STITCH Board of Directors
Maricela Donahue is the Director of National Programs at the Center for Progressive Leadership(CPL), an organization that focuses on developing diverse leaders for the progressive movement. She was born in Chicago to a pair of community organizers who instilled in her a deep commitment to social justice and inspired her to pursue a career in public-interest work. Now at CPL, Maricela manages three distinct leadership development programs: the New Leaders Fellowship, the New Leaders Internship, and the Executive Fellowship.
Prior to this position, Maricela was the Policy and Outreach Coordinator at the Coalition on Human Needs, a national non-profit organization working to advance public policies that address the needs of low-income communities and other vulnerable populations. At the Coalition Maricela engaged advocates from across the country in strategies to strengthen the federal government's response to poverty and other issues affecting low-income communities.
Maricela began her professional career as a field organizer with the Center for Community Change. There she coordinated a national campaign in support of the DREAM Act and worked with grassroots leaders, students and advocates to promote the rights of immigrants and seek reform of our nations immigration laws. She was responsible for the Center's early efforts to build greater youth leadership and presence in the immigrant rights movement. For the past five years Maricela has served on the Board of Directors of STITCH, an international women's labor rights organization. She earned a Masters in International Peace and Conflict Resolution and a Bachelors degree in Political Science from American University. In her spare time she is a Panamanian folkloric dancer.
Cheryl Aguilar founded her own public relations consultancy firm, Aguilar Communications, in 2011. Prior to this founding, Cheryl worked in communications for various progressive organizations including, the National Hispana Leadership Institute, Latin American Youth Center, the Center for Community Change. Cheryl has also worked as a reporter for Nuestra Communidad, a Gannet owned Spanish language newspaper and a researcher for the publication People en Espanol. Cheryl is originally from Puerto Cortes, Honduras and she graduated from the Rutgers University .
Emily Andrews has been active in the labor movement in the US and abroad for over ten years. After receiving her BA in Political Science and Women's Studies from Oberlin College in 2001, she participated in a year long internship in Mexico City with Centro de Reflexión y Acción Laboral (CEREAL), a NGO working to support democratization movements within some of Mexico 's largest labor unions. Following her time in Mexico , she worked as a Lead Organizer for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in the public service and heath care sectors.
In 2005, she returned to school for her Master's Degree in International Affairs at the New School for Social Research in New York City, focusing on labor rights and socio-economic development. During her two year program she interned at the New York Immigration Coalition and at the Union Network International (UNI) in Geneva . After completing my Master's program she worked as a project consultant for ACORN International in Peru and Mexico , hiring and training local community organizers.
She currently works with the International Brotherhood of the Teamsters as a Senior Research Analyst in the Strategic Research and Campaigns department. In addition to her position on the STITCH board, she is also a member of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 2, and was recently elected shop steward, as well as a member of the Coalition for Labor Union Women (CLUW).
Chirece L. Jones
Chirece L. Jones hails from Portland , Oregon . She is a Senior History major; Secondary Education minor at Howard University in Washington , D.C. Chirece is passionate about education, youth, and social equity. Chirece began organizing in her community as a young teenager in 2001, and eventually served as the Lead Organizer at Sisters in Action for Power in Portland , OR from 2006-2008. While a member of Sisters in Action, a grassroots organization dedicated to developing the leadership, community organizing, and critical thinking skills of young women, Chirece traveled with LELO's Every Women's Delegation to Cuba (2003) in opposition to the U.S. blockade on Cuba because of its devastating impacts on the Cuban people, especially women and children.
When she returned to Portland , she led several community presentations on the issues in Cuba around the blockade and the political prisoners, dubbed "the Cuban Five", to raise awareness and rally U.S. support. Chirece also traveled to Guatemala (2007) with a STITCH delegation where she attended a spanish language school, met with Guatemalan women workers in the maquila and banana sectors, and learned about the effects of global trade--CAFTA. Over the past summer (2011), Chirece had the opportunity to travel to Venezuela to learn more about Hugo Chavez's government and how the Ministry of Culture is addressing historical racism by supporting Venezuelan people of African and Indiginous decent in education, the workforce, and society at large. Chirece currently serves on the board of the Banneker City little League as Secretary in NW D.C. and is actively involved in the TransAfrica Forum Student Assocciation at Howard University.
Rosa Lozano is a second-generation Salvadoran immigrant born in South Bronx, NY and raised in the neighborhood of Mount Pleasant in Washington, DC after her parents fled persecution in El Salvador for being part of the guerrilla resistance movement during the civil war in the 1980's. Her mother is a long-time DC community activist and former coordinator of the FMLN-DC chapter, her father was a union organizer with SEIU through the Justice for Janitors Campaign.
Rosa has been very involved in different organizations and initiatives to support social and political movements in El Salvador such as CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) and recently co-coordinated a delegation of young Salvadoran's to El Salvador called “Radical Roots,” which attempted to re-connect Salvadoran-American youth with their cultural and political roots. Rosa is currently a member of the FMLN-DC Chapter and previously served as their Youth Representative. Throughout her life, she has been consistently active in solidarity work with Central America, Mexico, and Cuba fighting for social justice; working around issues of militarization- i.e. coups, free trade, mining, human rights issues, etc.
As a student she organized on campus ( University of Maryland College Park ) around issues of labor rights through Feminism without Borders and was part of two successful corporate responsibility campaigns led by United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) against Russell Athletics and Nike Inc.
In 2010, Rosa launched the very first Youth Program at CASA de Maryland as the Youth Organizer and successfully helped in passing the MD Dream Act since it was originally proposed 10 years ago. Her commitment to the immigrant rights movement stretched cross country as well, as she was one of the “ball-park 4” whom rushed the field at the Nationals Stadium during a Washington Nationals v. Arizona Diamondbacks game in protest of SB1070 as part of the Move the Game campaign.
Catalina Nieto is an activist and community organizer with over 10 years working for human rights and immigrant rights in the United States and Latin America . Catalina and her family were forced to migrate from their home country Colombia in 2000 because of security and economic reasons.
Since Catalina's arrival to the United States , she has worked in organizing and educating communities about issues facing Latino/a immigrants in the United States , the roots of migration and the detrimental effects of U.S. military and trade policies in Latin America . She has worked as the National Organizer with the Latin American solidarity organization Witness for Peace, as the Education Director with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, and mentoring Latino/a youth with the Chicago ENLACE Partnership.
Catalina is currently an M.A. candidate in Social Justice and Intercultural Relations from SIT Graduate Institute, and she is conducting a research project on issues facing Latin American migrant women in the United States . She holds a B.A. in Sociology and a B.A. in Communications, Media and Theater from Northeastern Illinois University .
Lillian Walker Shelton
Philadelphia native Lillian Walker Shelton was groomed to be involved in social justice causes from childhood, when her mother impressed upon her and her brothers to be active in their community and assist others.
While finishing her under graduate degree, Lillian worked full-time at Verizon's Directory Services and served as a Union Steward for CWA Local 13500. Later, she volunteered with LELO (the North West Labor Employment Law Offices) in Seattle , Washington . Since relocating to the District of Columbia , Lillian has volunteered with many organizations that support labor and women's rights. As a Shop Steward for OPEIU Local 2 she helped organizer her co-workers to win a good contract at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. She has also served as the treasurer for the DC Metro CLUW, as a board member for STITCH, as a volunteer with Tamika and Friends, and as an ESL tutor at St. Michael's Archangel Church . As an Alexis Knox Fellow through the Younger Women's Task Force, Lillian leads empowerment workshops with participants at local job readiness program STRIVE D.C.
As an organizer with Jobs with Justice, Lillian supports DC JwJ's work organizing to address issues that affect poor and working DC residents, promoting immigrant rights, and holding politicians accountable for the promises that they make to DC residents.
Lupita Aguila Arteaga is the Executive Director of the Washington, DC-based feminist women's labor rights organization STITCH. Ms. Aguila Arteaga is a long-time worker rights advocate from Chicago who was first exposed to the unjust working conditions and unfair treatment of workers when her Mexican-immigrant parents, both factory workers, were injured on the job. In Chicago, she worked as a Worker Rights Advocate and Organizer with the Chicago Interfaith Worker Rights Center, now known as ARISE Chicago, a non-profit organization that advocates for worker rights in the Chicagoland area and organizes immigrant workers primarily from Mexico and Poland. At the workers' center, Ms. Aguila Arteaga also managed the research and development phase of an alternative financial program for low-income and immigrant communities. She later worked as the Program Coordinator for the US Labor Education in the Americas Project (USLEAP), a Chicago-based Latin America labor rights and solidarity organization working with unions and worker rights' organizations in Mexico, Central America, and Colombia. Ms. Aguila Arteaga was also a member of the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) in Chicago and currently volunteers as an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor for day laborers with Jobs with Justice DC. She is also an avid fan of playing and watching futbol.
Maria Cazorla is the U.S. Coordinator of the STITCH US program ELLAS- Empoderando Lideres Latinas, Aliadas, y Sindicalistas ( Empowering Latina Leaders, Allies and Unionists ) based in Central Mississippi. Maria is a Cuban immigrant and former Mississippi poultry worker. After being threatened and harassed by her supervisor for being an adamant worker rights' advocate, Maria quit the plant when she received a threat along with a photograph of her five-year old son in front of his daycare in the mail. Prior to working with STITCH, Maria was an organizer with the Mississippi Poultry Workers Organizing for Economic Rights worker center (MPOWER). Maria has dedicated herself entirely to defending worker rights in Central Mississippi and is widely recognized as a community leader.
The Central America field office was closed in April 2011 due to economic hardship. Since then, the Central American program has been functioning through the collaborative efforts of the STITCH Red de Mujeres por Justicia Social y Economica ( Network of Women for Social and Economic Justice ).