Staff

COPA Team

Lizeth Chacon, Executive Director
Lizeth@coloradopeoplesalliance.org

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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, Steve Hogan 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. In 2017 she co-founded the Transformative Leadership for Change Fellowship.
Lizeth continues to lead collaborative efforts on climate, economic, immigrant and racial justice issues and currently serves as the Board President of People’s Action.

Hobbies: “Family is everything to me so I try to spend as much time as possible with them, from March to October I spend most of my weekends at the Colorado Rapids games, and as often as I can I get out to enjoy what our beautiful state has to offer with my dogs, Chloe and Kovu”.


Robel Worku, Community Organizer
LEADING: ECONOMIC JUSTICE WORKColorado People's Alliance. Economic Justice Organizer. Robel Worku
Robel@coloradopeoplesalliance.org 

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. Within this role, Robel aided the efforts of Reclaim Chicago to oust Cook County’s State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and elect a candidate, Kim Foxx, that believes in reducing incarceration and shifting drug control from a criminal issue to one of public health. 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 Action.

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.”


Ana Rodriguez, Community Organizer 
LEADING: IMMIGRANT JUSTICE WORK
Ana@coloradopeoplesalliance.org  Colorado People's Alliance. Immigrant Justice Organizer. Ana Rodriguez.

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 Berhanu, Part-Time Community Organizer 
LEADING: IMMIGRANT JUSTICE WORK
Feven@coloradopeoplesalliance.org IMG_4104.jpg

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.”


Erika Cervantes, Community Organizer 
LEADING: CLIMATE JUSTICE WORK
Erika@coloradopeoplesalliance.org 

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 imageperspective 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 ManagerColorado People's Alliance. Operations and Fundraising Manager. Julie Laven

Julie@coloradopeoplesalliance.org

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!


Citizenship Class

LeeAnn Gott, Program Coordinator
LEADING: CITIZENSHIP NATURALIZATION/EDUCATIONColorado People's Alliance. Citizenship Class teacher. Lee Ann Gott
leeann@coloradopeoplesalliance.org

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@coloradopeoplesalliance.org Colorado People's Alliance. Citizenship Class teacher. Luis Xoy

Luis E. Xoy is originally from Guatemala and has been living in the United States for over 20 years. Luis is currently preparing to receive his US Citizenship. Luis found Colorado People Alliance (COPA) through the Citizenship Classes and has been helping with the classes as a member for over a year. “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.