Alverno College sophomore, Cassandra Abarca, came to Alverno College passionate about economic justice for all Milwaukee communities. Her focus on developing stronger financial viability for communities in Milwaukee, especially those who have struggled with a history of redlining, demonstrates her ability to understand the important relationship between government and business. As a high school intern and in her continued role as a paralegal, she is working to make an impact on our community through the connection between laws that govern business practices and her leadership as an emerging minority businesswoman. As a sophomore, Ms. Abarca is already serving as the Vice President of Alverno’s chapter of Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee, as a member of Alverno Business Leaders Empower (A.B.L.E.), and as a volunteer for Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation or WIBIC. As a first generation college student majoring in Business and Management and Spanish Language and Cultures, she believes that advocacy and education on issues facing minorities from within the business community is essential to creating positive outcomes for our country’s future.
I was first introduced to the practice of redlining at a corporate internship I held during my time as a high school student at Cristo Rey High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My supervisor taught me that redlining is a form of discrimination when a lending agency or company denies a loan or insurance based on a person’s geographic area, especially because it is an area thought to be a “financial risk” due to poverty or its ethnic or racial make-up. Even though redlining has serious negative effects on the communities, it still happens to Black and Hispanic communities in Milwaukee.
When I realized the level of discrimination happening in my community, I became a strong advocate for creating change in the public education system and making sure to create opportunities for all people. I began with my college community. As a Business & Management/Spanish Language & Cultures at Alverno College, I am involved in several organizations such as Campus Ministry, Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee, and Business Leaders Empower student club. These organizations are helping me to develop my leadership ability and to shine light on topics that deserve action to prevent discrimination and inequality.