Rosana Donoso Barredo came to OneAmerica after completing an Organizing Fellowship at Fuse Washington. She believes in empowering immigrant communities and is excited to do it through civic engagement and the New American Program at OneAmerica. Rosana worked as a volunteer coordinator and political desk intern at the Obama for America presidential campaign in 2008 during the New Hampshire and Massachusetts primaries. She has been involved in the non-profit sector, focusing on education, health, and community building both in the US and internationally. She holds a Master’s in Education from the University of British Columbia and a B.A. in Political Science and Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal. During her free time Rosana loves to travel, photography, cooking difficult recipes, and interacting with and learning from people of different cultures and backgrounds. She was born in Ecuador, later moved to Massachusetts as a teenager, and has lived in Switzerland, Denmark, and Canada.
Rich Stolz was born in Seoul, South Korea. His parents met in Korea, when his father, an American citizen, worked there in the construction field. His mother became a naturalized citizen, and Rich’s family moved to the United States when he was three. Rich grew up in Redwood City, California, where he was raised by his mother. Growing up, Rich was always conscious of his bi-racial identity, which was framed by his and his mother’s experience as new-comers to the United States. From an early age, Rich thought a good deal about what it meant to be a citizen, what it meant to be American, and the consequences of prejudice.
Over the last fifteen years, Rich has worked at the Center for Community Change, a national organization based in Washington, D.C. During that time, he focused on the intersection of policy, politics and organizing across a broad spectrum of issues impacting low-income and minority communities, including jobs and income support policy, immigration policy, infrastructure investment and environmental justice. He has lived and organized in communities as diverse as Portland, Maine; Montgomery, Alabama; Tucson, Arizona; Washington, D.C.; and Seattle, Washington.
Early in his tenure, he focused on the impact of welfare reform and immigration law changes enacted by Congress in the mid-1990s, providing support to community-led grassroots organizing around the implementation of these laws and attempts to reauthorize them in Congress. Later, Rich helped to found and staff the Transportation Equity Network, a multi-ethnic organizing strategy focused on the impact of transportation policy on job access, community development, and environmental justice.
Eventually, Rich returned to immigration policy and organizing as the coordinator of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), a national coalition of immigrant rights organizations fighting for comprehensive immigration reform. In that capacity, he helped to organize some of the largest mobilizations and protests in American history, supported the growth of youth organizing across FIRM, managed nonpartisan voter mobilization programs in Arizona and adoption of civic engagement strategies by immigrant rights organization in numerous states, supported the emergence of new immigrant rights organizations and coalitions across the country, and he managed grassroots efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation in 2007. He was later tapped to be the Campaign Manager for the Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign in 2008, a multi-million dollar, cross sector (labor, faith, community, business) campaign with more than 900 organizational endorsers.
Rich first cut his teeth in organizing while a student at Stanford University in California to create ethnic studies programs that would resource investment in research and instruction on Asian American, Chicano, African American and Native American Studies. In 1994, he served as a volunteer in efforts to defeat proposition 187, an anti-immigrant ballot measure in California. Throughout his life, he has been deeply influenced by the civil rights movement and liberation theology in the context of Catholic social teaching, including the centrality of faith, radical love, and human dignity. Together, these experiences affirmed his calling to social justice and human rights organizing and activism. Follow him on Twitter @rstolz11.
Ashley Leasure, Co-Founder of OrangeGerbera, Inc., works closely with the OneAmerica team helping to guide and develop its development program. Her work in the field is guided by more than sixteen years of experience as a Director of Development and member of executive management teams for social service, arts and medical-based non-profit organizations, most recently expanding the fundraising programs of ACT Theatre and Seattle Theatre Group (the historic Paramount and Moore Theatres).
Prior to coming to Seattle, Ashley led successful development programs including a seven-county division of the March of Dimes and CENTERS for Children & Families. In early 2007, she co-founded her company, OrangeGerbera, (www.orangegerbera.com) that specializes in fundraising and communications, and began consulting with several nonprofit groups in the Puget Sound area. Clients include Legal Voice (formerly Northwest Women's Law Center), Lifelong AIDS Alliance, Hedgebrook, Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, Women's Funding Alliance, Explorations in Math, Make a Wish Mexico and Family Law Casa. Ashley serves on the Board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals/Washington State and is a member of other industry groups.
Anne Mace-Deines holds a B.B.A in Accounting from Howard Payne University. She also graduated from Howard Payne University's Multidisciplinary Honors Program in Public Policy as a recipient of the Hatton W. Sumner’s Foundation Scholarship. Anne also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio with an emphasis in accounting.
Prior to OneAmerica, Anne has served in different capacities at various nonprofits and governmental entities. She served as the Programs Manager/Chief Financial Officer in establishment of the Bexar County Family Justice Center, a one stop shop for victims of domestic violence. During this time she received certification from the Office of Homeland Security as a Domestic Violence Instructor and began the implementation of a county-wide training program for schools, school officials, and other members of the community. She also created and maintained budgets over $4 million including operation and grant specific budgets.
Anne has also served in roles as the Program Coordinator and Finance Director for various other nonprofits including United Way, Mexican American Unity Council, and Family Services Center, Inc. She also served as the Grant Writer/Administrator for the City of South Padre Island where the City was successfully awarded $3.8 million in grant funds for various projects including building of a new fire station and beach restoration activities within the first 6 months.
Fernando Mejia-Ledesma has been an activist and human rights campaigner for over a decade. As Interim Director of the Idaho Community Action Network, Fernando lead a team of community leaders in registering more than 2,500 new voters. He coordinated the fundraising, leadership development and construction of a community radio station and successfully implemented an Immigrant rights campaign in 2013 which included mobilizing hundreds of small businesses and thousands of people into the streets.
As Director for Immigrant Rights at Alliance for a Just Society, Fernando coordinated trainings, actions and rallies around immigration reform and supported coordination of direct actions in different parts of the country, including an action at Speaker Boehner’s office in DC.
He has a bachelor’s of arts in Political Science and International Relations with a secondary emphasis on Latin American Studies from Boise State University.
Rebekah graduated from Pomona College with a BA in Religious Studies, and from the University of Chicago with an MA in Divinity. She also taught in South Los Angeles as a Teach for America corps member, earning an additional MA in Elementary Education. She has been with OneAmerica since the spring of 2008.
Born in Tijuana, Baja California, Kimberly is the youngest and only girl of four children in her family.
Kimberly’s parents came to Washington State from Mexico, bringing her to the U.S at the age of 3, to search for a better future and life to provide all of their children.
A 2013 graduate of Wapato High School and currently attending Yakima Valley Community College, Kimberly is working towards receiving an Associates in Arts. She plans to become an immigration lawyer.
Fighting for immigration reform and human rights are passions for Kimberly. She has volunteered for OneAmerica and participated in several civil disobedience actions.
Kimberly was also a rider on the Keeping Families Together bus tour. “It gave me the opportunity to grow as a person and a leader, inspiring DREAMers like me to continue their education and never give up because with dedication and hard work, everything is possible.”
Eric González Alfaro is OneAmerica’s Advocacy Manager. Eric served as Director of the Equal Justice Coalition, a non-partisan grassroots organization and standing committee of the Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Board, where he worked for three years, successfully increasing federal, state and local funding for Washington state civil legal aid programs. Eric has served as Public Information Officer for the Nebraska Latino American Commission, served on the Board Nominating Committee of ACLU Nebraska, Seattle University School of Law’s Leadership for Justice Fellowship Selection Committee, and has worked for Northwest Justice Project and Columbia Legal Services.
Eric is a first generation Mexican-American and first generation college graduate. Eric’s parents are former migrant farm workers who continue to rely on apple industry jobs for their livelihood. He was raised on an orchard a few miles outside East Wenatchee, Washington, where throughout his youth surrounded himself among seasonal farm workers and their stories of struggle – mirroring those his father endured in the 1970s traveling from job to job in Central Valley, California and the Yakima Valley. Both his parents adjusted their status in the mid 1980s but lived in the shadows as undocumented workers until such time. Eric’s father eventually became a naturalized citizen in 1996 and his mother did so recently, on July 4, 2014.
His upbringing is why he’s dedicated his professional career to promoting social justice and to pursuing a life-long goal: giving a voice to those in need.
In his spare time, Eric volunteers at The Vera Project, lends his skills at KEXP as an in-studio photographer and enjoys spending time in his small kitchen perfecting his mother’s recipes.
Katelyn is a recent graduate of Pacific Lutheran University with BA in Hispanic Studies and Anthropology. Throughout her four years in Tacoma, she assisted various projects and outreach initiatives in the immigrant community. She served as an ELL teacher and engaged in other community-based organizing. Her latest projects and internships include a research project in Tacoma focused on disaster preparedness in the homeless community that was featured in the 2013 Society for Applied Anthropology Conference and partnerships with Bolivian organizations that provide services with youth empowerment, sex education and immigrant rights. An underlying passion of hers has always been immigrant justice in relation to other social justice movements, and she is happy to be involved in an organization that shares this passion.
A Rocky Mountain native, Ellicott grew up in a town with a large but disenfranchised immigrant population. The inequality she witnessed as a child continues to inspire her work at OneAmerica.
Ellicott graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Colby College with a B.A. in Anthropology and Latin American Studies. She was involved in a number of student-led efforts to improve the campus environment for LGBT students, students of color, and survivors of sexual assault. Her undergraduate research led her to Guatemala and Ecuador where she developed a deep passion for environmental justice.
When Ellicott’s sense of adventure tugged her to Seattle, she joined the OneAmerica team as an AmeriCorps member in the Washington New Americans program. As a Policy Associate she now focuses primarily on how environmental issues affect Washington’s immigrant and refugee communities. When she’s not working, you can find Ellicott at farmer’s markets, trail running, backpacking, skiing, or enjoying the region’s impressive selection of craft beers.
Prior to joining OneAmerica as the State Policy and Legislative Manager, Toby was the State Policy Director at the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) where he coordinated the organization’s state advocacy efforts and provided training and technical assistance on immigrant access to benefits. At MIRA he also had the opportunity to work on English language and workforce development programming and policy with the English for New Bostonians program and English Works Campaign. He holds a master’s degree in social work from Boston University and is very glad to be back on the West Coast.
For as long as she can remember, Marijo has held a great passion for social justice. While she has volunteered for a variety of different causes, she finds that she prefers providing her time pursuing victories for oppressed communities. Over the last ten years, Marijo gained experience in the finance industry; specifically banking and accounting. In 2014, she made the decision to combine her love for justice work with her love for numbers and make a career out of it. Marijo made the decision to go back to school to pursue her degree in Social Sciences with the University of Washington.
During off hours, you can find Marijo reading, watching any and all Seattle sports-related events, traveling, or experiencing something new in the great Pacific Northwest.
Charlie is the founder of Front Flip, a consulting firm focused on developing forward-thinking strategies for change agents. He was Communications Director with OneAmerica for several years and is grateful to continue supporting the OneAmerica family through strategic fundraising and communications.
Charlie received his Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in 2007, focused on international human rights and China. He spent one summer studying Mandarin at Beijing University, where every morning he drank sweet coffee from a can while riding a bike he built out of a box through crowded, noisy streets to the beautiful 北京大学 campus. He also has a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University from the days when reporters worked more frequently from phone books than the internet.
He did communications work with Human Rights in China, an international (and inspirational) NGO based in New York City that works to institutionalize human rights protections and expand civil society in mainland China. Before that, he was a legislative aide for a Seattle City Councilmember and has worked with non-profits and social justice campaigns in the Seattle area including the Children’s Alliance. Charlie has worked on local, state, and national campaigns, losing several of them, but learning a lot along the way.
Charlie discovered Seattle after traveling across country for several months in a used Toyota that finally broke down on I-5 near Tacoma. For the next few years he played drums in a hip hop band called Bakudan which means he also waited tables. As his alter ego DJ Spark, he plays music - mostly bossa beat, funk, hip hop, and soul - at special events for fun, dancing, and soul uplifting.
Follow his adventures on Twitter @cmcateer.
Roxana comes to OneAmerica with over 10 years of experience in advocacy and social justice work with immigrant populations. She holds a Bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington with a specialization in Community Centered Integrative Practice. As a former graduate intern at OneAmerica, Roxana brings firsthand experience of mobilizing immigrant communities towards civic action and policy change.
Roxana’s professional background includes providing cultural competency trainings to public schools and community based organizations to improve the system and services for immigrant populations and students of color. She has also served as a consultant leading policy change efforts for educational equity and presenting public health information to high school students. While with the City of Seattle, Roxana worked under the Immigrant and Refugee Initiative changing policies and expanding the capacity of the city to serve the needs of diverse communities.
Roxana’s policy work and community trainings are deeply rooted in her one on one work with immigrant families in crisis. She spent 5 years at Wellspring Family Services as a housing advocate working closely with low-income immigrant families at risk of homelessness.
In addition to her domestic experience, Roxana has also worked internationally for a women’s empowerment organization in rural India and taught English in a township in South Africa. After graduate school, Roxana was awarded the University of Washington Bonderman Travel Fellowship, allowing her to travel independently to the Middle East, Southeast Asia, East/West Africa and South America, while studying and writing about migration patterns, post-conflict zones, and displaced groups. Roxana is fluent in Farsi (Persian) and her experience as a first generation American informs her passion and commitment to justice and immigrant rights.
Ashley graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2012 with degrees in social work and international affairs and minors in Spanish and anthropology. During her time at Eastern she was lucky enough to travel to Spain, Ecuador, Kenya, and China, fueling her desire to be the first female to visit every country in the world without the use of flight. As a senior in the social work program she was required to complete a practicum, leading her to the Spokane office of World Relief, an international refugee resettlement organization. Here she interned in the Employment Department, assisting refugee clients with anything from job applications and interview practice, to teaching English and computers skills.
After graduation Ashley spent two semesters interning as a roadie for a non-profit called Invisible Children, where her job description entailed traveling around the New England and Southeast regions of the US with three teammates in a bright red, 15-passenger van, educating communities on the longest running conflict in Africa. Ashley is very excited to be an AmeriCorps member with the Washington New Americans program, where she hopes to combine her passion for the refugee and immigrant community and her interest in law to further OneAmerica’s work.
Sarah Sumadi graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern University with a B.S. in journalism and a concentration in Spanish. For two years, she served as Director of Volunteers and Communications at the Center on Halsted in Chicago, the largest LGBT community center in the Midwest. In 2011, she received a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to Buenos Aires, Argentina. She spent two and a half years there and earned a master's degree in international relations from the Universidad de San Andres. She also worked full-time as an academic adviser for EducationUSA, a program of the U.S. State Department, to help Argentine students apply to U.S. colleges and universities. Sarah is passionate about food and women's economic development.
In 2014, she co-produced, edited and published the Leaders from the Kitchen cookbook, which brings together recipes and stories from more than 40 women leaders and entrepreneurs in Belize and Nicaragua. So far, book sales have raised more than $5,000 for organizations that provide small business training and support to low-income women in both countries.
Becky joined OneAmerica as Individual Giving & Development Coordinator in November 2010. With more than five years of fundraising experience, Becky’s commitment to advocacy and social justice includes working with Seattle organizations Legal Voice (formerly the Northwest Women’s Law Center) and Plymouth Housing Group, as well as Community Shares, a social justice funding organization in Cleveland, Ohio. Originally from Ohio, Becky earned a BA in Sociology and a BA in American Studies at Kenyon College.
Chelsea comes to OneAmerica motivated by her experiences working within public schools with students and families over the past two years. She graduated from Bard College in 2011 with a B.A. in Human Rights, and while there was awarded the Davis Projects for Peace grant with a fellow student for work on an education project in Nicaragua focused on listening and responding to community voices. Through her work on this project she deepened her understanding of the necessity to apply a cultural awareness lens to issues of social justice.
Her first experience in the classroom was when she began as a Teaching Associate with Citizen Schools in the Bay Area in 2012, and last year she worked at Beacon Hill International School teaching after-school activities and homework support sessions. She has volunteered in several student support and teaching capacities - in middle school, kindergarten, and dual language immersion classes, and with Upwardly Global and the International Rescue Committee working with immigrant professionals and teaching ESL. Her experiences working with immigrant and refugee populations, and with students and families in the public school system, inform her commitment to advocacy and creating a more equitable education system that will close the opportunity gap. She grew up in the Seattle area and is happy to be back.
Pavan Vangipuram comes to OneAmerica with a background in science, activism and communications. A former Americorps volunteer advocating for the disabilities community, Pavan has engaged in environmental activism, foreclosure defense, and advocacy journalism. As a newspaper reporter, Pavan wrote several stories highlighting the plight of agricultural workers in California. In 2010, he was awarded the Smith/Patterson Science Writing Fellowship from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he recieved his MA in journalism. He has a BS in chemical engineering from Michigan State University.
Mohamud is a journalist, photographer, and the publisher and editor-in-chief of Runta (Truth), a news magazine that mainly serves Somalis in the Seattle area.
Born and raised in Mogadishu, Somalia, Mohamud speaks Somali, Arabic, and English; and has lived in seven countries: the U.S., Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia. He graduated from Lafole University with a B.A. in Journalism in 1984 and worked at the newspaper October Star until 1990.
From 1988-1990, Mohamud also traveled throughout Somalia as a freelance photographer and owned a coffee shop in Mogadishu. In 1990, the civil war began, and he soon found himself hungry and destitute in a refugee camp in Kenya. Mohamud was there for four months, until he was hired to manage press relations for the Ibrahim Al-Ibrahim Foundation, an aid organization.
In 1995, while in Nairobi, Mohamud founded Runta. Since coming to the U.S. as a refugee in 1996, he has studied English, obtained a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Washington, and served the Somali community in several capacities: training, organizing, coaching, advocacy, and providing interpretation and translation services between Somali and English at Seattle area hospitals, and the justice system, and facilitating the transition and integration of Somali children into area schools.
Hajer comes to OneAmerica with over six years of experience in higher education, program development, and social justice work. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Seattle University with a Bachelors in Political Science Honors and Legal/Women’s Studies. Hajer is passionate about political research and social reform and has volunteered extensively throughout various community organizations in King County. During her free time, Hajer enjoys baking, hiking, and traveling.
Nourah is an Early Learning Organizer for OneAmerica and an alumna from the University of California Santa Cruz where she graduated with two degrees in Political Science and Feminist Studies with a concentration on law, gender politics, and social change and a minor in Legal Studies/Pre-Law. Nourah is originally from Somalia, however, she grew up in Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania, where she finished her secondary education prior to coming to the U.S.
Nourah understands forced migration and displacement from a critical lens and from a very personal standpoint. Through this understanding and passion for human rights and a just world, she went on to do volunteer work with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Oakland and San Francisco, California, where she worked closely with amazing groups of new refugees from Iraq, Burma, Bhutan, and Ethiopia. Nourah performed case-work assistant management work where she learned a lot about case work, new life resettlement, and most importantly, refugees' vulnerability and agency. This led Nourah to critically think harder about what it means for refugees and immigrants when they give everything away to start anew, rebuilding life in a new country that might either help them be well equipped to strengthen their new journey or make them more vulnerable and dependent.
Prior to OneAmerica, Nourah worked with CARE International as California Student State Coordinator where she mobilized local activists and state led chairs in proudly championing women’s rights across the globe, girls education in marginalized communities in the global south, climate change, and access to socio economic equality. Nourah proudly advocated and helped the passing of the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act Bill (S.414) and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that passed in 2013.
In her senior year in college and out of curiosity and frustration, Nourah independently travelled to Kenya to what’s known as the largest refugee camp in the world, Dadaab, where she conducted research on Somali Women and Forced Migration during the worst man-made famine of 2011 when Somalia lost more than 30,000 children in a matter of few weeks. When in Dadaab, Nourah was able to connect many dots of forced migration in connection to gender violence, social economic inequalities, violent legacies of colonialism and worst existing humanitarian crisis response. This helped Nourah draft a commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGIU) where she was selected as a Brain Trust for Women and Girls from a pool of 200 students out of 600. In her spare time Nourah enjoys reading, music, hiking, yoga, playing soccer with her son, cooking East Afrikan dishes and hosting tea parties with her friends and loved ones.
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