Jimenez & Lopez named women of year Honored in Sacramento by Central Coast legislators

Photo: Jimenez and Monning

Diana Jimenez and Ann Lopez were both named women of the year by state representatives on the Central Coast.

Lopez, founder and executive director of Center for Farmworker Families, was honored during a ceremony in Sacramento by Assemblyman Mark Stone of Santa Cruz. Jimenez, a Castroville activist, was honored by Sen. Bill Monning of Carmel.

“Dr. Lopez is a fierce advocate and dedicated researcher for the often voiceless farmworkers and their families,” said Stone in a written statement. “Not only has she provided much needed assistance for a vulnerable population, she is also providing valuable research on impacts to these vulnerable communities.”

Lopez studied biology at the UC Riverside before earning her master’s degree in biology from UC Santa Barbara. She later earned her doctorate in environmental studies at UC Santa Cruz, where she focussed on the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement on rural west Central Mexico. She is . also . the author of . the book, “The Farmworker Journey.”

Jimenez grew up . as a field laborer and packing shed worker with her parents and siblings, dropping out of school at the age of 15 to help her parents make ends meet, according to Monning. She returned to school, attending Hartnell Community College and earning a degree in social and behavioral sciences at CSU Monterey Bay. She is the CalWORKs Employment Services deputy director for the Monterey County Department of Social Services.

“For more than 20 years, Ms. Jimenez has been a dedicated public servant,” said Monning. “She is a compassionate leader who has helped transform the lives of families in need, not only through her work with the county but through her volunteer work on numerous board,  committees and commissions in the community.”

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