Washington, D.C. – Today, United We Dream and United We Dream Action’s boards of directors proudly announce Greisa Martinez Rosas as the organization’s Executive Director, effective immediately. This concludes an inclusive and open leadership transition process announced in January.
Originally from Hidalgo, Mexico, Greisa came to the United States with her parents and sisters at a young age and grew up in Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas. Greisa began her organizing journey by leading a student walk-out from her high school to demand justice for undocumented people.
At United We Dream, Greisa’s first role was leading grassroots field efforts as as an affiliate leader of the Council for Minority Student Affairs before being elected to represent Texas members on UWD’s National Leadership Committee. During her eight years as staff at the organization, Greisa has held the roles of 2012 Civic Engagement Field Manager, National Field Coordinator, Advocacy and Policy Director, and Deputy Executive Director. As a queer, undocumented woman of color who grew up in a working class family, Greisa is the embodiment of the intersectional movement that we need in order to win dignity and freedom for our people. We are proud that her inspiring leadership will guide our network through this pivotal time in our movements and in our country.
Greisa Martinez Rosas, Executive Director of United We Dream and United We Dream Action, said:
“I am incredibly honored to lead our network as Executive Director at this pivotal moment. The last four years have required something different from all of us, having seen the attacks on immigrants, LGBTQIA people, women, Black and other people of color, multiplied. Amidst all the uncertainty, I am firm in the idea and discipline of hope. Not blind optimism, but illuminated hope. It was hope that strengthened me through my father’s deportation. It was hope that held me through the death of my mother. It was hope that embraced me as I came out as a queer undocumented woman.
I am a community organizer to my core. Growing up in Dallas, Texas, I saw the police treat the mostly Black and brown kids in our neighborhood like we were less than human. All around me were signals that women were disposable and powerless. It was only when I took action with others that I started to feel my own power.
I am the embodiment of United We Dream’s leadership pipeline in action, having begun my career as a student activist, organizer and affiliate leader in Dallas, TX. I understand the journey of United We Dream members from across the country because I’ve lived it.
I have gone from being undocumented and terrified, to being able to stand in my power as undocumented and unafraid, and queer and unashamed. I believe that only organizing can deliver the victories we deserve. As United We Dream charts our path forward to continue building a multi-racial, cross-issue movement to create a world where everyone, regardless of the color of their skin or their immigration status is free to live free and thrive, it’ll be hope that gets us to victory on the other side.”
Sussan Lee, Diana Valdivia, and Erin Howard, Chairs of the United We Dream and United We Dream Action Boards, said:
“We are overjoyed to announce that Greisa Martinez Rosas will be the next Executive Director of United We Dream and United We Dream Action. Many of us have had the privilege of watching Greisa flourish as a leader in her previous roles within UWD. Even so, we were impressed and inspired anew during the interview process by Greisa’s deep understanding of and commitment to our mission and membership as well as her singular vision for UWD’s next chapter. As we look forward to an immediate and long-term future filled with great challenges as well as opportunities, we are more confident than ever in UWD’s capacity to lead. The Boards of UWD and UWDA are excited and ready to support Greisa in taking our organization to new heights.”
Abril Gallardo Cervera of LUCHA Arizona and Camila Bortolleto of CT Students for Dream, both members of the Transition Committee and UWD’s National Leadership Committee, said:
“When history bends towards justice, it is because of bold, unapologetic, fearless leaders. Leaders like the co-founders who grew United We Dream into the powerhouse that it is today, and paved the way for new leaders. We are proud and excited to welcome Greisa as the new Executive Director. Greisa is a leader who can inspire and fight tirelessly for undocumented youth who may be feeling alone everywhere from the more rural areas of the country to metropolitan cities like Phoenix and Bridgeport.
In the midst of this time of extraordinary challenges, it is imperative to highlight the voices and power of people most directly impacted. We know that under Greisa’s leadership, UWD will do just that. Greisa is a representative of so much of what UWD members across the network can accomplish as we continue to create spaces for their leadership to thrive.”