Meet Your Regional Organizers

California State Director: Francisco Chavo Romero

california@wfpsw.org

Francisco “Chavo” Romero taught middle school reading, literature and math, working with students with learning disabilities for over a decade (2000-2010).  In addition to his past as an educator, he is a committed social justice community organizer. He has been a community organizer for over 19 years, beginning as a member of student organization, M.E.Ch.A (1994), Oxnard Chapter of the Chicano Moratorium (1995), Unión del Barrio Member (1995), Coordinator of Committee on Raza Rights (1999), Raza Press and Media Association (2000) Editorial Board, the Southern California Immigration Coalition (2006) and the Colectivo Todo Poder al Pueblo (2010). He was the assistant Program Coordinator for the Dr. Rodolfo Acuña Gallery and Cultural Center at Cafe on “A” in Downtown Oxnard (2011-2013). For several years Chavo worked as a legal assistant working on immigrant and civil rights cases. He also works in the community of Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles for Promesa Boyle Heights, a community organization working on educational justice issues.

 

Francisco has also previously served on the Witness for Peace Southwest board, from 2008-2010, and led multiple educator’s delegations to Cuba as part of work for the WFPSW End the Blockade campaign.  Francisco joins us now as the California Director – Regional Coordinator to carry on the amazing work WFPSW has contributed in building solidarity with the peoples of Latin America.

 

“I am excited to join the new team, with three directors, one in Arizona, one in New Mexico, and myself here in California – I know that we will be able to coordinate activities in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the south! Now more than ever, we need to continue building a mass social movement for social justice.”

 

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Arizona State Director: Eva Lewis

arizona@wfpsw.org

Eva Lewis is a community organizer, aid worker and media maker based in the rural border community of Arivaca, Arizona. Since 2006, she has lived and worked in many conflict and post-conflict zones.  She spent time in rural El Salvador working with local anti-mining and community radio organizations and in Colombia as a member of the International Peace Observatory, a human rights accompaniment organization, where she first became acquainted with the work of Witness for Peace.  She has also traveled as an independent journalist to the Gaza Strip and worked in New York City, where she is originally from, on the Spanish language team at Democracy Now! and as the staff person for the grassroots media network Deep Dish TV. For the past five years she has been based in Arivaca, AZ, a community on the U.S./Mexico border, where she organizes around border demilitarization and humanitarian aid to those crossing without papers, with the community group People Helping People in the Border Zone.  She recently completed a feature length documentary film about the town of Arivaca and local struggles to demilitarize the borderlands.

 

“I am humbled and excited to join the team of Witness for Peace Southwest as the new Arizona Director.  I can’t wait to build up Witness for Peace in Arizona as an organization that can and will support and sustain the movement building we so desperately need. I hope you will join me.”

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New Mexico State Director

newmexico@wfpsw.org

Alma Rosa Silva-Bañuelos has been a community organizer in her hometown of Albuquerque, NM since the late 1990’s and has worked throughout New Mexico facilitating local and rural communities to self-organize for social, environmental, economic, reproductive and gender justice. She has worked with many local, statewide, regional, national, bi-national organizations and community groups to continue movement building for another world that is possible. Alma Rosa is an anti-oppression trainer, LGBTQ cultural competency trainer and has trained statewide as well as nationally. In recognizing the systems of oppression and colonial structures she continues to organize towards another world that is necessary.  Alma Rosa believes in the strength and resiliency in the intersection of identity and in the journey of decolonizing and honoring her whole self, she brings forth her Two Spirit identity as Mexica Azteca.

 

Currently, Alma Rosa is working with Transgender immigrants seeking asylum and creating networks of support for rapid response efforts in partnership with TransLatin@ Coalition in L.A. and TGRCNM.  Her organizational and Board development background have fostered values of relationship building, collaboration, networking, creativity and conflict resolution. Alma Rosa is a co-founding member of Young Women United in ABQ, NM a local non-profit; community organizing for and by young women of color. Alma Rosa served as the founding Director of the LGBTQ Resource Center at the University of New Mexico for seven years and is the founder of the NM LGBTQ Round Table. She also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Transgender Resource Center of NM (TGRCNM), Equality New Mexico (EQNM), Casa Q and was Co-Chair of the Coordinating Council for the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice, SNEEJ. Alma Rosa was recognized by the Recuerda Cesar Chavez Committee and was awarded the Dolores Huerta “Si Se Puede” Award, 2013 for life long commitment to community, social and human rights issues.

 

“It is with great pleasure I join the Witness For Peace SW team to be part of organizing efforts to bring about social change.  We are the eyes watching U.S. Foreign policy in Latin America and witnessing the ripple effects on the US/Mexico border. Together we can hold our elected officials accountable and work in partnership with local communities in the SouthWest, Nationally and Internationally, to be the change.”

 

“We must become our best humanity and reflect our humanity in the eyes of others.”

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