The Ethnicity, Race, and Migration major at Yale gave me tools to dissect, analyze, and challenge power in all its different forms. As a young Chicana, struggling to comprehend the grave injustices confronting my community, working alongside brilliant professors and students alike created an incredible opportunity to use multiple lenses of inquiry and analysis to make sense of the world in a way that honored my community and our shared histories. Thanks to ER&M, I now have a vocabulary, academic theories, research methodologies, and a framework with which to articulate my ideas and appreciate others. With those tools in hand, I have returned to my community and dedicated my life to transforming the relations of power. Whether negotiating legislation in the halls of Congress or having an organizing conversation in a potential leaders’ kitchen, I use the skills that I learned as an ER&M student every single day to make concrete change in peoples’ lives.
As part of an emerging generation of dynamic young leaders, Julie Gonzales works in various capacities to build strong and lasting coalitions around immigrant justice, educational reform, and workers’ rights. She is an experienced bilingual capacity-building trainer and facilitator. She has nearly a decade of community and youth organizing experience with organizations such as the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, Reform Immigration FOR America, Padres y Jóvenes Unidos and the Front Range Economic Strategy Center, and has spent the past five years building political power through organizing on social justice issues across the state. Julie is a former board member for the Colorado Latino Forum, founded to increase the political, social, educational and economic strength of Latinos and Latinas, and was a founding board member of United We DREAM, the national link for organizations, communities and individuals to find ways to achieve passage of the Dream Act and immigration reform together. Additionally, she serves as a member of the Café Cultura Collective, which organizes monthly poetry/spoken word open mics in west Denver.