Meet Val Benavidez, Texas Freedom Network’s Executive Director

Meel Val Benavidez

Val Benavidez became the executive director in 2020 after serving as TFN’s chief program officer and field director for almost 14 years.

During her time as the Outreach Director and then Chief Program Officer at Texas Freedom Network, Val created TFN’s youth-organizing program, Texas Rising, which builds the power of young people of color through extensive voter registration campaigns, GOTV work, and training in grassroots advocacy.

Whatever you do, do something, and don’t give up your hope! TFN and Texas need you.”

Val Benavidez (she/her/ella), Texas Freedom Network President & Executive Director

Val Benavidez

As the proud daughter and granddaughter of Mexican immigrants, farm workers, railroad builders, and all-around rabble-rousers, Val knows that our communities harness so much strength to create our own futures. She also knows that the people in power in Texas do not reflect who we are, and it’s these values and passion that have driven Val’s work in progressive grassroots organizing for almost two decades.

Val Benavidez 2017
Val Benavidez, Bill Nye & Mike Fisher
Val Benavidez, Epic Evening

Read on for more fun facts and life advice from Val!


Texas coastline
🤠 Cozy night in 🤠
🤠 Catching sunset 🤠
Reading a book
Texas barbecue


🤠 Texas hill country 🤠
Fun night out
Catching sunrise
🤠 Dinner 🤠
🤠 Watching a movie 🤠
🤠 Tex-Mex 🤠

What life advice would you give to somebody in their 20s?

Don’t hold yourself back thinking there is another person more capable. You are the right person. So jump in, start learning, and try to figure it out. You may or may not be successful, but “the trying” is the real journey in life.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?

Japan! There are so many different experiences to be had in one place!

What are some of your favorite TFN memories?
  1. Defeating creationism in biology standards at the SBOE
  2. Passing ethnic studies courses 
  3. Creating the Texas Rising program
  4. Big moments of both resistance and joy: Wendy Davis Filibuster, the Obergerfell ruling
If you could create a concert lineup with 3 bands, who would you choose?

Living – Ozomatli, Lauren Hill, Childish Gambino

Deceased – Prince, Selena, and Whitney

What keeps you motivated in this work?

Fighting the injustices we see because the world we believe in can’t ever exist without our work. Also, my children. I know it’s cliche, but I never want to look in their eyes and tell them I wasn’t doing everything in my power to fight for their rights and for all of our communities.

How can Texans support TFN’s fight in Texas?

Get involved! Take one action today: have a conversation with someone about the change you’d like to see, visit one of your elected officials, sign up to volunteer for something in your community, or donate to an organization.

Whatever you do, do something, and don’t give up your hope! TFN and Texas need you.