Q&A with Gabrielle Sanchez-Steenberger

Meet Gabrielle Sanchez-Steenberger. 

Gabrielle is the new digital communications coordinator at CICF. In this role, she executes the Foundation’s communication strategy, mission, and presence through digital media. 

What excites you about your new role? 

I’m excited about my new role because I am passionate about communication and cultivating relationships. I’m a natural “people person” and enjoy bringing folks together for a common goal, helping us all understand one another. To be filling such a role in an environment that is dedicated to equity and cultural awareness is a dream come true. 

In this past year, what book, movie or album resonated with you in the strongest way and why? 

I love documentaries, and this year I dove into the plethora of political and social documentaries that exist on Netflix. “Disclosure,” a film about the trans-experience, stuck with me the most. As a queer Mexican-American woman, I often feel personal connection to discussions around identity and equity; however, the trans-experience is something I have little experience with. This film did for me what the best documentaries doshowed me the answers to questions I didn’t even know I had and educated me on the experiences of others. 

 What’s one thing you’re learning now, and why is it important? 

I am learning to give myself more credit and have more confidence. I am shifting my mindset as of late, openly admitting when I don’t have a skill or don’t understand a concept and asking for help in learning. I am learning that my ignorance and inexperience in the vast world of knowledge that we live in is not something I should be ashamed of, but rather an amazing opportunity to continue my personal growth. I am learning that I can simultaneously be confident in myself and recognize that I don’t need to be perfect to be valid. 

What’s your favorite way to unwind after a busy day? 

After a busy day, I need time to unwind and be alone. I am a musician and writing music often quiets my mind from the chaos of a full day. 

What’s your most recent act of equity? 

I try to be an advocate every day, however my most recent act of equity on a large scale was organizing a boycott of a local business who was both taking advantage of its’ employees and maintaining leadership with racist, homophobic, sexist and transphobic ideals. After almost a year of parting with the company, I made a statement on social media expressing my disgust at the acceptance of hatred and inequity. This sparked a movement of dozens of statements by my previous coworkers, community members, and friends. Our collective action resulted in months of boycott, thousands of signatures on our petition, and many of our demands met. In response to this community outcry, new programs were created within the company to address the issues presented and advance equity in terms of race, sexuality, gender expression and more.  While it was frustrating to take on such blatant hatred and intolerance, I believe I played my part in creating some positive changes within that company and its community. 

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