Eli Cuna currently serves as Campaign Director for the Center for Civic Policy (CCP) and Co-founder/Principle for Semilla Strategies LLC. Her focus is on movement-building organizing and political strategy in the southwest, southern and central communities in both a c(3) and c(4) capacity. As one of the Dream Team’s co-founders, Eli has been a crucial asset in developing what started as a student group at the University of New Mexico into the statewide political youth powerhouse with several electoral and policy wins under their belt it is today.
Prior to moving back down to New Mexico, Eli served as United We Dream’s National Field Director for four years. There, she worked to develop UWD’s field and political strategy and implementation plans for Texas, New Mexico, Florida, and California branches during a time of massive mobilizations and incredible resistance. Eli also has helped in the development of the field infrastructure for UWD c3 and UWDA c4 civic engagement.
During this time she developed a strong organizing curriculum centered on healing, love, and joy which are now core values that the NMDT/UWD leadership pipeline centers around. Elis also played a major role in growing the civic engagement capacity for both United We Dream and our sister organization United We Dream Action. While these are just two examples, the victories and transformations she was able to achieve during her time with UWD are numerous and amazing.
Her work in social justice began when she made the decision to come out as undocumented back in 2004 and participated in her first class walkout at Capital High School in Santa Fe to voice the need for access to a college education for undocumented youth in New Mexico. Ever since, Eli’s organizing practice is rooted in racial justice, intersectionality, and indigenous epistemology.
Currently, she is a member of the Board of Directors for Dreams in Action NM (DIA NM), New Mexico Voices for Children (NMVoices), and Funders Youth Collective Organizing (FYCO) and holds two B.A. degrees and an M.P.A from the University of New Mexico.