Staff

Oscar A. Chacón

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Evelyn Andrade

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Yanira Arias

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Zorayda Ávila Toledo

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Hazel Contreras

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Dulce Domínguez

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Laura Rivas

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Yanci Nuñez

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Helena Olea

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Mony Ruiz-Velasco

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Amy Shannon

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Annette Uriostegui

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Oscar A. Chacón Executive Director
Oscar A. Chacón is a co‐founder and executive director of Alianza Americas. Prior to his designation in 2007 in his current role, Oscar served in leadership positions at the Chicago‐based Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights, the Northern California Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, the Boston‐ based Centro Presente, and several other community based and international development organizations. Oscar has also served in multiple advisory committees to national and international processes including the Civil Society Consultation process associated to the Global Forum on Migration and Development and the World Social Forum on Migration. Oscar is a frequent national and international spokesperson on transnationalism, economic justice, the link between migration and development, migrant’s integration processes, human mobility, migration policies, racism and xenophobia; and U.S. Latino community issues.

ochacon@alianzaamericas.org

Evelyn Andrade Technology and Design Coordinator
Ecuadorian DACA recipient, Evelyn Andrade has spent her whole life finding ways to express her creativity and love for problem solving. Her visionary perspective landed her an internship with Alianza Americas as an administrative assistant but Evelyn’s leadership and ideas soon proved her title wrong. Today, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) School of Design and has worked with organizations, restaurants, conferences, grocery stores and private clients on projects including signage, event materials, furniture restoration, and logos. As of March 2020, Evelyn has joined the Alianza Americas team as their Technology Coordinator. Apart from her design work, Evelyn is the key point of contact for Alianza’s staff and members for technology training. Beyond her experience in industrial, graphic, UX, and website design, her upbeat personality and ability to adapt and learn quickly has positioned her well for her new role where she is helping advance the reach of Alianza’s mission by enhancing their communication and visual outreach.

eandrade@alianzaamericas.org

Yanira Arias Campaign Manager
Yanira Arias joined the Alianza Americas staff team in August, 2014 to coordinate the network’s response to the detention and stigmatization of thousands of Central American children and their families at the U.S southern border. In December of that same year, she became Alianza Americas new National Campaigns Manager. A native of El Salvador, she brings more than a decade of experience in the field of public health, with special expertise in community mobilization and participation, community organizing and capacity building to address health disparities and social justice issues. From 2003 to 2012 Yanira was part of the Latino Commission on AIDS in New York, where she served as Director of Community Organizing for the Latinos in the Deep South. In that role, she led the development and implementation of the Dennis deLeon Sustainable Leadership Institute for emerging leaders in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Yanira graduated from the University of El Salvador in 1996 with a degree in journalism.

yarias@alianzaamericas.org

Zorayda Ávila Training and Leadership Manager
Zorayda Avila is originally from Zacapu Michoacan, and now lives in Chicago. She holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from the Universidad de Morelia and a certificate in sexual education from the Instituto Mexicano de Sexologia in Mexico City, as well as a graduate degree in Citizen Integration Politics from the University of Valencia. Prior to joining Alianza Americas, Zory served as executive director of "Casa Michoacan," a cultural and education center in Chicago. She is a board member of the Network of Mexican Leaders and Organizations, and a member of Colectivo de Mujeres Trasnacionales. Zory's interests include: mental health and human rights, with a particular focus on building women’s leadership and strengthening the capacity of immigrant women as community leaders.

zavila@alianzaamericas.org

Hazel Contreras Regional Coordinator in Central America
Hazel Contreras is regional coordinator in Central America for Alianza Americas. She also leads communication and strategy in social networks of the Joven Camerata of El Salvador. She has experience in planning and executing projects such as: VII Central American Journalism Forum (ForoCAP 2017), for which she served as logistics producer, Workshop on the Fight against Illicit Traffic of Cultural Property organized by UNESCO in Central America (2016) as an on-site coordinator, Exhibition "Museo del Museo Prado in San Salvador" (Cultural Center of Spain in El Salvador, 2015) as coordinator of cultural mediators, among others.

hcontreras@alianzaamericas.org

Dulce Dominguez Development and Communications Coordinator
Dulce Dominguez is originally from Ixtapan de la Sal, Mexico and immigrated with her family to the United States at the age of 2 years old. Dulce is now a DACA recipient and has worked in her Lake County Community as an organizer and advocate for immigrant families. She is a co-founder for a grassroots initiative in Northern Illinois known as the Center for Immigrant Progress, working to engage Latino and Immigrant Youth to gain leadership skills and advocate for immigrant rights. She first joined Alianza Americas in 2018 as part of her graduate internship in policy and research. During her time as an intern she spearheaded two research projects focused on the health and safety of outdoor immigrant workers. Dulce obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Northeastern Illinois University, and a Master's Degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago. As the Development and Communications coordinator Dulce is charged with leading our fundraising goals to continue growing Alianza's impact.

ddominguez@alianzaamericas.org

Laura Rivas Social Media Manager
Laura Rivas got her Bachelor Degree in Social Communication at the Universidad Centroamericana “José Simeón Cañas” (UCA), of El Salvador, in 2014. She began working in the online journalism and social media field, which she used as an introduction to study and experiment more about the excel of digital marketing and its effectiveness with brands and organizations. Her first approach to digital advertising was in the ad agency Molina DDB, where she worked digital strategies as Social Media Manager for three years with regional and international brands as restaurants, hardware stores and gas stations. She was part of the first semester of the Culture Ministry in 2019, from the beginning of President Bukele government, who made social media his main communication channel. In June 2020 Laura took part of the communication team in Alianza Americas to work with social media, where she's looking forward to applying what she has learned and to achieve the principal role in social communication, transmitting every message and applying the right tools to improve the communication in all digital ways.

lrivas@alianzaamericas.org

Yanci Nuñez Communications Coordinator
Yanci Núñez joined the regional Alianza Americas staff team in Central America in July 2018. After graduating with a degree in Journalism from the University of El Salvador, in 2012, she gained experience in the newspaper El Mundo as a reporter and multimedia editor. In October 2015, she joined El Faro, an independent online newspaper that carries out investigative journalism on issues of human rights, inequality, corruption, violence, migration and impunity, with a regional focus. Her work at El Faro, as editor and community manager, allowed her to deepen her research on issues of minority rights. She also implemented strategies to increase El Faro’s community of readers and supporters. As communications coordinator, she works transnationally to increase visibility of the Alianza Americas network and advance its advocacy agenda.

ynunez@alianzaamericas.org

Helena Olea Associate Director for Programs
Helena Olea currently serves as Associate Director for Programs at Alianza Americas. She is an international human rights lawyer with advocacy and litigation experience before intergovernmental bodies and governmental agencies. Helena is an attorney authorized to practice law in Colombia, with an Ll.M. from the University of Notre Dame. She has over 12 years of teaching and research experience on human rights, migration, refugees and gender. She has also worked for non-governmental organizations in Colombia and in Chile. Helena has dedicated her professional life to the human rights of migrants, refugees, internally displaced persons, and women, combining advocacy and academia.

holea@alianzaamericas.org

Mony Ruiz-Velasco Associate Director for Network Power
Mony Ruiz-Velasco is a human rights advocate, immigration lawyer, organizer, and the Associate Director for Network Power at Alianza Americas. For more than two decades, Mony has worked to combine organizing, advocacy, and legal efforts on behalf of immigrant rights and social justice. Before joining Alizanza, Mony was the Executive Director of PASO – West Suburban Action Project where they advocated for local and statewide policy change, provided legal services, and organized local communities for systemic change. Mony also worked at the National Immigrant Justice Center for nearly thirteen years, where she became the legal director. Mony has provided legal counsel and representation to thousands of immigrants and their families focusing on women, LGBTQ immigrants, survivors of crimes and other vulnerable populations. Mony actively organizes and collaborates with community leaders regionally and nationally on anti-deportation and anti-criminalization campaigns. She advises and assists legislators and their staff regarding policy and legislation at the federal, state, and local levels. Her work includes the Violence Against Women Act, the Illinois Trust Act, RISE Act, VOICES Act, and previous efforts on immigration reform. She is currently on the board at NIJC and Equality Illinois and the advisory board for Define American and the Chicago Community Bond Fund. She previously served as the Board President at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights. In 1999, she graduated from St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas. Mony grew up in Mexico and in South Texas. Mony is queer, her parents are Mexican immigrants, and she is the proud mother of three beautiful children.

Amy Shannon Senior Advisor
Amy Shannon serves as a Senior Advisor to Alianza Americas, providing strategic and programmatic analysis and guidance. She has worked extensively in philanthropy, both as a consultant and as a program officer in the Environment Programs at both the C.S. Mott Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School, where she conducted research on rural financial systems, sustainable enterprise, and social marketing. Amy has lived and worked extensively in Latin America, and now resides in Arizona.

ashannon@alianzaamericas.org

Annette Uriostegui Operations manager
Annette Uriostegui serves as Alianza America’s Operations Manager. Prior to joining Alianza Americas in June of 2020, Annette’s leadership and organizational management experience comes from managing legal offices and community based non- profit organizations both in her hometown of Melrose Park and Chicago. After being enlisted in the Army National Guard for 8 years, Annette received a Bachelors in Gender and Women Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. As someone who’s family has been impacted by the broken immigration system in the United States her personal experience as a Mexican American daughter of immigrant parents is what has always rooted her work in social justice and advocacy with an emphasis in human and immigrant rights. As operations manager, Annette seeks to give administrative support to her team while finding innovative ways to sustain and maximize organizational capacity.