Helen Torres interviewed by Jael Mueller, August 26, 2015, Los Angeles, California, Oral History #5626, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
An oral history with Helen Torres, Executive Director of Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE). This interview was conducted for the Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History Project by California State University, Fullerton. The purpose of this interview is to shed light on the role of Latina women involved as activist or political leaders in their communities. The interview covers Mrs. Torres early life in Puerto Rico and their move to Michigan when she was two years old. She discusses her life in Detroit and being raised by a single mother. She later talks about her mother’s re-marriage and the families move to a Michigan suburb where they faced for the first time discrimination for being Latino. She speaks about her time at Michigan State University where she became part of the Latino Community on campus. After receiving both her Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Art in Communication and Urban Studies she decided to move to California to pursue a career in within the Latino community of California. Mrs. Torres discusses her move to a new state and her employment with Laufer and Associates and how that opened opportunities for her to become more socially active within the Latino community. She later details her time at United Way of Greater Los Angeles where she held the position of Community Relations Manager. Finally, she discusses her role at HOPE, where she is Executive Director, the history of the organization, its mission, programs for training the next generation of Latina leaders and uniting the Latina leaders of today.
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