By Cris Batista | Aug 23, 2021

Forging Our Path Forward: Reflections on Mijente’s Past & Recent Crecimiento

“How do you get people from outside of their head, into their hands, into their heart, and moving?” This was the question our National Director, Marisa Franco, asked last year in response to the activism and opposition of the uprising against the killing of Black lives by police.

Mijente was born in and out of the struggle. Our gente came from demanding #Not1More deportation under the Obama Administration. Our organization was born in the ascendance of both the modern day Black Power movement and during the rise of Trumpism as a reactionary force to meet demographic, cultural, and social change. We recognized opportunities to go beyond the mainstream speculative discourse of the time, and took to the streets to build power and demand liberation

In the past 5 years, we’ve focused much of our energy in mobilizing and organizing with Latinxs across the country and in Puerto Rico, uprooting complex and structural harms, and influencing critical local and national political spaces. 

And now we’re building (and dreaming) up some big plans for the future. We’re thinking deeply about what comes next. 

We’re asking ourselves, our members, and our leadership: Where can we have the most impact? What do we owe to our gente, and to each other? How will we adapt to meet the needs of this time? Where do we want to be in five years? And we’ve recognized that envisioning the future — that in this current world that feels messier than ever with global health and climate crises coupled with expanding refugee crises and the Trumpism backlash — necessitates going beyond standard strategies and tactics. 

Our fight for buen-vivir, for racial, economic, gender and climate justice, is critical. And the transformative changes that we seek are possible through organizing, healing, and relationships that get to the root of the harms and oppression. 

With that in mind, we decided to dedicate time this year to focus on building critical infrastructure for the future, which included purposeful learning sessions and restructuring.

Just in the past two months, we have been doing a lot of internal planning and organizing. In June, our staff and leadership held an internal series of conversations with organizers across movements, to get a pulse for the political moment, to think through new and old organizing tactics, and help us think through the next five years of the organization. And in July, we met with our leadership circle, a team composed of representatives across Mijente’s membership and network, to broaden our vision and insight on the path forward for our organizing. 

This year, we’ve also intentionally focused on meeting the demands of this moment through a process of restructuring and expanding our team. That’s why we made the decision to engage in a major hiring period, which resulted in over 200 candidates applying across the country and in PR. Starting in September, our team is expanding, and we’re excited for the possibilities that come with it.   

We’re developing a process to secure big wins and el buen-vivir, a task that requires cultivating equal parts strategy, adaptability, and creativity. 

We know that different worlds are possible for our people, and we will keep pushing for them in ways that challenge and build. Our communities will be pro-mujer, pro-lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and queer+, pro-Black, pro-worker, pro-migrant, pro-indigenous and more — because together we will make them so.

2019 Mijente Member convening in Louisville, Kentucky

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