Across the country communities are in motion to protect and defend. We think that the best rapid response is sustained and strong organizing that engages community members in campaigns, educational and culture change work and direct action. We know that folks are going to need a lot of support in making this happen. Because of that we’re growing to meet this moment, to accompany local organizing and grow bigger and stronger. We want to introduce you to Mijente’s new Community Defense Team, which will be doing recruitment, training and organizing support. Here they are!
Salem Acuña is a queer latinx immigrant originally from Santiago, Chile and currently based in Washington, DC. Prior to joining the Mijente team, Salem was a regional organizer with Southerners On New Ground–an LGBTQ liberation organization working for racial and economic justice in the U.S. south. Over the last 6 years, Salem has worked and organized around various social justice issues including immigrant rights, language justice, anti-violence, LGBTQ struggles and racial justice. He is an avid lover of music, dancing and books and is currently learning to play harp in hopes that one day that skill-set can serve the movement. Until then, he looks forward to growing and building organizing work with the brilliant folks at Mijente.
Lis-Marie Alvarado Always smiling. That’s Lis-Marie. Even after putting in extra work hours several days in a row, she’s still on top of her game. She brings many years of community organizing experience to Mijente, where she worked in a number of roles with several grassroots organizations such as WeCount! in Homestead, FL for rights and dignity of immigrant women, youth and farmworkers.
She currently serves as organizing coordinator with American Friends Service Committee, spearheading local efforts. She is excited and honored to be part of Mijente and work towards building power from the ground up. When she isn’t organizing, she can be found hanging out with her partner exploring Miami’s natural landscape or reading her favorite manga.
Sofia Campos is a warrior, healer, undocumented, resister of borders, daughter and [future] mother. Born in Peru and raised in Highland Park (in Los Angeles), she was brought from the Andes to the Avenues at six years old. For the last 10 years, she’s made community organizing and popular education her life work. After earning her Master’s in City Planning at MIT, she was able to visit and learn from Brasil’s Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra (MST) and one day hopes to build a school modeled after their Escola Nacional Florestan Fernandes (ENFF). Sofia is a commitment to worldwide people-led movement for the sake of beloved community and collective liberation. She’s also a Capricorn who loves reading, dancing, and hot chocolate.
Veralucia Mendoza is a queer, Afro-Peruvian immigrant residing in the Midwest. She has worked with local groups to organize around immigrant rights, tuition equality for DACA recipients, marijuana decriminalization, farm worker rights, police brutality and LGBTQ+ rights. In addition, Vera shares her story freely and widely to encourage intersectionality and solidarity within movements. Veralucia is excited to join Mijente to support an inclusive movement of liberation. In her spare time, she can be seen reading, venturing her home town, or playing with her dog.