The house where Candi CdeBaca lives in Denver, Colorado, is made of brick; the basement was dug out by her grandfather 69 years ago; the front door is painted in honor of her grandmother’s love for yellow roses.
Since 2006, CdeBaca has been fighting against gentrification and displacement so that people like her can stay in their communities.
With that objective she co-founded Project V.O.Y.C.E. (Voices of Youth Changing Education), a youth civil rights organization that trains, employs and mobilizes young people between the ages of 14 and 25 from underrepresented communities. Together they work on social justice issues, such as the economy, housing, education, the environment, and access to healthcare.
CdeBaca explains: “What’s the one thing that teachers told you when you were in school? Do well, do great, get good grades so you can get out of the hood. We try to teach them: you don’t have to do well so you can get out of the hood. Do well so you can take over the hood. This is your in-heritage, this is rightfully yours."
CdeBaca is currently running in the May 2019 election for Denver City Council, District 9, a large district that includes the city’s downtown. “When I see young people and they tell me that things don’t have to be the way they are, that’s success for me,” she says.
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This story was produced in collaboration with Univision Contigo, Univision's social responsibility team.