Arellanes, Gloria

Former member of the Brown Berets; Free Clinic worker; Chicana activist





Field Value
ID 37
Title An oral history with Gloria Arellanes
Date 2016-05-13
OH ID OH 5851
Citation Gloria Arellanes interviewed by Analia Cabral, May 13, 2016, El Monte, California, Oral History #5851, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
Restricted false
Created At 2017-07-30 19:18:09 UTC
Location El Monte, CA
Language English
Subjects Family → Grandparents
Family → Grandparents
Locations → El Monte, California
Family → Siblings
Chicano/a Movement → Brown Berets → East L.A. Free Clinic
Chicano/a Movement → Brown Berets
Chicano/a Movement → Brown Berets → La Piranya Coffeehouse
Family → Bullying
Direct Action → Marches
Chicano/a Movement → Chicano Movement
Chicano/a Movement → Chicano Identity
Gender and Sexuality → Feminism → Chicana Feminism
Gender and Sexuality → Feminism
Chicano/a Movement → Mexican American Youth Council
Women's Health → Abortion
Law and Public Policy → Welfare
Race Relations → Anglo-Mexican Race Relations
Chicano/a Movement → Chicano Moratorium
Chicano/a Movement → Las Adelitas de Aztln
Leadership → Leadership Style
Entertainment and Culture → Native American Culture/Identity
Leadership → Female versus Male Leadership
Family → Childhood Experiences → children of immigrants or refugees
Family → Parenting
Family → Parenting → Motherhood
Women in Politics → importance of women's involvement
Activism → Advice on getting involved


An oral history of Gloria Arellanes, former member of the Brown Berets, founder of the Free Clinic, and Chicana activist. The interview was conducted for the Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History Project for California State University, Fullerton’s Center for Oral and Public History. The purpose of this interview was to gather information regarding Rhoden’s time on the city council as well as her work as a Civil Rights, anti-war, and environmental activist. Specifically, Arellanes’ shares about her family history including memories of her grandparents and parents; describes how her family faced discrimination when purchasing their home in East L.A.; talks about the relationship she has with her mom; how she and her dad had different political ideologies; talks about her brother, his involvement with the Brown Berets; and when he died; shares about the Beret’s 1969 September 16th parade; shares story of finding grenades in her brothers living space after he died; talks about her role models; recalls learning to stand up for herself; why she embraced her Native American (Tongva) heritage; defines Chicana; talks about what she learned about communication from David Sanchez; involvement with Mexican American Youth Council; talks about her two sons and their biological fathers; why she got involved in activism; embracing her Tongva heritage; talks about the importance of the Free Clinic; reflects on her work with the Welfare Rights Organization and personal experience with welfare workers; talks about the goals of the Brown Berets and personally encountering police harassment and violence; internal dissension within Brown Beret organization; shares two instances when she believed she would be sexually assaulted and why she wonders if other women faced the same fears; defines feminism; memories of the August 29, 1970 Chicano Moratorium; her struggle with post-Beret PTSD and why she participated in the commemorative marches; differences between Brown Beret movement when she joined vs. current members; describes her leadership style; shares about the Tongva spirit world and First Nations culture; talks about challenges she experienced during her life; gender obstacles specific to female activists; talks about balancing work life, activism, and motherhood; differences in how men and women lead; what she’s proud of as an activist; shares thoughts on 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump; shares advice for women interested in activism; and finally, talks why it’s important Mexican-Americans are taught their about heritage.