Bio: Marisa Franco

Marisa Franco was born in Guadalupe, Arizona, with family coming from Sonora, Mexico. She grew up identifying as a Chicana amongst a strong and rich Mexican/ Chicano community. She has a long history of organizing and being involved in activism. One of the first forms of speaking out against immigration policy was when she was in high school and she heard about proposition 187, a state-wide legislation that would have significantly cut off access to public services, including schools, for undocumented migrants. Growing up she continued to be vocal about injustices, and tried various types of approaches to social change, including service, advocacy, student activism, and feeling like she was hitting the ceiling. Then she took a trip to Cuba, where she appreciated the self-determination of people, with all its contradictions, but it inspired her to become an organizer. She has worked on a variety of social justice issues, including prison rights, rights of people who are homeless, welfare reform, gentrification and migrant rights.  When Arizona’s SB 1070 began being discussed, she went to her home state, Arizona, to organize for the first time there, and feels like she found her purpose. She is on the bus because she strongly believes that it is time to pose dilemmas that make us all uncomfortable in order to reach a place that addresses the problems facing the community. She says, “I want to be part of efforts to create space for the leadership of people affected by these different policies. It is the right thing, the right time.”


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