Mayra Hidalgo Salazar Joins Leadership at LGBTQ Task Force
The National LGBTQ Task Force has named Mayra Hidalgo Salazar (she/her/ella) as its new Deputy Executive Director, effective June 1. Hidalgo Salazar will join recently appointed Executive Director Kierra Johnson (she/they) as part of a new and growing leadership team.
For the past 13 years, Hidalgo Salazar has been organizing for immigrant justice, as one of the catalysts and founders of the immigrant youth movement. Her appointment as Deputy Executive Director is a direct reflection of her tenacity and experience in organizing, fundraising and mobilizing communities who experience marginalization to demand respect and dignity. Hidalgo Salazar fills the Deputy Executive Director position that Johnson vacated when she became Executive Director in early 2021.
“The political moment does not just call for a robust organizing strategy that speaks to the mass activation of movement across the country, but for a vision rooted in collective care.”
Mayra Hidalgo Salazar, National LGBTQ Task Force
The Task Force has long been a beacon for justice and equality for all LGBTQ+ people. Hidalgo Salazar brings extensive experience in organizational management, strategy, and direction that will be an invaluable asset to The Task Force’s mission in building power in the LGBTQ+ community.
“I am overjoyed to stand on the shoulders of the giants, elders in our movement who started the National LGBTQ Task Force over 40 years ago,” said Hidalgo Salazar. “The seeds that the Task Force has planted in training and developing LGBTQ+ leaders for nearly 5 decades are in full bloom. And, we are in an era where global uprisings demand justice and stronger democracies from Pulse to Minneapolis to Georgia to El Paso. As we see the convergence of police militarization, state sanctioned violence, widespread voter suppression, an ongoing global pandemic, and nearly half a million deportations under the current Presidential administration, we are at a crucial impasse that will define who we will be for generations to come. Trans, Queer, Black, Brown, and Indigenous people are the vanguards of social change and imagining new futures where we can thrive. The political moment does not just call for a robust organizing strategy that speaks to the mass activation of movement across the country, but for a vision rooted in collective care, where the wellness, joy, and pleasure of LGBTQ+ youth is a certainty and where our people are celebrated, not criminalized for their sexuality or gender.”
Hidalgo Salazar is a highly respected and passionate organizer, advocate, and activist. Originally from Costa Rica, her journey began as a teenager in Florida organizing undocumented youth, where she served as Campaign Manager for the “Trail of Dreams” a 1,500 mile walk from Miami to D.C. for immigrant rights at the age of 17. Brave and commanding at an extremely young age, she then went on to serve as a Youth Organizer and Board Member at the Florida Immigrant Coalition, organizing immigrant youth both in Florida and across the Deep South.
At 19, Hidalgo Salazar joined the Board of Directors at United We Dream (UWD), and subsequently co-founded United We Dream Action (UWDA), where she served as UWDA Board President. She most recently served as the Development Director at United We Dream, where she mobilized millions for the 2020 elections and to defend DACA in the courts. She leaves United We Dream after over 12 years of leadership in the organization. Hidalgo Salazar’s work has always been rooted in the realities of living as a queer, undocumented person. She has lived and worked at the intersections of identities and movements and it is this experience and an exceptional track record of success that is both inspiring and aligned with The Task Force’s long history of grassroots activism. Her time at United We Dream has been transformative to the organization and we know she will serve the Task Force well in this time as we deepen our commitment and work in promoting equity, justice and liberation for the LGBTQ community.
Kierra Johnson, Executive Director (she/they): “I could not be more excited to lead The Task Force with Mayra as Deputy Director. It is a thrilling and historic time for us. The LGBTQ community is not (nor has it ever been) a monolith. The fact is that we are a diverse, complex, ever-changing and growing community that has shifting needs and desires. To meet those needs, the Task Force is committed to being visionary, nimble, responsive to and reflective of our community. Mayra is inspirational and a fighter. She has a big heart but tolerates nothing less than the best work on behalf of our communities. She is committed to resisting xenophobia, white supremacy and economic and racial injustice and she is also deeply committed to celebration, joy and camaraderie. Together with the diverse and committed staff of the Task Force, I know the work ahead will be inspiring, impactful and uncompromising.”
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