Mónica Novoa

Drop the I-Word Campaign Coordinator
Brooklyn, NY

Mónica Novoa is coordinator of the Drop the I-Word public education campaign, a platform for people nationwide to drop the dehumanizing, racist slur “illegals," and to ask that the media do the same. Ms. Novoa is a seasoned communications strategist and organizer and has implemented campaigns across issues, including immigration, preventive healthcare, technology and early literacy with the Matea Group in Washington, D.C., and Cause Communications and Ruder Finn in Los Angeles. Ms. Novoa is on the board of Homies Unidos, an organization dedicated to gang prevention and intervention with families and youth in Los Angeles. She has a degree in English Literature from California State University at Northridge, where she also helped establish both the nation’s first Central American Studies Program and research institute. Ms

Monica tweets at @MoniNovoa, and manages @DropTheIWord.

The Associated Press' Developing, Conflicted Policy on the I-Word

The AP’s policy updates are hopeful, because they articulate all of the evidence necessary to stop calling people “illegal.” Now the organization just needs to take its own advice.

MSNBC's Chris Hayes Hosts Conversation on the 'i-word'

On this weekend’s ‘Up With Chris Hayes”, panelists talked about the merits – and pitfalls – of using the phrase “undocumented immigrant.”

The New York Times is Feeling the Pressure Over Its I-Word Stance

The Times is standing by its use of the word “illegal” in reference to undocumented immigrants. But they’re taking heat for it.

Numbers USA Ad Pits Black Voters Against Immigrants

Conservatives are trying old tactics to divide and conquer communities of color.

Latino Stereotypes Thrive in the Media, Negative Attitudes Dominate

An important new study has confirmed many of our hunches about how negative media narratives and portrayals of brown people play out in the minds of non-Latinos.

When It Comes to Children and the Immigration Debate, Words Matter

The i-word, like other harmful language, makes the village that’s supposed to be raising the child feel really unsafe.

Charlotte Journalists Pledge Humane Treatment of Immigrant Subjects

A youth-led campaign for media reform adds the city’s large alternative weekly to the list of local journalists who have vowed to Drop the I-Word.

The People of Arizona Won't Comply With Hate

Lost in the legal back-and-forth of this week’s Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s SB 1070 is a simple fact: immigrants are human beings, and this fight is deeply personal.

El Salvador's Historic Gang Truce May Show Pathway to Peace in the U.S.

Activists in the United States are watching closely as El Salvador works to address the root causes of gang violence.

La Casa Azul Becomes East Harlem's Little Bookstore That Could

At a time when many mainstream booksellers and publishers are struggling to survive, a new independent Latino-owned bookstore in East Harlem showed that community support can be strong business capital.

How to Do Right By Yourself While Busy Saving the World

People dedicated to racial justice are often so focused on strengthening our communities, we fail to remain healthy ourselves. Monica Novoa speaks with organizers who are helping the movement mind its own mental health.

One Runner's Step-by-Step Path to Justice

Donna Hernández gives us her personal story of how running changed the way she dealt with stress, and approached social justice work.

Undocumented Mothers Have Dreams, Too

One young undocumented activists is tired of politicians talking about the “poor choices” of immigrant parents. So she gave her mom a chance to set the record straight.

Who's Working to Build a Better Future in Los Angeles? Start Here

From buses to community re-entry programs, the people of Los Angeles have spent the past two decades working tirelessly to transform the city’s racial and economic landscape. Here are three groups whose work stands out.

The Supreme Court and Dangerous Immigration Metaphors

Referring to people with as “illegals” is equivalent to referring to defendants awaiting trial as “convicted criminals.”

UndocuMemes Show What's So Funny About Today's Immigration Battle

The big message here from activists? We’re human, and we can laugh, too.

Does George Zimmerman's Ethnicity Matter?

Zimmerman’s seemingly mixed identity has sparked a critical, if difficult dialogue about the entrenched nature of institutional racism. Monica Novoa talks to South L.A. organizer Alberto Retana about racism and racial justice among Latinos.

Young Undocumented Activists Stand Up for Their Parents' Dreams

When it comes to the DREAM Act, it’s been far too easy for some politicians to play the parent blame game. But activists refuse to throw their parents under the bus. We talked to both young people and their parents about their visions of justice.

The Horrific Death of Shaima Alawadi and the Many Lessons of Hate

The brutal slaying of a young Iraqi mother proves that hate language isn’t just about hurt feelings.

The Plight of Transnational Women and How You Can Help Them

Monica Novoa speaks with Leilani Montes, a transnational mujer who celebrates and weaves the roles of organizer and advocate across her professional, activist and personal life.