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.
Karla moved to the Kansas City Metro in 2017 and joined the AIRR board in 2018. As part of the AIRR board, she chaired the fundraising committee where she worked with colleagues to set policies and procedures and identify a fundraising goal for the following year. She also worked on the Safe and Welcoming campaign and conducted immigration 101 presentations with other members of the board. She also serves as an executive board member for MORE2.
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.
Yazmin Bruno-Valdez Community Organizer
Yazmin Bruno-Valdez is an immigrant from Tijuana, Mexico and migrated to the United States at the tender age of 3 years old. She has recently been granted DACA status but lived undocumented for nearly 18 years. Yazmin is the oldest of four children and is a first generation college student as well as a long time resident of Wyandotte County in Kansas. She has advocated for equal access to education for undocumented students as well as resources for undocumented families since her junior year in high school because of her own struggles with navigating life undocumented. Despite not qualifying for several scholarships or FASFA she graduated from Donnelly College with her associates this past May and is continuing on her education at Rockhurst University, where she will study Political Science and Non-Profit Management. She aspires to one day be an immigration lawyer and provide critical legal assitance to the undocumented communtiy in Wyandotte County. Yazmin understands the importance in advocating for her community as well as demanding justice and hopes to grow as an organizer with the AIRR internship as she recognizes there is still so much more to learn.
Rubi Perez Community Organizer
Rubi Perez Vazquez was born in Mexico City, Mexico and migrated to Kansas City, Missouri at the age of 9. She graduated from Van Horn High School in the Independence School District, and is now in her second year at Donnelly College. After attending Anytown KC in 2019, she recognized that there was a lack of education and representation of the undocumented community in her school district. Rubi started her organizing journey by leading presentations for staff on Personal Development days about “DACA-mented vs Undocumented” and “institutionalized racism in schools.” She continues exploring her passions in organizing, advocating for student and immigrant rights, and her culture through her engagement in her community. She shows this as Co-Founder and Co-President of a student-led organization called Students for Social Justice at Donnelly College, and through her small business, Rubi’s Raspados KC. Rubi’s ultimate goal is to someday open her own Ice cream shop and have it be a safe community space for all.