Erika Almirón is a working class woman and the daughter of South American immigrants. She has spent over 20 years organizing workers, students, women, immigrants and the poor to fight for their human rights.
Erika is the oldest of four siblings. Growing up, her parents, who immigrated from Paraguay, owned a small business and were domestic workers. Erika first became an organizer while working as a waitress in college. One day, management tried to withhold pay from Erika and her co-workers. After Erika organized the entire staff to walkout, the management paid.
After college, Erika worked at Planned Parenthood as a counselor and translator, helping women access healthcare. Erika went on to work at the American Friends Service Committee, where she played a vital role in supporting women organizing in the factories at the US/Mexico border.
As Assistant Director of the Philadelphia Student Union, Erika supported Philadelphia public school students in their efforts to secure adequate school funding from the state, improve school climate and push back against the criminalization of young people. Erika also served as a mentor to students, many of whom she mentors to this day.
Erika most recently served as the Executive Director of Juntos. Her work focused on a commitment to redefining what a successful sanctuary city looks like, challenging harmful and unfair ICE policies and practices and eliminating the over policing of migrants and people of color. Erika’s leadership resulted in Philadelphia ending its cooperation with ICE, making Philadelphia a national model for Sanctuary Cities.
Both locally and nationally, Erika has pushed the Immigrant Rights Movement to build coalitions with all people unjustly affected by the criminal justice system, primarily black and brown people, the LGBTQIA community and poor folks.