Native Women Lead has hired Alicia Ortega, former executive director of All Pueblo Council of Governors, to steer the organization into the future. (Courtesy Native Women Lead)
Former All Pueblo Council of Governors Executive Director Alicia Ortega, Pueblos of Pojoaque and Santa Clara, has been named as the first co-director of Native Women Lead, which has mostly operated the past three years as a volunteer organization inspiring Native women to start businesses.
“Since August 2017, the co-founders of Native Women Lead have been going full blast producing summits, online programming, rebranding, creating a website, fundraising, advocating for policy change, offering grants and loans, while still tending to our full-time businesses. It was time to invest in ourselves by building capacity. NWL has been incredibly successful; the time is now to move toward significance and lasting impact,” said Stephine Poston, Native Women Lead co-founder and owner of Poston & Associates, LLC, in a press release.
Ortega is also a founder and helped develop the organization’s BEWE values, which recognize that Native Women are:
- Backbones of our communities
- Emerging as entrepreneurs and leaders
- Weaving our ideas, community and culture together
- Empowering one another to manifest change
“The global pandemic has revealed a lot of things and inspired NWL to reimagine what things could look like if women were supported in community and in business. Statistics tell us that Native Women typically are the primary breadwinners and experience extreme wealth gaps. We can no longer take the bargain and settle; we must revolutionize the economic systems that were never built for us,” Jaime Gloshay, another Native Women Lead co-founder said. “To do that, NWL is making bold moves to build our organization despite a pandemic. As a leader, artist, businesswoman with a master’s degree and a passion to elevate Tribal communities, hiring Alicia is the perfect next step for Native Women Lead.”