About Gabriella Cázares-Kelly
I grew up in the rural community of Pisin’ Mo’o, Arizona, which is located nearly 100 miles southwest of Tucson on the west end of the Tohono O’odham Nation. Pisin’ Mo’o has a population of approximately 300 people and is nearly an hour away by car from the nearest post office, public library or grocery store. I moved to Tucson as a teenager and have called it my home ever since.
I started my college education at Pima Community College and continued on to the University of Arizona, where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Secondary English Education. I later earned my Master’s degree in Educational Leadership for Community College and Higher Education from Northern Arizona University.
I have worked in Native American institutions for over 14 years, mostly in higher education, but more recently at the high school level. My role as an educator has changed over the years, but I have always been known as a fierce student advocate, responding to the needs of those I serve. I was a member of the Arizona Board of Regents Academic Advising Articulation Task Force for 9 years and am currently an Advisory Board member for the Education Policy Center at the University of Arizona.
I am a co-founder of Indivisible Tohono, a grassroots community organization that is focused on providing opportunities for education and civic engagement for members of the Tohono Oʼodham Nation. I am extremely active in local politics, serving as the President of the Progressive Democrats of Southern Arizona and the Vice-President of the Arizona Democratic Party’s Native American Caucus, among many other roles. I am committed to creating and transforming spaces to include Indigenous voices and the voices of those who are historically underrepresented in our county. I am a 2018-2019 Tucson Public Voices Fellow, a 2019 Monzón Fellow and a 2020 Emerge Candidate. In 2019, I was the recipient of the Dolores Huerta – Mujer En La Lucha Award and was named the Arizona AFL-CIO’s Community Activist of the Year.
My husband Ryan is also a leader in our community. He and I are the proud parents of twins, both of whom are University of Arizona students who come home sometimes to do laundry.