Ethan was raised in a multicultural household by an immigrant mother and a second-generation American father. Always interested in learning about other people and their history and customs, he graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s in International Studies, where he focused his research on Latin America. After graduating, he spent a year in Panama with the Peace Corps before being evacuated at the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Upon his return, he looked for ways to work within the community he was raised and has been working with the Rural Women’s Health Project as the Immigrant Programs Manager, where he helps to advocate and fight for a more inclusive community for the immigrant population in Gainesville and Alachua.
Edwin Castro was born in Cartagena, Colombia, and came to the United States at seventeen. Edwin pursued a bachelor's degree in Accounting and Business Administration at Northwestern State University in 2019. He is currently doing an MBA at Atlantis University. His biggest Dream is to create a Foundation to offer resources to the international student community as he received before and to transfer his motto that "Giving Up is not an option in this country."
Dieunie came to the United States from Paris, France in 2012. Originally, from Haiti. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Pontifica Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic, and earned advanced degrees in Statistics from the European Center for Statisticians in Madrid, Spain. She has been involved in Public works since her youth, initially as an analyst for the Haitian Institute of Statistics. Her skills led her to become a Public Relations Manager in Haiti’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Eventually a Diplomat responsible for Cultural Affairs, in the Embassy of Haiti, in the Dominican Republic, a Consul and Chief of post for Haiti in the French Lower Antilles, and Diplomat Counselor for Cultural and Economic Affairs in the Embassy of Haiti in Paris, France. She joined Catholic Charities/Pierre Toussaint in January 2014 as teacher to provide general parenting skill classes for families, case management, domestic violence prevention classes; she also joined FLIC in June 2020 and has continually provided invaluable support, assisting with our HR and logistics teams. Another field Dieunie has excelled in her life is the art of painting, she loves painting so much she obtained a degree in Fine Arts. Her Hobbies are painting, traveling and helping people in need.
Rosa Elera is a Peruvian-American digital communications professional born in Miami,FL with a history in South Florida politics having worked on Judicial, Municipal and Congressional campaigns in Miami-Dade County. Overseeing as well as managing Social Media content and copy,Print/ Digital ads, event coordination, and organizing strategy.
She Graduated in August 2020 from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Minor in International Relations. She is also Certified in Global Media Communications. While in college she also served as an E-board member for both UN Women FIU and Pi Sigma Alpha The Political Honors Society local chapters.
Also interning as a political contributor for FIU’s South Florida Media Network, she was an intern for Coral Gables Love, Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Miami-Dade and Reach Voters.
She currently holds a volunteer position as Community Outreach Chair with The Woman’s Chamber of Commerce of Miami-Dade County and an active member of the Democratic Executive Committee and the Miami-Dade Young Democrats. Rosa is passionate about working toward and amplifying our immigrant community rights and overall social justice.
Natsumi was born and raised in Japan and moved to Florida in 2013 to pursue B.A. in Communications and Advertising at Flagler College. She has also earned an MBA from Webster University in 2018 and since then she's been working in the Digital Marketing field with the focus on operations and SEO. While she has mostly served in the fitness and sports media industry, she's very excited to be a part of FLIC to take on a new challenge. As an immigrant herself, she struggled with immigration system for 10 years and is passionate to help immigrants so they can strive in their lives without fears and worries.
Nezahualcoyotl "Neza" Xiuhtecutli is an immigrant from Mexico, and grew up in South Carolina. He is the General Coordinator of the Farmworker Association of Florida. He has been with the organization since 2016 when he joined the research team. During that time he focused primarily on protections against heat stress for farmworkers and worked on testing curricula for pesticide training for farmworkers. Before coming to the Association in 2016 he worked with rural communities in Mexico and Central America, where he became interested in indigenous economic and governance systems, including communal land tenure. He is currently finishing a PhD in anthropology at Tulane University. He enjoys reading and hiking, listening to live music, and traveling to new places. He is also an avid baseball fan.
Felipe Sousa-Lazaballet (he/they) is the newly appointed Executive Director of Hope Community Center, in Apopka.
In addition to managing day-to-day operations, leading 30 staff members, overseeing the management of seven programs, and increasing financial support for the 50-year-old organization; Felipe collaborates with community advocates, supporters, leaders, and organizations throughout Central Florida to drive the interconnectedness and synergy of Hope’s programs. His first-hand understanding of the immigrant experience along with his vision, passion, and power of networks have refreshed Hope's support, empowerment, and advocacy for immigrants and others who are tenacious and courageous in the face of all systems of oppression.
Prior to joining Hope, Felipe was the Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Sr Specialist for the Office of Multicultural Affairs at the City of Orlando. In this position, he proposed policy recommendations and programs; advocated for best practices on LGBTQ+ issues and immigrant and refugee affairs; and directed outreach to the Muslim, Brazilian, and Haitian communities to encourage greater participation in city services.
A proud immigrant from Brazil, Felipe came to Miami when he was only 14 years old. In 2010, he walked on the Trail of Dreams, a 1,500-mile walk from Miami to Washington, DC, to share the stories of immigrant youth and to push for administrative relief for millions of undocumented immigrants. He also worked with Presente.org, an organization seeking to solve some of the most pressing issues impacting the Latino community through communication strategies.
A graduate of Miami-Dade College with an Associate of Arts in International Relations and a bachelor's degree in Business Studies with a Minor in Economics from St. Thomas University, Felipe was also Co-Director of GetEQUAL, a national social justice LGBTQ organization; served as the Deputy Managing Director at United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth network in the country; and worked at ThoughtWorks, a multinational software company, working at the Office of Social Change Initiatives as the Director of Strategic Partnerships.
Felipe is happily married to Luis Sousa-Lazaballet (he/him) and together they have a beautiful puppy, Cosito.
He is also on the board of Blisscares Healthcare, is the co-chair for Orlando’s WorldPride 2026 bid, and he is the chair of the One Orlando Alliance board of directors.
Christian Gonzalez-Orbegoso (he/they) is the proud North FL Organizer of New Florida Majority. The son of immigrants from South America, who made Miami their home in the 1990s, Christian has been fighting for equity and justice throughout the state of FL through movement-building within communities of color, the state legislature, and the school system for the past 5 years.
Christian served as the esteemed Duval Win Justice Organizer, part of the statewide campaign to expand democracy and access to voting for low-propensity Black and LatinX Voters, which successfully passed Amendment 4 and turned DUVAL Blue in 2018 (after 2 decades of Conservative turnout). Prior to 2018, they dedicated two years of public service as an AmeriCorps Member/Lead with City Year, an international education non-profit fighting to close the achievement and graduation gap in underserved communities, mainly Title-1 funded Black and Latinx schools. While serving, they were a trainer for the New Politics Leadership Foundation, a non-profit centered on training and electing community members and servant leaders to run for public office.
Previously, the proud FL Gator lived and worked in Tallahassee, FL with the Office of FL State Representative David Richardson, the first out LGBTQ+ state-wide elected official. Christian envisions the building of an intersectional transformative movement in North FL, to secure our liberation in 2020 and for our future.
Jonathan (he/him) currently serves as a co-director for Central Florida Jobs With Justice. He has been involved in social justice organizing work for the last 10 years. First, as a student and organizer with the Student Labor Action Project chapter at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, and with the United States Student Association. He joined the Jobs With Justice network in 2014 as the membership organizer, working alongside FLIC staff and their various member groups throughout the state. Jonathan is a first-generation citizen, born to two parents that immigrated to the United States from The Bahamas via Uganda. He is also a big-time football fan, with his favorite team being Manchester City.