Photo courtesy of Griselda Suárez.
On Thursday, September 29, the Long Beach Post hosted an event to honor young people from around the city who are doing great things to better their community and beyond. Out of hundreds of nominations from our readers, judges chose 40 winners, representing a range of professions and activism. The Post will be profiling each honoree in the coming days.
Whether you’ve experienced her culinary excellence via a signature torta from Sliced and Diced Eatery, taken a Chicano Studies class at Cal State Long Beach or are yourself a budding Long Beach artist, the take on Griselda Suárez seems to be unanimous: she is a tireless advocate for those she serves, and is as talented as she is dedicated.
Suárez was named the Executive Director of the Long Beach Arts Council in February, and that was just her latest accomplishment in a city that seemingly doesn’t contain a corner Suárez has not touched. She’s a writer, a chef, a teacher, an advocate and a friend. And in her newest role as executive director at the Arts Council, this East Los Angeles native was heralded for her work across the city.
She said being recognized as one of the 40 most effective people in the city was an honor, but also provided her a moment to reflect on how her work has impacted the community. She said it is the very community she impacts that makes her job that much more rewarding.
Whether it’s her poetry, her cooking or her advocacy, Suárez’s ties to the community—in particular the Latino portion— has never left her. She said she knows she’s on the right track and hopes to continue to serve the diverse population of people and artists that call Long Beach home.
“I have always considered myself a cultural worker and I think recognizing different cultural and creative expressions is an important part of building an equitable community,” Suárez said. “It is most rewarding to meet with groups or individuals and learn about how they envision our city. When I begin to see commonalities and I can help make connections, that is when I know I am where I should be.”