Category Archives: Uncategorized

Our Imagine Us 2017 Awardees

We’re proud to announce this year’s Imagine Us awardees! Each of them has fought for justice and strengthened their community in a powerful way,  and we’re proud to honor them.

Alejandra Peréz

Born and raised in Guatemala, Alejandra moved to the United States when she was twelve years old. She graduated from Cleveland High School earned her BA from the University of Washington Bothell, with 22 scholarships.

Alejandra’s passion for educational equity comes from her advocacy with and for undocumented students and their families in Washington State and around the nation. Alejandra has an extensive background in organizing for social justice, running large-scale events and conferences and providing professional development to educators.

Angie Tamayo

Angie Tamayo Montero is a Colombian womxn, and human rights activist. Currently, she is a research assistant at the Center of Human Rights at UW.

Her journey as a social justice advocate began in an organization called “Guagua”, which advocates for  human rights and supports victims of the political and social conflict in Colombia. She also worked with grassroot organizations to support youth from poor families that were at high risk of, or had already dropped out of, school, and youth that were part of gangs and vulnerable to being hired as hitmen. She is a member of Mecha de UW, a student-led organization that works actively within our Latinx and indigenous communities to promote higher education, leadership, and cultural empowerment.

Ardo Hersi

Ardo Hersi (R-Doe Her-See) is a 21 year old Somali American organizer, journalist  and activist. She’s a first generation college student at Seattle Central and plans to transfer to university and to study human rights, law and African studies. She’s a youth organizer with YUIR and EPIC, did work with KUOW’s Radioactive and is currently working with East African Community Services. She’s a lover of learning, food and music, but her passion lies with in serving her community.

Cheyenne Brashear

Rainier Scholar and Pitzer-bound high school senior Cheyenne Brashear is a youth mediator and circle keeper, working to implement the philosophy of restorative practices into spaces dedicated to healing from individual and systemic trauma.

She aims to redefine the role of a facilitator with the objective of creating a norm of empathy, understanding, and effective communication. Outside of her organizing work, she is a creative at her core; constantly writing and creating pieces that breathe life into the struggle.

Gabriella (Gabby) Ibanez-Dacruz

Gabby Ibanez-Dacruz is a self-identifying multiracial (Portuguese, Filipina, American) womxn who comes from an immigrant family.

Through her education at the UW Bothell and life experiences living in the PNW, she has dedicated herself to organizing communities around racial, gender, immigrant, and worker rights. Last summer Gabby embarked on Seattle2Selma, a civil rights pilgrimage to experience our country’s racial history and reflect upon its continued institutionalized racism. During this past election season, she fought for hotel worker’s rights. She is devoted to hearing different stories and learning storytelling in order to change the narrative of our country.

Jorge Cuellar

Jorge Cuellar is a queer undocumented Mexican immigrant. They have been part of and collaborated with organizations seeking to dismantle systems of oppression.

Jorge has been an active member of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztan (MEChA), a student led chicanx grassroots organization, which sparked the activist within them. As part of their advocacy agenda, Jorge deemed necessary to hold a space for queer people of color and founded a new student organization, Viva la Joteria (VJ). VJ will be hosting its first annual conference which will provide spaces for healing, education, empowerment and growth. As a non-DACA eligible undocumented student, Jorge has been advocating and demanding resources for ALL undocumented people.

Larissa Reza Garcia

Larissa Reza Garcia is from Cuidad Juarez, Mexico. She graduated from Chief Sealth International High School, and went on to earn her degree from the University of Washington, Seattle.

Larissa currently serves as a College and Career Access Specialist at Tyee Educational Complex.  Larissa’s speciality is working with underrepresented immigrant youth and families as a bridge to connect them to opportunities within the education and reengagement system.  Larissa has a passion for decolonizing education through the power of young people and is committed to immigration rights, and helping other undocumented students obtain the resources necessary to achieve higher education.

2017 Imagine Us! Awards: Call for Nominations

Walmart Black Friday Picket

Nominate a young leader or group committed to justice and equity today!

On April 13, 2017, 21 Progress hosts our second annual Imagine Us! Celebrating Bold and Visionary Leadership, a multicultural award ceremony and dinner dedicated to awarding emerging everyday leaders between the ages of 15-25.  Imagine Us! showcases and honors young individuals and/or a group who are committed to equity and justice in the Seattle and Puget Sound region, and are empowering their communities in bold and innovative ways. We need your help recognizing these young leaders!

Review the criteria below and nominate a leader or group HERE!

By celebrating these Imagine Us! award recipients, we hope to change the conversation on how we define leadership and recognize the hundreds of young people committed to equity and justice.


All nominations must be submitted by Sunday, March 5th, at 11:59 PM. The online nomination requires you as a nominator to provide your contact information and relationship to the the person or group you are nominating, and provide us the nominee’s email and/or phone number.  We also ask for a 250 word explanation about why you believe the nominee meets the following criteria:

Criteria for consideration:

  1. AGE: The nominee must be between the ages of 15-25 years old. If nominating a group, most members should be between these ages.
  2. LITTLE or NO POSITION OR TITLE:  We are looking for emerging “everyday” leaders, those who do not necessarily have a position or title, or typical resources, yet demonstrate great acts of leadership and courage in order to achieve equity and justice for others.
  3. ACT(S) of LEADERSHIP: An identifiable act or group of acts that demonstrate extraordinary boldness and commitment to equity and justice in the areas of:
    • Racial/social equity, such as Black Lives Matter
    • Economic justice, such as workers’ rights, reform movements, policy advocacy
    • Immigrant justice, such as immigration reform, DACA support, social awareness
    • Movement Building, such as working against income inequality with a gender lens
  4. IMPACT: Definable and visible benefits for the community as a result of this act or group of acts of leadership.


After your nomination is submitted, the Selection Committee will invite the finalists to an interview with the selection committee between March 14 and March 24.  From these interviews, we will select 4-5 winners of the 2017 Imagine Us! Awards from the community. Below is a rough timeline of the process from beginning to end:

    • Nominations Deadline – March 5, 2017 @ 11:59 PM
    • Nomination Review – March 6 – March 13, 2017
    • Nominee Interviews – March 14 – March 24, 2017
    • Awardees will be notified by April 3, 2017

All award winners and a guest are invited to the leadership award ceremony on April 13.

(4) Bold Leadership Awards (3 – individual awards, 1- group award)

This award honors a leader or group who is deeply committed to justice and equity and has become a catalyst for change in the community.

(1) Maeda Leadership Award

One of the Bold Leadership Award winners will be awarded the Maeda Leadership Award, in honor of Sharon Maeda, the first executive director of 21 Progress and a social justice activist for almost 40 years. The winner of this award will receive a gift of $500 to support the leader’s goals.

Thank you for your participation and help as we celebrate our young leaders.  Please contact with any questions or concerns.

Community engagement
Community engagement

21 Progress Receives Emerging Human Rights Group Award

{21 Progress Staff}

On December 8th, 21 Progress received the Seattle Human Rights Commission Emerging Human Rights Group award.

In 2011, 21 Progress was founded on the idea that we must unite and develop diverse leaders to end inequality and build thriving communities. We believe that the working class, youth, and diverse folks from all racial, cultural, and gender identities not only are vital for transformative community change, but that transformation can only occur if these leaders are leading the work. Right now, leadership is broken and our work seeks to reclaim, redefine, and imagine leadership as boldly working together for justice.

Our flagship program, Build Your Dream, is the largest provider of financial assistance to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) eligible youth and leadership development for undocumented youth and young adults in Washington State. Build Your Dream has reached over 5,000 undocumented folks to pursue college, careers, and advocate for migrant rights at all levels, from their own communities to Washington, D.C.

Our community education collaborates with 50 community based organizations, 20 high schools and colleges to deliver leadership curriculum focused on economic justice, human rights, and social change to more than 2,500 students in classrooms. Through digital media campaigns and ethnic media that have reached over 3 million people, and a 5-state social justice pilgrimage through the deep south, we aim to inspire a generation to believe in the power of their voice and to challenge inequality in schools and in the community. Year round, we provide training to 140+ emerging and established leaders to create social change campaigns rooted in imagination, relationship, and purpose.

21 Progress was founded by UFCW 21, a 45,000 member private sector union who continues to be a core partner in our shared work for economic and social justice today. We are truly grateful for the formative partnership of Northwest Immigrants Rights Project, International Examiner, the Fair Work Center, and the Satterberg Foundation. Most importantly, we are deeply in gratitude to our elders, fierce advocates and allies, and a young community of diverse young leaders who allow us to walk alongside them in the pursuit of joy and justice every day. This honor is a challenge to serve more deeply, and we will. 

Featured image courtesy of Seattle Human Rights Commission Twitter – @humanrights206

Attention Students: We Are Looking for a Work Study Intern!

Are you a work study eligible student?
Are you interested in developing programs for youth of color?
Are you passionate about social justice and equity for all?

If yes, apply for a 21 Progress work study position today.

{21 Progress Volunteers}

About 21 Progress:

21 Progress seeks to foster the talented leadership of youth of color in our community while providing living wage jobs. Through popular education, civic engagement and arts & culture, 21 Progress assists emerging leaders – especially young adults and immigrants – to claim their place in building a more just society and reaching their dream. Be apart of our young diverse team of passionate activist and change leaders today.

21 Progress takes a progressive stance in an effort to dismantle traditionally harmful non-profit practices. We aim to give all of our interns a collaborative experience that they find valuable, and provide opportunities for education, not just service.

Learn more about 21 Progress or meet our staff here.

Intern Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Work directly with the Director of Programs to strengthen current programs and develop new ones
  • Think critically to conceptualize and implement project plans
  • Work with a team to actively build exciting and innovative programs
  • Facilitate, organize, and run workshops and related programs
  • Support administrative and logistical needs
  • Research available programs and resources to build knowledge and understanding
  • Support 21 Progress staff as needed

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Eligible for work study
  • Has experience or is passionate about serving diverse communities and multi-cultural liberation
  • Interested in social justice, enjoys learning about, building deep consciousness, and engaging in conversations around contemporary social justice issues
  • Able to take direction quickly and effectively; works well with minimal instruction, can execute on the go, and meets deadlines
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Proficient in Office Suite: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.

Educational Benefits:

  • Gain hands on experience and contribute to the progressive social justice movement
  • Gain project management and collaboration experience and with activist, students, and community organizers
  • Work and learn directly from passionate young professionals who are committed to your development
  • Meet other passionate, young volunteers and professionals
  • Monthly potlucks, lunch and learns, and other leadership development opportunities

Compensation: $12-$13/hour

Application Deadline: Monday November 28th, 2016

How to Apply: Submit your resume & cover letter to Marissa Vichayapai (



What are the benefits of DACA?

Here’s how DACA is improving the lives of young immigrants, according to this 2015 nationwide survey conducted by the Center for American Progress, the National Immigration Law Center, and Tom K. Wong of the University of California, San Diego.

  • The average hourly wage increase after receiving DACA was 45% (from $11.92 to $17.29)
  • 57% increased their family’s earning power
  • 69% of recipients obtained a better paying job
  • 89% were able to get a driver’s license or state ID
  • 21% bought their first car
  • 92% of recipients who are students “pursued educational opportunities they previously could not”

Source: The Center for American Progress, “Results from a Nationwide Survey of DACA Recipients Illustrate the Program’s Impact”

Other benefits reported by the Center for American Progress include less fear of taking part in daily activities, an increase in civic participation, better access to healthcare and the ability to help both documented and undocumented family members.

In brief, DACA recipients have experienced significant economic and educational mobility since its implementation in 2012.

Read more:

State-by-State Analysis of the Economic Impact of DACA

The Top Ten Benefits of being DACA-mented

3 Years In, It’s Increasingly Clear that DACA Benefits All of Us

What are the primary benefits of a DACA loan?

  • The loan allows the applicant to overcome one of the biggest hurdles to accessing DACA: paying the $465 application fee. According to Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, this is one of the number one reasons eligible immigrants say they delay their applications.
  • The loan recipient receives the loan from a credit union, which gives them access to mainstream financial services and establishes a line of credit.
  • DACA loans from accredited institutions keep desperate applicants from borrowing from predatory lenders and potentially deepening their financial difficulties.

Read more:

GCIR: Expanding Financial Access for Immigrants

Overcoming Barriers to Applying for DACA: Loan Programs for Potential Applicants

DACA Loans for Low-Income Applicants

Young Leaders Rise Up: TXT 4 JUSTICE

Seth_MayDay-3The Problem

Mikaela is sixteen years old and she works at a well known Seattle mall for her first summer job. She was unaware that the minimum wage is currently $10.50 an hour instead of the $7.25 national average that she is getting paid. She deserves to know — and we want to help. Unfortunately, every single day wage theft among young workers occurs. According to the Economy Policy Institute, in three major cities the combined wage theft was nearly $3 billion dollars for low income jobs.

The Solution

Our economic justice project this summer is Young Leaders Rise Up TXT-4-JUSTICE. Seattle has passed some of the best laws for workers: wage theft protection, ban the box, paid sick leave, but laws don’t work if we don’t know about them.

This campaign is an easy friendly text messaging program that informs young workers, ages 16 to 24, of their rights at work. We want young folks to have access to the laws that impact them, their families and community. I believe access is power.

You can find our team at Southcenter Mall, Capitol Hill, Seattle University, University of Washington, Seattle Street Food Fair, and Seattle Center and your next community event. We are on a mission to meet young folks where they live, work, and play. We are at 200 young leaders who know and your support will get us at 500 young folks served by Young Leaders Rise Up.




We encourage you to sign up for our Young Leaders Rise Up by texting                                               “GO” to (206) 900 – 9569

International Examiner is Hiring Newspaper Distributors!

The International Examiner is seeking young people who are interested and able to help distribute our community newspaper twice a month!

This is an awesome opportunity for young folks who are invested in the community to develop more connections. We would love to share this opportunity to people who are involved in the community or looking to get more involved!

The International Examiner is a nonprofit paper that has been serving Seattle’s Asian-Pacific Islander community since 1974. The print issue of the paper comes out on first and third Wednesdays and they need your help to get the news out into the community!

newspaperWhat are the benefits?

  • These delivery positions are PAID (routes range from $20-$70) and contract-based.
  • It’s a great opportunity for high school and college students (or recent graduates) looking to supplement their income without committing to regular part-time work.
  • Distribution can be physically demanding, but it’s also an excellent workout every other week!

Time Commitment:

  • 3 months or more


  • Valid work permits are required but they contract with DACAmented young folks as well!
  • Access to a car for the South End and West Seattle routes.

Contact Lexi Potter either by email at or by phone at 206.972.5125!

New Community Outreach Volunteer Position with FAIR!

21 Progress is seeking a Community Outreach Volunteer for FAIR!

Are you interested in getting experience in community building and organizing? Do you want to make a difference within your community?

Are you fluent in or have strong conversation ability in: Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Tongan, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Tagalog, or Vietnamese?IMG_2163_i0uuhf

FAIR! Advocates at the ACT Conference with former Governor
Gary Locke and Aiko Schaefer.

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, help 21 Progress promote it’s FAIR! Fearless Asians for Immigration Reform Program within your own community!

The ideal Community Outreach Volunteer would be interested in community organizing work and be available to help table at events and feel confident speaking to strangers about our programs and services. If this sounds like you,  check out more information here!

unspecifiedSome of our amazing volunteers being activist and marching in the 2016 May Day Parade
for Immigrant and Workers Rights!

Perks and Impact:

  • Be on a team of young advocates who are working to make a difference in their community!
  • Gain skills around community building and organizing, as well as, communication.
  • Get hands on experience
  • Provide crucial help in connecting undocumented non-English speakers to much-needed social support services

Learn more here and apply now!

Note: A required four hour training and orientation will take place June 9th from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM. Please apply soon and RSVP to the event. 

For questions or comments or to RSVP, please email JoLee at