People For the American Way Foundation has hired Catalina Velasquez to serve as the director of its Young People For program, the organization announced today. Velasquez, who brings extensive experience as an organizer and strategist, most recently served as president of Consult Catalina an organization she founded to work on the intersections between immigration status, sexual orientation, gender and ethnic background.
Catalina has also been involved with the development, advocacy and communications departments at Casa Ruby and the Trans Women of Color Collective. For the last two years she has served as an appointed commissioner for DC Mayor’s Office of Latino Affairs and was directly involved in the drafting and passage of the Non-Driver’s Identification Card/Driver’s License Amendment Act of 2013. Catalina is on the advisory council of United We Dream’s Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project and in 2014 Catalina served as policy analyst with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.
“Catalina has built an incredible reputation as a fearless, effective changemaker, and I’m excited to have her join the PFAW Foundation team,” said Michael Keegan, President of PFAW Foundation. “Young People For is a network of creative, ambitious, brilliant, diverse young leaders who are having a tremendous impact on their communities all across the country; Catalina is the perfect person to support and amplify their work and will serve as a powerful voice for the next generation of progressive leaders.”
“Over the last decade, Young People For has grown from an ambitious idea to a powerful network of more than 1,500 young, passionate progressive activists all across the country,” said Andrew Gillum, Director of PFAW Foundation’s Youth Leadership Programs. “I’m thrilled that Catalina will be bringing her creativity and energy to the job of leading YP4 into the next phase of its growth. I can’t think of anyone better suited for the position.”
“I am excited and honored to join the People For the American Way Foundation familia as the YP4 Director,” said Velasquez. “This is a victory for the communities I am part of and that have been sidelined by structural oppression. I look forward to working with our Fellows and alumni to help stand up against oppression and create the best possible version of our world.”