Alma Olavarría Gallegos is the Policy and Advocacy Associate at Openlands. Alma works to advance policy that protects natural and open spaces and advances Openlands mission with a focus on the City of Chicago and Cook County. She believes that, through meaningful collaboration with those directly impacted, environmental education, and advocacy strategies, systemic change is achievable. Prior to joining Openlands, Alma worked as the Latinx and Immigration Community Organizer at Access Living where she focused on organizing community to advocate for people with disabilities. In this role, Alma headed the Disability and Immigration Taskforce of Illinois as well as led an advocacy group for immigrants and Latinx people with disabilities. Alma believes that connecting to the Earth should be accessible to all regardless of language, ability or income, and that fostering this connection is vital to combating climate change and protecting nature. As a Spanish speaker, Alma has also worked as a Paralegal and Training Coordinator at a non-profit children’s law firm doing translation and interpretation for Spanish-speaking families. Alma holds a Bachelor’s in Critical Theory and Social Justice with a focus in Post-Colonial Studies from Occidental College. 

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