Irene Rocha Rivera is an education policy advocate and organizer at the ACLU of Southern California, and is based out of the Los Angeles office.
Irene focuses on community engagement, advocacy, policy research and litigation support for the statewide education team to ensure that the public education system provides quality education to all students.
Prior to joining the ACLU in 2017, Irene was Youth Organizing Director with InnerCity Struggle (ICS), a community-based organization in the Eastside of Los Angeles dedicated to promoting social and economic justice for youth and families with a focus on educational justice. As a youth organizer at ICS, Irene mobilized student leaders to advocate for the passage of the School Climate Bill of Rights, the Equity is Justice Resolution and Wellness Centers Now! Resolution in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Irene also engaged new and infrequent voters in the community through canvassing for CA Propositions 30, 55, 56, and 57 and trained youth on “Get out the Vote” efforts in their communities.
Prior to ICS, Irene was part of Public Allies-Los Angeles (PALA), an AmeriCorps program dedicated to leadership development for young adults to create a just and equitable society. As an Ally, she collaborated with a diverse cohort of individuals who together, uplifted the voices of people of color, immigrants, LGBTQIA+, immigrants and those impacted by the criminal justice system. Through PALA, Irene was Program Assistant at CDTech, a community-based organization in South Central Los Angeles that empowers its residents to transform their neighborhoods and build economically viable opportunities.
Irene is a graduate of UCLA and the first in her family to attain an undergraduate degree. She is a native Spanish speaker and proud daughter of immigrant parents who is committed to working for educational equity and basic human rights for all people.