Alumni in Activism Panel
A huge thank you to everyone who came out to our Alumni in Activism panel in partnership with the Latinx Student Center. Together, we discussed turning our passion for advocacy into an impactful career alongside trailblazing UVA Latinx alumni who are currently working in different areas of advocacy. Speaking on these experiences, they discussed how they found these lucrative job opportunities and how they have challenged stigmas surrounding their work.
Thank you to our wonderful panelists for their participation in this event:
Paola Sanchez Valdez is a community organizer for the Virginia Justice Project for Farm and Immigrant Workers project within the Legal Aid Justice Center’s Immigrant Advocacy Program. She is currently getting her Masters in Social Work at Columbia University.
Maria Alejandra Rincon has worked in the Latin America solidarity movement since 2017, living and working in Honduras providing human rights accompaniment and monitoring the effects of U.S. foreign policy. She is currently the new Witness for Peace National Board Chair and works closely with the Solidarity Collective supporting the new Honduras Team’s transition.
Ibby Han (she/her) is the director of the Virginia Student Power Network, a multi-issue grassroots network of young organizers from universities across Virginia who build power for democratic, diverse, and accessible education. She is based in Charlottesville.
Danny Navarro has worked for more than 10 years in civic engagement, both in the nonprofit and political spaces. He is currently the Advocacy Manager for Feeding America in Washington, D.C.
Natalia Mercado Violand is an associate in the litigation and enforcement practice group. Natalia’s practice includes internal investigations in the U.S. and Latin America, anti-corruption due diligence, white-collar criminal defense, and civil litigation. Natalia works with a diverse group of clients, including private equity firms, health care companies, public companies, and investment management firms. Natalia maintains a robust pro bono practice representing unaccompanied immigrant minors, separated families, and victims of violent crimes seeking legal status in the U.S.
Karla Castro is a Class of 2014 graduate. She has been a classroom teacher in her Teach for America placement school in Houston, TX for the last 6 years. As a Social Studies teacher, Karla is passionate about teaching students the history they don’t normally learn about in elementary school, as well as how citizens can engage with their governments to make a difference.