Alisson Anguiano Salas, a double major in English and Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, has proven to be an exceptional student leader, an advocate for BIPOC students, and a champion for civic engagement. She has worked tirelessly to educate and encourage her fellow students to become informed voters. In addition, Alisson serves as president of the student organization, Latinos Unidos, using her role to help Latinx students feel safe and heard. As a founding member of the Student Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council, Alisson has helped to open and maintain lines of communication between students, campus administrators and faculty. Her insight and steadfast focus on mitigating the barriers to success for her fellow students is admirable. Her commitment also extends to the local community where Alisson developed the Racine for Racial Equity and Environmental Justice group to engage community members in understanding and addressing environmental issues that affect them. Alisson’s passion for social, racial and environmental justice, and her efforts to address these issues both on a systemic and personal level, make her an ideal candidate for the Newman Civic Fellowship.
As an immigrant Latina woman, I am highly aware of the small differences people like me deal with in this country in comparison to others. I observe disapproving glances when my mother speaks Spanish in public and to the surprised expressions when I speak English without an accent. These differences have become clearer so I began to find ways to highlight them to others and to attempt to correct them if possible. That was how I became involved in organizations that were dedicated to uplifting the Latinx community. These organizations on my college campus and in my community have allowed me to focus on the disparities Latinx folks manage, from health, education, and/or wealth etc. On my college campus, we hold a diverse student body, but there is still more we can be doing to support each individual group. Due to my personal experiences and seeing other folks like myself struggle in this country, I decided to focus on college students like myself by developing a scholarship dedicated to them. My new role as a Newman Civic Fellow gives me hope that I can continue developing strategies that will aid my community and allow us to flourish.