Voqal knows that taking risks with innovative, progressive ideas is necessary to advance social change. The Voqal Fellowship is an investment in people as individuals and budding entrepreneurs; a talent accelerator aimed at giving those often overlooked by traditional funders a chance to enact their visions at center stage. In this month’s Voqal Fellowship spotlight we take a look at one of those individuals, Irene Romulo, and her project Cicero Independiente.
Romulo’s project is focused on creating a hyperlocal space for civic engagement rooted in accessible news production by and for people of color, non-English speakers, and those who are excluded from traditional media models.
Romulo is Chicago-born and raised Mexican. She started organizing seven years ago in Oakland around housing and immigrant rights issues. Since then, she has devoted herself to ending deportations and the criminalization of Black and Brown people in Chicago.
In the past, she has been involved in international solidarity organizing work and has organized alongside day laborers to address workplace issues. She believes in abolitionist organizing that centers the leadership of communities most affected, puts people and the planet first, and strives to create a better place for us all.
Most recently, Romulo has turned to journalism as a way to organize, document her community’s own stories, and explore her creative talents. She is the co-founder of Cicero Independiente, a bilingual, local news outlet for people living in Cicero, Illinois.
Learn more about the Voqal Fellowship and this year’s cohort on our fellowships page.