The Pat Brown Institute 2018 Annual Dinner took place on April 26, 2018 at the Taglyan Complex in Los Angeles. Read more about the dinner here.

Edna Chavez

As a member of Community Coalition’s South Central Youth Empowered thru Action (SCYEA) Program, Edna Chavez is fighting to end gun violence and disrupt the school to prison pipeline in South LA. Ms. Chavez is currently a senior at Manual Arts High School. She received national attention after her passionate speech about the impact of gun violence at the March For Our Lives event in Washington, DC.

A leader and an activist for policy change, Ms. Chavez has inspired and continues to inspire students all over the country to take the lead in making lasting change.

At the Rally in Washington, Ms. Chavez talked about the normalcy of gun violence in her neighborhood. “I learned to duck from bullets before I learned how to read,” she said, and in doing so she shined a light on issues many face in their communities.

One inspired student, Nathaniel Belteton, described it this way: “Our voice, South L.A.’s voice was heard nationally. Chicago’s voice was heard nationally. Low income communities were heard on a national level — so change is on the rise.”

“My brother, he was in high school when he passed away,” she continued. “It was a day like any other day. Sunset going down on South Central. You hear pops, thinking they’re fireworks. They weren’t pops. You see the melanin on your brother’s skin go gray. Ricardo was his name. Can you all say it with me?”