Born and raised in the beautiful city of Orlando, Florida, Luis quickly learned to enjoy building community and seeing others thrive. Upon graduation from high school, Luis decided he could best serve his community by enlisting in the United States Air Force. Six years later, as a decorated Air Force Veteran, Luis has dedicated his life to social and racial justice.
During his time with the Center for Popular Democracy, Luis had the privilege of growing two outstanding community-centered grassroots organizations, Organize Florida and Make the Road Nevada. His work with Organize Florida was spent reaching beyond the bounds of a field manager and actively engaging with organizers and CPD’s national nonprofit network to expand the role of a canvasser. This included being a member of Florida’s first statewide affordable housing convening as well as helping to launch the “Bargaining for the Common Good” campaign alongside SEIU 1199 and the powerful Chicago teachers’ union.
Luis’s work with Make the Road Nevada cemented his commitment to social and racial justice. From organizing community events and legislative trips to planning and coordinating a rally and march for Senator Bernie Sanders, for Luis, life has always been about service before self.
I aspire to be like Malcolm X. Here is why:
Malcolm X showed me there comes a time in all struggles when one must no longer stay quiet or play by the rules of those in power. We must leave no option out of the discussion and must succeed “by any means necessary.” When it comes to education, Malcolm said it best, “Education is an important element in the struggle for human rights. It is the means to help our children and thereby increase self-respect. Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”
Why I love my job:
How could I not love my job?! I have the privilege of working across the state to empower communities, parents and our students (the future leaders of our country). How could I not love this?
My connection to public schools:
My experience in the Florida public school system was bittersweet. I’m the first male in my family to graduate high school and go to college, but I remain deeply concerned about the state of public education. Subpar learning materials, including textbooks, are symptoms of districts that are stretched too thin. Students deserve better than what I had growing up and it is my belief that we can do better.
What I am bad at:
Cleaning my sneakers. I’m what you’d call a “sneakerhead” so some of my sneakers are limited edition. Too bad I don’t treat them as such. Sneakers are to be worn so I wear them!. In the near future, I plan on taking better care of the sneakers in my collection. Especially the more valuable ones.
This image represents why I work at 50CAN:
There will always be solutions to our problems. More often than not, they’re found in places where we work together. United we are the solution!!!