Mateo Ramírez-Valentini

2024 - HOUSTON

Mateo Ramírez-Valentini, a junior at St. John's School in Houston, Texas, is the co-lead of Diversify Our Narrative: Houston Private Schools, a local chapter of the nonprofit fighting for an anti-racist future. Mateo and his co-lead created an affinity group guide to support the establishment of safe spaces for underrepresented students in schools. Noticing a lack of affinity groups in Houston-area schools, Mateo shared the guide at the 2023 National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Student Diversity Leadership Conference. From there, the guide was disseminated to NAIS diversity practitioners, teachers and leaders. Mateo is now working with the NAIS Vice President of Justice and Equity toward his goal of all NAIS-affiliated schools supporting student affinity groups. The guide is also available on the Diversify Our Narrative website, accessible to more than 6,000 global student organizers. At his school, Mateo serves as the co-president of his Latinos Unidos Affinity Group and vice chair of Unity Council, an organization dedicated to fostering community and inclusion. He has led forums on topics such as Indigenous influence in Latinidad, abuse of undocumented immigrants and Texas anti-immigrant legislation. Mateo is a director of mobilization on the Diversify Our Narrative national team and will continue his involvement throughout college. Bridging his interests in healthcare and social justice, he is spearheading a project to create a resource pamphlet for communities affected by health inequity. He plans to collaborate with scientists and healthcare professionals to produce a textbook focusing on diseases that disproportionately affect communities of color.