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As a co-founding editor of Cicero Independiente, Irene Romulo (she/her) has an impressive record of fellowships and activism, having dedicated her life to organizing with marginalized communities. She began her career as an organizer to end deportations and unjust treatment of people of color, which led to her work as a reporting fellow for the City Bureau in the past and later as a 2020 Voqal Fellow and an Ida B. Wells Fellow for investigative reporting.

Irene firmly believes that every life counts equally, and her commitment to bringing attention to the needs of marginalized communities is evident in her outstanding contributions to journalism. She has used her platform to document not only the atrocities often ignored by the mainstream media, but also the positive news about the progress of her community. Her work has strengthened marginalized communities’ voices and inspired young journalists to follow in her footsteps.

With a fierce passion for equality and a drive to create awareness, Irene is an ideal role model and an inspiration for all of us. Her tireless efforts have been a reminder that even small efforts can make a massive difference.

Irene, like other contributors in this book, has learned that ultimately, a person who helps others reclaim their power does so by fostering a collaborative, empowering, and trauma-informed environment. Political and socioeconomic change, indeed any kind of change, begins with our recognizing, claiming, and healing ourselves before tackling the issues around us. It can be a mutual event, but healing is our foundation. Without self-awareness and at least one foot on the healing path we cannot affect change.

When we promote survivors’ autonomy, resilience, and self-empowerment while providing the necessary support and resources for their healing journey we all benefit from the results.

By adopting a trauma-informed and empowering approach we switch the process from “saving” people to activating them, supporting their empowerment.

IRENE           ROMULO
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