123 movies

Women Making History

CSEA Women and the Labor Movement

In CSEA, women are making a difference at every level. Two-thirds of CSEA chapters are led by women presidents. Five members of the Board of Directors are women. Most of our field offices are also run by women, and many of them were CSEA member leaders before they came on staff.

The work of CSEA women has been honored throughout its history, including dozens of Life Members and Honor Roll Members. Just last year, four out of five Member of the Year awards were presented to women.

“I am proud to recognize the everyday efforts of our union sisters who have a longstanding history of transforming organized labor through their work in CSEA,” said Association President Ben Valdepeña. “Let us never forget the impact that the leaders of the past have made while imparting lessons and fueling inspiration for the next generation of our up-and-coming activists.”…More


Board Women

Q&A with CSEA women leaders

Women, who currently serve on CSEA’s Board of Directors, answered questions about what it means for them to be involved the labor movement. Read More »


CSEA Trailblazers

CSEA trailblazers

CSEA members elected five different women to serve as Association President between 1978 and 1998. Pat Smith, the first woman to serve as Association President, was one of the few if not the only woman in the nation to head a large labor organization at that time. Read More »


April Llamas

Can-do attitude propels involvement in CSEA

April Llamas, president of San Dieguito Chapter 241, is the first to admit that if you need her to do something for CSEA-she’s in. The administrative assistant for Sunset High School has already held a number of different positions in her chapter. Read More »


Martha Penry

Longtime leader credits self-taught steward for her success

Retiree Martha Penry readily admits that everything she learned about CSEA was from a “wonderful woman” named Evelyn Jordan, a self-taught chief union steward. Penry has been an active member with CSEA for more than 30 years. Read More »


Honor Spencer

Former chapter president running for Hollister Mayor

Honor Spencer, member of San Benito High School District Chapter 173, embodies her name, something that has been earned after years of hard work and determination. She has been a campus supervisor with the San Benito High School District for more than 20 years and is a strong advocate for members in her chapter. Read More »


Opal Okikiade

Member gets active, inspires others

When Opal Okikiade, member of Retiree Council 5004 and former member of Ravenswood Chapter 303, began working for Ravenswood City School District, she wasn’t so much asked to become an active CSEA member but immediately recruited into a role. Read More »


Women of change ignites passion in South Whittier member

Stephanie Gonzales, president of South Whittier Chapter 348, recognizes that women have been fighting for equal rights and equal pay for many, many years. This knowledge and inspiration by some of the greats – Dolores Huerta, Mary Harris Jones and Rosa Parks – has “lit a fire under me and passed on some of that passion.” Read More »