By Aisha Huertas Michel, Associate Director of Public Policy and Communications; Director of the Patricia M. Arnold Women’s Rights Project
The ACLU of Virginia welcomes our fourth new staff member this year. Aisha Huertas Michel joins us as our new Associate Director of Public Policy and Communications, and Director of the Patricia M. Arnold Women’s Rights Project. Aisha will now take the lead on the Pat Arnold Women’s Rights Program – an integrated advocacy program with the goal of eliminating sex discrimination in Virginia, as the former director of the project, Kathy Greenier, steps into her new role as Director of the ACLU of Virginia’s Reproductive Freedom Project. Prior to joining the ACLU of Virginia, Aisha worked with Donate Life America, most recently as its Communications and New Media Supervisor. Along with her women’s rights and communications work, Aisha’s will help expand the scope of our immigrants rights work along with developing Spanish-language materials. We are so happy to have Aisha join us in our work ensuring civil rights and liberties to all people in Virginia.
“Wow, I’m working for the ACLU of Virginia!” is a thought that still crosses my mind some days. It is difficult to put into words how honored and thrilled I am about the opportunity to serve the people of Virginia as Associate Director of Public Policy and Communications and Director of the Women’s Right Project for this outstanding organization. If you had told me a year ago that I would be embarking on this journey, I would not have believed it. But today, I know that this is the culmination (or maybe the beginning?) of years of life lessons learned through my personal struggles as a strong, independent, Hispanic woman with a desire to be a successful business executive within an organization that did something to enrich the lives of others. It also reflects my encounters with many wonderful people of different genders, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, political views and ideals all of whom taught me something important about the person I want to be.
For the past eight years, I have worked for Donate Life America, encouraging the public to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. My roles involved marketing, communications, public relations, web management, volunteer management, partnership development and data collection and analysis.
I have a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Louisiana College and a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Emerson College.
Originally from the San Juan metropolitan area on the island of Puerto Rico, I moved to the mainland as a child. Though I grew up in Louisiana, I moved to Richmond, Virginia nine years ago and I am happy to call it home.
My husband and I stay pretty busy, but when we have down time, we love to travel, go to concerts, go to the movie theater and enjoy the company of friends. A couple quirky facts about me – I love 80’s boy bands, and I am a thespian.
Most of all, I have a passion for helping people, and I look forward to continuing my passion through my work at the ACLU of Virginia.