Lizeth Chacon, Executive Director
Lizeth Chacon, an immigrant from Chihuahua, Mexico, came to the United States at the age of 12. During her first years of school, Lizeth noticed the injustices and difficulties many immigrants face; from that moment she began volunteering at her school and got involved in the movement for social justice. Lizeth was the first one of her family to graduate from college; in the fall of 2010 she graduated from the University of Colorado with two Bachelor’s Degrees, one in Political Science and a second in Criminal Justice.
She got involved in the immigrant rights movement in 2006. In 2013, Lizeth was awarded a Mayoral Proclamation as “A Woman in Leadership” by the Mayor of Aurora, and in 2014 she became a founding board member of the Aurora Welcome Center, now called Village Exchange Center. In the fall of 2014, she became the Executive Director of Rights for All People and in 2015 she led the union of Rights for All People and Colorado Progressive Coalition to create and become the Founding Executive Director of Colorado People’s Alliance (COPA). Lizeth is also the Founding Executive Director of Colorado People’s Action (CPA). In 2016, Lizeth co-chaired the statewide ballot measure that successfully increased Colorado’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020, and co-created the Statewide Immigration Resistance Table. She co-founded the Transformative Leadership for Change Fellowship and currently serves on their Governing Circle. Lizeth currently serves as the Board President of People’s Action.
Lizeth continues to lead collaborative efforts on climate, economic, immigrant and racial justice issues.
Hobbies: “Family is everything to me so I try to spend as much time as possible with them and my two dogs – Kovu and Chloe. Like any good soccer fan, from March to October I spend time at the Colorado Rapids games.”
Ana Rodriguez, Community Organizer
Leading: Immigrant Justice Work
Ana Rodriguez is an undocumented macro social worker who is leading COPA’s immigrant justice organizing. Ana is a Houston transplant who previously served on the board of a Texas abortion fund and as a legislative director for a Texas Representative.
Hobbies: “I love cooking, spending time with my partner and my dog Bear, and enjoying the beautiful Colorado weather on coffee shop patios.”
Feven Enkuselasse, Community Organizer Leading: Immigrant Justice
Feven was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and moved to Aurora, Colorado with her family when she was just 2 years old. As she grew up witnessing her parent’s naturalization process, she grew a passion for issues regarding immigrant and racial justice, prompting her to pursue a degree in Political Science and International studies at the University of Colorado Denver, where she is now a fourth year student. Feven hopes to use her degree to further contribute to the fight against immigrant and racial injustice.
Hobbies: “I love reading, writing, and spending time with my friends and family.”
Robel Worku, Community Organizer Leading: Economic Justice Work
Robel was born in Toronto, Ontario in Canada, but grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. He started organizing as a junior at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where he majored in Political Science. While at NU, Robel was a member of the core team for Chicago Student Action, a network of student organizers on college campuses throughout the Chicagoland area, and the co-coordinator of Student Action at Northwestern. In addition to that, Robel was also an active leader within The People’s Lobby as the chair of the Mass Incarceration Task Force, a committee devoted to addressing the injustices within Illinois’s criminal justice system and support similar work nationally. He also played a role in the beginning stage of The People’s Lobby’s campaign to eliminate cash bail in the state of Illinois before joining us here at Colorado People’s Alliance.
Growing up in different parts Atlanta and coming from a family of Ethiopian immigrants taught Robel the ways in which race and class damages both communities of color and low-income communities writ large. Because of that, Robel wants to advance a vision for an economy and society that treats everyone as people deserving of love and respect, not simply as sources of profit.
Hobbies: “I enjoy listening to hip hop, playing basketball, and hanging out with my dog Cutie.”
Isis Usborne, Community Organizer Leading: Economic Justice Work
(they/them or she/her)
Isis Usborne was raised on the island of ‘Oahu in Hawai’i, where they first learned about political organizing as means of creating real change. In high school, they interned at the Hawaii State Legislature, and participated in We The People, a constitutional law competition where their team won 1st place statewide. After graduating, they interned with Local 5 of Unite Here, a hospitality and restaurant union, which taught them firsthand how people power can be built and maintained for the benefit of working communities. At the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, they helped start a labor solidarity student organization before relocating to Colorado in 2015, where they completed their Bachelors of Arts in Theatre and Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Denver. Now, in addition to this job, they are a restaurant worker, an active socialist, and a theatre practitioner/performer.
Isis identifies as nonbinary/genderqueer, and is of mixed-race Hispanic background – their family hails from San Antonio, but they have parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings scattered across the country and the globe. They see their personal mishmash of identities as contributing to their understanding of the world in all its interconnected oppression under capitalism. They owe any creative and intellectual bones to their amazing mother.
Hobbies: “Reading, crafting, making music/singing, acting, skateboarding, watching cartoons, dancing, hiking, playwriting, moshing, eating ice cream.”
Erika Cervantes, Community Organizer Leading: Climate Justice Work
Erika Cervantes, was born in Michoacan, Mexico but raised in a small central California agricultural community. Growing up as a first-generation scholar gave Erika the perspective and motivation needed to challenge dominant narratives. Erika began getting involved with social justice issues through her studies of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She took part of movements in her college community that encircled topics of social and climate justice like protesting for immigration reform and against fracking. She graduated with a minor in Global Studies emphasizing Women, Culture and Development because she recognized the influence of the facets of one’s identity in determining one’s successful socialization. She moved to Denver after graduating college to provide a year of service to an education nonprofit that focuses on reducing drop out rates in low resourced communities.Erika continues to work towards a sustainable future where everyone has equal access to the resources they need through her work as the Climate Justice Organizer for the Colorado People’s Alliance. Hobbies: “I love anything that has to do with food and being outside! From cooking for my friends and family to taking a hiking or camping trip.”
Julie Laven, Operations and Fundraising Manager
Julie grew up in Minnesota. She first became passionate about social justice while traveling to El Salvador in high school and gaining a deeper understanding of systems of oppression both abroad and in the US. Julie graduated from St. Olaf College in 2014 with majors in Spanish and Latin American studies. During that time she volunteered with the Latino community and studied abroad in Central America. After college, Julie lived in El Salvador for a year, working for a grassroots solidarity organization, before moving back to Minnesota to work at an education non-profit. She is excited to be in Colorado and be a part of the movement for progressive change through her work in operations and fundraising!
Hobbies: I love to bake, spend time with friends, and be active outside–running, hiking, anything outdoors!
LeeAnn Gott, Program Coordinator Leading: Citizenship Education
LeeAnn Gott grew up in southern New Mexico. At an early age, she got involved in politics and social justice issues, and in high school, spent an entire summer walking door to door, registering voters to vote. In 1982, Leeann moved to Aurora, CO where she got her teaching certificate and began teaching first grade at Kenton Elementary. After receiving her Master’s degree in ESL, she began teaching English to immigrant students and their parents, and joined the fight for immigrant justice. LeeAnn was a founding member of Coloradans for Immigrant Rights, and of the Aurora Education Association’s English Language Acquisition (ELA) Caucus, a group of teachers working to improve the education of immigrant students. Working with parents who wanted a stronger voice in the educational system, LeeAnn helped organize a district-wide ELA parent advisory group, and joined our legacy organization, Rights for All People in 2003. LeeAnn began teaching bilingual Citizenship Classes as members of Rights for All People asked for them. COPA’s program continues to help people become U.S. citizens and to be more deeply engaged in the community and the political process. “I was born with the rights and privileges of a white, middle class U.S. citizen. Therefore, I believe I have the responsibility to work to ensure that everyone has those rights. My involvement with Colorado People’s Alliance has provided me a way to work effectively towards the goal of equal rights and opportunities for all people.”
Hobbies: I love playing piano in a jazz trio, and backyard farming – growing food, flowers, and raising chickens.
Luis Xoy, Citizenship Educator
Luis E. Xoy is originally from Guatemala and has been living in the United States for over 20 years. Luis found Colorado People’s Alliance (COPA) through the Citizenship Classes and has been helping with the classes as a member for over two years. “They have given me the opportunity to work within the organization as a US Citizenship teacher and to me that is very important, as a part of the community.”
Hobbies: I like to swim and love music so much that I am also a professional DJ.