Chicano Education Activist
Los Angeles, California
Bobby Verdugo was a leader of the historic 1968 high school walkouts of East Los Angeles, a historic student-led effort to bring education reform to the disenfranchised schools on the Eastside. In addition to educational and policy improvements, the walkouts brought about a remarkable increase in Chicano enrollment at UCLA, from only 40 students in 1967, to 1,200 students in 1969. He was portrayed in the HBO docudrama Walkout about these events. Bobby is also featured in the critically acclaimed PBS documentary CHICANO–The History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement.
Previously, Verdugo was senior program and training specialist with the National Compadres Network (NCN), whose mission is to strengthen, rebalance, and/or redevelop the traditional “Compadre” extended family system. From 2007 to 2010, Bobby served as the community development coordinator at Bienvenidos Family Service and was responsible for the development and coordination of the SPA 7 Community Collaborative. Verdugo also served as a lead organizer of the “Obama Nos Llama 2008” effort in East Los Angeles that was instrumental in electing President Barack Obama in 2008.
Born, raised and still living in the East Los Angeles area, Verdugo attended University of California, Los Angeles and graduated from California State University at Los Angeles with a degree in social work. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Yoli, who is also portrayed in the HBO movie Walkout, and is the proud father of two daughters, Monica and Maricela.