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MANA de Albuquerque Member Appointed to NM Racial Justice Commission

Updated: Oct 25, 2020

We are pleased to share that Elisa Sanchez has been appointed to the NM Racial Justice Commission, an advisory group tasked with counseling the administration and monitoring state institutions, holding them accountable for taking action to end systemic racism and ensure that all persons receive fair and equal treatment and opportunities.  Ms Sanchez will serve on the Education Subcommittee.  

Elisa has been a life-long activista beginning at her Mother's side at the age of eight in the now famous Empire Zinc Strike in Hanover, New Mexico. The strike is dramatized in the movie, Salt of the Earth.

ELISA founded and was the Director of the Southern New Mexico ENLACE Collaborative at New Mexico State University, focusing on engaging Latino communities for education. She is the former President and CEO of MANA, A National Latina Organization and a long time member of MANA de Albuquerque. She worked for several years in the NEA Civil Rights Division.  She was named by the New Mexico Legislative Education Study Committee to sit on the LESC Ad Hoc Committee for Educational Reform in 2002/3 and the Ad Hoc Committee for School Governance in 2003/4.  She was also a member and past Chair of the Hispanic Faculty and Staff Caucus at NMSU.

As MANA National President she sat on the boards of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, the National Committee for Pay Equity and was an active member of the National Council of Women's Organizations.  In 1998 she was appointed by Vice President Gore to the National Women's Business Council, was a delegate to the National Summit on Retirement Savings authorized by Savings Are Vital to Everyone's Retirement Act (SAVER) of 1997, The White House Conference on Social Security and the Presidential Rank Awards Panel.   While at MANA she worked with the board to create a strategic vision for the organization, nationalizing the Hermanitas Program and developing a national leadership program for Latina Activists.

Ms. Sanchez served on several national boards including the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Alan Guttmacher Institute,  both in New York City, the Women's Campaign Fund, ETR Associates in Santa Cruz, CA and the Latino Issues Forum in San Francisco. She is a co-founder of the Women's Intercultural Network based in San Francisco with Networks in 30 countries.  She was active with the San Diego World Affairs Council and Sister Cities Council. In 1980 Sanchez was the National Coordinator for Hispanic Affairs for the John C. Anderson Presidential Campaign.

Elisa has been recognized nationally over the years by the Hispanic Business Magazine named her one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the U.S., the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Gala, where she was awarded the Medallion of Excellence for her activism on women’s issues,  Western New Mexico University Outstanding Distinguished Alumna and National Center for Women's Policy Studies honored her as a WISE Woman.

Sanchez has a B.A. and an M.A. from Western New Mexico University and an M.P.A. from Baruch College, City University of New York earned through the National Urban Fellows program.  She is a graduate of the Gallup Leadership Institute in Lincoln, Nebraska, the Texaco Management Institute in Houston, Texas and LEAD San Diego.

Sanchez took care of her mother, something she particularly treasured, until her death in December of 2009.  Sanchez is now retired, residing in Las Cruces, NM.

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