- Alex TomExecutive Director, Chinese Progressive AssociationAlex TomExecutive Director, Chinese Progressive Association
Alex is Executive Director of the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) in San Francisco, California. He has nearly 20 years of experience organizing for social and economic justice. In the late 1990s, Alex organized youth, students and workers for nearly a decade in the San Diego and the US/Mexico border region around immigrant and worker rights. Alex has played a leadership role in building CPA’s service, organizing, and civic engagement programs. Previously, Alex served as the Campaign Coordinator where he built CPA’s Tenant and Worker Center, and organized worker campaigns, winning millions of dollars in back wages. Alex has also played a key role in local, state, and national movement building, from co-founding San Francisco Rising, a grassroots multiracial electoral alliance, to serving as the Co-Chair of AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund, a new statewide and national initiative to build grassroots civic engagement infrastructure and capacity. He also serves on the Coordinating Committee of Grassroots Asians Rising, a national alliance of grassroots Asian organizations.
Alex is also the Executive Director of Chinese Progressive Association Action Fund and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Common Counsel Foundation and Board of Directors of The Praxis Project.
- Alicia GarzaStrategy & Partnerships Director, National Domestic Workers AllianceAlicia GarzaStrategy & Partnerships Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance
Alicia Garza is an internationally recognized organizer, writer, and public speaker. In 2018, Alicia founded the Black Futures Lab, which works to make Black people powerful in politics. Currently, as the Strategy & Partnerships Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Alicia works to build power, placing domestic workers at the forefront of the movement we need to change the domestic work industry and to build an economy that places people over profits. With Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors, Alicia created the Black Lives Matter Global Network, with 40 chapters in 4 countries, to change the ways in which Black people are stripped of our humanity.
Alicia's writing and work has been featured in Time, Mic, Marie Claire, The Guardian, Elle.com, Essence Magazine, and The New York Times. She has received numerous awards and honors, including the 2017 Sydney Peace Prize with Black Lives Matter co-founders Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi; Fortune Magazine 2016 World’s Greatest Leaders; and she was a member of the 2016 Tribunal of the US Black Women’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission held at the United Nations. Alicia was named a Fast Company 2017 Most Creative People in Business, The Root’s 2016 and 2015 list of 100 African American Achievers and Influencers, and the POLITICO 50 Guide to thinkers, doers, and visionaries transforming American politics in 2016. Alicia received the 2016 Glamour Women of the Year Award, the 2016 Marie Claire New Guard Award, and named a Community Change Agent at the 2016 BET Black Girls Rock Awards.
- Andrea MercadoExecutive Director, Florida New MajorityAndrea MercadoExecutive Director, Florida New Majority
Andrea Cristina Mercado is the Executive Director of New Florida Majority, and the New Florida Majority Education Fund, an organization building independent political power of marginalized communities for racial, economic and climate justice.
The daughter of immigrants from South America, who made South Florida home, Andrea has been organizing in communities of color and immigrant communities for over a decade. Andrea is one of the co-founders of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and led the California Domestic Worker Coalition, a statewide effort to include domestic workers in labor laws, which successfully passed Domestic Worker Bill of Rights Legislation in 2013, seven states have now passed similar legislation. She went on to lead nationally recognized campaigns for immigrant and worker rights such as We Belong Together, and the 100 women 100 mile pilgrimage for migrant dignity.
She was the Political Director and Lead Organizer at Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), a grassroots Latina immigrant women’s organization in the San Francisco Bay Area for eight years, organizing around domestic violence, immigrant rights and economic justice. Previously, she lived and worked in Bahia, Brazil with IPETERRAS, a sustainable agriculture and farmworker rights project. Andrea is raising her daughters in South Florida and fighting for their future.
- Camila DuarteHigh School Lead Organizer, United We DreamCamila DuarteHigh School Lead Organizer, United We Dream
Camila Duarte is a youth leader and organizer from South Florida. Camila came to the United States five years ago, from Venezuela, seeking asylum from the crisis her country was facing. She joined United We Dream through their organizing efforts in her community of South Florida. Campaigns such as the Dream Act helped engaged and empowered this young womxn , who helped organize events and actions in her local community of South Florida. Camila’s organizing efforts continued after campaigns like the Dream Act, as now she is the high school lead organizer in South Florida. Her work helps empower young immigrants and people of color, and teaches them the necessary skills to become organizers and community leaders themselves.
- Chrissie CastroVice-chair of the Los Angeles City and County Native American Indian CommissionChrissie CastroVice-chair of the Los Angeles City and County Native American Indian Commission
Chrissie Castro, Diné and Chicana, is the Vice-chair of the Los Angeles City and County Native American Indian Commission, and co-led the change to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in the city and County of Los Angeles; She was a co-founder of Indigenous Women Rise, which organized the Indigenous women’s contingent of 1,000 Indigenous Women at the Women’s March in DC. She is the Network Weaver of the Native Voice Network, a national network of 35+ Native-led organizations that mobilize through indigenous cultural values; and recently launched two projects to build community and political power of Native communities – locally, the California Native Vote Project and nationally, Advance Native Political Leadership.
- Dennis RiveraDennis Rivera
- Eli CunaNational Field Director, United We DreamEli CunaNational Field Director, United We Dream
Eli Cuna is United We Dream’s National Field Director. Eli is a community organizer and movement builder from New Mexico, and develops the field and political strategy and implementation plan for our branches in Texas, New Mexico, Florida, and affiliates from CA, NY, OK and other states to mobilize.
She came to the U.S. at age 14 with one of her siblings and reunited with her parents and the rest of her siblings at age of 16. Eli is proud of her story as an undocumented young womxn of color who was raised by hardworking migrant workers. Eli came out as undocumented and joined the immigrant youth movement in 2004 when she participated in her first class walk out at Capital High School in Santa Fe to voice the need for access to college education for undocumented youth in New Mexico. Eli’s organizing practice is rooted in racial justice, intersectionality and indigenous epistemology.
She has organized in rural communities and developed curricula to engage her community in the necessary work of undoing racism and fighting for environmental and economic justice. She also served as a racial justice community project manager at the Community Engagement Center at the University of New Mexico and was an ethnographic research associate at the Center for Study of Urban Poverty at UCLA.
Eli co-built a statewide network of immigrant youth in New Mexico called NMDT and has strengthened the organizing and advocacy infrastructure in the state by creating initiatives like: UndocuHealing, UndocuResearch, The (Un)documented Story Project, and NM DREAMZone. Eli is a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Civic Policy (CCP) and Funders Youth Collective Organizing (FYCO)and holds two B.A. degrees and a M.P.A from the University of New Mexico. Eli’s search for justice comes from her journey of learning from the elders in her tribe & community and is proud to share the wisdom of those elders and her experience with United We Dream as the network embarks on a multi-racial, intersectional strategy to bring justice and dignity to people’s lives.
- Joella RobertsYouth Leader, United We DreamJoella RobertsYouth Leader, United We Dream
Joella is a proud native of the beautiful island of Trinidad and Tobago. Her family brought her to America as a child in pursuit of their dreams. She is now a proud DACA recipient attending the University of the District of Columbia where she is on track to complete her Baccalaureate in Business Administration in the Spring 2019. Joella has had many accomplishments thus far at UDC with her most recent accomplishment being elected as the Undergraduate Student Government Association Vice-President for the 2018-2019 academic year. Although she is working to take care of her family, she also works heavily with many local chapters of organizations such as, United We Dream, to bring social change for her community and others.
- Jose Luis MarantesPartner, Management Center, UWD Co-FounderJose Luis MarantesPartner, Management Center, UWD Co-Founder
Jose Luis Marantes (JLM) is a community organizer, trainer, and social entrepreneur who brings a passion for unlocking people’s full potential and getting leaders unstuck and on mission. JLM currently serves as a partner at the Management Center, training hundreds of progressive leaders on how to set up structures that get results and work towards more equitable and inclusive workplaces. As a co-founder of the United We Dream Network, he helped establish the internal systems that took a small movement-building startup to an established national organization with more than 50 affiliates and dozens of staff leading the fight for immigrant justice. He co-developed the Education Not Deportation Campaign, which worked to stop deportations at a national scale, laying the groundwork for DACA being announced in 2012. As a state director for Mi Familia Vota in Florida, he led a team of 60+ staff to motivate 40,000 voters to go to the polls. He has led campaigns and managed teams for the PICO Network, Center for Community Change, and the Florida Immigrant Coalition, and was selected as an Emerging Innovator by Ashoka Changemakers for his work in bringing communities together in Orlando across language differences. He holds a Masters in Entrepreneurship from the University of Florida and a B.A. in Sociology from Wesleyan University.
- Kimberly AlexanderOrganizer, Connecticut Students for a DreamKimberly AlexanderOrganizer, Connecticut Students for a Dream
Kimberly Alexander is 18 years old and currently a freshman at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. She was born in Jamaica and immigrated to the United States at the age of 9. She is a youth leader for Connecticut Students for a Dream (C4D) and has participated in various projects and campaigns. She is engaged in her local community through volunteer and social justice work (tutoring at a local school and setting up community meetings). She is currently apart of the C4D #liveunafraid campaign and works to increase civic engagement in her community. She hopes to work with and engage high school students and the UndocuBlack community.
- Lorella PraeliDeputy National Political Director and Director of Immigration Policy and Campaign, ACLULorella PraeliDeputy National Political Director and Director of Immigration Policy and Campaign, ACLU
Lorella Praeli is a freedom fighter, movement builder, policy advocate, and agitator. She is the ACLU’s Deputy National Political Director and Director of Immigration Policy and Campaigns, where she defends the rights of immigrants and refugees and builds power to develop, reaffirm, and vastly expand pro-immigrant measures in states and localities of resistance. Most recently, she was the National Latino Vote Director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Prior to joining to the campaign, Lorella served as Director of Advocacy and Policy of United We Dream, the country’s largest immigrant youth-led organization, where she led the advocacy campaign to implement DACA, and was part of the team that persuaded the Obama administration to protect four million undocumented Americans through Deferred Action for Parents of Americans.
Lorella got her start in Connecticut, where she co-founded and directed CT Students for a Dream and led the organization’s efforts to pass and implement tuition equity for undocumented students. She immigrated from Ica, Peru to New Milford, Connecticut with her family at the age of ten, where she grew up undocumented. Lorella graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from Quinnipiac University.
- Maurice MitchellNational Director, Working Families PartyMaurice MitchellNational Director, Working Families Party
Maurice Mitchell will take the helm at the Working Families Party as National Director this summer. He brings more than twenty years of experience in community organizing, electoral politics and social movements to the role.
I was born and raised in Long Beach, a diverse, working class community on the south shore of Long Island. My grandmother was the first member of the family to emigrate to the US, from the Caribbean. She worked cleaning houses on Long Island and was later joined by my parents. My mother was a nurse and his father an electrician. Both were union members and both politically-minded.
I developed a taste for organizing early. As a teenager, I was involved with student organizing and anti-war activism and also played in energetic political punk bands. While in college at Howard University, a classmate was killed by Prince George’s County police, an episode also recounted in Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. The killing led me into a formative experience as a student organizer against police violence.
After college, I worked at the Long Island Progressive Coalition, leading advocacy and electoral campaigns. At LIPC, I organized multiracial coalitions and learned to build power in all kinds of communities -- working-class and affluent, Black, immigrant, and white. I went on to become Organizing Director for Citizen Action of New York, and then ran the New York State Civic Engagement Table, a coalition of community and civic engagement groups working on issue and electoral campaigns to build progressive power.
Two tragedies changed the course of my life. First, Hurricane Sandy destroyed my house in Long Beach, and left me living in hotels for months. Eighteen months later, Mike Brown was killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri. I traveled to Ferguson to be in service to organizations on the ground that were responding to the police violence in Ferguson and St. Louis. Out of that and other experiences, I co-founded and managed Blackbird, which is an anchor organization within the Movement for Black Lives, providing strategic support and guidance to activists and groups around the country. In that role, I helped to organize the Movement for Black Lives convention in Cleveland in July, 2015.
- Montserrat PadillaStatewide Director, Washington Immigrant Solidarity NetworkMontserrat PadillaStatewide Director, Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network
Monserrat Padilla has been organizing LGBTQ, immigrant and communities of color on the ground for over 10 years to build collective movement power. She was a co-founder of the Washington Dream Coalition and has led national & statewide campaigns, including the victory on the Washington State Dream Act to expand eligibility for state aid in higher education to undocumented students.
Monserrat worked as a the National Program Coordinator for the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project, a program of United We Dream, where she worked across the country building a national network of LGBTQ immigrant community leaders, advocates and organizers to develop policies and advocate addressing the needs of LGBTQ immigrant communities. Now she is the statewide coordinator for the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network, a powerful network of 100+ organizations fighting to protect immigrant and refugee communities in our state.
Monserrat was born in Jalisco, Mexico. At the age of 2 she migrated to the U.S. with her mother and two older siblings. She grew up in East Los Angeles, CA where she became part of the 11 million undocumented families living in the U.S. At the age of 15 she moved to Seattle, Washington, graduating from Chief Sealth International High School in 2010 and attending the University of Washington in Seattle. She is Undocumented & Unafraid, Transgender & Unashamed!
- Neidi DominguezNational Strategic Campaign Coordinator & Assistant to the GeneralNeidi DominguezNational Strategic Campaign Coordinator & Assistant to the General
Neidi Dominguez is the National Strategic Campaign Coordinator and Assistant to the General President for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT). Neidi is a long-time labor and immigrants’ rights organizer. She co-directed the CLEAN Carwash campaign in Los Angeles, California, which successfully unionized hundreds of car wash workers in Los Angeles County and changed working conditions for thousands of low-wage immigrant workers. She was also a key leader in the campaign to win Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
- Roksana MunDirector of Strategy and Training at DRUM, UWD Board MemberRoksana MunDirector of Strategy and Training at DRUM, UWD Board Member
Roksana Mun was born in Bangladesh and migrated to NYC in 1991 and grew up in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and Jackson Heights, Queens. Her mother is a domestic worker and her father was a street vendor and is now a taxi driver. Growing up working-class has shaped a large part of who Roksana is as an organizer and her commitment of immigrant, worker and racial justice. Roksana joined as a youth member of DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving) in 2003, through their Summer Organizing Institute. She became a member because of the Islamophobia at school and losing family members who were deported due to Special Registration, a post-9/11 program which required 80,000 non-citizens from Muslim countries to register with ICE and DHS and deported 13,000 people.
Roksana was the Youth Organizer of DRUM from 2008-2009. From 2009-2011, she was a Legal Advocate at the Urban Justice Center for welfare advocacy for low-income/no-income New Yorkers. Roksana rejoined DRUM in April 2011 as the Dignity in School Campaign Organizer to focus on local and national policies to end the School-to-Prison Pipeline and the criminalization of youth of color. Roksana is currently the Director of Strategy and Training at DRUM. She oversees the development and progress of the Racial, Immigrant and Education Justice campaigns across both youth and adult memberships.