Irving Zavaleta joined the Southern Coalition for Social Justice in August 2020 as the Communications Manager, and now serves as the Networks Director for Voting Rights. He is a well-known and highly regarded leader, educator and speaker with in-depth knowledge and experience in the areas of inclusion and equity. Irving has firsthand experience and knows best practices for working with underrepresented populations including students of color, LGBTQIA communities and first-generation college students. Prior to joining SCSJ, he worked as an Assistant Director for the North Carolina Campus Compact.
He graduated from high school with honors and from Guilford College with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and French. He was recognized nationally as one of the best 25 Latinx college students by the Hispanic College Fund in 2007. Irving obtained his MBA at High Point University with a concentration in leadership and organization development.
Irving is a frequent speaker at meetings and conferences highlighting his work and the ongoing challenges within the Latinx and LGBTQIA communities. He currently sits on the board of directors of Fortaleza & Equality NC.
He founded the highly successful Soy un Líder (I am a Leader) Conference. Soy un Líder is a college prep and empowerment conference for students who identify as a Latinx, immigrant or refugee. It is the only conference of its kind in North Carolina, offering workshops on the college application and financial aid process while providing information for DACAmented, undocumented, and refugee status students. Soy un Líder has empowered students to dream big through a social justice lens for more than a decade.
Irving was a recipient of the 2017 Community Involvement Diamante Award, a statewide recognition of people and organizations that support the North Carolina Latinx population. He was also named a 2018 Community Game Changer by the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro for his community involvement.
He participated in the 2018 Hispanics in Philanthropy Next Generation Latinx Líderes Program. He was one of only 29 Latinxs invited to participate in this highly acclaimed national leadership initiative.