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10 Years of Latinx Student Power at NBOP's Academia del Pueblo

Photos by Lina Blanco / North Bay Organizing Project

Join us in congratulating our 2023 Academia del Pueblo cohort – our largest to date!

This year, 40 Latinx and Indigenous students gathered for our two-week youth leadership training Academia del Pueblo organized by NBOP's Latinx Student Congress.

Student leaders engaged in day-long workshops on restorative justice, personal transformation toward social liberation, embodiments of cultural wellness, Indigenous plant medicine, and healing modalities for creating communities of care in our schools.

NBOP's youth organizer, Manny Morales, led youth through Academia del Pueblo’s four Nahui Ollin principles that guide our curriculum and collective action:

🔸 Tezcatlipoca: Self-Reflection

🔸 Quetzalcoatl: Precious and Beautiful Knowledge

🔸 Huitzilopochtli: The Will To Act

🔸 Xipe Totec: Transformation

NBOP’s Latinx Student Congress was established in 2013 in the immediate aftermath of the shooting of Andy Lopez by a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy. We recognized the need for a network for collaboration and mobilization led by disciplined youth so that the voices of marginalized youth are taken seriously.

For ten years, the Latinx Student Congress has acted as a convener of student organizing and leadership development, engaging in issues and actions addressing the social, political, environmental, and economic disparities identified by Sonoma County's MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan) clubs at the middle, high school and college levels.

This program is possible through grassroots donations from you. Please consider making a gift to our Latinx Student Congress – no amount is too small. Donate at

Read reflections from students about their experience at Academia del Pueblo below.


“Latinx Student Congress has taught me to become more of a leader and stand up for what is right. I’ve grown more confident in myself and my skills, and being able to connect with people. It’s great to be surrounded by people who want to see the difference be made, and who are supporting the youth.”

– Ricarda Suarez (she/ella)

Formerly Roseland University Prep MEChA

UC Berkeley freshman/sophomore

“My time at Academia del Pueblo has been wonderful. The things we’ve shared have helped me grow as a person to center myself, my friends, center my community, and my family. Leadership has taught me that if no one else is rising up, to rise up, and give everyone else the power to also be leaders.”

– Cruz Garcia (he/él)

Windsor High School MEChA

“I really liked being with Academia del Pueblo, and I’m really happy to be a part of this community. We [learned] about the healing of plants ... as a descendant of the Purépecha tribe of Michoacán, México, it’s really meaningful that we were able to incorporate that into this program. Last year I received a scholarship to attend Pomona College for an admissions conference, but that scholarship only covered my flight, so I was able to use the stipend that I got from Academia del Pueblo to be able to pay for my hotel and the ride to get me there.”

– Bertha Saucedo (she/ella)

Roseland University Prep MECHA

What do you hope to learn at Academia del Pueblo?

Here is what the students had to say:

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