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MICOP's Origin Story

MICOP was founded by Sandra Young, FNP, who is a lifetime social activist. She began fighting for social justice in the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s.

As a primary care provider, she witnessed the hardships faced by the growing indigenous farmworker population in Oxnard in the late 1990s. She had already experienced the beauty and dignity of Mixtec and other indigenous Mexican cultures through her Spanish language studies in Oaxaca, so the drive to train Mixtec speakers as interpreters, educators, and leaders through a popular education model was a natural extension of her passion.

Along with a few Mixtec leaders and non-indigenous advocates, she organized Mixeco Indigena Community Organizing Project in 2001. As founder, CEO, and board president, Young helped MICOP develop into the self-governing indigenous empowerment group that it is today. She continues to support MICOP as a donor, volunteer, advocate, and trainer.

She retired from Las Islas Medical Group after 23 years and is currently completing oral histories of Mixtec/indigenous trailblazers for permanent collection by the UCLA Center for Oral History Research.