Young Women of Color Making History: Isabel Coronado

By: Isabel Coronado, Policy Entrepreneur, Next100 

How are you making history? 

I am a policy entrepreneur at Next100 working on criminal justice reform, specifically on children of incarcerated parents and the indigenous incarceration crisis. I am passionate about these topics because I am an impacted person. My mom was incarcerated when I was seven years old, leaving me with the traumatic experience of having an incarcerated parent. I don’t have a unique story, there are 2.7 million children in the United States who are experiencing parental incarceration. I work to divert parents from going to prison and instead create alternatives so they can stay home with their kids who will ultimately benefit the most.  

Who is a woman of color who’s inspired you and why? 

The women of color who inspire me are the two first Native women in Congress: Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM 1st) and Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS 3rd). They have inspired me politically to recognize I matter and my vote matters. They inspired me to believe that Native women belong in congressional leadership roles. Coming from my tribal community in Oklahoma, I know Native women are an integral part of our community, and I can’t wait to see more of us in those spaces.  

In October 2019, Isabel Coronado served on a panel called Our Ground, Our Voices: Toward Economic Justice for Young Women of Color. Watch the full event and discussion here. What have you been up to since the Our Ground, Our Voices briefing on Capitol Hill? What did participating in the panel mean to you?

Participating in the briefing was a great platform to bring awareness to the issues I am fighting for on the federal level. Meeting Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA 7th) was a great connection as she is fighting to change our criminal justice system. She asked me to come back to participate in the unveiling of her People’s Justice Guarantee, a plan to make the criminal justice system a just and equitable system for the people. Additionally, I released an article on the systemic barriers children of incarcerated parents face. The follow up to the article with the solutions will be out this month. Lastly, a coalition I have been working with recently went to Capitol Hill to advocate for a parent alternative sentencing bill that would allow courts to divert parents from prison and keep them home with their children.  

Follow on both Instagram + Twitter: @Graduateisabel