Hear My Voice II: Supporting Success for Parenting and Unhoused Women of Color


Women – who represent the majority of students enrolled in higher education – have shown remarkable examples of progress and persistence for decades. Even so, women of color pursuing higher education in California face unique challenges that have only been exacerbated by the current crisis.

The Education Trust–West’s latest report, Hear My Voice II: Supporting Success for Parenting and Unhoused Women of Color highlights that women of color in the California State University system were already facing many of the same inequities that now threaten the educational futures of many more. Second in a series highlighting the voices of students of color, the report offers a deep dive into women of color’s experiences across CSU campuses and offers recommendations to begin addressing inequities and make lasting investments in the future of higher education.

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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.