Lizeth Chacon, Executive Director
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 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: “I enjoy listening to hip hop, playing basketball, and hanging out with my dog Cutie.”
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 Berhanu, Part-Time Community Organizer
LEADING: IMMIGRANT JUSTICE WORK
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
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 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 I am also a professional DJ.