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Figueroa (David Damian) Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Arrangement
  • Biography
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing History
  • Scope and Content
  • Publication Rights

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Chicano Studies Research Center Library
    Title: David Damian Figueroa Papers
    Creator: Figueroa, David Damian 1962 -
    Identifier/Call Number: CSRC.131
    Physical Description: 11.8 linear feet (20 boxes; 2 record storage cartons; 2 flat boxes; 1 oversize box)
    Date (inclusive): 1962-2013
    Abstract: The David Damian Figueroa Papers document his years of philanthropy and advocacy work in civil rights and public policy. His materials also reflect his earlier work in the entertainment industry. The collection includes photographs, correspondence, ephemera, books, periodicals, and audio and visual materials.
    Physical Location: COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Library and Archive for paging information.


    Open for research.

    Acquisition Information

    This collection was donated by David Damian Figueroa in 2009.


    The collection is organized in the following series:
    • Series 1. Subject files
    • Series 2. Photographs
    • Series 3. Audiovisual and digital material
    • Series 4. Realia
    • Series 5. Books
    The material is in the order determined by the initial archivist.


    David Damian Figueroa was born April 4, 1962 in Buckeye, Arizona. As a child and through his adolescence, he worked various jobs, including fieldwork, cleaning houses, dish-washing, and bussing tables. In 1981 he graduated from Yuma High School. After graduation, he was selected to tour as a principal vocalist and principal dancer in the international group Up With People / Viva La Gente. He then went on to attend Lamson Business College in Tucson, Arizona where he received his diploma in finance and accounting. While he attended school, he moonlighted as the lead vocalist in the Tejano band Louie Ramirez y su Orquesta Ritmo Suave performing at dances, weddings, quinceañeras, bars, the lodge for the local Veterans of Foreign Wars, and casino ballrooms.
    Moving to Los Angeles, he had a career in print modeling, session singing, and commercial acting. Prior to committing full-time to service in the non-profit sector, Mr. Figueroa worked in the entertainment industry as a personal publicist and a media consultant to record companies. He specialized in the Latino market, entertainment marketing campaigns, and negotiations for celebrity endorsements and appearances. Figueroa has also served as a philanthropic advisor to numerous Latino artists and has specialized in connecting celebrities to non-profit organizations. The organizations that he has collaborated with include Familia Unida Living with Multiple Sclerosis, the Dolores Huerta Foundation, the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation, and the United Farm Workers of America. As of 2012 he serves as an advisor for Shine Global and as a board member for Eva's Heroes, which is Eva Longoria's foundation for children faced with developmental challenges.
    From 1998 to 2001, Figueroa joined the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) as Director of Public Relations and Creative Marketing under former president Antonia Hernandez. During this time he developed and managed national fundraising events and benefits, connected with media to increase awareness of MALDEF's work, and publicized many of its landmark lawsuits. Figueroa has also served on several boards that focus on civil rights, health care reform, and innovative philanthropy. From 2002 to 2009, he was the Associate State Director of the Los Angeles County Region for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), where he managed social campaigns, community alliances, volunteer management, and membership development. During this time, he further cultivated a relationship with the Latino population and other diverse populations, community leaders, and corporations. Using his experience with these different groups, he helped launch AARP's Segunda Juventud bilingual magazine as special editor and secured several celebrity covers such as Eva Longoria, José José, Dolores Huerta, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Edward James Olmos.
    In 2008, Mayor Villaraigosa appointed Mr. Figueroa to serve as Commissioner of Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). In 2009, MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz invited Figueroa to return to the organization. Since then, Figueroa has served as Vice President and Director of Strategic Development Initiatives, leading organizational efforts to increase partnerships with corporate and philanthropic sectors, help improve capacity and raise the profile of MALDEF. Figueroa is the first openly gay member of MALDEF's executive team and first openly gay Latino director at AARP.
    Figueroa was also an associate producer of "The Harvest"/ "La Cosecha," a documentary film by Shine Global about child migrant laborers. In 2011, MALDEF hosted a screening of the film with executive producer Eva Longoria and Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, who announced the introduction of "The Children's Act for Responsible Employment" (CARE), legislation that would protect children working in agricultural fields.
    Figueroa's community activism has benefited scores of key community constituents, including Latinos, LGBTQ individuals, seniors, people with disabilities, women, and children. He specializes in those populations in which disparate heritages and identities intersect, overlap, and coalesce. His involvement in the LGBT community has helped transform and create a thoughtful appreciation and renewed acceptance for the contributions of LGBT leaders, both in LGBT and non-LGBT organizations throughout Los Angeles.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], David Damian Figueroa Papers, 131, UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Processing History

    Processed by Prescilla Arellano, 2012. Revised and edited by Doug Johnson, 2018.

    Scope and Content

    This collection documents David Damian Figueroa's years of philanthropy and advocacy work in civil rights and public policy, particularly his time with MALDEF and the AARP. His materials also reflect his earlier work in the entertainment industry and his work with celebrity clients and associates, particularly Jose Jose, Johnny Canales, Lupe Ontiveros, Dolores Huerta, and Eva Longoria. The collection includes photographs, correspondence, ephemera, books, periodicals, and audiovisual materials.

    Publication Rights

    These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of materials, including but not limited to infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
    AARP Foundation
    Longoria, Eva, 1975-
    Canales, Johnny
    Ontiveros, Lupe
    Huerta, Dolores, 1930-
    Jose, Jose