Hi Friends and Beautiful Community!

We are thrilled to announce that our beloved team member Irma Shauf-Bajar is 18 Million Rising’s new Executive Director!

Irma joined 18MR in May 2020 as our Managing Director and has not only nurtured our leaderful and vibrant culture, she has also built up our planning and management capacity. When Irma took on the Interim Executive Director role in April 2021, our organization was facing uphill challenges and immense crises. Our team, and members like you, were dealing with the rise of racist violence, navigating the impacts of the pandemic, climate disaster, and white supremacy. Our small team was mentally and emotionally drained and that deeply affected our ability to organize effectively and create meaningful change. Irma reminded us that in order to sustain our fight for justice, we must care for each other and prioritize the health and wellbeing of our team.

During this transitional period Irma has exemplified her ability to articulate 18MR’s vision and purpose. She built new relationships and partnerships founded on trust, and has been committed to incorporating the team’s health and wellness into our organizational priorities. She intentionally creates an inspiring and affirming work environment that focuses on building collective resilience, healing, and transformation. With over 15 years of grassroots community organizing work and 20+ years of leadership in the nonprofit sector, Irma has dedicated her life to advancing political organizing and power in immigrant, economic, racial justice, LGBTQ+, gender and social justice movements. We appreciate her contagious energy and methods of leadership grounded in her spirit of internationalism.

Irma has led the team in uniting on our new 18MR Values and Principles and is excited to revamp our Theory of Change and unite the team on our strategic program for the next 5 years as we continue to build power in our Asian American movement.

Join us as we celebrate 18MR’s 10 Year Anniversary this year and in welcoming Irma to her role as Executive Director!

“As a queer Pilipino child of immigrant parents, I know what is at stake and what it means to lead 18MR at this time of anti-Asian violence in our communities, the rise of fascism, and need for large scale organizing. I am honored to take on this task to lead this national digital organization with a commitment to caring for ourselves and our communities, cultivating life affirming joy, dismantling supremist systems, and focusing on building powerful communities towards genuine liberation and change. Thank you to my incredible team, advisory board members, grassroots partners, friends and members of our ecosystem, comrades and community supporters, and 18MR’s past leaders and staff from the last 10 years who have contributed to my leadership and the building of our collective. Here’s to the next 10 years!”

– Irma Shauf-Bajar, Executive Director