Metro’s CEO Stephanie Wiggins (Courtesy Image)

Wiggins will be honored at Bakewell Media’s “Power, Leadership, and Influence of the Black Woman” luncheon on April 15. 

Throughout history, women have proven to be influential across many cultures around the world. Fighting for equality and opportunity, they have shaped society in ways that have advanced business, communities, education, and politics. Women deserve to be recognized and celebrated.

This year, Stephanie N. Wiggins, chief executive officer of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, will be honored at the “Power, Leadership, and Influence of the Black Woman” luncheon on Saturday, April 15, at 11 a.m., at the 90th anniversary celebration of the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper.

The gala event, created by Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., chairman of Bakewell Media, salutes some of the most accomplished women in the nation, while commemorating the Sentinel’s nearly century-long legacy of covering news about the African American community. Officially titled “Power, Leadership, and Influence of the Black Woman,” Bakewell said the positive impact of Black women on his life inspired him to design an annual event to recognize “their strength and dignity in advocating tirelessly for the advancement of our people.”

Wiggins was named CEO of the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority by the Board of Directors in December 2018, and assumed leadership in January 2019 as the first Black woman to lead the department. As CEO, she directs an agency that operates a commuter rail network on seven routes across a six-county, 538 route-mile system. Metro is the third busiest transit system in the United States and serves as the lead transportation planning, programming, and financing company for 10.1 million residents.


Wiggins also served as the executive director of Vendor/Contract Management, where she implemented procurement streamlining initiatives and greatly expanded Metro’s contracting of small and historically underutilized businesses. Prior to that role, she was the executive officer and project director of the Congestion Reduction/ Express Lanes Program, where she launched the first high occupancy toll lanes in L.A. County on the I-10 and I-110 freeways.

Wiggins’ goal as CEO and transportation leader is to put customers first to ensure a safe and enjoyable riding experience with Metro. She is committed to creating more opportunities for access to transportation throughout L.A. County. Her dedication to the community shows in her diverse practices and ideas to expand Metro’s reach and engagement. Most recently in October 2022, Metro opened their newest route, the K-Line.

Crenshaw Boulevard hasn’t had a rail service as means of transportation in nearly 70 years. The K-Line opened October 7 at the intersection of Crenshaw and 48th Street. The line is Metro’s single largest transportation investment from the Crenshaw District to Hyde Park, Leimert Park, Fairview Heights, Inglewood, and Westchester, designed to provide a faster, reliable, and more convenient way for natives to travel to work, school, and surrounding neighborhoods.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass will be the key honoree amongst other Black women legends like Dr. Elaine Batchlor, CEO of Martin Luther King Jr. Community Healthcare; Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, president of Ward Economic Development Corporation; and Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC). Pat Harvey, CBS 2 anchor, will moderate the conversation with Mayor Bass and Pat Prescott, revered broadcaster, will serve as emcee.

“The Sentinel invites you to enjoy the evening focused on Black women who are diligently working to improve the quality of lives as well as celebrate their 90th anniversary,” said Bakewell.


Visit Power, Leadership, and Influence of the Black Woman – Los Angeles Sentinel ( or send an email to [email protected] to purchase tickets.


Related Links:

Power, Leadership, and Influence of the Black Woman – Los Angeles Sentinel (


Bakewell Media Honors Black Women Leaders and Sentinel’s 90th Anniversary – Los Angeles Sentinel (


Stephanie Wiggins | Milken Institute