We wouldn’t be able to do this work without organizational scaffolding and structure, and that’s where our amazing operations team, KAITLIN RUIZ (Director of Operations & Development) and LAUREN BOLLINGER (HR Coordinator), come in.
They handle everything from coordinating fundraising, to making sure our org events are accessible (and have the best snacks!), to hiring, to supporting our ongoing political education, including organizing staff workshops around Language and Disability Justice, combating anti-Blackness in our communities and organizing spaces, and more. They also ensure our team’s wellness and sustainability is well cared for, including organizing healing justice events for our team, like body healing, and creating memorable team bonding experiences. We are so grateful for the heart-centeredness that they lead with!
As we head into 2023, our ops team continues to put in place structures and rituals that help us actualize our collectivist intersectional feminist values and restorative culture. They’re building rituals around restorative practices, and organizational leadership development models that spread leadership amongst each of our powerful organizers. Their intentionality makes real the ongoing practice of embodying our antiracist, abolitionist politics.
AND, we’ve built SO much
capacity together. We’ve:
Tripled our staff since 2020,
Raised $300k in C4 funds, and
Raised $1.66 million in C3 funds…
All of which are critical components to La Defensa’s success.
Cookies and kudos to our beloved Ops team, who keep us running like clockwork.
A special thanks to Language Justice mentors + translation and interpretation teams: Jen Eleana Hofer (Channel, Transmit, Repeat
), and Kevin De La Rosa (Pro Bono ASL
); our Disability Justice guides at LA Spoonie Collective
, and everyone else who has helped us on our journey to making our work more accessible to all Angelenos.