After announcing our new fellowship program, Movement Mujeres received over 245 applications. From these, 25 unstoppable young women were selected from across Texas to make up our inaugural class. Our fellows range in age from 21-35 and come from 14 different cities throughout the Lone Star State!

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Sanam Batool Anwar

Sanam is originally from Austin and now lives and works in Houston as an Environmental Scientist. She is a graduate of Wellesley College with a Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences and Cornell University with a Master's Degree in Environmental Engineering. As a scientist and political thinker, she plans to address the climate crisis through both science and policy reform in Texas and the US.

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Lillian Byas

Lillian Byas is a Community Service Specialist for Juvenile Probation where she creates curriculum on economic empowerment. She is an advisory board member for TCSA, CASA Advocate, speaker and mentor to youths. Currently, she is a master's candidate in Public Administration with a focus in Nonprofit Administration and Leadership at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Lillian is committed to advocating for improved programs and policies that help young people in Texas.

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Gabriela Castaneda

Gabriela is a former DACA recipient. She has worked with Border Network for Human Rights since 2004. Her story as an immigration activist in the United States has been featured in major news outlets.

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Jasmin Estrada

Born of an American father and Mexican mother, Jasmin Estrada was a first generation college student who went on to earn a masters and attain her LCSW. She now works as a clinical social worker with a non-profit hospital system. Through her personal experiences, extensive study, and professional career, Jasmin is passionate about American healthcare reform, especially as it intersects with immigration and the latinx experience in the US.

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Andrea Flores

Andrea was born and raised in Dallas, TX. She is a first-generation undergraduate student at Texas A&M University in College Station majoring in Agricultural Communications and Journalism. She is the first Latina to be Senior Class President in Texas A&M history and she plans to continue her education and pursue law school after her undergraduate degree, with hopes to become an immigration attorney.

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Mercedes Fulbright

Mercedes Fulbright is the Texas State Coordinator for Local Progress, a project of the Center for Popular Democracy. She is an experienced and respected voice on political strategy, racial justice advocacy, effective progressive leadership training, grassroots organizing, and public policy. Her life’s work builds at the intersections of electoral politics and social justice.

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Jessenia Garcia

Jessenia Garcia is a Houston native and proud daughter of Mexican and Salvadoran immigrants. She is a mental health counselor and current doctoral student at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Her research focus includes addressing educational inequities and supporting underrepresented students in higher education. Jessenia has organized and led several initiatives on college campuses including events for sexual assault and domestic violence awareness month and programs challenging mental health stigma.

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Melissa Garcia

Melissa Garcia serves as the Community Initiatives Coordinator at Break the Cycle, where she coordinates the organization's national training, technical assistance projects, social media platforms, and the national youth movement, Let’s Be Real. Melissa has led multiple programs to end gender-based violence at the state level in Texas, around the U.S. and internationally in Mexico. She obtained her B.A. in Psychology from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and has centered her work on amplifying the voices of young people and marginalized communities.

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Denise M. Hernández

Denise M. Hernández is a fifth-generation San Antonian Xicana who hails from the Westside and currently works for District 1 Councilman Roberto C. Treviño. She has been an activist for many years, and found community organization Maestranza in 2015 to engage Texans with education, history, and collaborative efforts for a better tomorrow. She spoke on the TEDx stage in 2016 about implicit biases and how they affect our communities, and was named a "Rising Star in Their 20's" by Her passions include community-building, writing, organizing, and dancing.

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Sadie Monique Hernandez 

Sadie Hernandez is a reproductive and immigrant justice organizer, writer, public speaker, and digital communications specialist born and raised in the border town of Brownsville, Texas. She has worked in elections and state policy around reproductive and immigrant rights in Texas since 2014. She was honored in TeenVogue’s first class of women 21 Under 21, named one of “Five Kickass Mexican American Women” by Bumble, and named a “Woman to Watch” in 2017. Her work has been highlighted in publications like Cosmopolitan, Yahoo, CNN, and Broadly. In her off time, Sadie is a comedian, dog mom, and artist. You can follow her on social media at @sadieeehdz.

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Biviana Hurtado

Biviana Hurtado's passion for public service has lead her to work in local government and nationally recognized educational nonprofits. She's a Dallas native and proud Tejana. Her commitment to advancing education equity, improving economic and housing conditions for communities of color in the city of Dallas is her long term goal. She earned a dual Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science and Psychology from the College of the Holy Cross.

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Belén Iñiguez 

Belén is a first generation college student at the University of Texas at Tyler studying Political Science/Spanish and Pre-Law. She is a native of Guadalajara, Jalisco and recently became a naturalized US Citizen. She aspires to help her community realize their political power and, through hard work, gain the representation they deserve within their civic lives.

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Marla Gloria Lopez

Marla López is the daughter of Mexican and Honduran immigrants who has spent most of her life in Brownsville. After moving away to Austin, she became increasingly involved in Texas and local Austin politics through the nonprofit organization called Jolt. After helping begin a Jolt chapter at UT, she became directly involved in elections by registering and speaking to high schoolers, university students, and the public itself on their voting power. Marla has since gone back to visit Brownsville to network with other civic engagement organizations, local government, and political activists with some hardship due to travel - yet she hopes that upon graduating she can return to the Valley and help empower her community that has struggled and taught her so much.

Cathryn McClellan

Cathryn McClellan is a community builder, storyteller and impact maker. She works as the Leadership Program Manager for the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Young Professionals Program, where she builds the next generation of business leaders by creating and executing high-quality professional development and personal growth opportunity for young professionals across the DFW metroplex. She is a member of the Dallas Fort Worth Urban League Young Professionals and a founding member of the Heritage Giving Fund, housed at the Dallas Women’s Foundation, she works to empower and educate communities of color of their economic, philanthropic and civic power to create change.

Mercedes G. Molina 

Mercedes Molina is a senior majoring in International Political Economy at the University of Texas at Dallas. Born in Dallas and raised in Euless, Mercedes is passionate about serving and learning more about the DFW community she calls home through organizations such as the League of United Latin American Citizens, Undergraduate Success Scholars, and Jolt. As a first generation student, she found particular interest in her work as a college/career coordinator in high schools through the GForce Mentoring Program. Currently working in Austin for the 86th Legislative Session, Mercedes is excited to utilize her own experiences as she works on higher and public education policy, among other important social issues, in the office of Representative Romero. Mercedes looks forward to pursuing a legal education this fall to better serve her community and be another strong example of all the things her nieces and nephews are capable of.

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Maria Oliveira

Maria Oliveira is a Latinx and formerly undocumented entrepreneur and activist living in Austin, Texas. She is the co-founder of Passport Vintage, a nationally recognized online and brick and mortar vintage shop and a co-founder of Laissez Fair, Austin's premier vintage market. Oliveira is a volunteer with Jolt and is a Steering Committee member of Our Revolution Texas.

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Edith Rahimian

Edith moved to Texas over thirteen years ago where she taught for 8 years, was an administrator for 4 years, and now works in the education nonprofit space. Her drive for ensuring educational equity for all students, despite family background and zip code, stems from her own personal journey. She is an Iranian immigrant and the first one in her family to graduate from college. Edith’s dedication goes beyond her current role as she is committed to ensuring that all students from all communities across Texas have access to great schools and educational programs.

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Saleeta Rajwani

Saleeta is a first-generation South Asian-American and first-generation college graduate with a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California. Drawing from her own personal experiences, she is driven to make systematic change for low-income families. She is also focused on empowering youth in her Shia Ismaili Muslim community to be proud of their identity and currently serves in multiple volunteer capacities within her community.

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Erika Ramirez

Erika received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Texas in Austin and her Master of Public Administration degree from the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University. She has served in various policy roles with state agencies and currently works in the nonprofit sector in policy and advocacy. Erika is committed to improving programs and policies that help our communities' most vulnerable populations in the state of Texas.

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Lauren Rangel 

Lauren earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science at Columbia University where she was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellow. Her undergraduate studies focused on interrogating the systemic causes of poverty and inequality of opportunity. Upon graduation, Lauren was a Senator Kirk Watson Campaign Academy Fellow and subsequently served as a Legislative Aide and Scheduler in the Texas House of Representatives during the 85th legislative session. Lauren is now a Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities Public Policy Fellow at Easterseals Central Texas where she specializes in policy research and advocacy to support early childhood development. Her experiences as a teenage mother inform her work, and she aspires to support other low-income families by advocating for policies that adopt a two-generation approach to addressing upward intergenerational mobility. Her three young children inspire her everyday to use her voice to create a more equitable society.

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Jasmine Robinson

Jasmine is the Executive Director/Founder of the grassroots 510c3 the "Collegiate Mom Coalition", speaker, community organizer and mentor to college mothers. Originally from Houston TX, Jasmine Robinson moved to Austin Texas with her 2 daughters Kenadie (10) and Kimora (8) after getting married to her college sweetheart, Tracey Robinson. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Architecture and received her Masters of Science in Community Development at Prairie View A&M University.

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Stephanie Villanueva 

Stephanie was born and raised in Houston, TX, in the East End area of the city, before moving to Cypress, TX with her family. She is a fourth-year, first-generation undergraduate student at The University of Texas at Austin majoring in Public Health. She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants, and proudly embraces her beautiful, Mexican culture every day.

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Dorothy Villarreal

Hailing from the border between the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and Tamaulipas, Dorothy Villarreal currently works at Paul Quinn College as an adjunct professor and Special Assistant to the Vice President. The daughter of immigrants and a product of her community, Dorothy strongly believes in the importance of public education and civic engagement to bring about positive change. A graduate of Harvard College and the University of Pennsylvania, Dorothy is excited to join in the great work happening in Texas pushing for a stronger representative democracy.

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Veronica Whitehead

Veronica Whitehead, originally from San Antonio, is a sexual and reproductive health educator and nonprofit professional in Dallas, TX. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and has a B.S. in Health from Texas A&M University and a Masters of Education from Texas State University. Veronica believes access to medically accurate, inclusive, trauma informed sexual and reproductive health education and healthcare is a basic human right of all people.

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Kwentoria A. Williams

Kwentoria A. Williams is a native of the Oak Cliff neighborhood in Dallas, Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Studies with an emphasis in Public Health and Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas as well as a Master of Healthcare Administration from Texas Woman's University. She is currently Press Secretary and Healthcare Liaison for Representative Al Green in Houston, Texas.