Date: May 19, 2015

Isabel Alegria recently joined our team as Director of Communication. She brings experience as a broadcast journalist, and more recently as a communications manager with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). As you will read, Isabel also brings with her a love of music, dance and fine food.

Welcome to Public Advocates Isabel!

Q: Why did you decide to join Public Advocates?

Before coming to Public Advocates, I was working for the ACLU on a short-term project focused on national immigration issues and the effort to win comprehensive immigration reform. When that project ended, and I saw that the position of Director of Communication was open at Public Advocates, I jumped at the chance to join the team at Public Advocates. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work alongside colleagues who fight so passionately for equity in education, housing, transportation and other issues affecting our quality of life in California. I was born and raised in California, so what happens here as well as how we influence the rest of the country means a lot to me.

Q: What do you find satisfying about your field?

What I love about my work is the challenge it poses. I’m challenged to figure out how use communications tools to tell the powerful social justice stories I hear each day at work. Communications is just a vehicle to inform, inspire and educate – it all depends on the hard work of advocates, litigators and their partners in the community who fight each day to make positive social change.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside work?

I love to spend time with friends and family — especially in some of California’s lovely places, like Lake Tahoe, the northern coastline and the beaches in Southern California. I also love Latin music and dance – good for the heart and soul! Oh, and did I mention food? You can’t live in Berkeley and not have our foodie culture grow on you!

Q: Do you have a favorite quote?

There’s a quote I put up on the wall after Nelson Mandela passed away. Mr. Mandela talked about courage, and what he learned about its relation to fear. He said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid but he who conquers that fear.”

I like that quote because our fears are both large and small, and the advice he gives about how to relate to our fears, no matter where they come from is very wise.

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