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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Committed to Diversity: Xochitl Carrion '07, Unbreakable Spirit

Xochitl Carrion ’07 calls herself a warrior. And with good cause. Having overcome a childhood riddled with poverty, abuse, the death of her mother, and abandonment by her father, Carrion more than warrants that title.

When Carrion was three, she and her sister awoke in their Los Angeles area home to discover their Puerto Rican mother and Mexican father missing. Their father returned a few days later, only to flee to Mexico after police questioning.

Her mother to this day remains a missing person. Carrion, raised by her grandmother, became known as the “poor orphan kid” in a neighborhood of struggling immigrants and working-class Latina/os.

Despite this adversity, Carrion graduated early from high school and won admission to UCLA. Academia, for her, was therapeutic, as she connected her identity with her studies in Chicano, women’s, and labor/workplace issues, and the LGBT community. She decided to channel her life experience into advocacy work and a legal career.

During her second year at UC Hastings, she learned that her father years earlier had admitted to a relative that he killed his wife. “I fell apart right after that,” she says.

But the warrior in her told her to finish school and excel. The semester after learning this devastating information, Carrion received a CALI Excellence for the Future Award and organized the first Latina/o law symposium at UC Hastings in her capacity as La Raza Student Association cochair.

She’s now an associate at Goldfarb & Lipman, a firm with locations in Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Diego that works in affordable housing, community economic development, employment law, land use, taxation and litigation. Carrion focuses on helping public agencies and other organizations comply with affordable housing and employment law.

Outside of work, she is the youngest chair of the California Law Revision Commission; is Northern District vice president of the California La Raza Lawyers Association; and is copresident of Brava! For Women in the Arts, a women’s theater arts center in San Francisco. She also is working on an autobiography to help other people who have survived childhood trauma. “I have been blessed along the way with so many people who continue to believe in my potential and support me. I am dedicated to doing the same for others,” says Carrion.

Xochitl Carrion ’07 calls herself a warrior. And with good cause. Having overcome a childhood riddled with poverty, abuse, the death of her mother, and abandonment by her father, Carrion more than warrants that title.

When Carrion was three, she and her sister awoke in their Los Angeles area home to discover their Puerto Rican mother and Mexican father missing. Their father returned a few days later, only to flee to Mexico after police questioning.

Her mother to this day remains a missing person. Carrion, raised by her grandmother, became known as the “poor orphan kid” in a neighborhood of struggling immigrants and working-class Latina/os.

Despite this adversity, Carrion graduated early from high school and won admission to UCLA. Academia, for her, was therapeutic, as she connected her identity with her studies in Chicano, women’s, and labor/workplace issues, and the LGBT community. She decided to channel her life experience into advocacy work and a legal career.

During her second year at UC Hastings, she learned that her father years earlier had admitted to a relative that he killed his wife. “I fell apart right after that,” she says.

But the warrior in her told her to finish school and excel. The semester after learning this devastating information, Carrion received a CALI Excellence for the Future Award and organized the first Latina/o law symposium at UC Hastings in her capacity as La Raza Student Association cochair.

She’s now an associate at Goldfarb & Lipman, a firm with locations in Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Diego that works in affordable housing, community economic development, employment law, land use, taxation and litigation. Carrion focuses on helping public agencies and other organizations comply with affordable housing and employment law.

Outside of work, she is the youngest chair of the California Law Revision Commission; is Northern District vice president of the California La Raza Lawyers Association; and is copresident of Brava! For Women in the Arts, a women’s theater arts center in San Francisco. She also is working on an autobiography to help other people who have survived childhood trauma. “I have been blessed along the way with so many people who continue to believe in my potential and support me. I am dedicated to doing the same for others,” says Carrion.

Having not just survived her past bur persevered and continuing to excel as well, this warrior says she’s ready the face the challenges of the future.

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