For Immediate Release
Aug. 13, 2019
Contact: Jeff Parcher, [email protected]
Community Change Action Announces Lorella Praeli As Its Next President
The Dreamer, movement leader and political strategist is the first Latina to co-lead the 51-year-old organization
Washington, D.C. – The Community Change and Community Change Action Boards of Directors and Community Change President Dorian Warren are thrilled to announce that Lorella Praeli will be the new President of Community Change Action and Vice President of Community Change.
Praeli’s appointment as the first woman and the first woman of color to co-lead the organization in its 51-year history, following last year’s appointment of Dorian Warren as president of Community Change, reinforces the organization’s commitment to build Black, brown and immigrant power.
Praeli has been fighting for justice for immigrants and people of color for more than a decade. She is a dedicated movement builder, a policy expert and advocate, and a seasoned political strategist.
“There are no shortcuts to building power and winning transformative policy change for all people. At a time when our country’s progress, ideals, and democracy are being threatened at the highest levels of government, I believe that only organized people can carry our country forward and challenge the gross inequality of power in the United States. I am humbled and honored to take on the necessary work to rebuild and expand our democracy for all low income people–especially people of color–to make the promise of America real,” Praeli said.
With Praeli’s leadership, our organizations gain a powerful advocate at this extraordinary moment of threat to immigrants and communities of color in this country.
“Lorella is the right person at the right time for this role,” says Dorian Warren, president of Community Change and vice-president of Community Change Action. “From her lived experience as an undocumented immigrant fighting to expand access to higher education in Connecticut, to her longtime work as a policy advocate and political strategist fighting for immigrant justice in DC, to her efforts to ensure Latinx voters are heard at the ballot box, Lorella has long demonstrated her vision and leadership, and we could not be more excited to welcome her to the Community Change family.
“Who she is as a movement leader, is what is most exciting about Lorella,” he says. “She inspires us and I can’t wait to begin this new chapter for the organization and movement.”
Lorella Praeli Bio
Praeli moved to the U.S. from Peru when she was ten years old. Growing up with one leg launched her activism to combat bullying when she was in high school. While in college, she came out as “undocumented and unafraid” and co-founded Connecticut Students for a Dream, notching an early and significant victory around in-state tuition for undocumented students.
She joined United We Dream as the National Director of Policy and Advocacy, where she was part of the team and coalition that won DACA and DAPA from the Obama administration, and led the advocacy campaign for a successful implementation of the former.
As we enter the most consequential election in a generation, she joins a team determined to change the political math in this country. She brings her experience as the National Latino Vote Director for the Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign, where she developed and directed a national Latino vote strategy that won almost 80 percent of the Latino vote nationwide.
Most recently, Praeli directed the national immigration program at the American Civil Liberties Union, serving as the Deputy National Political Director and Director of Immigration Policy & Campaigns. In this role, she defended the rights of immigrants and refugees at the state and federal levels and built power to develop, reaffirm, and vastly expand pro-immigrant measures in states and localities of resistance.
Praise for Lorella Praeli
“Lorella brings deep strategic know-how, working at all levels to push and win policy changes for people of color and cultivating high-level relationships with elected officials, national allies, donors, celebrities and stakeholders,” said Community Change board chair Arlene Holt Baker. “Her political sophistication and judgement will make her a valued member of the Community Change team.”
“Lorella possesses all the qualities we were looking for to add to our leadership team,” says Community Change Action board chair Lisa García Bedolla. “I’m extraordinarily impressed by her savvy, focus, and strategic insight. Her innovative vision of how Community Change can lead at the intersection of immigrants’ rights, economic justice, and racial justice is especially exciting.”
“Lorella shares our deepest progressive values and vision that in order to achieve the bold changes we want for our communities we must build power with and for those most deeply impacted,” says Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, representing Washington’s 7th Congressional District, who began her own career as a movement leader and community organizer. “We need more of the passion and smarts that Lorella brings from her lived experiences for the critical work ahead of movement-building and advancing justice.”
Praeli will formally be introduced at our Community Change Champions event on September 19 in Washington, DC, when we will honor visionary leaders and celebrate our accomplishments. The event will be an opportunity to focus on the future as Praeli steps into her new role.
Community Change/Action are national organizations that build the power of low-income people, especially people of color, to fight for a society where everyone can thrive.