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Sonoma County Gazette
Alicia Sanchez with grandaughter and daughter at the opening of The Sonoma County Museum Exhibit dedicated to local trailblazers. Image:
Alicia Sanchez with grandaughter and daughter at the opening of The Sonoma County Museum Exhibit dedicated to local trailblazers. Image:

From Suffrage to #MeToo

Jan 31, 2020


By Serena Makofsky

Throughout history, women have broken barriers to instigate powerful change. The Museum of Sonoma County recently opened an exhibit dedicated local trailblazers. Among the groundbreaking women represented in the show is Alicia Sanchez,  board president of KBBF 89.1 FM radio.

When she heard about the show, Sanchez knew it was important that the county’s pioneering bilingual community radio station be represented as an integral part of local history. Part of the installation at the museum features a microphone decorated with KBBF stickers.

Sebastopol Living Peace Wall Honoring those who have worked nonviolently for peace and justice: 2015 Honorees: From left to right: Accepting for Rev. George Houser, his daughter Martie Leys and wife Jean; Barry Latham-Ponneck, Alicia Sanchez. Photo: photo by Don Jackson Photography  The museum gathered biographical information about Sanchez as well. She was born in El Paso, Texas, a child of farm workers. In 1969, she arrived here and wound up at Santa Rosa High School. 

After graduating from UC Hastings Law, she advocated for the United Farm Workers, representing fired laborers before the Labor Relations Board. In the course of her career, she led powerful union campaigns and contributed to the formation of the Workers' Center as well as Pueblos Unidos.

Alicia Sanchez in Santa Rosa, on Sunday, April 3, 2016 leading a

In her work for KBBF, the museum notes that Sanchez “…continues to advocate and be an inspiration to the community.”

Addendum by Sonoma County Gazette

Excerpt from:

Alicia sanchez speaking at the 2015 peace wall ceremony. photo by Don Jackson Photography - Sanchez        1951 —

Alicia Sanchez, a Sebastopol resident has been present in the journey of nonviolence throughout her whole life. She is the daughter of farmworkers and was inspired to work nonviolently with Cesar Chavez in bringing decent living and working conditions to the farmworkers. She continued her work with the Mexican women in Santa Rosa where she co-founded the Sonoma County Industrial Union where she used the principle of nonviolence and carried that through her 30 years of organizing workers in Sonoma County.

Most of us know Alicia also as a public speaker on issues of women, immigrants, peace, justice, labor and environmental issues. Since 2010 she as been president of Bilingual Broadcasting Foundation which operates KBBF 89.1, the first Bilingual radio station in the United States. Her presence on many Boards in the past years, including the Center for Peace and Justice, reflects her commitment to the principle of nonviolence. 

She stands in silent vigil every Friday in Sebastopol or Santa Rosa as part of the Women in Black, an international network of women committed to peace with justice. They mourn all victims of violence. Alicia lives her nonviolence in all aspects of her life.


Some of the many awards she has received are: 

Peacemaker of the Year — Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County (2001)

United Farm Workers Union Appreciation Certificate  (2001)

Press Democrat’s Award to the “50 Who Shaped our Century”  (1999)

Woman of the Year  — State of CA legislature  (1991)

The Senator Pat Wiggins Working Class Hero Award by the North Bay Labor Council AFL-CIO (2013)

South Park Community Center Mural of Community Activists  (2011)

Sonoma County ACLU Jack Green Award   (2010)

From Suffrage to #MeToo

Groundbreaking Women in Sonoma County 

Can be seen through  September 13, 2020

more info:

More on Alicia:

Support KBBF

KBBF supporters are the heart and soul of the station! Start your membership at website with a monthly donation or a one-time gift.GRACIAS! 

 KBBF RadioLand By Serena Makofsky


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