Mercedes McKinley is a Nevada state coordinator for Moms Clean Air Force. She was born in El Salvador and fled her country during the civil war in 1987, when she was a child. Her family immigrated to Las Vegas, Nevada, where she learned to speak English and assimilated to life in the United States. After high school, Mercedes moved to the Midwest, where she became passionate about climate change after a small neighborhood flood destroyed 90% of her apartment in Chicago. The following year, she began her academic career at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She holds a Bachelor and a Master of Science degree both in Geography and Environmental Resources with a specialization in water and climate. In 2017, she became a certified Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyst so that she could combine mapping and data to better communicate complex issues that intersect people and environments.
After completing her education, Mercedes focused on giving back to her hometown of Las Vegas. She has served as a teacher for the Clark County School District in K–12 and taught Environmental Science as an adjunct professor for the College of Southern Nevada. She is actively engaging with local politicians and police in order to better serve the community and understand its needs. Her work with Moms has been highlighted by the Nevada Independent, Radio Bilingue, Telemundo, and Univision Nevada.
Mercedes is the mother of a toddler and loves the outdoors, dogs, and yoga.
See how moms are making a difference in Nevada.