NACRP Member Spotlight: Karla Juarez, Program Coordinator, Community Organizer Unconfined

August 30, 2023

Karla Juarez (she/her) is based on unseeded Acjachemen land in Santa Ana, California. She is an NACRP member and a Program Coordinator at Community Organizer Unconfined. Read her spotlight below!

What communities are you most accountable to? 
I am accountable to Santa Ana residents, mostly people of color, low income, undocumented, monolingual Spanish speaking hard working folks. I hold myself accountable to single mothers, women of color, undocumented folks and my ancestors who sacrificed too much for me to enjoy the fruit of their labor.

In a few sentences, what would you like to share about yourself and your journey/personal connection to community-driven planning?
I am Guatemalan, even though to some I may still look Mexican :). I journeyed with my single parent mother in the early 1980 into the United States and first discovered I was undocumented when at an early age faced racist bill 187 which dehumanized undocumented folks. Ever Since I have stood up for human rights and worked towards a world I would be proud to live in. What keeps me going is seeing folks empowered and resilient in taking their power back and naming their medicine. It reminds me we are sacred and the battle has already been won.

In a few sentences, can you share about a current community-based project you are working on? (What is your vision? What are some of your goals? How are you co-designing the community-driven planning process with community members?) 
My time has been invested in creating cooperatives (worker-owned business), community land trust (land owned, developed and managed by community), raising environmental consciousness and spreading knowledge about community driven planning. My goal is to equip my community with tools to be able to organize and defend themselves in hopes our people liberate themselves, take back control of their lives and community development. 

Lastly, in a few sentences, what does being part of the NACRP network/community mean to you? 
NACRP to me represents the fruition of many hopes and dreams from activists that came before me who paved the way for organizers like myself to find a hub of support and tools they wished they had to uplift our communities. NACRP is building the dream hub for facilitators whose mission is seeing their community liberated and empowered to lead future generations to thrive.

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