Director of Campaigns and Mobilizing

Sandy Ovalle is a native of Mexico City, a city dweller, and a people-loving bailarina. She loves writing poetry, gathering people around homemade pozole, and thinking about the complexities of living between worlds as an immigrant Latina. She holds an M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and serves as the director of campaigns and mobilizing. Sandy leads the SojoAction team, which is building a community dedicated to putting its faith in action for social justice. Together they develop the tools and training needed to activate communities and nourish them for this moment. Sandy came to Washington, D.C., at the end of 2018. She worked in immigration advocacy and church mobilization in Southern California and has been involved in campus ministry among Latinx college students in Texas and California.

Posts By This Author

Savor and Strategize: The SCOTUS Decision to Protect DACA

by Jim Wallis, by Sandy Ovalle 06-25-2020

DACA recipient Luz Chavez celebrates outside the U.S. Supreme Court after the court ruled in a 5-4 vote that President Donald Trump's 2017 move to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was unlawful. Washington, D.C., June 18, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Even as we allow ourselves to savor this victory and be lifted by the hope of this moment, we also need to prepare and strategize for what’s next, because the fight for immigration justice is far from over. The justices of the Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of whether Trump is allowed to end DACA — but rather on the way in which he attempted to do so.

The Rest Is Only Temporary

by Sandy Ovalle 06-22-2020

Image via REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Immigrants have been willing to carry these oppressive burdens because there are no other options to make a way for our status in the system. The mantras playing in our head are the horrific echoes of a system that values immigrant people because of their economic contribution and slowly takes away their breath in favor of building an empire.

'Threats of Annihilation Live in Our Bones': The Enduring Resilience of Latinx Communities

by Sandy Ovalle 08-08-2019

Image via REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

Some Latinx people have known — and others have suspected — this land is not safe for us, but the extent to which that suspicion has been confirmed in El Paso is terrifying. The perpetrator in this massacre was deliberate in his plan to counter the “Hispanic invasion.” It’s tempting to believe all this has been incited by the current president’s violent rhetoric. But while that rhetoric has added much fuel to the fire, the fire has been burning for a long time. 

Immigrants Across the Country Are Using Hunger Strikes to Protest Inhumane Detention

by Sandy Ovalle, by Helen Salita 05-20-2019

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) temporary facilities for housing migrants are seen in Donna, Texas, U.S., May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Hunger strikes allow detained immigrants to regain their agency while simultaneously throwing themselves on the mercy of the very institution that has oppressed them.

29 Parents of Separated Children Allowed to Cross Border, Seek Asylum

by Sandy Ovalle 03-04-2019

Families gather on benches outside the port of entry. Photo by Sandy Ovalle / Sojourners

Luisa bought a ring for her daughter Katherine’s quince. She hopes to give it to her in a few months on her 15th birthday. But just in case she is not able to do so, she mailed it ahead of time to friends in the U.S. The two were separated on Christmas Day 2017 at the U.S.-Mexico border.

A Pilgrim's Journey

by Sandy Ovalle, by Kayla Lattimore 12-12-2018

Migrant people hold the now and the not yet in tension. In the midst of waiting to make it up north and taking their turn for a credible fear interview at the border, life continues. People find ways to feel alive, to keep hope alive. At La Casa del Peregrino, holding on to hope looked like doing karaoke, coloring banners, and making beaded bracelets. They were not devoid of life.

Fear Is Not a Faithful Response to Those Seeking Asylum

by Sandy Ovalle 10-31-2018

Migrant from Honduras carries daughter amid a caravan from Central America en route to the U.S. Image via Reuters/Adrees Latif

Requesting asylum by presenting at a point of entry is the legal way to seek protection; it's not an assault on this country. To "other" brown-bodied people is destructive, especially if they’re in vulnerable situations, because it creates categories that automatically view some as superior. This has been the basis for many of the world’s greatest tragedies. Fear is the basis of all of these accusations.