Father Richard Estrada, was born and raised as a Roman Catholic in East Los Angeles. While attending Our Lady of Lourdes and Cantwell High school he realized his vocation to serve God. He graduated from Garfield High and entered the U.S. Army. Father Estrada graduated from the University of San Francisco and went on to special religious studies at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley.
As a seminarian student he chose to work with the poor communities. He interned as a Chaplain assistant at San Quentin California State Prison. In his first parish assignment in East Los Angeles, he served as a Community Organizer with the Industrial Areas Foundation, and became the chairman of the youth United Neighborhood Organization Gang Committee (UNO). Twenty-five years ago Father Estrada started Jovenes, Inc., which has become a premier organization in the Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles area.
Father Estrada has been an Ordained Catholic priest for 36 year and served at La Placita for 20 years in two different terms. Currently, he is transitioning his role as a Catholic Priest to being an Episcopalian Priest. He has been recognized in KCET’s Local Hero-Hispanic Heritage Month.
Father Estrada maintains, “It is by our shared commitment to be living reminders of God’s Compassion and love for the poor that we become fully human.”
Aida Feria, is the Director of the Choices Corp, a program for at risk Youth, located on the campus of California State University, Los Angeles, Aida is a fourth generation family member on Olvera Street, whose grandmother lived at the historic Pico house and whose family has continued to run a “puesto” since the 1940s.
Becky Hundley, Secretary is a retired elementary school teacher. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Religious Education, and has worked in several public schools in Virginia. Becky moved to California in 2013 and began volunteering at the Museum as a docent.
Sherwin “Keith” Rice, President of the Board is a historian, and archival technician at the Institute for Arts and Media at California State University, Northridge. As a Civil Rights historian, Keith contributes to the Museum of Social Justice’s mission of presenting Los Angeles’ rich and diverse history.
Greg Ramirez, archives & exhibit Committee member is an architectural designer and film maker whose professional accomplishments include working on Tom Wiscombe’s, “Light Wing” architectural/art installation at the PS1/MoMA Museum in Queens, NY. Most recently his second short film that the production managed, “Botes al Amanecer”, was invited to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Greg believes that there are many untold stories, filled with drama and humor, about this important location as the birthplace of Los Angeles. And these stories help flesh out the progressive path that people of many backgrounds took in navigating a new urban world called Los Angeles
Betty Venegas-Huebner, Treasurer, was a founding member of the La Plaza Historical Society and is treasurer of the La Plaza church. She began cataloging and preserving the La Plaza Church archives as early as 2002 and worked tirelessly throughout the Save La Plaza Campaign that resulted in the preservation of the Museum of Social Justice as a public venue for the greater Los Angeles community.
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