Latinx @ UVA

Latinx @ UVA

Political Latinxs United for Movement and Action in Society

PLUMAS strives to provide a safe space for community members to vocalize and discuss issues focusing Latinxs both on and off Grounds. PLUMAS works to foster civic engagement and awareness of social and political issues through education, advocacy, and direct action.

Mission:

​PLUMAS engages the Latinx community, its supporters at UVa, and the surrounding area by providing a safe, proactive space for students to vocalize and discuss substantive social justice issues affecting the Latinx community both on Grounds, the Greater Charlottesville Community, and the United States and Latin America.

 


Our Website: Website

Founding year:

Spring 2017 

Founders:

Paola Sanchez Valdez

Natalie Romero

Creation:

PLUMAS was started because of an observed need for awareness about political issues affecting Latinx people. Founding members wanted to provide a platform for politically inclined Latinx students to take action and mobilize to better Latinx issues both in the community and the nation. Members envisioned Latinx people radically coming together to meaningfully affect change for the Latinx community.

Paola Sanchez Valdez, the co-founder of the UVA chapter, had friends at Virginia Commonwealth University who were involved with PLUMAS at VCU, so Paola approached Natalie Romero, the co-founder of the UVA chapter, with the concept of founding a chapter of PLUMAS at UVA. Paola wanted to make sure to leave PLUMAS with someone who knew would work hard to keeping the mission of PLUMAS alive, and Natalie fit that role. Together, Paola and Natalie worked to achieve CIO status and recruit membership.

When PLUMAS was starting out, the group of people the founders did outreach to already had an interest in activism and bringing awareness to Latinx issues. During the first information session, PLUMAS had a whole room filled, so it was easy to mobilize members.

Structure:

PLUMAS is a non-hierarchical organization. Even though there is a president, all executive board members have the autonomy to make decisions and learn the skills needed to be a well-rounded leader.

PLUMAS events are structured in such a way that each executive board is assigned to a month. The executive board member assigned to a month is required to plan and delegate tasks for the events of that month. Some events may include the monthly open mic night and radical kitchen. The general body is welcome to come to any executive board meetings, and they assist in event planning, hosting, and execution.

Efforts:

  • Southwood Outreach
    • PLUMAS helped babysit for families to be able to participate in community organizing meetings without having to find or pay babysitters
  • PLUMAS partnered with the Charlottesville-area Immigrant Resource and Advocacy Coalition  
    • created a CVILLE Immigrant Bond Fund, which launched Friday, October 19th, 2018
  • PLUMAS' Radical Kitchen
    • PLUMAS raised funds for the organization, speakers, & causes by selling delicious and authentic Latin American food
  • PLUMAS Open Mics
    • PLUMAS has hosted an open mic at the end of each month to allow our community to destress & let out artistic flows
  • PLUMAS has hosted speakers, such as Neesa Medina who is an activist from Honduras that discussed forced migration and how women are impacted by US intervention in Latin America, in order to bring awareness to issues in the US that are not typically discussed
  • PLUMAS was influential in making Hoos for DREAMers, direct-action in support of DACA recipients and their families, a reality along with DREAMers on Grounds

Information collected through an interview with Paola Sanchez Valdez (C/O 2018) and Natalie Romero (C/O 2020)