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Press Advisory

UCLA Celebrates Senator Smallwood-Cuevas: California’s Only Black Woman Senator


By Silvia Vazquez

MEDIA ADVISORY for: Friday, March 10, 2023

CONTACT: Silvia Vazquez, UCLA Labor Center,, 424-354-6069


On Women’s History Month UCLA Celebrates Senator Smallwood-Cuevas:

California’s Only Black Woman Senator

LOS ANGELES- On Friday, March 10, the UCLA Labor Center will host a homecoming celebration for Senator Lola Smallwood-Cuevas, the only Black woman in the California State Senate and one of two African Americans in the State Senate —the other is Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Los Angeles). The celebration will include a cultural performance, and words from Senator Smallwood-Cuevas and UCLA leaders. Prior to being elected to represent California’s 28th Senate District, Senator Smallwood-Cuevas worked at the UCLA Labor Center for 15 years where she directed the Center for the Advancement of Racial Equity at Work (CARE at Work) project and co-founded the Los Angeles Black Worker Center, the country’s first Black worker center. 

The Los Angeles Black Worker Center serves as a model for Black worker centers across the country that increase access to quality jobs, reduce employment discrimination, and improve industries that employ Black workers. CARE at Work facilitates innovative solutions that address the needs of Black working-class people. “Senator Smallwood-Cuevas is a trailblazer who should be celebrated. She is an educator, labor organizer, and community advocate who has dedicated her life to economic and racial justice. Over the course of her career, she has advanced research, education, and community empowerment — and now as the only Black woman in the California State Senate she is leaving a legacy for future generations to look up to,” said Kent Wong, Director of the UCLA Labor Center. 

WHAT: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) celebration for Senator Smallwood-Cuevas. 


  • Senator Lola Smallwood-Cuevas, Represents California’s 28th Senate District
  • Darnell Hunt, UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor Provost and Dean of Social Sciences
  • Robin D. G. Kelley, UCLA Distinguished Professor and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History
  • Kent Wong, Director of the UCLA Labor Center 

WHEN: 1:00 PM PST, Friday, March 10, 2023

WHERE: Collins Alumni Conference Room at UCLA James West Alumni Center, 

  325 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095 

  Parking in Structure 8

REGISTRATION: (Register by March 8th if you would like to receive lunch. Registration will be open past March 8th.)  

MEDIA VISUALS: Cultural performance. Speeches by UCLA leaders and Senator Lola Smallwood-Cuevas.


About the UCLA Labor Center:

The UCLA Labor Center believes that a public university belongs to the people and should advance quality education and employment for all. Every day we bring together workers, students, faculty, and policymakers to address the most critical issues facing working people today. Our research, education, and policy work lifts industry standards, creates jobs that are good for communities, and strengthens immigrant rights, especially for students and youth. The UCLA Labor Center is housed in the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, a multidisciplinary research center dedicated to the study, teaching, and discussion of labor and employment issues at UCLA.