Speakers (C-F)

Montserrat Caballero is the Volunteer and Student Engagement Coordinator in the Pima Community College Adult Basic Education for College and Career Division. She manages the Volunteer Program, which assists adult learners in getting their high school equivalency, learning English, becoming US citizens, and assists highly skilled immigrants in gaining US based employment skills. She has many years of experience working with immigrant and refugees, especially along the US/Mexico border, and volunteers her time with various organizations in Tucson, AZ.

Juliana Cabrales is Mid-Atlantic Director of Civic Engagement with NALEO Educational Fund. In this capacity, Juliana promotes the organization’s civic engagement campaigns in the Mid-Atlantic region and North Carolina while providing programmatic support to national civic engagement efforts. She was born and raised in Colombia and since joining the non-profit sector, Juliana has worked with the Latino community in different capacities. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Latin American Coalition in Charlotte, NC.

Aida Cardena is the Executive Director of Building Skills Partnership, a unique training collaboration between the janitors’ union (Service Employees International Union-United Service Workers West), responsible businesses, and the community to advance opportunities for building service workers across California.  Aida is a daughter of Mexican immigrant service workers. She graduated from UCLA in 1996.  Aida was appointed to the Workforce Development Board for the County of Los Angeles and is part of the Council for Immigrant Integration. She received the 2013 Leadership Award from the James Irvine Foundation.

Elizabeth Cadle was appointed District Director of the Phoenix District Office and a member of the Senior Executive Service in 2016. Ms. Cadle had served as the Deputy District Director in Phoenix since 2011 until she was named Acting District Director in November 2015; prior to that she held positions as Enforcement Manager in the New York District Office and Director for the Buffalo Local Office.During her tenure in the Phoenix District she directed the investigation of a number of impact cases including Patterson Drilling, a racial harassment case which resulted in a $14 million consent decree.

Oscar A. Chacón is a co‐founder and executive director of Alianza Americas, a Chicago-based national network of Latin American immigrant‐led and immigrant serving organizations in the US. Oscar is an immigrant from El Salvador. He has been an organizer and a leader on community justice issues at the local, national and international levels for over 30 years. He has occupied leadership positions in multiple organizations including Oxfam America, Centro Presente, the Northern California Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights. Oscar is a member of the Inter-American Dialogue and the recently founded Latino-Jewish Leadership Council.

Carla Chavarria is a Mexican born creative. She uses her different skills as a creative to build start-up brands that create an emotional connection between them and the community.  She is the founder of Ocho Design Agency, Ganaz Apparel and Mira Listen Podcast.

Christine Chen returned to APIAVote in January 2011 to serve as its current Executive Director.  During her tenure she has strengthened and expanded APIAVote's partners into 26 states.   In addition Chen serves as President of Strategic Alliances USA. Chen currently serves on the Kennedy Center Community Advisory Board, Center for Asian American Media, OCA Northern Virginia Chapter, and the advisory boards for the Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association (APAMSA), and CAPAL.

Donna Cheung immigrated to the U.S. as a young child from Hong Kong and calls Phoenix, Arizona her home. Trained in medical anthropology, she is currently a caregiver of family members and the President of the Japanese American Citizens League, Arizona Chapter (JACL AZ).

Steve Choi is the executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC). The NYIC is an umbrella advocacy and policy coalition of nearly 200 member groups representing New York State’s immigrant communities. From 2009 to 2013, he was the Executive Director of the MinKwon Center for Community Action, which organizes, advocates for, educates and serves Korean and Asian community members in New York. Prior to that, Steve was a Staff Attorney and the founding Director of the Korean Workers Project at the Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund, the only project on the East Coast focused on providing free legal services to low-wage Korean immigrants. Steve received a J.D. from Harvard Law School, a M.A. from the University of Hawai’i, and a B.A. from Stanford University in History with Honors, and serves as Board Co-Chair of the National Partnership for New Americans.

Seemi Choudry is the Director of the Ofice of New Americans for the Mayor of Chicago. Born and raised in Venezuela, Seemi is the child of Pakistani immigrants who immigrated to Chicago. She graduated from Loyola University with a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish. As Director, Seemi has been working to champion immigrants’ rights including filing a lawsuit to protect sanctuary cities, urging Trump to keep DACA, and exploring new housing options for Chicago’s refugee community. In her spare time, Seemi runs Q’hubo Supper Clubs where she hosts immigrant chefs.

David Chung is the Cities for Action Coordinator at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. In this capacity, he coordinates a multi-city coalition focused on building stronger and safer cities through advocating for and implementing immigrant inclusive policies and programs. David has been involved in the immigrant rights movement for over 5 years through national advocacy and community organizing. He previously served as a National Field Organizer at United We Dream and a youth organizer at the MinKwon Center for Community Action.

Pedro Cons was named CPLC’s Executive Vice President of Integrated Health in October of 2015 where he leads CPLC’s primary and behavioral healthcare initiatives as well as domestic violence and child abuse prevention services. Prior to this role, he served as the Vice President of Multi-Family Housing Operations from 2013-2015, where he oversaw the acquisition, development, and management of more than 2,800 housing units. Other previous roles at CPLC include Vice President of Corporate Strategic Initiatives, Vice President of Human Resources, and Vice President of Recovery and Resiliency.

Madeline Cruz is the Director of Financial Wellness at TRP. She oversees the implementation, integration, and expansion of Financial Wellness services such as Home Purchase and Post Purchase Counseling/Education and Financial Coaching  across TRP’s target communities. In 2014 in her position as Financial Coach Ms. Cruz spearheaded the launch and implementation of the Lending Circles program, a credit building social loan. In late 2016 Ms. Cruz, as Financial Empowerment Manager, coordinated the implementation of the Ventanilla de Asesoria Financiera initiative in collaboration with the Mexican Consulate where financial coaching services are provided on site.

Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez is Vice-President of the Azusa Unified School District Board of Education. In her fifteenth year as a school board member, she believes strongly that the economic success of our country will only be achieved through educational equity. Xilonin works for Californians Together. She also serves on the CSBA Board of Directors, representing the greater San Gabriel Valley. In the past, Xilonin has served as the President of Californians Together and President of the California Latino School Boards Association. She has extensive experience in the development of local, state and federal education policy with a focus on connecting policy to implementation.

Michelle Curry is the Community Outreach Chair of the Metro Phoenix Public Affairs Council for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She also locally oversees the community website JustServe.org, a website that matches volunteers with volunteer needs in the community.

Sarah Dar is the Health Policy Coordinator at the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC). Sarah received her Bachelors in Psychology and Global Health Studies from Northwestern University and Masters in Public Health from the University of Minnesota. She has participated in community organizing around a number of issue areas, including as a member of Bend the Arc’s 2013 Community Organizing Residency. Sarah has led enrollment, outreach, and technical assistance around the Affordable Care Act in a number of roles at American Muslim Health Professionals (AMHP), Health Access MN, and MNSure (Minnesota’s state health insurance exchange).

Gina Da Silva is CIPC’s Government Affairs Manager. She is responsible for building political will in Sacramento around immigration issues for CIPC, including but not limited to: health and public benefits, drivers' licenses, detention and deportations, and tracking anti-immigrant legislation. Gina has played a crucial role at CIPC over the years, co-leading a budget campaign and administrative advocacy to establish the “One California” Immigration Services Funding as well as subsequent campaigns to increase state funding and provision of immigration relief services. She has also led legislative advocacy to advance state protections against E-Verify and discrimination within the employment verification process.

Ben D’Avanzo is the Senior Policy Analyst at the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, a national health justice organization which influences policy, mobilizes communities, and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. In this role, he develops strategic health and equity policy guidance for policymakers and Health Forum partners. Before coming to the Health Forum, Ben worked at Families USA, a leading consumer health advocacy organization.

Glenn Scott Davis was born and raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut and has lived in Seattle since 2010. Glenn oversees the Ready to Work Program, as well as assists departments in building equitable career and education pathways for immigrants and refugees. Throughout his life, Glenn has been deeply involved in the labor movement working for workplace and economic rights. In his past work, he has helped to expand educational and employment opportunities for immigrants and refugees, communities of color, and working people. Glenn has co-authored several publications including A Handbook for Adult Learning: Educational Philosophy & Program Standards; Washington State SEIU 775 Long-Term Care Training, Support & Career Development Network: A Blue Print for the Future; and Sustaining Worker Voice and Quality Care: A New Model of Transformative Learning in Nursing Homes. He was supervising editor of the textbook Gerontology, the Theory and Practice of Person-Centered Care widely used in New York City’s long-term care sector.

Pablo DeFilippi is SVP of Membership and Network Engagement for the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, a nonprofit that supports credit unions serving low-income communities. DeFilippi has over 20 years of experience in community finance and financial inclusion working with financial institutions domestically and internationally. Originally from Chile, DeFilippi came to the US in the 90s and almost immediately became involved with credit unions. Prior to NFCDCU, he worked for the World Council of Credit Unions’ International Remittance Program, an initiative to provide remittance services to consumers in the US and other countries through the credit union system.

Henry Der is a senior program officer at Four Freedoms Fund and a former Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya. He has taught ESL to adult immigrants, and also served as Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction at the California Department of Education, and State Administrator to bring Emery Unified School District out of fiscal bankruptcy. He currently serves on the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation Board of Directors, and steering committees of NoMoreExclusion.org and the End National Security Scapegoating Coalition.

Susan Downs-Karkos is Director of Strategic Partnerships at Welcoming America, where she oversees technical assistance for local governments, nonprofits, refugee resettlement organizations, and local collaboratives working to promote welcoming communities for immigrants and receiving communities.  She manages the Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange, which promotes promising practices between the U.S. and Germany in welcoming newcomers.  Susa is also the author of the Receiving Communities Toolkit.

Catrina Doxsee is a Research Assistant at the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, where her work focuses on adult education and workforce development. She holds an M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. in History from the University of Chicago.

Rev. Reuben D. Eckels is the former pastor of New Day Christian Church. Founded at Wichita State University, New Day has played a prominent role in spiritual and political life in Wichita. Prior to starting New Day, Rev. Eckels pastored Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Salina, Kansas. Rev. Eckels received his Masters of Divinity degree from Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio. In April of 2013 Mr. Eckels joined Sunflower Community Action (SCA) as the Director of Special Projects and has been instrumental in facilitating the Energy Efficiency Program, a partnership between the EPA, Sierra Club and SCA.

Nadia Kasvin started her career in refugee resettlement 24 years ago when she came to the United States as a refugee from Ukraine. In 2003, Nadia co-founded US Together, Inc., a state-wide organization providing resettlement and integration services to refugees and immigrants. Currently, US Together has operations in Columbus, Cleveland, and Toledo, Ohio, and resettles up to 1,300 refugees a year. In 2015, Nadia was honored as a White House Champion of Change for World Refugees.

Ian Elly Ssali Kiggundu was born in Rome to a Ugandan family. He studies Jurisprudence in Roma Tre University and is completing his law studies. Ian joined Rete G2 Seconde Generazioni in 2007 and has become the organization’s legal representative. Rete G2 is a network of Italian-born youth who have been campaigning for birthright citizenship and voting rights..The organization has drawn praise from the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the European Integration Forum. Ian has represented Rete G2 publicly, most recently in a talk on "Race, racism and xenophobia in a global context" at New York University's La Pietra Campus.

George Escobar, Senior Director of Human Services for CASA, oversees the majority of CASA’s social service programming including legal assistance, naturalization support, financial literacy, case management, health navigation and education initiatives. These programs address disparities and prepare community members for success while introducing them to CASA’s power building and leadership development initiatives. George has over 15 years of experience working for both the public and non-profit sectors leading a variety of programs targeting the Latino and immigrant community.

Petra Falcon is Executive Director of Promise Arizona (PAZ), which received the 2017 Affiliate Award for Advocacy from UnidosUS (formerly NCLR). Founded in 2010 (after a 100-day vigil against SB1070), PAZ is training and empowering a new generation of leaders in a new Arizona where anyone can achieve their full potential. A veteran activist, Falcon is a fourth-generation Arizonan. Her organizing career spans more than 25 years. Since its creation, PAZ has registered tens of thousands of new voters, helped hundreds acquire citizenship or legal status, and launched the careers of community leaders nationwide. A recipient of Mexico's prestigious Ohtli Award, Falcon believes effective organizing builds leadership and capacity across diverse communities.

Wendy Feliz is the Communications Director at the American Immigration Council. Wendy manages a highly-effective communications operation, working to drive a rational conversation about immigration in the United States. Her experience in public policy/advocacy communications spans her career in the communications field, which has included positions with New America Media, the Open Society Institute, and WAMU 88.5 FM.  Wendy has an M.A. in Public Communication from the American University, a B.A. in Liberal Arts from the New School University, and an A.A. from East Los Angeles Community College.

Paul Feltman is Deputy Executive Director for Global Talent Policy and Programs and Director of the Global Talent Bridge program for World Education Services (WES), a non-profit organization that helps immigrants gain recognition of their academic qualifications earned abroad. He oversees outreach, education and training programs, establishes strategic partnerships, and shapes policy initiatives designed to help immigrants successfully integrate into academic and professional settings in the U.S. and Canada.

Chris Ferrer, Mission Asset Fund Product Manager, serves as product owner for MAF’s technology products and projects, including the Lending Circles app, social loan platform, loan statements portal, and Salesforce integrations. Chris earned a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College.