Lizeth Chacon, Executive Director
Lizeth Chacon, an immigrant from Chihuahua, Mexico, came to Colorado 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 Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan. In the fall of 2014, Lizeth became the Executive Director of one of our legacy organizations, Rights for All People and in 2015 she led the union of Rights for All People and Colorado Progressive Coalition, she is now the Founding Executive Director of Colorado People’s Alliance (COPA). Lizeth is currently is on the Board of Directors of People’s Action and is an organizing trainer with National Jobs with Justice.
Hobbies: From March to October I spend most of my weekends at the Colorado Rapids games, and as much as I can I get out to enjoy what our beautiful state has to offer.
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. 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: “listening to hip hop, playing basketball, and hanging out with my dog Cutie.”
Elizabeth Murphy, Community Organizer
LEADING: CLIMATE JUSTICE WORK
Elizabeth grew up in Portland, Oregon. She has always been interested in social justice issues, and her involvement continued to grow throughout high school and college. In 2012, she graduated from the University of Portland with a major in Sociology and minor in Spanish. Shortly after Elizabeth moved to Colorado as an MSW student at the University of Denver, where she interned with several immigrant rights and community-led organizations, including one of our legacy organizations, Rights for All People. These experiences were part of the foundation of her value in the importance and strength in community-led movements.
After graduating from the University of Denver with a Masters in Social Work, Elizabeth continued to grow her passion for grass-roots organizing and supporting community leadership and power. She is excited to join COPA as a community organizer and support building power and winning progressive change!
Hobbies: I love exploring Colorado, spending time with friends, and hanging out with my dog (Murph).
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.
Julie Laven, Operations Coordinator
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 as Operations Coordinator!
Hobbies: I love to bake, spend time with friends, and be active outside–running, hiking, anything outdoors!
LeeAnn Gott, Program Coordinator
LEADING: CITIZENSHIP NATURALIZATION/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 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 am a also a professional DJ.