Ahead of the 2020 election, New American Leaders (NAL) announced that they have hired leading North Carolina community activist, organizer, and non-profit leader, Irene Godínez, as their first Vice President of Programs. 

“Now more than ever before, our country needs new leaders who represent their communities and aren’t afraid to pursue bold ideas that strengthen our democracy,” said Sayu Bhojwani, NAL’s president and founder. “Irene understands the importance of this moment and the critical role New Americans and people of color will play in shaping the future of our democracy. Her extensive work building movements and preparing diverse groups for public service is vitally important to New American Leaders, especially as we enter a new decade of our movement and prepare the next generation of trailblazers to win in 2020 and beyond.”

A North Carolinian of Mexican descent, Irene has deep roots in community organizing and engagement. Regarding the position, Godínez noted how her nearly 15 years of experience will come into play for the organization at this juncture. “I am honored to take this role on, especially at this point in our nation’s history. New American Leaders is stronger than ever, and I am committed to building a reflective democracy by sharpening its already thriving programs. Our mission to elect immigrant voices to office will continue to be an act of resistance in the face of anti-immigrant, white nationalist hate.”

The founder and executive director of Poder NC Action, Irene served as the North Carolina Latino Vote Director with the Hillary for America campaign in 2016, and previously was a director at Planned Parenthood Health Systems and Reform Immigration FOR America. She has also been a member of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina board. 

“I look forward to working with the NAL team and partners to make sure that the forward-thinking values that we espouse as an organization continue to be woven into our programs in ways that enable our leaders to be challenged and grow,” she continued. “Individuals may seek New American Leaders for its mission, but my goal is that they stay and amplify their voices even more because of the programming they experience and the home they find in us.”