Make The Road New York
Key Topics: Immigration, Civic engagement, Civil rights, Education, Housing, Environmental justice, Economic justice, Grassroots organizing, Policy innovation
Bio: Javier H. Valdés is Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York (MRNY), the largest community based immigrant organization in New York State with over 14,000 members. Javier oversees MRNY’s work in the areas of civil rights, education, housing, environmental justice and immigration. He supervises MRNY’s youth program as well as its administrative and operations functions. Javier was critical in securing new policies that limit the local presence of federal immigration enforcement, improve the quality of affordable housing, expand translation and interpretation services at government offices, decrease biased policing and dramatically expand guaranteed paid sick days for low-wage workers. In 2013, President Barack Obama awarded Javier the White House Champions of Change Cesar Chavez award for his work to support immigrant communities.
Previously Javier was the Director of Advocacy at the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), where he helped lead successful campaigns to address poor housing conditions and improve translation services in New York City. Before that, he was the Program Officer for Latin America at the Synergos Institute where he worked extensively in the US-Mexico border region, Dominican Republic and Ecuador. He is the Vice-Chair of the Board for the Center for Popular Democracy, and sits on the boards of the Association of Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD) and Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM). He holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from New York University and has three sons.
Selected Speaking Experience
Javier was honored with the Cesar Chavez Champion of Change by President Obama and spoke at the White House about the need for comprehensive immigration reform.