Jolt is led by Latinx who have fought, marched and organized for our community. We’ve come together to build a movement in Texas that has the power to win our community the respect we deserve. Combined, our team has over 30 years of experience organizing, advocating, and defending the Latino community.
Cristina Tzintzún, Executive Director
Cristina Tzintzun is a nationally recognized advocate and leader in the Latino community. She was named “Hero of the New South” by Southern Living Magazine and hailed by the New York Times for her success with Workers Defense Project (WDP). At just 24, Cristina co-founded WDP and helped pass half a dozen local and state laws to protect the rights of hundreds of thousands of workers, guaranteeing them higher wages and safer working conditions. Cristina was also named a “changemaker” by the Texas Observer, and her work has been featured on NPR, USA Today, Univision and MSNBC’s Up Late with Alec Baldwin. Cristina is the author of the book “Presente! Latino Immigrant Voices in the Struggle for Racial Justice” and other works on race, class and gender.
Brigid Hall, Deputy Director
Brigid Hall is a leader in the civil rights movement who has dedicated her career to ensuring marginalized communities have a seat at the table in the decisions that impact their lives. She has helped take immigrant and racial justice organizations to scale in Texas, impacting the lives of millions of people across the state. Her niche is in the finance, fundraising, and operations of million-dollar entities. Brigid has worked at organizations in Texas, California, and Chile, and brings her unique leadership style wherever she goes.
Antonio Arellano, Communications Director
Antonio Arellano is a multi-media journalist and human rights advocate who has been nationally recognized as one of the most influential young Latino voices in the United States, by Hispanicize. Originally from Michoacán, Mexico he served as a social media correspondent for KTRK ABC13 in Houston, Texas prior to joining Jolt in September 2018
His social media accounts combined reach an estimated 100 thousand millennial voters. He uses his platforms to engage and empower the youth to fight for immigration reform, racial equality, LGBTQI issues, and civil rights. Antonio’s consistent innovation has garnished national attention, and he has been featured in national publications such as the Washington Post, Vice News, Huffpost and USA Today.
Tess Ortega, Lead Organizer
Tess has been volunteering with the organization since February, 2017 and is a Jolt Organizing Institute Graduate. Before joining Jolt, Tess worked as a College Readiness Advocate at Austin Partners in Education helping low income students meet state college readiness standards and apply to institutions of higher education. During the summer of 2017 Tess was a lead organizing fellow in Texas for Planned Parenthood’s Summer of Defiance campaign focused on preventing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Tess got her start in non-profit work in college as a member of the 2015 Texas 4000 for Cancer team, she helped organize and participated in a bike ride from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska to raise money for cancer research and support programs. Tess holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin.
Maria Yolisma Garcia, Culture and Events Manager
Maria Yolisma is a proven cultural leader and driven communications specialists with a passion for human rights and civic engagement. Garcia has been advocating for immigration reform and education access for over half a decade. Previously Maria has been at the forefront of change leading DACA workshops in Texas and now continues to work to empower the Latino community through her role as culture and event manager at Jolt. Maria is committed to ensuring that every voice regardless of status is heard and focused on propelling social change in the lone star state through innovative campaigns to challenge the status quo.
Board of Directors
Elsa Reyes, President
Teo Tijerina, Treasurer
Lesley Nowlin-Blessing, Secretary
Bob Dailey, Member
Kandace Vallejo, Member
Betsy Healy, Harold Simmons Foundation
Dr. Carmen Rojas, Worker’s Lab
Eugene Sepulveda, Entrepreneurs Foundation/Capital Factory
Frank I. Sanchez, Needmor Foundation
Dr. Hector Ruiz, Advanced Nanotechnology
Julene Perez-Gonzalez, Hispanics in Philanthropy (formerly)
Dr. Manuel Pastor, University of Southern California
Dr. Nona Niland, Niland Foundation
Sara Gould, Smith College
Dr. Ana “Cha” Guzman, Palo Alto College