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Best Artist Activist 

Julio Salgado

When Nicoll Hernández-Polanco, a trans woman of color, was unfairly held in solitary confinement in an all-male Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Arizona earlier this year, Julio Salgado didn't waste any time in helping to raise awareness about the injustice. He immediately illustrated a poster depicting Hernández-Polanco with a slogan demanding her release, and then disseminated it on the internet. Urging action through creativity is the local artist's automatic reaction to hearing about social inequities — especially when they happen to members of LGBTQ and undocumented communities. Salgado is also the co-creator and illustrator of "Liberty for All," a weekly web comic published in the online publication Culture Strike, which spotlights those of marginalized identities. He's also one of the co-founders of Dreamers Adrift (, an online platform for creative projects concerning the experiences of undocumented youth. Those are only a few examples of the politically engaged work that Salgado consistently puts out. Plus, he learned much of what he knows from Express Best Of winner Favianna Rodriguez.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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