Featured leader of the week: Rylee Stenberg of New Mexico State
Which female leaders do you draw inspiration from?
I am inspired by Sandra Day O’Connor as she has motivated herself to shine in every realm throughout her life. After earning her law degree from Stanford University, numerous law firms in California refused to interview her because she is a woman. However, O’Connor didn’t allow opposition to halt her progress. After working as a deputy county attorney without a salary, she was the first female Majority Leader in the Arizona Senate and the first female Justice of the Supreme Court. Justice O’Connor also is the mother of three sons and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2009. Sandra Day O’Connor not only has excelled despite hindrances, but continues to show that women can have it all-intellect, motherhood, success, and leadership.
Read Rylee’s full profile.
Ten-year-old Macy Friday, front left, reacts as she looks back at her family after meeting Hillary Clinton, front right, as she campaigns for U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., back, during a stop in the newly-renovated Union Station in Denver, Oct. 13, 2014. Clinton appeared at an event to raise money for Udall’s current re-election campaign and then headed to Las Vegas for another appearance on Monday night. (Photo: David Zalubowski/AP) See: This Week in Pictures.
Meet 16 activists at the front lines of immigration reform
For National Hispanic Heritage month, we’re featuring a wide array of Latino activists at the forefront of immigration reform. The series highlights activists from teenager Carmen Lima, who was just 13 years old when she confronted Speaker of the House John Boehner about pushing immigration legislation, to former Arizona State Sen. Majority leader Alfredo Guiterrez, who has dedicated his life to representing immigrants in Arizona and now considers himself “an old man of the movement.”
In the wide-ranging interviews, activists show that there are many ways to be involved in the immigration reform movement but being fearless is a common denominator across the board. “In the political realm, undocumented people have risked a great deal to stop deportations,” Marisa Franco of #Not1more Deportation Campaign said. “That’s not fearful, that’s courageous, and I think some elected officials should take note and match that courage.”
Whether an undocumented activist or an American activist, there are huge risks to being outspoken in the debate over immigration and even more so in the fight to protect the 11.3 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. While President Obama and Congress have yet to reach a resolution on the issue, these are 16 activists, among hundreds of others, who continue to provide critical support services, legal aid, and compassion to immigrant communities.
“I can’t just stop now,” Lima said. “People are counting on us.”