2024 Mentor: Rebecca De León

Rebecca De León has been living in various parts of Idaho since she was a toddler, mostly growing up in Twin Falls and living in the Treasure Valley for just over 20 years. She got her start in journalism, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2012, where she was Editor-in-Chief of The Arbiter. After working briefly in journalism, she transitioned to communications advocacy, focusing on issues that disproportionately affect Latine and BIPOC people, immigrants, women and children, LGBTQ+ people, people with low socioeconomic status, and religious minorities, among others.

Leadership and representation have always been important to Rebecca, who has done significant work outside of her various jobs to build capacity in her communities to get better racial representation in positions of power and leadership. To this end, she co-founded The Latino Card with JJ Saldaña and Nicole Foy to tell the stories of BIPOC people in Idaho whose stories weren’t being reflected in mainstream news media outlets. She also helped create the Voces Internship of Idaho, which has successfully placed Latine interns in newsrooms around the state to encourage better Latine representation in traditional media. Rebecca has been an outspoken advocate for access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care, overhauling the broken immigration system, equity in health care access, quality education, and protecting the rights and liberties of all people.

Rebecca has worked in nonprofit social services for farmworkers, sexual assault and domestic violence prevention and intervention, reproductive health care, and outside of nonprofit work, she started her own bilingual marketing consulting firm, Lion Heart Consulting, LLC. Currently, she is the Communications Director for the ACLU of Idaho, where she is able to indulge in advocacy for all her areas of passion. Among her biggest points of pride in her life are being mother to 5-year-old Diego who is the purest love of her life, and being a friend to JJ Saldaña, who led the charge in most of her advocacy efforts and was a huge inspiration to her.