“When communities are acknowledged, people are willing to go the extra mile. My own personal experience has taught me how to remove barriers for others from backgrounds like mine.”
Laura Isiordia is so well known for her leadership role in issues affecting Spanish-speaking communities, she is often referred to as the “mother of movement” for farmworker justice in Oregon.
As the Foundation’s statewide field coordinator serving rural bilingual and bicultural communities, she brings energy and hope to people who are too often under-represented. “This work isn’t about me,” Laura says, “It’s about what I can leverage from my own experience to help others.” In her role, Laura visits with residents, communities and leaders to understand their struggles and context and implements the Community Building Approach. Her work is informed by a deep commitment to equity and social justice, which she developed through the various leadership roles she has held throughout her career.
Born and raised in Mexico, Laura moved to the Mid-Willamette Valley with her family in 1985, and attended school while employed as a farmworker. In 1994, she was recruited to work as a lay health promotora (community health worker), where she led extensive outreach efforts in migrant and farmworker labor camps. In 1999, Laura began working with the Farmworker Housing Development Corporation as the social service director and later as the community leadership director. She served as executive director of Capaces Leadership Institute from 2011 until she joined the Foundation in 2017. She currently serves as a member of the Woodburn School Board.
Laura has also served as a Spanish instructor to foster/adoptive parents through the Department of Human Services and has been involved with several research studies in the Latino farmworker community. She is published in the Journal of Biosocial Science.
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