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Arizona is home to one of our strongest alumni groups and – perhaps by no coincidence – is on the forefront of the movement for inclusive democracy. Yesterday, we brought four of our alumni together with a political expert for a discussion how to build community power to create policy change.

Here are the four key takeaways that you need to know:


1. Representation matters

This isn’t a true democracy unless our elected officials uphold the values of the communities they represent. Getting more diversity into our government is key and every “first” helps open the door for a new generation of leadership. The election of alumni like Athena and Isela has helped the next generation see themselves as leaders.

2. This is more than a moment, it’s a movement

The media might have you believe that we’ve experiencing a moment in which women, immigrants, and unrepresented Americans are suddenly beginning to turn the tide. But this narrative glosses over the fact that grassroots organisations have been building toward this goal for years and will continue to do the work once the spotlight has left.

3. Arizona’s future is bright

Arizona may have given rise to the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio but it has also provided fertile ground in which progressive and immigrant-led movements for inclusion have thrived.

4. Our Arizona alumni are amAZing

Our hearts swelled with pride listening to the trailblazing women on this panel. In many ways, they represent the full spectrum of roles in which our alumni are leading the movement for inclusive democracy – from heading movements to serving in office.

A huge thank you to our incredible panel: State Representative Isela Blanc, State Representative Athena Salman, LUCHA Co-Executive Director Alex Gomez, Creosote Partners Founder Marilyn Rodridguez, and Latino Victory Deputy Political Director Jessica Rubio.


Are you Ready to Lead?