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Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez of GetEQUAL leaving to become deputy at United We Dream Network

GetEQUAL co-director Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, featured in my front-page article June 6 about undocumented young people, is leaving that organization to become deputy managing director of United We Dream Network (UWD).

Sousa-Rodriguez, 28, was born Felipe Sousa-Matos in Brazil and grew up in Miami as a gay undocumented youth.

Here’s the joint news release from GetEQUAL and UWD:

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Board of Directors of GetEQUAL and the United We Dream Network (UWD) jointly announced today that Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez is resigning his position as Co-Director at GetEQUAL to become Deputy Managing Director at UWD. He will assume his new position at UWD on July 8th.

GetEQUAL Board Chair Tanya Domi said, "We're so proud of the work that Felipe has accomplished at GetEQUAL over the past two years, first as national field director and then as co-director. While we're extraordinarily sad to see him go, we’re thrilled that our friends at UWD will benefit from his wisdom, courage, and deep commitment to an intersectional struggle for justice."

GetEQUAL Co-Director Heather Cronk said, "Over the past four years, UWD and GetEQUAL have developed a rich relationship that has enabled both organizations to deepen our commitments to an intersectional movement for justice. During that time, we have been thrilled to organize alongside one another, take bold policy stands alongside one another, and even get arrested in acts of civil disobedience alongside one another. Today that relationship will become even richer, and we wish Felipe all the best as he transitions next month to work with the amazing team at UWD."

UWD Managing Director Cristina Jimenez said, "Though Felipe is not officially joining UWD until July 8, his vision for fierce and effective advocacy has long benefited the immigrant youth movement. Felipe was part of the groundbreaking Trail of Dreams in 2010 when he walked alongside three other immigrant youth from Miami to Washington, DC, to highlight the plight of immigrant communities and the need to stop the deportations of immigrant youth. They laid the groundwork for the most significant victory in the immigrant rights movement since 1986 -- the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). He was a founding member of United We Dream’s National Coordinating Committee where he represented the Southeast region, and has continued to demonstrate a commitment to justice that inspires those fighting at the front lines of both immigrant rights and LGBTQ issues. United We Dream is thrilled to welcome Felipe to our team and looks forward to continuing to fight for equality and dignity alongside our friends at GetEQUAL."

The GetEQUAL board is engaged in a process to determine the best future leadership model for the organization. The Board of Directors strongly supports the exceptional work of Ms. Cronk, the GetEQUAL staff, and GetEQUAL’s community of grassroots organizers across the United States. GetEQUAL remains committed to its mission of empowering bold action to demand full legal and social equality for LGBTQ individuals, and to hold accountable those who stand in the way.

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