Civil Rights Leader

Cristina Tzintzún is a leading civil rights leader. She was named “Hero of the New South” by Southern Living Magazine and her work has been featured on NPR, Vogue, The New York Times, MTV, USA Today, Univision, MSNBCs Up Late with Alec Baldwin, among others. She is also a  JM Kaplin Innovation Prize winner and a Roddenberry award winner.

Cristina is the founder and Executive Director of Jolt — a Texas-wide organization that lifts up the voice, vote and issues impacting Latinos. Founded in 2016, Jolt seeks to win the nearly 11 million Latinos living in Texas the power and respect they deserve. Jolt’s work has reached tens of millions of Americans, mobilized thousands to action and built the leadership of young Latinos across Texas.

Cristina began her social justice career when she co-founded Workers Defense Project (WDP), a workers’ rights organization with the mission to win  better working conditions for immigrant workers in Texas. She built WDP from a small volunteer project into a statewide organization that was named “one of the most creative organization’s for immigrant workers in the country” by the The New York Times. She helped lead the organization for over a decade, taking on two of the most powerful special interest groups in Texas – the construction and real-estate industries.  

At WDP, Cristina won the passage of half a dozen local and state laws better protecting the rights of hundreds of thousands of workers. Additionally, Cristina uncovered widespread safety hazards facing construction workers in Texas, leading to a federal investigation and new national initiatives to ensure stronger workplace safety enforcement for vulnerable worker populations. 

Cristina is an author on issues of race, gender and immigration, and she is the co-author of “Presente! Latino Immigrant Voices in the Struggle for Racial Justice” published by AK Press (2014).