Cynthia Carrion: Community and youth development advocate

Cynthia Carrion.

For over a decade Cynthia Carrion’s career has focused on advancing human rights and community empowerment on the local, national and international levels. Since 2000, Carrion has been involved in community and youth development as an administrator, educator, advocate, filmmaker and organizer.

She has worked closely with youth and community based organizations in New York, San Jose (Costa Rica), Freetown (Sierra Leone) and has been a leading organizer for the volunteer group Border of Lights, an art and service project along the Haitian and Dominican border.

Carrion is the deputy director at the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights (NMCIR), committed to expanding access to legal immigration services, participating in policy making and community organizing.

Prior to joining the team at NMCIR, Carrion worked with international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to support youth development and leadership as the national youth programs coordinator for Amnesty International USA and the youth producing change coordinator for Human Rights Watch.

In addition, she was the partnerships and programs manager for The Urban Assembly, a network of more than 20 New York City public schools tasked with creating learning environments that empower every student to succeed.

As a consultant and educator, Carrion has had the opportunity to assist many organizations with fundraising, outreach, program development, and event planning, including the Educational Video Center and the Schomburg Center for Black Culture.

Carrion also served as the director of Youth Channel, the youth serving division of Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN).

Before coming to MNN, she was the program coordinator for the Caribbean Cultural Center-African Diaspora Institute and was formerly the pre-teen coordinator for Hour Children, an advocacy organization for children of incarcerated mothers.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

Her mother is from the Dominican Republic and her father is Puerto Rican. She was born in Far Rockaway, Queens, NY.

EDUCATION:

City College, City University of New York (CUNY), M.A. in international relations; Hunter College, CUNY, B.A. in Media Studies and Latin America and Caribbean Studies

OCCUPATION:

Deputy Director for Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights

PERSON I ADMIRE MOST:

Jesuit Father Mario Serrano for his dedication to organizing and providing legal assistance to Dominican-born persons of Haitian descent, a group recently threatened with statelessness due to a Dominican Constitutional Court decision in late 2013. “Everyday he stands up to injustice on behalf of those that can’t,” Carrion says.

FAVORITE QUOTE:

“Be brave but kind.”

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