The Council is excited to introduce you to one of our newest staff members, Sandra Pardo. Sandra joined us in October as the Farmworker Advocacy Network Coalition Coordinator. Read more about Sandra:
Hi! I’m Sandra Pardo, and I’m beyond ecstatic to be joining the North Carolina Council of Churches and the North Carolina Farmworker Advocacy Network (FAN) as their Coalition Coordinator. I have navigated the majority, if not all, of my life with a deep dedication and pursuit of the equitable well-being and advocacy of immigration-affected populations (i.e., refugee-seeking, undocumented, asylum-seeking, and more). I dedicate myself to the continued work of social justice for various marginalized black, brown, and indigenous populations in policy, legislation, administration, access to resources, and the ability to live equitable lives. Being able to connect these principles and align them with FAN as well as the North Carolina Council of Churches in the fight for fair working and living conditions of the farmworker and poultry worker population, which in recent decades has grown to make up for a large fraction of the migrant population, is deeply meaningful to me and fuels me in my work with the Council!
I was the first in my family to complete my higher education and graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. As a first-generation U.S.-born citizen, the child of an undocumented citizen, and a first-generation Latine, Mexican-American, abolitionist helping professional, I have developed a unique perspective on life. My various lived experiences and identities have allowed me to intertwine my beliefs and principles with my culture, history, language, faith, and continued education. I am passionate about making North Carolina, the country, and the world a more empathetic, equitable, and accessible place for all marginalized populations, especially those who are immigration-affected. Having experienced that all too familiar fear, anxiety, and inability to navigate systems of power due to the fear of prosecution, detention, and deportation, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to live with these emotions. No human being deserves to walk through life in fear.
I have had significant experiences working with grassroots organizations and 501(c)3 non-profits in the past. For instance, I was involved with the Watauga County Immigrant Justice Coalition and student organizations such as the Latin Hispanic Alliance, Immigrant Mountaineers Movement, Destino, AppTV’s Buenos Dias Boone, and Appalachian State’s Undergraduate Admissions Diversity Initiatives office. These experiences, coupled with my connections to rural North Carolina, especially the High Country, have had a profound impact on me. I love to connect with others about that Appalachian experience and how the Latine, and migrant population in Watauga County is incredibly interconnected and full of compassion, care, and work to fight for social justice through visibility! Now, I operate out of the Charlotte area and have come back home for the time being to support my little family in Gastonia. In my spare time, I enjoy reading all kinds of literature, collecting CDs, cheering on the Mountaineers during the football and basketball seasons, and going to new places to find the best coffee, pastries, and ambiance! I love my two dogs and cat and spending quality time with them, and especially my friends and family, who I consider all my loved ones.
I am always happy to connect and be added to lists and contacts that can offer support, care, and assistance with whatever may be needed. I’m excited for all the work, lessons, memories, and collaboration we’ll create moving forward!