Though our individual experiences differ based on our identity, our class, or our geographic locations, there is an inevitable shared struggle among womxn of color in the legal profession. Ivonne, Kewa, and Negeen are all from different backgrounds, different experiences, and different regions, but all came to the National Womxn of Color Collective space with visions of empowering fellow womxn in the struggle for guidance, mentorship, and opportunities. Meet the ladies representing the “best in the west(s)”:
Ivonne Saldaña is the Southwest Regional Chair for the National Womxn of Color Collective. She is in charge of spreading NWOCC’s mission in Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Ivonne is a proud Mexican American, first-generation law student from Dallas, Texas. She is a reflection of all the hard work and dedication that her family invested in order to thrive in this country. While her parents are her role models, it was her first mentor that sparked her interest in becoming an attorney. Her first mentor was a female attorney that was interested in inspiring a new generation of leaders. While Ivonne can’t remember her name or face, the attorney left a lasting impact. Ivonne learned about the role of attorneys and their ability to help those in need.
From then on, Ivonne started to pursue her law school journey. Years later, Ivonne is a rising 3L, a skin care guru, and the mother of Luna, the sweetest puppy. Ivonne strives to cultivate the skills necessary to empower women of color and advocate for diversity and inclusion in the legal field. Ivonne will continue to work hard to become a resource for underrepresented communities and build a lasting legacy in which future women of color attorneys can build their hopes and dreams on.
Kewa Jiang is NWOCC’s Western Regional Chair. Growing up in the Bay Area and attending UC Berkeley, Kewa has always been inspired by the legacy of social justice movements and activists in the region. While her first year of law school at USC was a time of transition and uncertainty, one of the best decisions she made was to sign up for Womxn of Color Collective during orientation. WOCC provided a much-needed supportive environment for womxn of color law students to not only commiserate over the challenges of law school but provide tools and opportunities to succeed. Thus, she wanted to give back to the organization and became the outreach chair for USC WOCC her second year. In her position, she reached out to WOCC chapters at law schools across the country to open dialogue amongst them.
She hosted conference calls and tried to nurture relationships between well-established chapters and fledgling ones. Through conversations with amazing womxn of color law students, she realized a hunger within her peers for connection, support, and visibility. Therefore, she was incredibly excited when offered the opportunity to become the Western Regional Director of National Womxn of Color Collective. In her new role, she aims to continue to bring chapters together and to expand the network of womxn of color law students.
Negeen Sadeghi-Movahed is the Midwestern Regional Chair for NWOCC. As a proud daughter of Iranian-American immigrants and a lifelong activist, Negeen is passionate about uplifting marginalized communities to own their power. While in law school, Negeen had the opportunity to learn from womxn in her communities that smashed through glass ceilings and continued to break barriers. Having founded organizations and held leadership positions in and out of law school, Negeen went on to become the first Muslim womxn elected to be the Chairwoman of the American Bar Association’s Law Student Division. Negeen is fiercely dedicated to ensuring womxn of color in the legal profession have a voice, a presence, and an impact.
Negeen just took the California Bar Examination and is an aspiring movement lawyer. When Negeen is not community organizing or writing motions, she is cuddling with her cat named Justice, baking blueberry muffins, and cycling. Negeen is excited about what NWOCC has to offer, and the incredible community-building that is to come.
National Womxn of Color Collective is the culmination of the efforts of law students and attorneys that felt the need for a support system for womxn in the law. NWOCC strives to cultivate the skills necessary for attorneys of color, contributing to development of a prosperous legal career. Ivonne, Kewa, and Negeen are excited to be a part of the collective and help foster an understanding of the needs of womxn in the law.