Lauren Rangel
Changemaker, Self-employed
Lauren Rangel earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science at Columbia University. As a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellow, Lauren conducted extensive research interrogating the systemic causes of poverty and inequality of opportunity and learned of the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case of San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) vs. Rodriguez. The decision upheld Texas’s formula for funding public education which when paired with existing residential segregation, deepened disparities between school districts. As Lauren had herself received her education in SAISD, this deeply personal revelation of how policy directly impacted the trajectory of her community compelled her to advance policy solutions to disrupt the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage. Professionally, Lauren has informed elected officials of policies that support educational equity for students of color and students with disabilities, safe and supported families, and intergenerational opportunity. She has also worked to ensure underrepresented or marginalized communities voices are represented and amplified in policymaking through mobilizing them to engage in the Texas legislature. As a Mexican-American woman in legislative advocacy, Lauren has been confronted with the reality that it can be difficult to navigate spaces where others in your community are not represented. Additionally, she has noted that a great deal of policy solutions are espoused as in the interest of families like hers without their input. Recognizing that the experiences of these communities are not represented in policy conversations impacting them caused her to realize the importance of establishing a pipeline of engagement and assuming a seat at the table-invited or not.