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Waleska Lugo DeJesus.JPG
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Waleska Lugo-DeJesús
Grand Marshal

Waleska Lugo-DeJesús is the CEO of Inclusive Strategies and Salsa Sal Pa Fuera DEI Advisor. As a nationally certified Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging facilitator, she is dedicated to creating meaningful social change through a human-centered, racial healing approach. With over twenty years of experience, Waleska is widely recognized for her advocacy of racial and social justice. She has helped thousands of organizations in elevating consciousness about the causes and effects of racial divisiveness, building inter-organizational capacity, and establishing equity. Her approach enhances the development of personal and institutional goals with a focus on addressing race-based bias and creating equitable environments and communities for all.


Waleska's commitment extends beyond her professional endeavors. She firmly believes in the power of unity and solidarity among black and brown communities. Recognizing the shared experiences and challenges faced by these communities, she actively works to foster collaboration and cooperation between them. By bridging the gaps and promoting understanding, Waleska aims to create a strong collective voice that advocates for justice and equality.


Waleska was announced as the Grand Marshal for this year's Springfield Puerto Rican Parade, an event that celebrates Puerto Rican culture and heritage. This recognition signifies her outstanding contributions to the community and her unwavering commitment to fostering positive social change. As the Grand Marshal, Waleska will use this platform to emphasize the importance of unity among black and brown communities. She believes that by coming together, these communities can amplify their voices, challenge systemic racism, and create a more inclusive society for everyone.


In her role as CEO of Inclusive Strategies, Waleska continues to inspire and empower individuals and organizations in their journey towards inclusivity and equity. She believes that lasting change begins with individual growth and understanding. By providing guidance, support, and educational resources, Waleska enables individuals to unlearn biases, embrace diversity, and become advocates for social justice.


Waleska's human-centered approach emphasizes the significance of racial healing. She understands that healing is not only about addressing past traumas but also about creating spaces where individuals feel seen, heard, and valued. Through her work, Waleska fosters environments that promote healing and reconciliation, paving the way for a more harmonious and united society.


Uniting black and brown communities in solidarity is a crucial aspect of Waleska's mission. She recognizes that by standing together, these communities can challenge the systems of oppression that have perpetuated division and inequality. By fostering collaboration, dialogue, and understanding, Waleska aims to build bridges and dismantle the barriers that have historically separated black and brown communities.


Waleska Lugo-DeJesús is dedicated to creating meaningful social change. Her work encompasses advocacy for racial and social justice, elevating consciousness about racial divisiveness, and establishing equity. As the Grand Marshal of the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade, she symbolizes outstanding contributions to the community and a commitment to fostering positive social change. Through her leadership and dedication, Waleska inspires unity, particularly between black and brown communities, in the pursuit of inclusivity, justice, and a more equitable future for all.

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