2007 Honorees

Lupe AnguianoLupe Anguiano
(b. 1929)  

Protector of the Earth and Activist for the Poor

Defying any single category of cause or action, Lupe Anguiano, an educator, has always worked for the equality of all people. She is a passionate environment volunteer, helping to protect "Mother Earth" from global warming and other destructive environmental hazards. In 1949, she joined Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters.  As a nun, she worked for fifteen years to improve the social, educational, and economic conditions of poor people throughout the United States. Anguiano was also a United Farm Workers’ Volunteer, working directly under the direction of Cesar Chavez in Delano, California. She led the successfully grape boycott in the entire State of Michigan in 1965.

Nationally, Anguiano is best known for her many years helping Women Single Parents move out of the trapped poverty cycle of Welfare. She advocated changing AFDC Welfare Policy from “income maintenance” to an education and gainful employment policy and most important, changing the term “child care provider” to calling the women “head of household.” National welfare history was made - when, in 1973, disturbed by the hopelessness of women and her children trapped in welfare poverty, Lupe Anguiano moved into the San Antonio public housing projects and within six months, she assisted 500 San Antonio women to leave the welfare rolls for jobs--all in the private sector.

She founded the National Women's Employment and Education Model Program (NWEE); enlisting the support of many San Antonio businesses who provided skills training for the women along with funding for education, employment upward mobility, child care, transportation, and other support services needed to help stabilize the women in gainful full time employment. NWEE became a nationally recognized successful employment and education model – implemented in seven states – where over 5,000 women single parents became gainfully employed.

While working to change Welfare Policy for women single parents, Anguiano became involved with the Women’s Liberation Movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s. She worked with outstanding women leaders such as Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, and other feminists in the formation and founding of the National Women's Political Caucus and helped to bring Catholic support to the Equal Rights Amendment.  In 1977, Lupe was elected a delegate to the first State of Texas federally funded Women’s Conference and also elected delegate to First National Women’s Conference held in Houston in November of the same year – where along with Jean Stapleton and Coretta Scott King, she read the “Declaration of American Women." The National Women’s Conference funded by the US Congress is a landmark for women in the United States.

Currently, Anguiano works daily, as a volunteer, with the “California Coastal Protection Network” (CCPN); headed by Susan Jordan. CCPN is leading the struggle to protect the California Coast from fossil fuels, oil drilling, and the very dangerous proposed LNG (liquefied natural gas) tankers, which would dump over 280 tons of pollution annually and would also install pipelines in the Oxnard, Malibu Ocean floor. She also works with Rory Cox, Program Director of Pacific Environment and Ratepayers for Affordable Clean Energy, and numerous environmental organizations throughout the United States and the world from her home state of California. 

Anguiano has worked with many generations of women to move history forward, and she continues that remarkable work today.

Lupe Anguiano's Archives can be found at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center.

Lupe Anguiano – languiano@verizon.net