Meet Our Staff Alexandra Sossa Executive Director Alexandra first came to FLAP in summer, 2001. She has played an instrumental role in the success of the non-profit’s continued growth. Throughout her years of service with this organization, she has educated low income immigrants about their rights in the United States, developed working relationships with various organizations and foundations in Illinois and other States in the USA, and has supported attorneys providing legal assistance to a countless number of low-income immigrants, migrant and seasonal workers in the area. She has also written for several newspapers in Illinois, Spain and Colombia, been interviewed by the media countless times and has been invited to speak at events about issues that affect low-income immigrant workers in the USA. Alexandra has more than 30 years of experience performing community outreach and education for low-income immigrants. She has a long history of public service dating back to her work with coffee plantation workers in Colombia, where she also worked for nearly a decade with the Attorney General’s Office. She has educated low-income workers on their rights in the United States, Spain and Colombia. While in Spain, Alexandra helped citizens of Mexico navigate through the Spanish legal system via the Mexican Embassy. Alexandra graduated from the University of Medellin School of Law, Colombia and is certificated as a bilingual Mediator at the Center for Conflict Resolution in Chicago, Illinois. She is alumni of the Center for Leadership Innovation and also holds a Non-Profit Management certification from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In March of 2019, she was awarded the Foundation Award from the Illinois Human Rights Commission -IHRC-, to honor her commitment in promoting and cultivating women’s rights, freedom and achievement in Illinois. The IHRC is dedicated to promoting freedom from unlawful discrimination as defined by the Illinois Human Rights Act. The Act forbids discrimination based on: sex, age, race, color, religion, arrest record, marital status, familial status, disability, citizenship, national origin, ancestry, unfavorable military discharge, military status, retaliation, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, pregnancy and accommodation in employment, and order of protection status. Alexandra is dedicated to her craft and is truly committed to improving the working conditions for low-income workers across Illinois and the USA. She is a native Spanish speaker and is fluent in English. Email:firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone:847-668-2114 Amanda Villanueva Outreach Assistant Amanda Villanueva is a first-generation Latina graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2015). She has a Bachelors in Anthropology and a Certificate in Chicano Latino Studies, is bilingual, and can read and write in both Spanish and English. During her time at UW- Madison, she began working and organizing with M.E.Ch.A. (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Atzlan), a student organization founded during the Chicanx Civil Rights movement promoting higher education, art, and farm worker rights. Through M.E.Ch.A., Amanda acquired more vocabulary and resources necessary to educate about the injustices happening to her communities. Since working with M.E.Ch.A., she has become increasingly devoted to her communities and culture, working extensively with Dr. Andrea Arenas on the “Somos Latinas Digital History Project” archived at the Wisconsin Historical Society. She is furthermore acknowledged for her contributions in the book following said project, Somos Latinas: “Voices of Wisconsin Latina Activists”. Amanda has also been certified to give Know Your Rights workshops to her community through First Defense Legal Aid in Chicago and was a presenter at Colin Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights Camp”. During her time as a Know Your Rights educator, Amanda focused on educating the Englewood and Hyde Park communities about their 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments rights. She maintained youth groups and wrote “Know Your Rights” curriculum for middle and high school youth. By the end, youth were able to conduct their own Know Your Rights presentations to further educate their peers. Amanda now continues to advocate for her people by working with FLAP. As an outreach assistant, she supports FLAP’s mission distributing important information to those that do not know their rights at work. She travels throughout Northern Illinois and serves as the bridge for workers who are in need of help. Email:email@example.comPhone:630-877-8381 Arlo Chapple Development & Communications Assistant Arlo Chapple is the Development and Communications Assistant at FLAP. He works with the Board of Directors and Executive Director implementing the organization’s development and communications plan. Arlo has a passion for helping the Latino low-income immigrant community. At FLAP, he helps the organization grow and tell the story of the important work it does to improve working conditions in Illinois. Arlo graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Rochester in 2007 with a concentration in English and Creative Writing. Following graduation, he worked for a small manufacturer, working to make sustainable, eco-friendly skateboards. After that, using his hand-on knowledge of building, and his love for writing, Arlo helped create a variety of educational exhibits for nature centers and history centers in Illinois and Wisconsin. In 2017, after premiering an exhibit that Arlo helped write, the Grand Army of the Republic Museum in Aurora, Illinois, won a state award for Small Institute of the Year. Arlo speaks, reads, and writes English and speaks conversational Spanish. Email:firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone:312-784-3541 Carlos Cisneros-Vilchis Coordinating Attorney Carlos Cisneros-Vilchis is the coordinating attorney at the Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project-FLAP, where he oversees the organization’s litigation and community legal education efforts. Carlos earned his JD from Notre Dame Law School and is a licensed attorney in Illinois. He is licensed to practice law in the Northern District of Illinois, in the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and in the Central District of Illinois. Carlos is dedicated to providing access to justice and knowledge to migrant populations. Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, Carlos is an immigrant to the United States. He became interested in the plight of agricultural workers when working with Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE) in 2015. While working at ABLE, Carlos became steeped in immigration and employment advocacy. Carlos has learned to take cues from community advocates of the populations that he serves. He believes that by doing this a more holistic representation of the client and the community-at-large can be achieved. Carlos’s legal work has focused on providing access to justice, knowledge and legal representation to immigrants and agricultural workers. He has helped the immigrant population in Chicago in removal proceedings and with their contractual and consumer related questions. Since 2018, Carlos has focused on working with rural and suburban agricultural workers to ensure that their labor and employment rights are protected. This has resulted in large amount of money in settlements for agricultural workers. Furthermore, Carlos has given a range of Know Your Rights trainings, ranging from employment law to immigration law to the legalization of Cannabis. Carlos continues to focus on providing access to justice through his work with FLAP. He is a native Spanish speaker and is fluent in English. Email:email@example.com Diana Vargas Intake Coordinator and Outreach Assistant Diana Vargas is a first-generation Latina from Little Village, Chicago. She is a graduate of Dominican University, where she received her Bachelor’s in Political Science and Psychology. She is bilingual; she can fluently speak, read, and write in both Spanish and English. Her determination to help the immigrant and underprivileged community began at a young age by witnessing the struggles, setbacks, and frustrations her predominantly Latino immigrant community experienced. She sought opportunities working with them in Chicago and surrounding suburbs after graduating college. She began organizing as a fellow for Casa Michoacán in the “Juntos Podemos” campaign, where she helped undervalued and underprivileged immigrant communities navigate the citizenship and DACA process through extensive outreach. During her time as an organizing fellow, she learned the importance of grassroots organizing as a tool to effect change at the local, regional, and national levels. Through her continued passion for helping underprivileged communities, she joined First Defense Legal Aid. At FDLA, she taught Know Your Rights workshops, trained peer educators about alternatives to policing through their Help Not Jail program, alongside lawyers, and connected community members to resources through their 24/7 hotline to help assuage unnecessary contact with police. Diana continues to help the underprivileged and immigrant community through her position as Intake Coordinator and Outreach Assistant at FLAP. As an Intake Coordinator and Outreach Assistant, she supports FLAP by doing community outreach and educating workers on their labor rights across Illinois. Email:firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone:773-818-2403 Sasha Reyes Outreach Assistant Sasha Reyes is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She is a first-generation Latina who was raised on the south side of Chicago by two hard working parents. Growing up, Sasha’s primary language was Spanish; she has vivid memories of learning English before entering kindergarten and as such, she is bilingual and fluent in both English and Spanish. Sasha has been committed to serving her community; as a young adult, she and a couple of classmates co-founded an after-school club at Whitney Young Magnet High School. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a gender in the workplace class Sasha took opened her eyes to farm workers’ working conditions. During college, Sasha was then inspired to partake in a successful national campaign involving Trader Joe’s who was rightfully asked to pay farm workers merely one more penny per bucket of tomatoes that were harvested. After graduating, Ms. Reyes joined First Defense Legal Aid. She worked as a bilingual Know Your Rights educator delivering workshops in English and Spanish under the supervision of attorneys. Since Sasha could remember, when asked what profession she wanted to be a part of, She always responded with “I want to help people”. This mission she always carried with her in her heart wherever she went. Sasha is happily committed to continue advocating for her community in all capacities and is delighted that she can continue her Know Your Rights work at FLAP! As an outreach assistant, she supports FLAP’s mission distributing important information to those that do not know their rights at work. Email:email@example.comPhone:224-522-3178 Board Officers Jose Rivero Chairman Jose Rivero Chairman Attorney at Law - Cullen, Haskins, Nicholson & Menchetti Jack King Vice Chairman Jack King Vice Chairman Retired Director of Student Professional Development - College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Northern Illinois University Vincent H. Beckman IV Treasurer Vincent H. Beckman IV Treasurer Former Chicago Public School Teacher-Managing, Partner at Tanta Chicago, Managing Partner at Arbella, Partner Nicelce Company. Shahryar Afshar Secretary Shahryar Afshar Secretary Equity Options Trader Formerly a member and proprietary trader at Lantana trading and Riverbank Capital Management Board of Directors Royal F. Berg Royal F. Berg Attorney at Law Maria Dominguez Maria Dominguez Legal Assistant Suzanne Juday Suzanne Juday Retired Educator Ron Levitsky Ron Levitsky Retired Educator Baldemar Lopez Baldemar Lopez Attorney at Law Legal Advisory Board Julie Herrera Julie Herrera Attorney at Law - Law Office of Julie Herrera Thomas H. Geoghegan Thomas H. Geoghegan Attorney at Law - Despres Schwartz and Geoghegan Ltd. Founders Margo De Ley Margo De Ley Founder and Honorary Board Member Olgha S. Sandman Olgha S. Sandman Founder Patricia Mendoza Patricia Mendoza Founder Roberto Ramirez Roberto Ramirez Founder Vincent H. Beckman III Vincent H. Beckman III Founder, Honorary Board Member, and Former Executive Director Volunteers David Arfa Cartographer David Arfa Cartographer David Arfa has a BA in Geography and a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Washington. He has been a volunteer since 2011. Memo Ramirez Software Engineer Memo Ramirez Software Engineer Memo specializes in building data-driven applications. He has a BS from the University of Chicago and has been a volunteer since 2012.