Meet The Team: Olga Trujillo, J.D.
Thursday, September 15th, 2016
Olga Trujillo is the Public Policy Director for the National Latin@ Network. She leads and coordinates key public policy efforts, provides program direction and oversight to public policy initiatives, and develops and ensures the implementation of a national Latin@ public policy agenda that engages a variety of individual/institutional stakeholders from across the country.
Where are you from?
I was born in Washington, DC where I spent most of my life. Ten years ago I moved to Minnesota and then to Wisconsin, where I now live with my partner and our three dogs.
Where do you feel most at home?
I feel most at home in two very different environments – 1. Among Latinas, where the energy and the language transport me to a warm comforting place; and 2. Out in nature where I am reminded how much beauty there is in the world.
What inspires you, professionally and personally?
I am inspired by the possibility of making things better for others in the world. For the past 20 years or so my inspiration has come from turning the violence I experienced in my home into helping other survivors of trauma and changing the way communities respond to domestic and sexual violence.
In terms of your work for the National Latin@ Network, what are your areas of expertise or what areas are particularly interesting to you?
I’m interested in changing some of the profound unfairness in how Latina immigrants are treated in the U.S., from language access to immigration laws to how our public institutions can enhance their responses to immigrant communities.
Share one thing you have learned, big or small, doing your work over the past year?
I have learned how to talk constructively about the racism we experience in communities of color.
Who inspires you?
Doña Ester (Rodriquez) – she was my neighbor when I was 3 years old. She showed me the power of kindness and I try to follow her example each day. I’m not always successful. But I try.
What do you do to relax, de-stress or recharge your batteries?
I hang out with my partner and our 3 dogs on our small farm in Wisconsin.
Why have you chosen to do this kind of work?
I feel like it’s chosen me. I grew up in a very abusive home and I survived because of the kindness of many in my life. I’ve learned a lot about the impact that violence had on my life and it feels important to help others understand what I’ve learned and to try to make change to end violence.
What is your favorite food?
I love, love, love Cuban food. It reminds me of my mom’s Caribbean cooking.
What is your favorite book?
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.