MS – Mitzila Valdes

Mitzila Valdes

2004 Mario Savio Student Activist Award Honoree

Winner Mitzila is described by one of her many champions as a source of light, leadership, information and inspiration. Praised not just for her passion for learning, but also for her commitment to social justice, Mitzila encourages us all to think and act more broadly, more conscientiously, more humanely.

In addition to her academic accomplishments, Mitzila has been the education representative on the Associated Students Board and she has worked with faculty from the School of Education to recruit students from under-represented groups. She was a student speaker at a California Faculty Association teach-in on the war in Iraq. Faculty and peers alike admire her for her courage and her commitment in standing up for her values and beliefs.

At Sonoma State, Mitzila helped coordinate a number of campus activities in response to the events of September 11. Since then, she has organized several campus events addressing contemporary issues. They include countless educational speaking engagements and an on-campus film series this year that has features the top political films.

A proven leader on campus and in the greater community, Mitzi is active in MECHA, Project Censored, Mobilization to End Globalization, Students for Media Democracy, and Food Not Bombs, to name a few. She has co-authored several articles published in the North Bay Progressive, at least one of which was the lead story. (Miami, FTAA, and the Loss of Our Freedoms, you may have read it in the December-January edition.)

Mitzila protested the war by demonstration and arrest in San Francisco, and was among those protesting in Miami in November at the FTAA Conference. She was the catalyst for the Peace and Justice Center’s policy of negotiating with San Francisco officials to allow locals who are arrested demonstrating to complete their diversion sentences in Sonoma County.