Meet the Winners

Long Beach

Spencer Lara

Spencer is dedicated to ending ethnic and racial profiling in law enforcement by leading civic engagement efforts in their community. They are passionate about eradicating anti-immigrant policies and practices and bringing attention to the impact of police brutality on communities of color.

Spencer raises awareness about these and other issues in their community by leading political education efforts on their school campus where they educate peers about current social movements, their goals, and their origins. By leading campus meetings, Spencer provides a space for students to ask questions and discuss their experiences. In these spaces, students are able to connect the excessive patrolling that they have witnessed on campus and near their homes to broader policies and practices. Additionally, Spencer is involved in efforts to pre-register students at their high school, creating a civically engaged climate for their peers. In 2018, Spencer registered 300 students to vote in Long Beach.

Spencer has been a leader in the Free Our Dreams action, a statewide convening of youth activists in Sacramento, focused on educating legislators about youth policy priorities. Spencer spoke to legislators about the importance of providing safe schools that do not allow immigration officers on campuses and about the need to make California a sanctuary state. Spencer plans to continue their social justice work through high school and beyond and is planning to one day run for office.