20 in their 20s

Angelica Razo wants to use her leadership skills to uplift the Latino community by ensuring that they participate fully in democracy. “We need to demand that our community be part of decisionmaking processes that impact us,” she says. “We are experts in our own experience; and, therefore, we should be at the forefront of creating policies, initiatives and practices that best fit the needs of our community.

The 26-year-old is deep into accomplishing her goal. Razo is the Texas state director of Mi Familia Vota, a nonprofit organization with the mission to build Latino political power through voter registration, voter engagement and leadership development. “My role is to create a state strategy that ultimately contributes to building Latino power and representation throughout Texas,” Razo explains. She focuses on fundraising, governmental relationships, establishing partners, media visibility and supporting team members as they implement strategies.

Her ambition is to rewrite the narrative of Latino voters. “As a community, we’ve been marked as the ‘sleeping giant,’ giving off the false assumption that our underrepresentation of civic participation can be boiled down to apathy and laziness,” Razo says. 

Razo is a prime example of her belief that people can develop into leaders. Born in Mercedes, Texas, she grew up in Bentonville, Arkansas, where her parents worked in the landscaping business. An introvert, she forced herself to join clubs in high school because she was determined to attend an elite university.

Her ambition is to rewrite the narrative of Latino voters. “As a community, we’ve been marked as the ‘sleeping giant,’ giving off the false assumption that our underrepresentation of civic participation can be boiled down to apathy and laziness,” Razo says.

At Rice, she was elected vice president for HACER (Hispanic Association for Cultural Enrichment at Rice) and led the annual cultural show to resounding success by including more diverse participation, such as Brazilian students and the Latino graduate student groups. She has come to find out that leaders are ordinary people. 

“We should empower each other to recognize this and take collective action,” she says. “My personal mantra is ‘Lift as you rise.’” 

Read more “20 in Their 20s” profiles here.

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