Graciela Olivárez, Lawyer, Social Activist, Professor

May 9, 1928 is the birthday of Graciela Olivárez, lawyer, social activist, professor, and political appointee.  Olivárez was born in Phoenix, Arizona. Although she initially dropped out of high school, Olivárez graduated from the Notre Dame School of Law in 1970. The then 42-year old Olivárez was the first woman to graduate from this prestigious law school.  She worked as the State Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) for Arizona in 1965 (back then, Latinx were allowed to do those things in Arizona). President Jimmy Carter, President from 1977 to 1981, appointed her as director of the Community Services Administration in 1977.  Olivárez was the highest-ranking Latinx woman in Carter’s administration.

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