18 Million Rising is thrilled to announce Irma Shauf-Bajar (he/she/siya) as our Interim Executive Director. Irma is a Filipino queer grassroots community organizer, movement educator and trainer dedicated to building people power and resiliency in communities and movements toward liberation. With 15 years of grassroots community organizing work, Irma has worked to advance political organizing and power in immigrant, economic, racial justice, LGBTQ+, gender and social justice movements. A tireless advocate for coalition building, Irma has been at the forefront of building effective multi-racial and multi-sector coalitions on local, national, and international scales.

Outgoing Executive Director, Cayden Mak, says “I feel like it goes without saying that 18MR is in capable hands. Managing Director Irma Shauf-Bajar will take over as Interim Director for the time being. Laura, Bianca, Turner, sumi, and Charlene are the best team anyone could ask for to do this work – their commitment to the work is only exceeded by their commitment to caring for one another, a commitment to doing the work that is not just about doing a job, but about a life lived for justice. I’m proud of them and I am really excited to see where they go from here.”

Irma has over 20 years of experience as a leader, manager, and mentor in the non-for-profit sector. She brings consulting experience working with nonprofits, grassroots and social change organizations assisting them with strategic planning, leadership development, organizational change, facilitation/training, coaching and mediation services, all of which is rooted in a liberation-centered approach.

Irma is also the current National Chairperson of GABRIELA USA, an overseas chapter of GABRIELA Philippines working to advance the struggle of women in the overall movement for national liberation and genuine democracy in the Philippines.