Juventino Meza is an internationally recognized champion for human rights, a non-profit executive and a leader in civic engagement. His work is focused on Latinos, higher education, LGBT communities, immigration policy, governance and democracy.
Juventino co-founded NAVIGATE MN (now Unidos MN), a leadership development program, and co-founded the Capitol Pathways internship program for college students of color and Native American students as an effort to diversify who works in and around Minnesota state government.
In 2013, Juventino played a critical role in building a broad coalition to get President Obama to create Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2012 and pass the Minnesota Dream/Prosperity Act in 2013. Juventino was a member of the Latino Economic Development Center’s Latino Scholarship Fund Selection Committee from 2008 – 2017 and served in the Saint Paul’s Mexican Consulate’s Institute of Mexicans Abroad (IME) Fellowship Program selection committee from 2012 – 2015.
Juventino was named one of the “25 Under 25” by OutFront Minnesota in 2012. Juventino is the youngest recipient of the Ohtli Award, the Mexican Government’s highest recognition for a civilian Mexican living outside Mexico and is the recipient of the Immigrant of Distinction Award from the Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He received the Youth Award from CLUES in 2017 and Decade Award from Augsburg University in 2022.
Juventino serves on the Policy Committee of the MN Immigrant Law Center and was appointed April 2023 by Governor Tim Walz/Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan to the Minnesota Latino Affairs Council. Juventino also serves on the Board for Portico Healthnet. Juventino is likely one of few undocumented Minnesotans to obtain a law degree.
Juventino Meza holds a B.A. from Augsburg University and a Juris Doctor with a Native American Law and Sovereignty Certificate from Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Juventino lives in West Saint Paul with his rescue dog, Capulin.