The Richard Elías Legacy Award is given to honor an individual who works with the Southern Arizona community to build resilience, work for justice, and honor the beauty and heritage for our community and for its members. This individual is a champion of our unique Sonoran desert and its people, and exemplifies many of the admirable qualities of Richard Elías: a person who is dedicated and willing to take risks, who is approachable and open to everyone in the community, and who promotes equity and opportunity.
Jessica Rodriguez is a strong community advocate fighting for the human rights of the immigrant community in Tucson. As a DACA recipient, Jessica knows firsthand the struggles of some of Tucson’s most vulnerable populations. Jessica works helping immigrants recover stolen wages and helps fight deportation cases. She is not new to social justice; while attending Pima Community College (PCC) her efforts successfully lead to PCC lowering tuition, to in-state tuition, for DACA recipients.