Remembering Bea Solis on her 59th Birthday
Today would have been Bea Solís’ 59th birthday.
It feels important to take a moment on this day to celebrate the many gifts Bea Solis nurtured and shared while on this earth. In all that she did and all that she was, Bea brought her whole self – her love for justice, her keen sense of strategy, and her deep commitment to community.
As we celebrate her life and her legacy, we want to share a few wishes that Bea had for her work in the world that are now being carried on through the Dr. Beatriz María Solís Policy Institute at Women’s Foundation California and amplified by the endowment fund of the same name.
We want to elevate these four gifts she offered the world in part because of how much they continue to influence The California Endowment and Women’s Foundation California, but mostly because they are so core to who Bea was.
Community was at the core of everything that motivated Bea. She aimed to follow the lead of women most impacted by oppression and encouraged her colleagues to do the same.
Her decades of work as the Program Director at The California Endowment focused specifically on Building Healthy Communities was a natural extension of her vision and values.
Bea believed in the power of mentorship. Nearly anyone in her orbit was better off because of it. Instead of being out to prove herself, Bea was out to improve her community. Bea was committed to growing the skills, abilities, and resources available to girls and women of color in California.
Bea knew that in addition to shifting the culture, we needed to change the law to bring about the world she wanted. She pushed for the creation of a local policy training institute at Women’s Foundation California and it could not be more fitting that both the local and state version of the policy training institute now bear her name.
As Cornell West opined, “Justice is what love looks like in public.” And that is how Bea lived. She practiced a generous and political love in her personal and professional relationships that was a true gift to anyone and everyone around her.
Bea brought all her gifts and so much more to our work together. She lives on in our hearts and in the continued work of the Bea Solís Policy Institute to build a feminist future in California.
We miss you, Bea. Happy Birthday! #BeaStrong
Dr. Robert K Ross Surina Khan
The California Endowment Women’s Foundation of California