Under the The U.S. Constitution, “We the People” have the right to equal protection under the law and freedom of speech. Yet, we are living under unjust laws created to marginalize minority and low-socioeconomic communities and take away their voice.

As an immigrant at a very young age, I felt silenced and didn’t believe I could ever have a voice in how our legal system treated my community. I used to think unjust laws were set in stone and could not be changed. Since I started my career in grassroots advocacy and communications, however, I have learned the power of the people can move mountains and, with enough perseverance, can help change policy and the law. Now more than ever, the people must take back our democracy by holding elected officials accountable with the power of the vote.

Too many times, people have been silent and let an unjust legal system decide their fate. They remain silent because they might not think their voice can make a difference, aren’t informed of their rights, and feel alone. It’s time for a change in mindset and to speak up because there is a value in everyone’s voice and story.

I had felt heartbroken seeing loved ones, friends, and communities affected by an unjust legal system, and most of all, frustrated about not being able to do anything. That’s why I joined the ACLU of Virginia: to help make systemic change through integrated communications and advocacy. One of my goals as the campaign communications strategist is to help people come out of the shadows of injustice and empower them to work towards a more just legal system.

Now more than ever, the people must take back our democracy by holding elected officials accountable with the power of the vote.

In my position, I will work directly with the communication and advocacy teams to help develop Smart Justice and Voting Rights campaigns that engage and educate the community of the current problems in our legal system and work toward legislative and other solutions. I plan to help elevate the voices of marginalized communities by sharing their stories directly with elected officials and all Virginians to fight for change.

It’s a privilege to be able to contribute to the great work of the ACLU of Virginia and its mission to defend our rights and freedoms. I believe the legal system should be fair to everyone no matter who they are. We are all people, and deserve to be treated equally.

 

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