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✨ Holy night! Is it Friday already?!

Congratulations, fam -- you’ve managed to keep track of your mittens & sunglasses this entire trip, as we traversed the cherished recollections of our past year. Now there’s one last stop - as we hang out for the day with our Operations and Media & Communications teams.

If you missed any of our lovely landings, you can catch up on the whole piece as a single, continuous adventure on our website.

We wouldn’t get far without them at the helm -
Supporting our team is their magical realm:
From workshops, to eating, to sweet salutations
We present our dear teammates who run 
Operations

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.
 

We are the meme-sters, the makers of graphics, 

We send you the Roundup, and run all the adverts.

We work with reporters, who uplift our team,

Political education is our ongoing theme!
 

Let’s wrap up this wondrous holiday journey
with an update from the elves over in

 
Media & Comms

Our job here in comms is to uplift the vision and demands of our abolitionist ecosystem, and to make sure the world understands the transformative work we’re collectively doing. On the job of sparkling up our websites and graphics, you may know JESS ESTES (Digital Media Specialist). She is the wizard behind our social media posts and the weekly Roundup. Jess’ handmade illustration skills and ability to break down complex info into simple poli-ed graphics helps make our campaign work accessible and engaging – we appreciate her!

Our campaigns also require narrative shift work as a key element that softens the ground for policy change and electoral victories. That’s where LAURA COHOLAN (Communications Manager) plugs in, to ensure that journalists are covering our campaigns, and uplifting antiracist, abolitionist, and feminist perspectives.

A huge thank you to our communications organizing partner and White People 4 Black Lives comrade BRITTNEY POLLOCK for their amazing work as La Defensa’s election-year 2022 digital field organizer. This campaign season, they brought brilliant skills supporting the La Defensa media team with graphics and community outreach. We are so grateful for your partnership and contributions Brittney, and wish you luck as you continue on your path as a radical, antiracist educator!

Communications efforts to shift power all come together when digital media and messaging are married so the communities we hail from – and are fighting alongside – mobilize around shared goals for lasting structural change. We will keep storytelling for abolition in 2023 – can’t wait to partner together on that.  

 


 

Well, there it is, folks. We did it. 

We grabbed 2022 by the boughs and whipped it into shape like that cream on your champurrado. We’re already looking forward to revealing and realizing the big visions we hold for the coming year. As always, stay tuned to the Roundup for our latest news, and follow us on social media.

We appreciate all you have done to show up for La Defensa, our team, and our work. If you’re still in the giving spirit, please make sure you DONATE to help keep us going. 


Happy Holidays & Happy 2023,
with love and gratitude,
The La Defensa team.

 
💖 Donate to La Defensa 💖
The La Defensa team is taking a winter sabbatical for restoration and reflection from December 16, 2022 through January 17, 2023, during which time our offices are closed. We can’t wait to keep building together upon our return! 
 
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