Angelina Ramirez is a sophomore at Coe College and a first-generation student of color who firmly believes that it is her duty to empower disenfranchised voices and advocate for just and equal policies, programs, and opportunities to the people of her communities. She is co-founder and president of CoeVotes, a non-partisan club that works to empower student political voices. She is extremely active on campus, being part of several diversity groups in order to ensure the inclusion of students of color on campus. She has volunteered with several non-profits, ranging from prison-to-society reintegration programs, to serving as an ESL teacher for refugees and immigrants. She is a fierce advocate for social justice reform and has helped lead projects such as Iowa’s largest expungement clinic, and working to bring free community college to her community. While a full-time student, she also works for an education policy reform consulting company, advocating for policies that address the racial and socioeconomic inequities that exist in America’s education system. Angelina applies passionate dedication to her activism as she hopes to address systemically unjust institutions and policies, all while empowering underserved and underrepresented members of her communities.
I am a first-generation Mexican American woman and my intersectional experiences as a ‘minority’ American has helped shape my passions for policy reform. As I was growing up, I struggled with finding people that looked or thought like me in positions of authority. I attended prodominantly-white schools and as my education furthered, I found myself fighting obstacles that many of my peers didn’t seem to face. With hateful speech towards people of color swirling through my school halls, I became interested in social justice. I began volunteering with organizations that represented underserved community members and began consistently voicing my opinion in racist and/or sexist policies that my school district had enforced. As I’ve grown older, I realize that I want to become the type of influential and powerful person that I had always wanted to see while growing up. America needs people of color- women of color- because right now, our voices are not heard and our faces are rarely seen. America’s institutions systematically disenfranchise minority groups, creating constant cycles of social, health, and financial poverty. It’s now my mission to empower and enable people in our communities so that we, as a country, can break those cycles.