Art Reyes

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I grew up a Mexican kid from the trailer park with a fierce belief in the American Dream and voracious pride in my state. Michigan was a place that embodied the essence of the American promise: opportunity. My great-grandparents had been migrant farm workers that settled in Flint, Michigan for auto jobs, and my family had been working in those factories ever since. Here, I was taught if you worked hard and played by the rules, you had a fightingchance at a better life, no matter where you came from. Balancing this belief with the harsh realities I was seeing in my hometown— closing factories, rising unemployment and increasing poverty— inspired me to work to ensure that we hold ourselves accountable for the promises we make as a society.

I developed a hunger to explore ways to help my community and my state. As Deputy Director and Interim Director of Michigan Voice, I helped build a diverse coalition of organizing, advocacy and community based organizations to strengthen civic engagement and organizing capacity across the state. I also served as a Commissioner on the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan, where I worked to advocate for the Latino community.

During my time organizing in Michigan, I enrolled in the distance learning course with Marshall Ganz in order to deepen my skills as an organizer. I helped organize an organizing workshop for 80 organizers across the state in the Ganz organizing framework, aiding the launch of the Michigan Organizing Collaborative.

I recently graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School with a Masters in Public Policy, where I helped teach the Organizing: People, Power and Change course with Marshall Ganz for the past 2 years. I currently serve as an organizing trainer, strategist, and coach working with organizing groups across the country.

 

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