Teach-in for Equality

Saturday, May 9th, 9:30am to 4:30pm – Los Angeles

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Roland Palencia

Roland Palencia, Local Hero

Roland Palencia, Local Hero.

Palencia is currently the Director of Community Benefits at L.A. Care Health Plan. Palencia was the previous Chief of Operations and Vice-President of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation from 1992 through 1998. AHF is an international HIV/AIDS Healthcare organization with a budget of over $100 million. Subsequently, he held the position of Executive Director at Clinica Monseñor Oscar A. Romero, which serves Central American and Mexican immigrants and other underserved populations in the Pico-Union and Boyle Heights areas. In 2003, he was appointed as the Greater Los Angeles Area Regional Director at The California Endowment, a private foundation which annually grants over $170 million to California-based institutions in the area of health.

Palencia is a founding member of various community-based organizations and has been appointed by local elected officials to a number of task forces and commissions. Most recently, he was appointed to the Quality and Productivity Commission by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and previous to that by Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina to the Los Angeles County Hospitals and Healthcare Delivery Commission, with an advisory role to the multi-billion dollar Los Angeles County’s Department of Health Services.

In 2001, he was named a “Local Hero” by KCET (a PBS-Public Broadcasting Service affiliate) and Union Bank of California.

Mr. Palencia’s community-based involvement ranges from providing resources to marginalized populations such as undocumented immigrants, LGBT communities and the uninsured. His direct community involvement has included:

  • Chair, Community Clinic Association’s Public Partnership Program (PPP) Committee
  • Founder, Gay and Lesbian Latinos Unidos
  • Founder, VIVA, a community project focusing on gay and lesbian Latino artists
  • Co-Chair, Fiscal and Fundraising Committee, Alianza HIV/AIDS Latino Caucus
  • Founding Member, AGUA (American Guatemalan Association)
  • Advisory Board Member, HONOR PAC (LGBT Latino Political Action Committee)

Mr. Palencia has been the recipient of a number of awards acknowledging his community activism and service:

  • Community Clinic Week Award, Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina
  • Community Service Award, James Hahn, former Mayor of Los Angeles
  • Outstanding Contributions to the Community Award, Gil Cedillo, State Senator and Chair of the California State Assembly Committee on Health Access
  • Community Activist Award, Latin Pride
  • Community Service Award, Guatemalan Embassy and Los Angeles Consulate
  • Community Service Award, California Latino Civil Rights Network
  • Community Service Award, Founder, LG PLAN Network, Victor M. Gordo, former Pasadena City Council Member
  • Organization of the Year, during tenure at Clinica Msr. Romero, by MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund)
  • Solidarity Award, KIWA (Korean Immigrant Workers Advocates)
  • Outstanding Citizen (Ciudadano Distinguido), Central American Festivities Committee


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