Karla Juarez has served as the Executive Director of AIRR since September of 2020. She was born in Chihuahua Mexico and raised in New Mexico. Karla Graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelors in political science and has a background in business management. Karla’s lived experience navigating the immigration process has given her the insight and courage to fight for immigrant justice alongside her community. Karla has been involved in multiple campaigns pushing for an immigration reform since she was 15 years old . Immigration is her life and passion, as she witnessed first hand the injustices the immigrant, undocumented community faces.
As Executive Director, Karla hopes to implement a grassroots fundraising strategy and continue to empower the immigrant community to be their own voices by creating leadership opportunities for the community and building a grassroots movement that is committed to immigrant justice.
Itzel Vargas- Valenzuela Program coordinator
Itzel Vargas-Valenzuela was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and migrated with her family to the United States in December 2003 at the age of 11. She grew up and went to school in Overland Park and graduated from Emporia State University in 2016 with a BFA in Painting and BS in Art in Pre-Art therapy.
After graduating high school, she had to navigate the world of higher education before DACA as the first immigrant college student in her family. The process showed her how little some institutions and school districts knew to help their undocumented students. Motivated by her fighting spirit, her passion to help people (especially those who are oppressed, underprivileged and underrepresented) and the events that were happening around her community, she became involved in grassroots community organizing around immigration issues.
Itzel hopes to bring her skills and knowledge in community organizing to AIRR to continue serving and advocating for the immigrant community in Kansas City.
Itzel lives in KCK with her husband, daughter, dog and three cats :)
Rubi Perez Vazquez Community Organizer
Rubi Perez Vazquez was born in Mexico City, and got to the US at the age of 7. She grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and knows the process firsthand of being a first generation, undocumented, latina seeking further education. It was through the process of reaching further education and asking questions that Rubi became aware of how systems impact everything in our daily lives. Her passion for her education then became more than just a degree. She hopes to continue to use her own experiences, and her education to continue the fight alongside her community.
Rubi is currently in her master's program in Social Justice and Community Organizing through Prescott College. She actually interned with us her freshman year of college and is now back with us as our community organizer!
Outside of school and work Rubi loves to rollerskate, and go into the woods to think and process. Rubi also owns Rubi’s Raspados KC, a small business that sells Mexican Raspados!