Lauren (Jicarilla Apache, San Carlos Apache, Diné, Pueblo of Laguna) has been an Office Intern with New Mexico Community Capital Organization since August of 2020. They are a two-spirited, gender infinite person working and living in occupied Tiwa Territory(Albuquerque, NM).
Lauren has over 15 years of lived-experience working with and organizing for Indigenous communities across the nation. Their foundation for organizing and community building comes from their work on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation, where they helped the Jicarilla Apache – Department of Youth organize and facilitate community events for local reservation youth and their families. Lauren then moved onto working with the Jicarilla Apache Nation’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, a federally funded program that helps young adults 16-24 who face barriers to education, training, and employment.
During the past few years, Lauren has been diving deeper into different roles within the social equity and environmental justice spaces, gaining lived-experience along the way so they can continue to help their local Indigenous communities prosper across the Southwest region. They helped to co-found the International Indigenous Youth Council, an Indigenous youth-led non-profit organization that focuses on empowering Indigenous youth in the United States and Canada. They are also the Environmental Justice Organizer with the Pueblo Action Alliance, a femme-led Pueblo non-profit organization based in Albuquerque, NM. Besides their work with these non-profit organizations, Lauren is also a certified apprenticing electrician, a renewable energy installer, a BIA wildland firefighter(FFT2), a conservation worker with faller-B chainsaw experience, a practicing Diné silversmith artist, a graphic designer(social media and website design), an Indigenous food sovereignty worker/farmer, and a mentor for gender-fluid/two-spirit Indigenous youth in her communities.
Their inspiration to propel Indigenous people into the future comes from the continued success, leadership, and guidance of their matriarchs from the Indigenous Southwest.”