Michele has been an organizer for over 15 years, with a focus on leadership development with undocumented youth. She worked with the founding team of the Student Immigrant Movement in Massachusetts, the first undocumented student led organization in the state and with the founding team of the United We Dream network. She worked with Professor Marshall Ganz at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University teaching community organizing and leadership practice. Michele currently works at Arizona State University Entrepreneurship + Innovation, where she focuses on entrepreneurship as a vehicle for economic empowerment.
Luis Avila was an advisor with 270 Strategies. Most recently he was the national program director at Stand for Children, a nonprofit grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to improving public school education, where he worked with immigrant parents to mobilize thousands of voters to protect funding for their children's schools. While at Stand, he was awarded its National Leadership Award for his work supporting, coaching, and developing organizers around the country.
Born in Culiacan Sinaloa, Mexico, Luis founded a youth publication in Queretaro at the age of 16 to give students a chance to voice their opinions on social and political issues. His passion for giving others a voice eventually brought him to the United States, where he has spent the better part of his career working to improve the quality of life for people in his community by expanding access to quality education.
Luis has worked as a writer, director, and actor in both theater and film, and hosted radio shows in Phoenix, AZ including the Spanish-language Sin Mordaza on 1190 AM and the bilingual youth show El Break on 95.1 FM. He enjoys volunteering at his local library in his free time and can be found on the weekends exploring his new neighborhood in Phoenix.