2024 Mentor: Irene Ruiz

Irene Ruiz is the daughter of Mexican Immigrants, she grew up in Hazelton, ID where she also worked in the fields with her family. She received her Master of Arts in Hispanic Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago and her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Boise State University. Irene currently lives in Boise, ID.

Irene has been an activist for over 20 years. She is the Executive Director for the Idaho Organization of Resource Councils. She is a board member for the ACLU of Idaho, the Stay at School Quinceñera program, and Indigenous Idaho Alliance. Irene also co-founded and organized a coalition of 11 non–profit organizations to support the Latinx, immigrant, and farm-working community called the Idaho Immigrant Resource Alliance that started in 2020 to support those communities during COVID-19 pandemic and issues arise.

Irene is one of 28 women to be a part of the 2022 U.S. Grassroots Accelerator Program from the Women’s Earth Alliance which will support her work on environmental justice. In 2023, she won the Resilience in Climate Equity Award (RICE), an award for BIPOC women and femmes who have worked in climate justice to better their communities.