Follow Us

01

Maria Antonietta Berriozabal

The proud daughter of Mexican immigrants who came to the United States during the Mexican Revolution of 1910, María Antonietta Berriozábal has lived a life of service to her beloved San Antonio for over 60 years. A life-long San Antonio resident María was elected to the San Antonio City Council in 1981, becoming the first Latina to be elected to such a position in this city. She served with distinction as a strong, outspoken and independent elected official. In 1991 she ran for mayor of San Antonio and was very narrowly defeated. Her impressive race was a first in a major city of the United States. She has been a founder and co-founder of Latina women’s organizations locally and nationally, and is a pioneer in organizing people at the grassroots level. Over the years her work on numerous boards and commissions and a couple of presidential appointments has taken her throughout the US and abroad. María has always felt that the knowledge she has gained from her experiences must be shared with the community, especially younger generations. She is a mentor of young people inspiring and supporting them in their own journeys and as they work for social and environmental justice. She is a supporter of individuals and grassroots organizations that are promoting principles of human rights, social and economic justice, educational opportunity, sustainable development and values of cultural diversity, gender equity and rights for the LGBT community. She continues to be insistent that the voices of the people must be heard in order to create good government. Her memoir, MARIA, DAUGHTER OF IMMIGRANTS, where she chronicles her personal and political trajectory, was published in the fall of 2012. María is married to Dr. Manuel P. Berriozábal, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at UTSA and founder of the successful Pre-Freshmen Engineering Program that bears his name.

02

Susana López-Krulevitch

Susana Lopez-Krulevitch has recently returned to her hometown of San Antonio after spending 21 years in Northern California. Prior to her departure, Susana practiced law and was deeply involved in her community, serving on the boards of Planned Parenthood of South Texas and The Hispanic Law Alumni Association, among others. She was also the first executive director of Hispanas Unidas, where she developed the Escuelitas Program. Her leadership was recognized through her participation in Leadership San Antonio and the National Hispanic Leadership Institute. Additionally, she was named one of San Antonio Business Journal's 40 Under 40. In California, Susana continued her commitment to community service by volunteering in schools to assist underserved families in navigating the educational system and creating pathways to success for students. Later, as an employee of a school district, she developed the innovative Estrella del Pueblo Mariachi Program, which used culturally relevant music to engage underserved students and provide them with essential supports. This program was awarded the Golden Bell Award by the California School Board Association. The program continues to thrive after 10 years and has been replicated in two additional school districts. Furthermore, Susana received the Leadership Award from the Oakland Ballet for her efforts in bringing ballet to underserved students. Excited to be back home, Susana's first project upon returning to San Antonio is working on the Hispanas Unidas 40th Anniversary Reunion and Conference. Her return to San Antonio marks the continuation of her lifelong dedication to community empowerment and social justice.

03

Maria del Rosario "Rosie" Castro

Maria del Rosario "Rosie" Castro is an esteemed civil rights activist and educator from San Antonio, Texas. She has been instrumental in various prominent organizations, including the Young Democrats of America, the Mexican American Youth Organization, the Committee for Barrio Betterment, and the Raza Unida Party. Rosie Castro is also known as the mother of politicians Julian and Joaquin Castro, whose careers have been profoundly influenced by her activism. Castro's journey in political activism began as a volunteer for Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1964 presidential campaign. She later joined the Mexican American Unity Council (MAUC), where she played a pivotal role in organizing a boycott against the San Antonio Savings Association, which was headed by former San Antonio Mayor Walter McAllister. In the early 1970s, Rosie was actively involved in the "Free Angela Davis" campaign, a period during which she was monitored by the FBI. Her dedication to civil rights extended to her work with the Raza Unida Party, where she served as the Bexar County party chair and participated in the party's efforts to field Mexican-American candidates in Texas. In 1971, Castro ran for the San Antonio City Council, finishing second in her race. In March 2023, she was appointed as the interim councilperson for City Council District 7 after Councilwoman Ana Sandoval's resignation. Her contributions have been recognized with numerous accolades, including her election to the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame in 2015 and an honorary Ph.D. from Our Lady of the Lake University in 2017. Rosie Castro is also a published poet, contributing to the anthology "Entre Guadalupe y Malinche: Tejanas in Literature and Art," published by the University of Texas Press in 2016. Continuing her advocacy, Castro remains active in community and national organizations such as Latinas Represent, the Texas Organizing Project, and AARP. Both of her sons, Joaquin and Julian Castro, have credited her activism as the cornerstone of their political aspirations.

04

Jane Velasquez

Jane Velasquez is a prominent community leader and civil rights advocate Jane's life has been marked by a diverse career path, beginning with her work as a migrant worker. Over the years, she held numerous jobs including VISTA Volunteer, field marketing specialist, program coordinator for troubled girls, and working for the U.S. Census in 1980. She retired from Palo Alto College, where she served as a community outreach coordinator. On June 12, 1970, Jane married William Cardenas Velasquez, a renowned civil rights activist, in San Antonio. Together, they had three children—two daughters and one son. A strong Democrat, Jane actively participates in political campaigns and advocates for voter engagement and civil rights, continuing the legacy of her late husband. Jane has played a crucial role in advancing women's empowerment within the Hispanic community. She helped plan the first Hispanas Unidas Conference in 1984, a significant milestone in fostering unity and leadership among Hispanic women. Today, she is excited to be on the Executive Planning Committee of the Hispanas Unidas 40th Anniversary Reunion & Conference, a testament to her enduring commitment to this cause.

05

Alejandra I. Villarreal,

Alejandra I. Villarreal, a dedicated public servant, has spent her career advocating for the betterment of San Antonio. After graduating from St. Mary's University and St. Mary's Law School, she began her legal journey working alongside her father. Alejandra's impressive career path includes serving as a Bexar County Attorney, staff attorney at various firms, and culminating in her role as Chief Legal and Administrative Officer at the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA). Some areas that she practiced included Administrative Law, Education Law and Employment Law. Beyond legal expertise, Alejandra has demonstrated exceptional leadership. She served as President of the St. Mary's Law Alumni Association and actively participated on various boards and commissions. In 1983, a pivotal moment connected her with Councilwoman Maria Berriozabal. As a District 1 resident, Alejandra was appointed to crucial roles, including the zoning commission. She served as a speaker at the 1984 Conference and actively participated in Hispanas Unidas events over the years. In recognition of her outstanding contributions, Alejandra was inducted into the San Antonio Hall of Fame in 2019. Now retired, Alejandra's passion for service continues. She raises funds for pediatric cancer research and organizes a soccer camp for underprivileged children through Nico's Dream, a non-profit organization. She's honored to be on the executive planning committee of the Hispanas Unidas 40th Anniversary Reunion & Conference. In her personal life, Alejandra cherishes time spent with her five grandchildren.