We’re so excited to welcome two new amazing people to the Next Up organizing and youth leadership development team. Iya McSwain (they/them), has joined as the Youth Leadership Organizer, and Erin San Antonio (they/siya) is the Community Engagement Organizer. Read more about each of them below.
Iya C. McSwain
Youth Leadership Organizer
Iya (they/them) is a young Black activist, who holds many identities that influence their desire to show up for the community and the future generations to come. Born and raised in Portland, OR, they have dedicated time to understanding the systems of our society and how they impact and have harmfully impacted the communities they belong to, but also the communities that share similar systemic oppression. With this knowledge of systems of power and their own lived experience, they intend to use their passion and longing for a liberated and free world, to push for radical change within the institutions that make our society. Outside of organizing, Iya spends much of their time learning how they can practice holistic wellness as a form of radical self/community healing. They are a lover of astrology, literature, music, and nature!
Erin San Antonio
Community Engagement Organizer
Erin (they/siya) is an unapologetically fierce, queer, non-binary, Tagalog femme. With their work rooted in centering the importance of community-based healing to support personal and organizational transformation and growth, they perceive their daily work as a love letter unfolding and an embodied testament of their people’s survivance. Their involvement at Next Up started as a Summer Base Building Fellow and the Youth Vote Coordinator in 2020. After graduating with their bachelor’s degree and graduate certificate in June 2021, they’ve returned in a professional capacity as the Community Engagement Organizer for their childhood home in Clackamas County. In this position, they are eager to intentionally disrupt the threads of heteropatriarchy, white supremacy, and racialized capitalism to weave together new stories that document the rich fullness of living wholly and authentically as queer/trans, BIPOC youth, survivors, and our collective liberation. Outside of work at Next Up, you can find Erin at pop-ups under the Kalat House, mutual aid organizing, or near a half-finished creative project.