1993 Inductee - Sally Rivera


1993 Inductee - Sally Rivera

1993 Mexican American Hall of Fame Inductee

Sally came from a barrio where she was born in Upland, California, into a family of 12 children. Her father was a laborer and her mother was a homemaker. She and her brothers and sisters worked in the fields and other odd jobs after the harvest season until she finished high school.

In her early career as a secretary with various institutions, she was faced with conditions of defacto discrimination and determined to change that. She received a Baccalaureate Degree in Anthropology from California State University, San Bernardino, in 1973 and her Master’s Degree in Urban Institutions and Systems in 1976 from the Claremont Graduate School.

Her professional career has been marked by her involvement in minority affairs; specifically, the education of low income, under-represented minority groups, women’s issues, and the socio-political and economic development of the Hispanic community. She began her career as Field Director for the Urban League; became a Community Organizer and Director of the Chicano Unity Council. She began her work in higher education with a summer internship with Upward Bound Program at Harvey Mudd College, and moved on to become the Director of Minority Admissions for the Claremont Colleges. She left her position as Associate Dean of Students at Claremont, coming to Stockton in 1984 to accept the position of Executive Director of the Community Involvement Program at the University of the Pacific.

She has been the president of the San Joaquin County Chapter of the Comision Femenil and advisor of the UOP MECHA, and the UOP live Poets Society. She became the first Hispanic woman to write for the Stockton Record’ Commentary section in 1986 and was appointed to the Editorial Board of the Stockton Record. She has been involved with the Stockton Human Rights Task Force and the LULAC Youth Council.

Sally served on the Board of Directors of United Way in Stockton and in Southern California for more than 20 years. She is affiliated with several professional associations, earning recognition for her service, including the Pomona Valley Woman of Achievement Award, 1983; American Association of University Woman Achievement Award, 1984; Congress for United Communities Award in 1984; Susan B. Anthony Award, 1987, and a Leadership Award from the Council for the Spanish Speaking in 1992.

Sally is the mother of two adult sons and enjoys the “Arts and Letters”. Following her father’s example, she became a poet; and she is a published author of academic and journalistic works. She continues he interest in cultural anthropology through travel and literature. As a child in her barrio, she dreamed of crossing the San Bernardino Mountain to see the other side. She eventually traveled to 25 countries, and crossed the mountains to make Stockton her home.