Born and raised in Mexico City, Kay Cid began working for social justice as a youth, teaching basic literacy to workers in a factory and in rural schools in indigenous communities in Chiapas, Mexico. She has been an active member of the international movement for human rights since 1995, and has participated in forums such as the International Gathering for Humanity and Against Neoliberalism (1995 and 1998), the World Social Forum in Venezuela in 2006, and the World Social Forum on Migration in Ecuador in 2010.
Kay has backed democratic candidates and progressives running for public office both in Mexico and in the United States. She finds the electoral process both fascinating and challenging and works to educate underserved communities to become active participants in it. Kay has organized labor unions with hotel and farmworkers, formed coalitions to create affordable housing trusts for the urban poor and women of color in Philadelphia, organized for the right to education for students and against tuition hikes, and pushed for a humane and comprehensive US immigration reform for the last thirteen years.
Kay is captivated by world languages. She started learning German at age 12, Russian at 15, French at 19, Brazilian Portuguese at 30, and has recently begun her study of Mandarin Chinese. Her passion for languages and cultures has led her to work for a German foundation and a nonprofit organization in Argentina, and to do volunteer work for the landless peasants in northern Brazil. She has travelled extensively throughout Europe and the Americas. Kay believes in the importance of bridging cultures and promoting international solidarity. She has translated and interpreted for a variety of venues, including the Expert Seminar of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Rights.
Kay holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
As a National Urban Fellow, Kay brings to the program all her passion and previous experience in developing leadership. The National Urban Fellows experience will enable her to continue to improve as an effective agent for change, and to better serve her transnational community.