Antonia Hernández, president and CEO of the California Community Foundation, has been named the 2017 Educator of the Year by Loyola Marymount University’s School of Education.
She will receive the award and give a keynote speech at the annual Kappa Delta Pi and SOE Awards Ceremony on Sunday, April 9, in the Hilton Center for Business at Loyola Marymount University.
Hernández is nationally regarded for a career spanning four decades in social justice, philanthropy in the nonprofit sector, and for her lifelong devotion to underserved communities in Los Angeles County and beyond. She has since 2004 led the California Community Foundation, an organization that supports nonprofits and public institutions throughout Southern California with funds for health and human services, affordable housing, early childhood education, community arts and culture and other areas of need.
“We are so pleased to honor Antonia Hernández for her decades of leadership for underserved and marginalized communities, particularly her support and care for immigrant students and families,” said SOE Dean Shane P. Martin. “Under her leadership, the California Community Foundation has generously supported programs and initiatives in the LMU School of Education to strengthen our work across Los Angeles.”
Hernández has also served as president, general counsel and regional counsel in Washington, D.C., of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She began her legal career as a staff attorney with the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice and worked as counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
She is a member of various boards of directors, advisory boards and committees, including the Commission on Presidential Debates, the JFK Library Foundation Profile in Courage Award Committee and UCLA Board of Advisors.
A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Law Institute, Hernández earned her bachelor’s degree in history from UCLA and J.D. at the UCLA School of Law.
Past recipients of the SOE’s Educator of the Year Award include Michael Kirst, president of the California State Board of Education; Patricia Gándara, research professor of education and co-director of the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA; Gregory Boyle, S.J., M.A. ’85 of Homeboy Industries; Monica Lozano, former publisher and chief executive officer of La Opinión and former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer, who led the Los Angeles Unified School District, among others.