Lali Moheno is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of female farmworkers in Tulare County who are often victims of sexual harassment and other forms of violence. As a result, she is one of three community leaders to be honored by The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) with the 2013 California Peace Prize for their efforts to promote peace and prevent violence.
In 2002, Moheno organized the inaugural Farmworker Women’s Health, Safety, Education and Environment Conference in honor of her mother, Juanita Saenz, and other mothers who worked as migrant laborers. Now in its 11th year, more than 1,000 people attend the annual conference, which addresses violence and other health concerns in the community.
Moheno’s experience has taught her that many of the female farmworkers victimized in the fields were forced to suffer in silence due to fear of losing their livelihoods. Through her efforts, thousands of women and their families in Tulare County have been connected with health care and mental health services, as well as advocacy support to combat sexual harassment.
“Farmworker women are traumatized by violence and harassment, but it is never too late to rise above it,” said Moheno. “I know these women are strong, and we as a community can be supportive.”
In addition to coordinating this annual conference, Moheno has served her community in numerous capacities including the Tulare County Board of Supervisors, Visalia Unified School District School Bond Committee, Association of Mexican Educators, Tulare County Mental Health Board and the Agricultural Workers Health Initiative/La Cultural Cura. She is also active in the Tulare Kings Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Latino Mental Health Collaborative.
The other honorees are George Galvis, who promotes restorative justice in communities in the Bay Area, and Tasha Williamson, who provides support and compassion for families in San Diego County who have lost loved ones to gang or gun violence.