Updated on May 25, 2016
Betty Avila ’08 is a native of Los Angeles, CA, born and raised in Cypress Park. Her career has centered on the intersection of the arts and social justice, with particular focus on community building, public space and youth empowerment. Avila recently joined the Self Help Graphics & Art, a nonprofit visual arts center, as associate director and has held positions with The Music Center working on public participatory art programs, Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park as community relations manager and The Getty Research Institute as audience outreach specialist. Avila sits on the board and is the immediate past-president of Multicultural Communities for Mobility, an organization that supports low-income cyclists, pedestrians and public transit users of color through advocacy and education. She played a major role in transitioning this small program to a scaled-up independent organization that serves communities across Los Angeles County. Additionally, Avila has volunteered with the Heart of Los Angeles, assisting college-bound students throughout Los Angeles with the college application process and personal statements.
As a student at Pitzer, Avila was a founding member of the Latino Student Union and sat on the executive committee of Student Senate. She says the support she received from professors such as Maria Soldatenko, Ethel Jorge and Nigel Boyle was crucial to her success.
Avila received her BA with honors in English and world literature and Spanish literature, has an MA in arts management from Claremont Graduate University and was a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Korea.