Apolonio “Polo” Morales

Director of External Affairs, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) / CHIRLA Action Fund


Apolonio “Polo” Morales grew up in El Monte and resides in Whittier with his partner and two sons. He was raised by undocumented immigrant parents and experienced the hardship that families face within a broken immigration system firsthand. His understanding and belief in providing inclusive spaces that create belonging were shaped by this upbringing. These core beliefs have led him to work toward social justice and equity for all communities. He attended the University of California, Berkeley and graduated with an English degree with an emphasis on Modernism and earned an Education minor. 

Polo is a former labor organizer for the California Nurses Association/United Steelworkers’ Healthcare Workers Alliance, former Director of Communications and Development on housing and immigrant issues for L.A. Voice, and was a community organizer for Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization (CCISCO). He has also served as the Director for Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action (BOCA), and as the National Immigration Lead Organizer for the PICO National Network’s (now Faith in Action) Campaign for Citizenship. Currently, he is proud to serve the immigrant community as the Director of External Affairs at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights where he continues to fight the good fight to pave the way for future immigration legislation by building, maintaining, and expanding diverse coalition work through the coordination of the California Table for Immigration Reform and the Los Angeles Action Table. In his spare time, he writes short stories and has been published in the online publications KCET Departures and Tropics of Meta.

photo of Apolonio “Polo” Morales


Across Our Homes: Bridging Within and Across Diaspora Communities
Diasporas – or communities of people living outside of their original homeland – are no monolith. The pathway to a new home may be paved with the push of forced displacement or with the promise of better economic conditions. And, of course, all migration must be placed in the context of the structural forces of empire, colonization, capitalism, and the escalating climate crisis. Across these different origin stories, diaspora communities, organizations, and movements are increasingly influential in both their new homes and countries of origin. However, this influence is distributed unevenly...