EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Memorial Foundation announced 13 young leaders from Texas, including one from El Paso, as members of its inaugural class of the Social Justice Fellow Program.
The program is a part of the Foundation’s commemoration of the Martin Luther King Memorial’s 10th anniversary.
Fifty young leaders across the country will convene virtually for eight weeks over the summer with a curriculum centered around advocacy, community organizing and public policy in order to build a community of support with like-minded leaders explore high impact practices that move communities from consumers of a movement to activism and develop an understanding of leadership for long-term sustainable community change.
Fellows from Texas include:
- Dominique Brown-Washington- Arlington, Texas
- Joseph Ulloa- Buda, Texas
- Sean Reed- Dallas, Texas
- Erika Manuel- Euless, Texas
- Diana Lopez- El Paso, Texas
- Kaylyn Hill- Frisco, Texas
- Reuben Griffin- Garland, Texas
- Eric Washington- Houston, Texas
- Joshua Wollen- Houston, Texas
- Taylor Cowan- Houston, Texas
- Jasmin Jones- Houston, Texas
- Edidiong Obot- Houston, Texas
- Ray Shackelford- Houston, Texas
Diana Lopez was born in El Paso, Texas, raised in Ciudad Juarez and Sunland Park, New Mexico. Diana received BA degrees in Psychology, Spanish, and Gender and Sexuality Studies from New Mexico State University where she studied gender(ed) migrations, queer theory, feminicidios, feminist methodologies, and the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border. She earned an M.S. in Mexican American Studies from the University of Arizona. Her graduate thesis, “Identity Building in Militarized U-S Mexico Border Colonias: Testimonios of Women of Color Resisting Militarization,” focused on building the existing literature of testimonios of women of color, specifically as it relates to identity formations informed by the hyper-militarization of Sunland Park, New Mexico. Diana is a PhD student in the Department of Borderlands History at the University of Texas at El Paso. Her current research interests include transnational feminisms, globalization, settler colonialism and forced migration. Diana believes that to create concrete systemic change we should focus, center, and uplift the experiences of BIPOC/QTPOC folks working arduously around social injustices nationwide.
“With the goal of transforming protest to policy, the challenges of today require a new generation of bold leadership,” said Harry E. Johnson Sr., President and CEO of the Memorial Foundation. “We have found the very best young leaders who embody and will inspire others to follow Dr. King’s principles of democracy, justice, hope and love. We designed the Social Justice Fellows program to help the participants grow in their ability to pursue Dr. King’s vision of equality and we are thrilled about the potential of our first class of fellows.”