Wise Latinxs: How to Build Power for 2016 and Beyond

Wise Latinxs: How to Build Power for 2016 and Beyond

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Thursday, Jul. 14 10:00 AM (Eastern)

Ends: Thursday, Jul. 14 11:15 AM (Eastern)

In the 2016 election cycle, the Latinx and immigrant community have been demonized by Donald Trump. However, this framework and racism has been driving policy in America for generations. Meet Latinxs who are challenging the national discourse and owning perceived wedge issues to tackle the biggest issues of our time. As the Latinx community continues to grow, something is shifting and we’ve found power at the intersections. Hear from some wise Latinxs about how to build a path forward.


Hemly Ordonez

Hemly Ordonez

Hemly specializes in working with non-profits across the US and around the world to bridge emerging technologies to challenge inequality and positively impact local communities. She has led engagement strategies that center communities of color and low income communities to meet them at the intersections of their lives both online and offline for over 10 years.

Prior to joining Fission, Hemly was the State Strategies Manager at Advocates for Youth. She worked with local, state-based, and national organizations mobilizing the rising American electorate across digital platforms to advocate for cultural and policy changes that improve and value young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Hemly is originally from Carson, California and proudly represents South Los Angeles in the fight for health, dignity, and justice.

Other sessions: Rejecting the Pale, Male and Stale Leadership Pipeline: A Roadmap to Building Inclusive Organizations, Letting Members Lead: The Mess and Magic of Distributed Organizing, Chewbacca Mom Takeover: The Future of Online Organizing

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Jessica González-Rojas


Jessica González-Rojas is the Executive Director at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, the only national reproductive justice organization that works to advance reproductive health and rights for Latinas. She has been a leader in progressive movements for two decades, successfully forging connections between reproductive health, gender, immigration, LGBTQ liberation, labor and Latino civil rights. She is an authentic voice for Latinas and a regular presence in national media outlets. She holds a Master’s degree from NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a certificate from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. Jessica and NLIRH have been honored for their work by several outlets and organizations, including the National Women’s Law Center, Emily’s List “We are Emily” award in 2017, LatinoJustice PRLDEF’s “Latina Trailblazer” in 2016, Latina Magazine as one of 2014’s “10 Most Inspiring Latina Activists”, Cosmo for Latinas as a “Fun, Fearless Latina” in 2014, the National Council of Jewish Women as a “Champion for Choice” in 2013, LATISM as 2013’s “Best Non-Profit” and by El Diario/La Prensa as one of 2009’s “Mujeres Destacadas” (Women of Honor); she was also recognized on Cosmopolitan’s “2013 Power List” in the October 2013 issue, has been named one of “13 Women of Color to Watch in 2013” by the Center for American Progress.

Other sessions: Into the Hornet's Nest: How Women of Color are Leading the Fight Against the Hyde Amendment [Voter Pick]

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Zenen Jaimes Pérez

Zenen is currently the Policy & Advocacy Analyst at United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth led network in the country. He has shared his research and analysis through various publications, online tools, convenings, presentations, and briefings with national, state, and local policy makers. Zenen preciously worked as the Senior Policy Analyst at Generation Progress, the youth-engagement arm of the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC. He has also interned with Advocates for Youth as well as the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. As a first-generation college student, Zenen graduated from Georgetown University in 2013 and he has spent much of his time advocating for education equity for immigrant students. His family is from a small town in Mexico called Palmar Chico.

Nelini Stamp

Nelini Stamp is the National Organizing Director at the Working Families Party. She works with volunteer leaders across the country to build local progressive infrastructure. Nelini joined the New York Working Families Party staff in 2008; door knocking and field organizing for a variety of electoral campaigns across New York State. Since then, she has been deeply involved in social movement work around economic and racial justice across the country. She worked on the ground at Occupy Wall Street to help bridge the gap between labor, community- based organizations and Occupy activists. Afterward, Nelini co-created the Freedom Side and co-founded Dream Defenders in Florida, which organizes and trains youth in non-violent civil disobedience, civic engagement, and direct action. Lately, as a co-builder of WFP’s Resist Here project, which launched #ResistTrumpTuesdays, she has been chasing Senator Schumer around to make sure he stands up to Trump. You can often find her leading marches, rallies and mic-checking at direct actions.

Catalina Velasquez

Catalina Velasquez

Catalina Velasquez is the President and founder of Consult Catalina, a premier strategic policy, communications and diversity firm.

Fluent in English, Spanish, and Italian, Catalina is an alumnus of Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, where she majored in International Politics: International Law, Norms, & Institutions with a Certificate in Women and Gender Studies. Her thesis was titled “Immigrant Women: the Documented, the Undocumented, and the Invisible; The Female Face of Immigration.”

Catalina has extended consulting and speaking engagement services for over a dacade, and she recently finished her latest contract with People for the American Way leading their youth arm: Young People For (YP4). In this position, she created a policy shop and a public affairs communications department as well as restructure their training curriculum to meet the most cutting edge needs of an interconnected world and global economy. Among many of the organizations that Catalina has worked and consulted on strategic messaging and policy are the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, D.C. Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs, the AFL-CIO, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

Catalina is a recipient of the President’s Volunteer Award from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation and was awarded the title of Ambassador for Peace by the Universal Peace Federation and the Inter-religious and International Federation for World Peace.

Catalina is the first transgender immigrant Latina appointed as a Commissioner for the D.C. Office of Latino Affairs since 2013 and was hand picked by the 2016 Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign to join the Vermont U.S. Senator’s LGBT Policy team. After the campaign, Catalina joined the legacy organization Our Revolution as Board Vice-Chair. Recently, Catalina was named one of RollingStone’s “16 Young Americans Shaping the 2016 Election” and one of Mitu’s “Young Latinos that are Leaving a Footprint in Politics.”

Catalina also serves on the Board of Directors of Megaphone Strategies a strategic communication national nonprofit and GetEqual a national LGBTQ grassroots organization. She is also part of the Board of the first bipartisan Transgender PAC: Trans United Fund and in the Board of Inclusv a diversity employment initiative to diversify the political and policy fields. Catalina is also on the Advisory Boards of United We DREAM’s Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project at the largest run and led immigrant youth organization in the United States.

Currently, Catalina volunteers at Casa Ruby, working with transgender and immigrant populations experiencing homelessness, preparing referrals and assisting people with inconsistent housing with emergency resources such as shelter, health insurance enrollment, and legal services. In addition, while at Casa Ruby, Catalina periodically runs needs assessment surveys to shift the organization’s resources into the most needful demographics. Catalina also supports the Executive Director, Ruby Corado, with grant writing, policy analysis, communications strategies and how to tailor programs for homeless LGBTQ youth, adult and senior populations in the District of Columbia.

In March 2012, Catalina co-authored with the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) a lengthy and detailed human rights report titled: “Trabajadoras: Challenges and Conditions of Latina Workers in the United States.”

In her earlier career, Catalina worked as a research assistant for Georgetown’s Women and Gender Studies department, and she was the personal research associate to former U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands: Cynthia Schneider. With the U.S. Ambassador, Catalina worked on cultural diplomacy to support civil society in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Egypt. In her tenure at the hilltop, Catalina also worked as Chief of Staff Intern for the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

Contact Catalina at catalina@consultcatalina.com

Other sessions: Rejecting the Pale, Male and Stale Leadership Pipeline: A Roadmap to Building Inclusive Organizations

my website