New biography traces roots of LA’s Chicano movement to pioneer educator

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Inspiring historical accounts penned by Rita Joiner Soza validate transformative impact of community colleges

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"Helen Miller Bailey: Pioneer Educator and Renaissance Woman Who Shaped Chicano(a) Leaders” (published by Xlibris) highlights the pivotal role of public community colleges in American society. Given President’s Obama’s recent initiatives regarding free two-year college enrollment, the message of this book could not be more relevant or its timing more on point.

Skillfully assembled first-person accounts, news articles, and journals illustrate how “Doc” Bailey’s 43-year East Los Angeles teaching career, and her legacy of devoted students, literally changed the face of Los Angeles leadership. A former student of influential college professor Dr. Helen Miller Bailey (1909 – 1976) offers one example of the critical role one teacher played in inspiring hundreds of disadvantaged students during tumultuous times in California’s history. “If I had to pick the one person most influential in my life, I would have to say it was Helen,” Antonia Hernandez president and CEO of California Community Foundation. “Helen Miller Bailey” serves as both the biography of a female pioneer in higher education and a heretofore untold account of Chicano leadership development in California.

On a one-to-one basis, through adoptions, foster parenting and mentoring, Latin American scholar and community activist Dr. Bailey is credited with redirecting dozens of young people from lives of poverty and obscurity to remarkable careers in public service. On a larger scale, she became an iconic figure in mid-century East Los Angeles as she offered educational events at her mountain home where a reported 10,000 college students visited over the years. Since its posthumous dedication to Helen Miller Bailey in 1980, tens of thousands have studied in her namesake library at East Los Angeles College.

The life of “Helen Miller Bailey,” teacher, artist, textbook author, social reformer, wife and mother, is as inspirational as it was ardently lived. Pioneering teaching techniques, Doc Bailey filmed travelogues all over the world to augment her lectures at East Los Angeles College, women’s groups, and LA’s Southwest Museum. In conjunction with the book’s release, 50 of those films have been digitized by USC’s Hefner Moving Images archivists – readers may find out more in .

Bailey biographer Rita Joiner Soza (MiraCosta College business professor) and a number of prominent former Bailey students, and USC film archivists are available for interviews in Los Angeles and San Diego.

“Helen Miller Bailey: Pioneer Educator and Renaissance Woman Who Shaped Chicano(a) Leaders”
By Rita Joiner Soza
Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 324 pages | ISBN 9781503522015
Softcover | 6 x 9in | 324 pages | ISBN 9781503522008
E-Book | 324 pages | ISBN 9781503521995
Available at, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, Baker & Taylor and Ingram.

Xlibris Publishing, an Author Solutions, LLC imprint, is a self-publishing services provider created in 1997 by authors, for authors. By focusing on the needs of creative writers and artists and adopting the latest print-on-demand publishing technology and strategies, we provide expert publishing services with direct and personal access to quality publication in hardcover, trade paperback, custom leather-bound and full-color formats. To date, Xlibris has helped to publish more than 60,000 titles. For more information, visit or call 1-888-795-4274 to receive a free publishing guide. Follow us @XlibrisPub on Twitter for the latest news.

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