• IDRA Newsletter • February 2016 •

David Hinojosa is one of the newest employees on board at IDRA, but he is hardly new to IDRA. Before joining IDRA in April 2015, David served as regional counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s Southwest Office where he spearheaded MALDEF’s educational civil rights litigation and policy work. In that role, he often collaborated with IDRA’s experts in a range of issues, including school finance and English learner programs. Now David serves as IDRA’s national director of policy. He directs IDRA’s South Central Collaborative for Equity.

Born in San Antonio to a military family, David moved four times in 11 years, returning in 1981 when his father retired from the U.S. Air Force. His education in the low-property wealth Edgewood ISD schools opened his eyes to the inequalities in education, and he made it his mission to seek better opportunities for those most in need.

After graduating from Edgewood High School, David joined the Air Force and served for nearly eight years as an air traffic controller. Although the job is highly stressful, he enjoyed the challenge and made the most of his experiences, receiving Airman of the Year honors in New Mexico and the Commendation Medal for his service.

David’s life outside of work is shared by his family’s love for justice and sports. His wife of 15 years, Joanna, has become a staunch animal rights activist and their two children, Isabella and Joaquin, have followed closely in her footsteps. The family can be found protesting at circuses and marine animal parks, circulating petitions, and advocating for the release of Lucky the Elephant from the local zoo.

When David is not supporting his family at protests, he enjoys going to social justice events and cultural festivals around the city, and trying, desperately, to maintain a regular workout regimen. But all those play second fiddle to his greatest joy, which is cheering on Isabella at water polo matches and swim meets and Joaquin at basketball games. David’s competitiveness in all things can often be seen, or “heard,” on the sidelines as the kids’ #1 fan.

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[©2016, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the February 2016 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]