For the first Heritage Month assembly of the school year, BB&N welcomed Celina Barrios-Millner, the current co-vice president of the Office of Race and Equity Research at the Urban Institute. Barrios-Millner spoke to students about her journey from Venezuela to fighting for equity in the U.S. through policy and protest.
Stemming from her childhood experiences of exclusion as an immigrant living in Ohio, Barrios-Millner dedicated her career to aiding those neglected in American policies. Starting with human rights work in Guatemala, she developed a desire to ingrain herself in the communities she serves, eventually leading her to join a Latinx political organization based in Boston. From there, she successfully registered local Latinx communities to vote and helped candidates run for office to affect policy from the inside.
Her notable poll wins included Felix Arroyo, the first Latino City Councilor in Boston, and Deval Patrick, the first Black governor of Massachusetts. She eventually joined Patrick’s administration to help local BIPOC businesses secure licenses. Barrios-Millner even volunteered in former President Obama’s campaign, eventually working with the administration on DACA and immigration reform.
In her remarks to the students, she emphasized that there is still work to be done advancing equity in the U.S., but she will continue her work because she loves the people and the country and believes that the best is still yet to come.