Tania Mattos is an Aymara descendant, Bolivian-born, Queens, NY-based organizer, activist, and policy advocate with over 13 years of experience. She is a founding member of the Abolish ICE NY NJ Coalition which was started in 2018 to support ongoing organizing to end ICE detention in both states. Tania is also a founding member of Queens Neighborhoods United, a grassroots anti-gentrification collective that fights against gentrification, police abuse, and ICE in Jackson Heights, Corona, and Elmhurst, Queens. Tania’s extensive background includes working with the Plurinational State of Bolivia at the United Nations, focusing on environmental and indigenous issues. She has also served as the Legislative Coordinator for the New York State Youth Leadership Council, the first undocumented-led organization in New York State. During her time there, she worked on participatory defense campaigns that successfully halted the deportation of numerous undocumented youth in 2011. She was a DACA recipient from 2012 to 2019 and became a US citizen in early 2023 with the help of UnLocal. Tania draws inspiration from her cultural heritage and Queens upbringing, fueling her unwavering commitment to organizing, fostering leadership, and striving for freedom within all impacted communities. You can watch my early organizing days in this film, From Here.
After Michele Lampach founded UnLocal in 2012, Tania was hired as UnLocal’s first staff member, serving for six years as educator and organizer and later as the Education and Outreach Director. She returns to UnLocal after serving as the Policy and Northeast Monitoring Manager for Freedom for Immigrants and the Director of Advocacy and Policy for Envision Freedom Fund.