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By Miriam Raftery

August 13, 2010 (El Cajon) – The Center for Social Advocacy in El Cajon has been awarded the Organizational Leadership Award from the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Socioeconomic Status. The award recognizes CSA’s dedication and leadership on behalf of poverty and socioeconomic issues.


“CSES commends the Center for Social Advocacy for its tremendous work and its commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of poor minorities, immigrant families, gay/lesbians, people with disabilities, and single mothers with children,” a press release issued by the APA stated.

East County Magazine has previously covered CSA leader Estela de Los Rios’ courageous efforts to halt hate crimes in our story titled Steeled in Adversity: One Woman’s Battle Against Hate. http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/1949. We later reported on de Los Rios continuing her efforts to advocate for the underprivileged despite death threats, vandalism and hate messages targeting her El Cajon office: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/3248.

“What she has accomplished in helping others through a lifetime of empowering other leaders and groups to be able to help themselves in so many ways is strictly amazing,” said John Falchi, a consultant who has done grant-writing for the organization. “They do so much with areas like helping refugees, immigrants, female victims of human trafficking, that it would take a book to really recount. Some of the people who Estela works with are quite outspoken about the need for our governmental officials to help the average people more.”

All awards, including the individual leadership awards and the organizational leadership award, will be presented at the 2010 APA Convention in San Diego tonight during the SES Network Meeting, which will be held in the Division 53 Suite at the Marriott Hotel from 3:00-4:00 p.m. The address is 333 West Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101.

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