“I believe what guides activists in their difficult pursuit of equity is a profound faith in the possibility of a just world and an unconditional love for their communities. It is these same principles of love and justice that guide my work as a storyteller.”
— Paola Mendoza

Her bestselling book, Sanctuary, was released to critical acclaim. The New York Times raved, “Mendoza’s descriptions of emotional trauma are heart-wrenchingly raw…A story of survival and hope, “Sanctuary” is a gripping work of fiction, with a message about xenophobia that’s rooted in a scarily real world.”

Paola Mendoza is a Latinx artist, film director, author and cultural organizer whose storytelling takes many forms. Paola uses art to disrupt and disarm, to change our thinking and to advance movements for immigrants, women and reproductive justice. Her work reflects an immigrant lens and sensibility that offers up a different way to see the world. She exposes the inherent violence of overly determined structures of government, borders, and unjust laws.

Paola is a co-founder of The Women’s March and served as its Artistic Director. She co-authored the New York Times best seller Together We Rise: Behind the Scenes at the Protest Heard around the World. Her work has been published in the New York Times, Huffington Post, Glamour, InStyle, Elle and Teen Vogue just to name a few.

As a film director her films have premiered at the most prestigious film festivals around the world. Entre Nos, Free Like the Birds and Autumn’s Eyes have garnered multiple awards and critical claim. Her films thoughtfully tackle the complex issues of poverty and immigration on women and children in the United States. She is currently directing a feature-length documentary about domestic workers.

Paola is a Pop Culture Collaborative Gender Justice Fellow, a Race Forward Fellow, an Opportunity Agenda Fellow and a Pop Culture; Becoming America Fellow. She was named Glamour’s Woman of the Year in 2017 and one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film.

She is a co-founder of The Soze Agency, a creative social impact company. She is also a co-founder of The Meteor, a media company building a new home for feminist work. She’s aa co-founder of The Resistance Revival Chorus, the critically acclaimed women’s chorus that believes “Joy is an act of resistance.”