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Board Member Mónica García and Los Angeles Unified Celebrate the Life and Legacy of First Latino Board Member, Dr. Julian Nava, Rest in Power! (08-02-22)

For Immediate Release                                                                                                        
August 2, 2022
Contact: Jennifer Valdivia
(213) 414-4812,

Board Member Mónica García and Los Angeles Unified Celebrate the Life and Legacy of First Latino Board Member, Dr. Julian Nava


Rest in Power!


LOS ANGELES (Aug. 2, 2022) – Board Member Mónica García and Los Angeles Unified celebrate the life of Dr. Julian Nava, the first ever Latino elected to the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education. His position on the Board of Education would be crucial during the evolving educational justice movement otherwise known as the 1968 East L.A. Walkouts. Once a student at Breed Street Elementary in Boyle Heights and later a graduate from Theodore Roosevelt High School, Dr. Nava went on to become one of the first Mexican Americans to earn a doctorate from Harvard University and U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. Dr. Nava is the namesake of the Dr. Julian Nava Learning Academy and Nava College Preparatory Academy at Los Angeles Unified. Dr. Nava’s life is a strong reminder of the potential each and every scholar has when equity, access and justice align. Dr. Julian Nava was the son of Mexican immigrants from the state of Zacatecas, is survived by his wife, three children, sister and six grandchildren.


“Everything I am and how I think have been shaped by my Mexican roots.” – Dr. Julian Nava


“We celebrate the life of Dr. Julian Nava, whose life blessed us with lessons of love in action, building community, addressing harms of systemic injustices, caring about children and being a triumphant servant leader,” Board Member Mónica García said. “We are grateful for the love and ganas he shared with Los Angeles Unified. Rest in Power Mighty Rough Rider, Ambassador, Teacher, Los Angeles Unified Board Member and Justice Warrior! Siempre Presente!”


“Ambassador Dr. Julian Nava left an indelible influence on Los Angeles Unified through his trailblazing accomplishments and advocacy for those whose voices needed uplifting,” Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “We mourn his passing and celebrate his legacy as a lifelong educator and champion of our community.


The life and legacy of Dr. Julian Nava will continue through the lives of our students,” Local District Central Superintendent Frances Baez said. “Due to his accomplishments, generations of students have walked through the doors he fearlessly broke through. I thank Dr. Nava for being a trailblazer, a pioneer and for fighting for Latin/x to have a quality education in our schools.


“We celebrate and honor the life of Dr. Julian Nava, an educator, scholar, diplomat, Navy veteran and a beloved Boyle Heights native,” Local District East Superintendent Jose P. Huerta said. “Dr. Nava is forever part of Los Angeles Unified history as the first Latino to serve on the Los Angeles Unified School Board and alumnus of Local District East Schools: Bridge Street Elementary School, Hollenbeck Middle School and Theodore Roosevelt High School. We are immensely grateful for his passion and focus as a national and community leader, and for his trailblazing contributions to represent and elevate immigrant students and families.”


The life and work of Dr. Julian Nava has directly impacted our students and school community,” Rafael Alvarez, Principal for Dr. Julian Nava Learning Academy said. “His life has served as an amazing example for our students to follow and in him, somebody that they can see themselves in. His yearly messages to our culminating students have been inspiring and motivating. Dr. Julian Nava's legacy will live on and continue to burn bright, through the lives of every student that calls Dr. Julian Nava Learning Academy, home.


“I had the pleasure to meet and know him as a founding principal at Dr. Julian Nava Learning Academy (JNLA),” Hugo Carlos, Principal for Dr. Maya Angelou Community High School said. “He was also my professor at CSUN in the aftermath of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. He was always willing to impart his time and wisdom. He would return to JNLA for the culminations on an annual basis. It was my privilege and honor to sit and listen to his wisdom. His legacy will continue to ‘live’ in these 2 schools in South Los Angeles. The world is a better place because of Dr. Julian Nava.”