Sawsan Abdurrahman (she/her/ella) joins the Chispa Arizona team as the Clean & Green Campaign Manager, excited to lead on public transportation electrification and expansion across the Valley.
Growing up as a daughter of immigrants who fled political persecution, Sawsan learned the importance of advocacy work from a young age and throughout her life, watching and working with family to organize for a democracy in their home country Libya. She also grew up spending extensive time outdoors camping and hiking with family, gardening with her mother, and learning about farming from her grandfather who cultivates olives. The olive tree, a symbol of peace and friendship, is of great significance in her culture and family history. For these reasons, Sawsan has a strong love and connection to our planet.
She brings to the team a background in community grassroots organizing, union/labor organizing, climate science, and civic engagement. At the University of Arizona, she received a BS in Geography and Urban Regional Development, with an emphasis on community and natural resource management. As a student, she was an intern with the University of Arizona’s BioDiversity Project and quickly understood the severity of the climate crisis, as well as the lack of political power to address the crisis. She has since worked in the political field, first as a political consultant for Arizona List, electing progressive women with strong climate policy platforms to public office. She has served as a field organizer for the Arizona Democratic Party, registering and turning out new voters. She led as an organizer with Las Adelitas Arizona, working on the historic election of Tucson Mayor Regina Romero. She served as both the Community & Civic Engagement Associate and the Voter Engagement Director nationally for the League of Conservation Voters, strengthening their community grassroots programs and voter engagement with communities of color. She also led in the unionization efforts at the League of Conservation Voters, successfully passing a union contract centering racial justice and equity and was recognized by Union Plus as one of 100 union members nationally leading impactful work. She recently began serving as a part time member organizer for the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild/TNG-CWA Local 32035 Union, to help other organizations through the unionizing process.
As a Muslim American, Sawsan pulls heavily on the values of her faith to keep her grounded in the fight for climate and racial justice. Sawsan considers herself a nomad, born and raised all over the United States, with roots in Gheryan, Libya. Her family hails from North Africa, with both Amazigh and Arab ancestry. She has been an on and off again Arizona resident since 2014. When she isn’t fighting for community, Sawsan enjoys spending time in the beautiful outdoors she aims to protect and preserve. As a nomad, Sawsan also enjoys traveling as much as humanly possible. Dancing, music, being a hypewoman, and cooking delicious food are among the things that bring her joy and therapy.