus of NALACC.

Presently, Ms. Sanbrano serves as the Executive Director of the Mexican Network of Migrant Leaders and Organizations (Red MX); in the Advisory Council of the Institute of Mexicans Abroad; as a trustee of the Edward Hazen Foundation in NY and on the boards of the Alliance for Better Communities of LA; the Latino/a Roundtable of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys; the Pomona Habla Community Coalition working to change policies and practices regarding impounds that result in racial profiling and social and economic hardship of the immigrant community.

She is married and lives with her husband James Sanbrano in La Verne, CA.

“Everything that is tearing us down today will become a memory, and this memory will be shared as an anecdote or a story or a poem or a play or a warning. It will be shared with another human being, who will then understand that he is not alone in his sadness. This is why we show up for others and tell our tales and listen to others. The great congregation meets daily, and you are someone’s angel today.”

-Tennessee Williams/Interview with James Grissom

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