Hernandez-Lemus became an activist at age 18 when she fought for rights of undocumented university students to pay in-state tuition.
America used her agency and revealed her status publicly and became a face for a community normally relegated to the shadows. As a DACA recipient and undocumented immigrant America is proud to say she Belongs in California.
Now as a new mother and the proud holder of a Master’s in Social Work, Hernandez-Lemus hasn’t stopped fighting for her community—but she’s gained valuable perspective on prioritizing her own wellness and releasing perfectionism that the trauma around societal marginalization can bring.
“When I was in the university, there weren't people that were saying, 'I'm undocumented.’ I was one of the first… And it was a scary thing, I remember trembling”
“So my story and what I've been trying to accomplish is to have people see us in a way that they see our humanity, and that they see that we are just like the next person, and that we come in all types of shapes, colors, backgrounds, education levels. And I think that that's been the core of what I'm trying to accomplish through my activism”
Share your own story of belonging
By listening to, collecting, and amplifying stories, we hope to strongly affirm the inherent dignity of those who’ve been othered, challenge those who question that dignity to dig deep and ask why, and remind everyone of our shared humanity.SHARE YOUR STORY
Hear more stories of belonging
The matter of Belonging is core to our theory of change as a health equity-minded foundation.
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January 14, 2022
Bob’s Blog: “Mom! Mom!”
January 30, 2023
Philanthropic Investment in People Power
November 22, 2022
We are advancing health and racial equity in California
Our health system works best when every Californian has access to quality and affordable health care.
Re-imagining a criminal justice system that centers on prevention and healing.
INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Our communities and neighborhoods thrive when policies advance health and racial equity for all Californians.
Building Power in resilient communities across the state for a stronger California.
Academic achievement, inclusive learning environments and health go hand in hand.