Hope Wood, Jose Luis Marantes, Carlos Saavedra, Erin Sweeney, and Nicholas Hayes are motivated to organize because they can make a difference that they can see and feel through the practice of leadership skills: communicating a public narrative, building relationships, establishing a team structure, devising a strategy, and spurring action.
Community organizing is also something that is no longer ambiguous to the outside world, a fact quickly discovered by Christina Sanchez: the oldest of five daughters to Mexican immigrant parents in Los Angeles, and the first member of her family to go to college. Sanchez, 26, attended Yale University and in 2008, she volunteered with the Obama campaign at Latino-led fund-raisers. She is now working to keep the network of Latino organizers connected through the New Latino Movement, an organization dedicated to offering organizing trainings to the Latino community and to encourage young adult organizers to join the ranks. Sanchez credits the Obama campaign as not only the source of her professional inspiration, but the reason why her family and friends know what she is: an organizer. “They respect my profession as though I were a teacher, nurse or firefighter. I don’t think that would have happened before.”