As the Community Mobilization Coordinator at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Alexandra coordinates the Latinas Organizing for Leadership and Advocacy (LOLA) trainings and Latina Advocacy Networks, as well as manages the website and online communications. She also serves on the Pro-Choice Public Education Project's Young Women's Leadership Council. A graduate of Oberlin College graduate and holds a B.A. in Women’s Studies and Sociology. While at Oberlin, she received the Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowship, and concentrated in Puerto Rican feminism and nationalism. She has considerable experience in the social justice movement, having worked with feminist organizations such as NOW-NYC and NARAL Pro-Choice New York as well as with labor and anti-gun violence groups. In college, she was a counselor and teacher with Oberlin’s Sexual Information Center.
Choice USA: How did you get involved in the movement for reproductive choice and social justice?
Alexandra: My activism began while at Oberlin College – I began to recognize the systemic qualities of the every day oppressions I had seen all my life. I started interning with various social justice organizations – on issues related to gun violence, reproductive rights, and women’s rights. I also spent a summer doing union organizing. The intersections between all social justice issues have been very clear to me, and I view all of my past work as equally important to attaining social justice in the future. During college, I was also a sexual health peer educator and counselor – this was my introduction to the reproductive health field, and I have been active within it ever since!
Choice USA: There are a lot of misconceptions about what choice means. How do you define it?
Alexandra: Reproductive choice means that all people have the full ability and resources necessary to make well-informed decisions about whether or not to have children, to parent, to raise families, to exercise sexual freedoms, and to maintain their health.
Choice USA: What do you think is the most important political issue facing young people?
Alexandra: The continual and ever-expanding denial of basic freedoms and rights that all humans are entitled to.
Choice USA: As a young leader yourself, what do you think the movement needs most right now?
Alexandra: The movement, assuming we mean the reproductive choice/health/justice movement, needs to get more creative in the way we do the work. That means not abandoning the political process, but engaging more people in it, especially those who have historically been disenfranchised and left out of our political system. It means encouraging alternative forms of activism – self-care, collective and cooperative organizing and economic systems, working with more radical political parties and media outlets, and so on. I think we need to break away from this very strict allegiance to the Democratic Party and encourage more progressive candidates to either take it over or work outside of it, with our support where appropriate.
Choice USA: Do you have any advice for young leaders in this movement?
Alexandra: Take sh*t over! Create spaces that address issues that impact your communities. Always remember who you do this work for and how many people can be affected by the change you bring about.