IGNITE Program Organizer
Audisey is a Program Organizer for IGNITE. She began as a student volunteer in the Safe Schools Now (SSN) Program in 2014 as a junior from North HS. She “fell in love” with the work to make schools safer for all students and faculty on and off campus. In 2015, she was accepted to the summer fellowship where she gained skills to be a better leader. Shortly after she had the opportunity to become an organizer for the SSN program in January of 2016 and has since then continued to fight securing education funding, organizing against the school to prison pipeline and continuing to build more leaders.
Organizing Hero: Saul Alinsky
Favorite Fortune Cookie Wisdom: Whatever your goal is in life, embrace it, visualize it and for it will be yours.
IGNITE Program Organizer
Ernesto Bracamontes is the Project Organizer for IGNITE, a student at Phoenix College and a member of the Arizona Army National Guard. He left behind a life of gangs and violence when he participated in Anytown and peer mediation while in high school. That transformation was the catalyst for the Safe Schools Now project, now transformed into IGNITE.
Organizing Hero: Bernard Lafayette
Favorite Fortune Cookie Wisdom: Play more Adele.
Joseph Larios grew up a poor Gay Latino kid from the wrong side of the tracks. He watched his mom organize the community to fight back against gangs and drugs that had taken over the neighborhood. Seeing ordinary people accomplish extraordinary things was a powerful lesson.
Joseph graduated from Arizona State University, where he fought alongside construction workers at the Arizona AFL-CIO and co-founded the AZ Worker Rights Center to give workers the tools to stand up to harassment and wage theft. He went on to help form Central Arizonans for a Sustainable Economy (CASE) that developed community programs and municipal policy. He has brought the community together to have a voice at the ballot box and make politicians pay attention to our neighborhoods, which did more than change who represented our community, it set a higher bar for community engagement in city governance and ensured a voice for underrepresented communities.
Organizing Hero: My mom.
Favorite Fortune Cookie Wisdom: Be the person your dog thinks you are.
Ken Chapman began organizing in early 2007 with the Obama campaign, where he managed field operations in six primaries and southeast Ohio in the general election. After returning to Arizona, he joined Organizing for America in order to advocate for health care reform and later became the Executive Director of the Maricopa County Democratic Party. At MCDP, he and his team began experimenting with blending components of different organizing methodologies and models in order to create neighborhood driven campaigns that brought new people into politics and developed new leadership.
Ken is passionate for training leaders that unite and empower communities for justice and self-determination.
Organizing Hero: Ella Baker
Favorite Fortune Cookie Wisdom: You have a promise to keep.
Viri's first-hand experience about the challenges undocumented residents, youth and women face in Arizona make her a strategic leader, and advocate, who brings a fresh approach to community organizing.
She has felt the hardships and fear of being undocumented and with the daily fear of family separation. In effort to begin to overcome the fear and break the barriers, Viri fought for her education, becoming the first person in her family to graduate from university.
At Grand Canyon University, she co-founded the Latino Student Union, their first multicultural organization, which provided scholarships, support and a network to Latino students. Viri also co-founded a successful team of students and community members (Team Awesome) who elected some of Arizona’s most progressive and active elected officials.
In her positions as Executive Director of CNL, Viri continues to fight for human rights and justice by developing new leaders to create systemic changes through policy shift at the local and national level.
Organizing Hero: Rosa Parks
Favorite Fortune Cookie Wisdom: I don’t eat the cookie