Last November, Diana Sanchez sat in a packed conference room at the Hudson Valley Community Coalition to join her neighbors in planning how they could resist deportations and keep local families together.
Diana, who came to the U.S. as a four-year-old with her family from Pueblo, Mexico, knew that it was critical to take action for the safety of herself, her family and their Hudson Valley community. She didn’t say much in the large group, but she did sign up to be part of one of the committees that formed that evening.
Over the course of 2017, Diana went on to become one of the co-founders of North Star Fund’s 2017 grantee Yonkers Sanctuary Movement (YSM), which has gone on to organize over 300 people in Yonkers to build a community of resistance to the intentional breakup of immigrant families.
Diana has filled buses with excited youth and families heading to actions in Washington, D.C., and helped build a local network of undocumented youth and allies ready to respond to ICE raids and detention. She has done this all while raising three young daughters and becoming a United We Dream organizing fellow supporting immigrant organizing in Syracuse, New York.
Diana’s leadership and the power of the organizing by Yonkers Sanctuary Movement have been recognized not only here by North Star Fund, but now also Elias Foundation.
Diana was just accepted into the Elias Foundation Grassroots Leadership Development Program, where she will become part of their mentorship program and receive a $15,000 award supporting her studies. Additionally, Yonkers Sanctuary Movement will receive a $15,000 grant for their increasing work to defend local immigrant communities.
Growing leaders and movements go hand in hand. North Star Fund is proud to have been YSM’s first foundation funder, and we are proud to join Elias Foundation in celebrating Diana’s leadership and the incredible base of new immigrant community power in the Hudson Valley that Yonkers Sanctuary Movement has developed.