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Podcast: Luis Avila on finding your role in the movement

  • Luis Avila

"I believe when oppression becomes clear in our communities, we stand up and we fight back. And the question is, what is my role? Do I become a coach? Do I become a supporter? Do I show up? Am I a general? Am I a soldier? What is my role in these moments when people are standing up for their rights? And that is the constant question we should be asking ourselves."

— Luis Avila

Luis Avila, senior vice president of 270 Strategies and former national program director at Stand for Children, ignited our hearts and minds in his conversation on the intersection of organizing, policy, and advocacy with Jason Llorenz at The Leaders’ Table.

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Luis says:

  • "Organizers are fire-starters. We go to a place and we feel a sense of urgency; we raise the consciousness of a person, and then we identify people who have leadership potential so they can actually mobilize and engage other people to take action …”
  • "You can see lightning as something beautiful and powerful but something that you can't call on. THAT’s mobilization, those are things that are unexpected, like crossing a bridge with thousands of families to take an action on behalf of choice, or it could be a Black Lives Matter mobilization. But those are not always sustained actions, they are moments that produce sparks of electricity."
  • "But then there are these other moments when actually you can build a grid, build a system that channels that electricity. The way that I look at that system is that you actually develop the leadership, the wiring, that allows you to connect to a light bulb or to a set of light bulbs that is the community, the community action. The power of this type of organizing is that you have a switch — that you can turn it on and off."

Download the podcast to hear more about how to spark leadership in yourself and others, and how keeping creative space in your day will help your work. (Preview: Luis uses his calendar to keep himself creative, happy and grateful!) #LeadersTablePodcast

Up next
Jada Monica Drew, lead consultant and owner of Social Designs Consulting, on why diversity isn’t a dirty word and how to create equity with a social justice lens.

Need to catch up on the #LeadersTablePodcast?
Check out Episode 1 with Ryan SmithEpisode 2 with Nina Rees, Episode 3 with Aixle Aman, and subscribe for upcoming episodes on your favorite podcast feed (iTunesStitcherSoundcloud).

Find your next role
Ready to start your career in advocacy or organizing? Check out the Job Board for roles at organizations looking to hire LEE members like you.

Apply to attend the NOW
Interested in learning more about applying the tools of organizing to your work? Apply to attend the National Organizing Workshop.

Questions? Contact Jason Llorenz at leaderstable@educationalequity.org.