Salvador Rubio, a resilient queer person of color trying to make an impact on the world through design. He currently is graduating from Mt. San Antonio College with an Associate of Science in Product Design and plans to transfer to a 4 year institution based in Los Angeles. Through his Industrial Design education Sal has found a love for working and creating with his hands which he sees as a very intimate process. His passions range from photography, to film, to daschunds, and the intersection between design and cultural awareness/empowerment. Sal is also deeply invested in making art education more relatable and accessible to everybody, especially younger people of color in LA County. Starting at 4 year institution and then moving to a 2 year community college he understands the importance of higher education and the necessity for diversity in academia. After receiving his bachelor’s degree he plans to obtain a master’s degree and then open a design consultancy that can act as a social enterprise. Sal believes that the collective power of creativity can change the world for good. Through YP4 Sal hopes to inspire and be inspired by the other fellows and is enthralled with the opportunity to sharpen his community building skills. Sal is also excited about the chance to grow and be a part of YP4 with his sister, Cassie Rubio, who is also a YP4 fellow for the 2018 Class. During his free time he enjoys spending time with his dog June and playing League of Legends but also loves to listen to musicals and Radiohead on repeat.
Fellowship Class Year: 2017
Featured Fellow Spotlight
What experiences/opportunities lead you to apply to the YP4 Fellowship program?
Sal Rubio: One experience was a year ago when I was in my design program and was learning about design history and theory which emphasized the stories of many European men and I asked my professor why we weren’t learning about other countries and folks in design and she simply stated that that’s just the way things were. This fueled me and pissed me off because so much of our education is Eurocentric to think that Eurocentrism had infiltrated yet another facet of education compelled me to do something about it. I feel that another significant experience was through researching other artists online and their stories and coming to understand that many of them had mentors or spaces that provided them a platform to learn, grow, and develop. This made me think about the lack of resources available to me as a young designer as well as there aren’t spaces or services for people like myself.
2. What social justice work are you currently doing in your communities, or on your college campuses?
SR: Currently I am trying to find volunteering opportunities for queer organizations in Los Angeles as well as more opportunities to connect and network to local artists.
3. What are you passionate about/what motivates you to do public service?
SR: I believe that the ability to provide opportunities for young people of color and help future generations of folks really moves me. I think to be part of public service you must need a sense of selflessness.
4. What is the main goal you want to accomplish in your social justice work?
SR: My main goal is to encourage young people to become educated in their own ways and help them understand the potential that they have to change the world.
5. If you could have dinner with any organizer past or present, who would it be?
SR: I would have dinner with James Baldwin, I believe that his work is extremely important to me especially as a queer person of color and I feel that there is a lot to learn from his experience.
6. What was the most eye-opening experience for you during your Regional Training?
SR: I would say it was the courts matter workshop. Beforehand I really did not realize how much of a change agent judges are on a local level and through the workshop I really came to understand the power of the vote and how important it is to remain informed on the judges and change agents of our country.
7. What do you hope to give and what do you hope to gain during your YP4 Fellowship year?
SR: I hope to provide as much support as possible to my other fellows so that we can become the change agents in our own communities. I wish to gain a mentor and really develop the relationships I’ve made and continue to make so as to grow and become part of a new community.
8. What brings you joy?
SR: Meeting new folks and having real genuine conversations, I love to listen to people’s experiences because I think that there are so many deviations to knowledge/wisdom so that everybody has something valuable to learn and understand.
9. Where do you think your YP4 training will take you in the future?
SR: I think that my training will take me to the next step in my own work and will help me feel more confident about taking leadership in my own community.
10. What do you want to be remembered for?
SR: I want to be remembered for my honesty and kindness.
11. Why should someone apply to be a YP4 Fellow?
SR: Someone should apply to be a fellow so that they can gain the tools and skills to become a leader and understand all facets of social justice work.