Last week, Young Women United was named as a former employer of Riley Del Rey. Ms. Del Rey has stated she was wrongly terminated from an internship with the National Hispanic Caucus Institute on the basis of gender identity discrimination, with the knowledge of New Mexico Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham. As a 501c3 organization, we abide by non-partisan guidelines and are prohibited from engaging in any attempts to influence candidate or partisan elections. While Ms. Del Rey was employed with Young Women United in the Summer of 2015, we are not at liberty to discuss internal personnel matters related to her employment.
In light of this unfolding situation, Young Women United has been asked to show up in solidarity with our trans communities. To our trans communities in New Mexico and across the country, we see you. We acknowledge real systems change is needed to address disparities in access to employment and workplace and gender discrimination.
Young Women United is an organization that leads with love- we try our best to call each other in, we mourn the hurts our communities have faced over generations, and we celebrate our families’ strength and resilience across injustices. We carry these values in leading policy change, research, place-based organizing, and culture shift strategies alongside people most impacted by some of New Mexico’s greatest challenges. As a reproductive justice organization working at the intersections of people’s identities, we lead efforts to uplift our LGBTQ communities across a range of issues including: centering the lived experiences and expertise of LGBTQ women and people within juvenile justice and adult criminal justice systems, de-stigmatizing mental health needs alongside LGBTQ youth of color, ensuring LGBTQ people have a full range of birthing options and pregnancy care, and improving the access LGBTQ people have to reproductive healthcare overall.
We appreciate our long-standing working relationship with Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, who in her current role continues to show up for our queer and trans New Mexican communities in real and concrete ways. We trust and look to Michelle Lujan Grisham and other congressional leaders to be in generative dialogue about how we can and must do better for trans communities in New Mexico and across the country. We will continue in our work and do what we can to find healing for our communities in the best ways we know how.