Karina Barillas

 Karina Barillas She/Her/Hers

Co-founder and Executive Director for La Casita Center

Karina Barillas is a native from Guatemala. She earned her BA here at UofL through a Fulbright scholarship and received her Masters in Education at UofL. She has been an advocate for women's issues for over two decades, starting as President of the International Students Organization at UofL in 2000. Karina worked for eight years advocating, accompanying, and supporting Latina victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault at the Center for Women and Families. She is one of the co-founders and currently works as the Executive Director for La Casita Center, a unique community that enhances the well-being of Louisville’s Latinx community through education, empowerment, advocacy, and wellness. Karina has received numerous awards for her work, including the National Conference for Community and Justice’s Peace Maker Humanitarian Award in 2004, being named as “One of the 25 most influential Hispanics in Louisville” by “Hoy en Las Américas,” and the “Alden Fellowship” by the Community Foundation of Louisville in 2015. She has also been honored as a Woman of Distinction by the Center for Women and Families, highlighted as one of Louisville's Impactful Women by Metro United Way and Louisville's Office for Women, and was the first Latina to receive the 2022 "Keepers of the Dream Freedom Award." Karina is the proud mother of Ali and Fatimah, and loves to dance salsa, sing, garden and cook with her loving husband Louis.