Mayra Hidalgo Salaza named Deputy Executive Director of National LGBTQ Task Force

Mayra Hidalgo Salaza standing outside, wearing a red shirt with her arms crossed.
Mayra Hidalgo Salaza, photo by The National LGBTQ Task Force

Hidalgo Salazar is a passionate organizer and advocate

The National LGBTQ Task Force has named Mayra Hidalgo Salazar as their new Deputy Executive Director. Hidalgo Salazar will join recently appointed Executive Director Kierra Johnson as part of the leadership team.

For the past 13 years, Hidalgo Salazar has been organizing for immigrant justice as one of the catalysts and founders of the immigrant youth movement. Her appointment as Deputy Executive Director directly reflects her tenacity and experience in organizing, fundraising, and mobilizing communities who experience marginalization to demand respect and dignity. Hidalgo Salazar fills the Deputy Executive Director position that Johnson vacated when she became Executive Director in early 2021.

“I am overjoyed to stand on the shoulders of the giants, elders in our movement who started the National LGBTQ Task Force over 40 years ago,” said Hidalgo Salazar. “The seeds that the Task Force has planted in training and developing LGBTQ+ leaders for nearly 5 decades are in full bloom. And, we are in an era where global uprisings demand justice and stronger democracies from Pulse to Minneapolis to Georgia to El Paso. As we see the convergence of police militarization, state-sanctioned violence, widespread voter suppression, an ongoing global pandemic, and nearly half a million deportations under the current Presidential administration, we are at a crucial impasse that will define who we will be for generations to come.”

Hidalgo Salazar is a highly respected and passionate organizer, advocate, and activist. Originally from Costa Rica, her journey began as a teenager in Florida organizing undocumented youth, where she served as Campaign Manager for the “Trail of Dreams,” a 1,500-mile walk from Miami to D.C. for immigrant rights at the age of 17. Brave and commanding at an extremely young age, she then went on to serve as a Youth Organizer and Board Member at the Florida Immigrant Coalition, organizing immigrant youth both in Florida and across the Deep South.

At 19, Hidalgo Salazar joined the Board of Directors at United We Dream (UWD), and subsequently co-founded United We Dream Action (UWDA), where she served as UWDA Board President. She most recently served as the Development Director at UWD, where she mobilized millions for the 2020 elections and to defend DACA in the courts. She leaves United We Dream after over 12 years of leadership in the organization.

Hidalgo Salazar’s work has always been rooted in the realities of living as a queer, undocumented person. She has lived and worked at the intersections of identities and movements, and it is this experience and an exceptional track record of success that is both inspiring and aligned with The Task Force’s long history of grassroots activism. Her time at United We Dream has been transformative to the organization. The Task Force has faith that she will serve well in this time as The task Force  is committed to promoting equity, justice, and liberation for the LGBTQ community.

“Working with Mayra now for nearly a decade, I have witnessed first-hand her wholesome and community-rooted leadership as she nurtures leaders to flourish through a holistic vision that builds and paves the way for queer, trans young people of color to come into their power,” said Monserrat Padilla, National UndocuTrans Immigrant Advocate, Program Officer of Satterberg Foundation, and former Co-Director of the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network. “As she rises in her role as Deputy Executive Director for the National LGBTQ Task Force, she brings our collective medicine and a deep understanding of the rising New American Majority. I’m excited for our movements to be bound together as we are bound to win!”

The Task Force has long worked for justice and equality for all LGBTQ people. Hidalgo Salazar brings extensive experience in organizational management, strategy, and direction that will be an asset to The Task Force’s mission in building power in the LGBTQ community.

“I could not be more excited to lead The Task Force with Mayra as Deputy Director,” said Kierra Johnson, Executive Director. “It is a thrilling and historic time for us. The LGBTQ community is not (nor has it ever been) a monolith. The fact is that we are a diverse, complex, ever-changing, and growing community that has shifting needs and desires. To meet those needs, the Task Force is committed to being visionary, nimble, responsive to and reflective of our community.”

“Mayra is inspirational and a fighter,” said Johnson. “She has a big heart but tolerates nothing less than the best work on behalf of our communities. She is committed to resisting xenophobia, white supremacy, and economic and racial injustice and she is also deeply committed to celebration, joy, and camaraderie. Mayra is just what the movement doctor ordered! Together with the diverse and committed staff of the Task Force, I know the work ahead will be inspiring, impactful, and uncompromising.”

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