Jasmin Velez (she/her/ella) is a practicing Applied Anthropologist with close to a decade of experience in Community Engagement and Development. Much of Jasmin’s work has been with various nonprofits and stakeholders throughout North Philadelphia, tackling topics such as vacant land use, land and environmental justice, and community building. Originally from Puerto Rico, Jasmin considers herself a Diasporican; she’s lived in Philadelphia since she was five, but often travels back to spend time with family and reconnect to her roots.
She is a lifelong advocate for social and racial justice and often credits her first protest at ten years old as the spark that led her into the field. Fighting against the closure of a historic sugar mill alongside her father in her original hometown of Aguada, Puerto Rico, Jasmin learned the importance of collective power and utilizing your voice to ignite change.
Jasmin has a Master of Arts in Medical Anthropology from the University of Colorado Denver. For her thesis, she researched the Puerto Rican coffee industry and the impacts of globalization, colonization, and urbanization on the agricultural sector and Puerto Rican identity.
After graduating with her Master's degree, she moved back to Philadelphia to utilize her skills and share them with the community she grew up in. She has been a vocal activist, speaking for environmental justice, public health issues, and anti-gentrification initiatives. When she’s not working or organizing folks, Jasmin spends much of her free time traveling with her partner, reading, or gardening. In fall 2023, Jasmin will join Temple University’s Geography and Urban Studies Ph.D. program, where she hopes to continue expanding her skillset and focus on the social determinants of health and its intersection with environmental hazards.