Neriel David Ponce
Neriel is an anti-racist trainer, project management & operations specialist, and Strategist with ProInspire. He brings with him over a decade of working with nonprofit and social impact organizations in youth leadership development, grassroots organizing, immigration rights and policy, and racial justice in education. As Strategist of Individual Strategies at ProInspire, Neriel oversees the open-enrollment ProInspire Leadership Institute (PLI) program and the Catalyst Collective program, a fellowship for executive and senior leaders.
In 2013 he co-founded RAISE, a pan-Asian undocumented youth-led collective, facilitating workshops, speaking on panels and keynotes, and directing conferences and convenings for national undocumented immigrant & youth-led organizations. Neriel’s facilitation experience encompasses political education and activism workshops with Chinatown Youth Initiatives’ (CYI) Summer Leadership Institute (SLI), co-directing the annual Immigrant Youth Empowerment Conference (IYECon), and managing the operations for and training educators with the Center for Racial Justice in Education (CRJE). His immigration story has also been highlighted in The Huffington Post, The Daily News, NBC News: Asian America, The Progressive, and the award-winning documentary: Why We Rise (2013), recipient of the 2014 Loni Ding Award for Social Justice at the CAAMFest Film Festival.
Neriel earned his BA from CUNY Hunter College, studying cultural anthropology and Asian American studies, and a focus on race, gender, and migration. His undergraduate work has been most recently cited in, “Undocumented Storytellers: Narrating the Immigrant Rights Movement” (2019) by Sarah Bishop. In his free time he loves to travel with his partner and corgi, hike national parks, practice yoga, drink coffee, and edit food pictures. Neriel is committed to creating a world where we are rooted in community and each other, and where we can all live a life honoring our full humanity.
What is your favorite form of self-care?
When I can, I love traveling to a new city to try the best restaurants and local hole-in-the-walls, get a feel of the identity of the city and its people, and wander without a map to explore the city streets – there’s always something cool to find and see!
What is something that you’re learning about?
I’m a big foodie, so I’m always trying out new recipes and perfecting old ones.
Why do you do what you do?
I love people, and my academic training through anthropology expanded my own world view of how we all come together, interact, and connect. I’m committed to my own personal growth and the transformation of others to achieve a better world where all of our full humanity is valued.