Maria Fornella-Oehninger began her work with Virginia Organizing two and a half years ago after the atmosphere for immigrants in Virginia Beach became hostile. She currently serves on the Immigration Reform and Dismantling Racism issue team of the South Hampton Roads Chapter and organized a Dismantling Racism workshop last year.
Maria is an adjunct professor of political science at Old Dominion University and has found that her passion lies with getting youth involved in grassroots advocacy. “I found out that with youth, you have to take the fight to them, but when you do, you find they are passionate and enthusiastic and are hungry for participation,” Maria said.
In addition to her work on the issue team, Maria also participated in the White House briefing for Virginia Organizing leaders. She brought several youth with her to engage in politics on a broader level and those youth became involved in Virginia Organizing as well. Maria loves that Virginia Organizing offers an opportunity for grassroots-level engagement in the political process.
Thanks for your service, Maria!