Carmen Medrano Headshot

“Interconnected leadership is messy, adaptive, resilient, non-linear, creative and emergent. Imagine what we can create when we understand that we belong together.”

Mallika Dutt

Carmen Medrano

Executive Director  |  she/her/hers

As Executive Director, Carmen guides UNE to deliver on its mission of building people power for racial and economic justice. Through her relational leadership skills, organizing experience, commitment to economic justice and love for Colorado, she skillfully directs organizational strategy and maximizes UNE’s impact in Colorado. Carmen cultivates a powerful team of staff, ensuring that every aspect of the organization, from community organizing to data entry, civic engagement, finance and fundraising, fuels UNE’s mission.

Carmen also leads UNE’s statewide campaigns. She serves as the co-chair of Colorado Homes For All, a statewide housing coalition of individuals and organizations focused on building a grassroots housing movement for equity and justice for all people. She also serves as the co-chair for Together We Thrive, a coalition focused on moving forward ballot initiatives that shift more resources into housing, education, and other basic human rights that our communities need.

Carmen was born in Mexico and came to the US at the age of 4. She grew up on Colorado’s western slope and began organizing as a student. Carmen discovered her voice and power through community organizing, and her vocation is to walk with others through this same journey. She believes this is what can transform Colorado and our country.

Carmen began her career with the Colorado Faith in Action affiliate, where she was part of the formation of a statewide coalition that led to the passage of legislation for instate tuition for undocumented students. During her tenure with Faith in Action, she organized at the national level on a Campaign for Citizenship and led the merger of five separate organizations into one regional powerhouse in the Central Valley of California.

In 2020, Carmen co-chaired the statewide campaign that successfully passed paid family and medical leave for all workers in Colorado, becoming the first state in the nation to pass this policy through the ballot. Currently, she sits on the board of Partnership for Working Families, Right to the City Action and New Era Colorado. Carmen lives in Denver with her husband and rambunctious toddler.