Mónica Ramírez is the daughter and granddaughter of migrant farmworkers. She was born, raised and lives in a rural community in Ohio where her family settled out of the migrant stream. She is a long-time advocate, organizer, social entrepreneur and attorney fighting to eliminate gender-based violence and secure gender equity. For over two decades, she has fought for the civil and human rights of women, children, workers, Latinx(e) community members and immigrants, specifically addressing the needs of farmworker women across the U.S.
In 2003, Ramírez created the first legal project in the United States dedicated to addressing gender discrimination against farmworker women, which she expanded to create Esperanza: The Immigrant Women’s Legal Initiative of the Southern Poverty Law Center. In 2006, she launched a first of its kind national working group to address and prevent workplace sexual violence against farmworker women, which led to a national conference on this issue, the publication of a Best Practices Manual and helped inspire and inform the work of many advocates and lawyers around the country. Ramírez consulted on the documentary “Rape In the Fields” and she has written several groundbreaking reports on gender discrimination in the U.S. food industry, including “Injustice On Our Plates.”
She has founded and co-founded several other major initiatives, including the Bandana Project, Justice for Migrant Women and Alianza Nacional de Campesinas. In November 2017, Ramírez wrote the “Dear Sisters” letter on behalf of Alianza that was published in TIME magazine from farmworker women to women in the entertainment industry that sparked the creation of the global TIME’S UP movement. Ramírez also wrote and organized the Querida Familia letter to the Latinx community with Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Diane Guerrero, Olga Segura and Alex Martinez Kondracke, which garnered the support of over 200 Latinx leaders and was published in the New York Times in the wake of the El Paso massacre in August 2019.
Ramírez co-founded The Latinx House in 2019, which focuses on uplifting the power and contributions of the Latinx community through culture change and narrative work, as well as power building, education and alliance building. In 2020, she joined 9 other Latina leaders to co- found and launch Poderistas, an organization aimed at uplifting and educating Latinas, while also amplifying their power, potential and many contributions.
Ramírez is recognized as a thought leader and prominent voice in the Latinx community for her long history as an organizer and her innovative approach to advocacy. She has received numerous awards, including Harvard Kennedy School’s first Gender Equity Changemaker Award, Feminist Majority’s Global Women’s Rights Award, the Smithsonian’s 2018 Ingenuity Award and the Hispanic Heritage Award. Ramírez was named to Forbes Mexico’s 100 Most Powerful Women’s 2018 list and TIME Magazine included her in its 2021 TIME100 Next list. Ramírez is also an inaugural member of the Ford Global Fellowship. She serves on the Board of Directors of the National Women’s Law Center, Friends of the Latino Museum and she is a member of The Little Market’s Activists Committee.
Ramírez is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago, The Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law and Harvard Kennedy School. She lives in Ohio with her husband and son.
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