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Mom of Slain Teen to Speak

Parent of Slain Teen to Speak at UCR

Transgendered Youth’s Mom Has Become Advocate for Community

(February 25, 2005)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( -- Sylvia Guerrero, mother of slain transgendered 17-year-old Gwen Araujo (pronounced a-ROW-ho), will speak at UC Riverside’s University Lecture Hall at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 3.

“A heinous act was perpetrated against this transgendered teen, and the university is providing a forum at which (Araujo’s) mother can talk about issues faced by transgendered people and their families,” said Adrienne Sims, director of the Women's Resource Center, which is sponsoring the lecture.

The case against three men accused of killing Araujo in October 2002 ended in a mistrial in June 2004 after jurors declared they were deadlocked, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Araujo, born male, had been living as a female for several years. According to testimony at the trial, she was beaten and strangled after her biological identity was revealed during a fight at a party in Newark, a suburb of San Francisco. The case was charged as a hate crime. Since Araujo’s death, Sims said, Guerrero has become a spokeswoman for the transgender community.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center and the UCR Center for Ideas and Society. Parking costs $5, Sims said, but the event is free. For more information: (951) 827-3337.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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