North Carolina Organizer
Prior to joining UFE, Fernando served as the first National Field Organizer for the Dignity in Schools Campaign, where he supported coalition members throughout the country to build a movement led by the students and parents most impacted by pushout and criminalization in schools. Most recently, Fernando served as an adult ally and supported the formation process of the National Youth Alliance for Boys and Men of Color. Born in El Salvador, Fernando started his organizing career in the late 80’s organizing youth groups in churches during that country's civil war. After moving to the United States, he continued his fight for social justice with community-based organizations. He served as the first organizer for the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA), which fought back against anti-immigrant laws. In New Jersey, he started the Paterson Chapter of the Statewide Education Organizing Committee (SEOC), where he organized parents to win the construction of two new schools for the city of Paterson and for the return of Music and Arts programs to the classrooms. In addition, Fernando currently serves in the Advisory Board for the Community Justice Network for Youth, a national network dedicated to developing and nurturing real solutions to replace the “cradle to prison pipeline” created by zero-tolerance policies in schools.