Stories

Democracy/Civic Engagement

  • Ivan Parra: Early Orientation

    An experienced community organizer and trainer, Ivan Kohar Parra cofounded three organizations that engage hundreds of grassroots leaders in social change. He is Executive Director of the Latino Credit Union, a member-owned non-profit financial institution offering a full package of ethical, bilingual financial services, affordable credit options and financial education to thousands of...

  • Hollis Watkins: Music as an Organizing Tool

    A veteran of the civil rights movement, Hollis Watkins founded Southern Echo, a leadership development, education and training organization working to develop effective, accountable grassroots leadership in rural Mississippi and the surrounding region.

    Watkins and Southern Echo have been instrumental in challenging redistricting in Mississippi, protecting communities from landfills and...

  • Mayra Rangel: Challenges of Being a Leader

    At age 16, Mayra Rangel walked through the desert for six days to escape poverty and find a job to support her family back in Mexico. Her activism began in 2011 when the Alabama legislature passed HB56, the nation’s strictest immigration law. She helped the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice defeat many parts of the bill. Since then, she has continued to volunteer, organize, register...

  • Ashley Shelton: Lessons Learned After Katrina

    Ashley Shelton launched the Louisiana office of One Voice, an organization created in response to housing, education, civil rights, and policy advocacy needs in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. One Voice fosters public engagement, provides access to data for policy analysis and builds alliances with partners and supporters committed to building a strong, informed electorate.

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