Manuela Stewart Sifuentes
Board Member, CO-CHair
Director of Community Partnerships at CU Engage, where she builds and sustains relationships with community leaders and organizations carrying out collaborative projects that advance the public good. Having spent her childhood going back and forth between Guatemala and the United States, she learned to straddle both worlds and move seamlessly between two languages and cultures. Manuela began her career coordinating medical interpreter services for immigrants in Washington, DC, an experience that solidified her desire to work in the areas of social justice and equity, particularly with immigrant, migrant, border and other marginalized communities on issues such as language access, sexual and reproductive health, fair housing and educational achievement. She holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Colorado, as well as MPH and MPA degrees from the University of Michigan.
Board Member, CO-Chair
Community Engagement Manager for the Just Transition Collaborative, Co-Director of the Aquetza Summer Program and program coordinator for the Foundation for Leaders Organizing for Water and Sustainability (FLOWS). She is passionate about environmental and social justice, inter-sectional and interdisciplinary education and the critical engagement of underrepresented youth and historically marginalized communities. She is concerned with identifying, addressing and communicating issues of injustice and inequity in policies that disproportionately impact marginalized communities. Magnolia is a firm believer of grassroots efforts, community knowledge and social dreaming. In her spare time, she enjoys platicas with family and friends, traveling, eating good food and reading.
Board Member, SECRETARY
Program Director at Voices for Children CASA of Boulder County. She is trained in law and social work and has 15 years of experience in direct service, legislative advocacy, non-profit management, and organizing work with bilingual communities. Dana’s passion is working to dismantle the school to prison pipeline.
At CASA, Dana recruits, trains, and supports volunteers who work one-on-one with kids in the child welfare system. She also coordinates ongoing training for volunteers and community stakeholders to help children and families navigate the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Dana is passionate about building collaborative relationships to find innovative solutions to complex social challenges. She loves climbing, dance, baking, and tiny things.
Diego De Castro
Board Member, Communications and Marketing
A brand marketing and product go to market strategy specialist. Diego has spent his adult years focusing on how strategy can be used to promote messaging, companies, and products the right way to make the desired impact. Moving to Colorado at the age of 2 from the Dominican Republic and a son of educators, at both end of the education spectrum, he believes in the power of education and it’s fundamental ability to empower a person and a community. Bilingual and Bi-cultural, he is grateful for the opportunities and experiences both his Dominican and American cultures have shown. Diego has an MBA from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain and an Double Major Bachelors from the University of Colorado at Boulder. When not busy help in the community, you can find him spending time with family, friends, or out in the garage working on get his car ready for the next race (stage rally).
Laura González Palacios
Board Member, Communications and Marketing
A former chemistry lab coordinator at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Laura spent her childhood between Mexico and Guatemala and came back to her country of birth, the US, when she was 12. Thus, adopting and adapting a mixture of cultures and languages. She is the youngest daughter of undocumented immigrants and is a first-generation college undergraduate. Having been a recipient of welfare as a child, she strongly believes that access to health and education are fundamental to resolve many of the socioeconomic issues that many of us Latinos face. She has been a middle school science teacher at an alternative campus where she started a couple of extra-curricular activities for at-risk youth. After two years of teaching, she attended CU-Boulder to get a MS in Physical Chemistry where she had the opportunity to conduct scientific research at the French National Center for Scientific Research. She also considers herself a world-traveler and loves learning new languages. She is passionate about educational equity and access and loves to engage in civic duties and education. She also serves her community as much as she can for the rights of undocumented immigrants.
Board Member, CO-TreasureR
Post-baccalaureate student at the University of Colorado Boulder after earning two baccalaureate degrees in Ethnic Studies and Integrative Physiology at CU. She is bi-cultural and a daughter of Mexican immigrants and a first generation college graduate, born and raised in Colorado. Since graduating with two BA’s in 2016, America has worked in educational access and equity at Colorado Youth for a Change, re-engaging youth pushed out of the public school system and for Boulder County Public Health’s GENESISTER program for pregnancy prevention among teen girls. She is passionate about social justice, dismantling institutionalized oppression, reproductive rights and equity, civic engagement among historically marginalized communities, and access to quality education and health equity. America enjoys traveling, live music, engaging in introspective conversations/platicas and spending quality time with family and friends
Board Member, CO-TreasureR
Jennifer Diaz-Leon is a proud immigrant from Durango, Mexico. She moved to Longmont, Colorado at the age of two. From a young age, Jenny’s ultimate goal has been to make a difference within her community. She began volunteering at the division of Children, Youth and Families with the City of Longmont in 2013. As a city employee, she has worked in different roles with youth such as Youth Program Assistant and was then promoted to Program Specialist with the Gang Response and Intervention Program. Jenny specializes in community building and assisting youth in building their leadership skills. She is a product of the Longmont community and because of this, is passionate about helping those with whom she shares her community, especially the youth. Through work with the city, she helps to empower and support youth and connect families to the resources that Children, Youth and Families and our other community partners offer. Jenny joined the Boulder County Latino Task Force in summer of 2017 and has since then, held the position of Treasurer. She is involved in other programs such as Parents Involved in Education, La Lucha: Social Justice Coalition, Longmont Sister Cities Association, she is an alumni of the Boulder Community Foundation’s Leadership Fellows program and is the Co-Vice Chair of the Longmont Multicultural Action Committee. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, creating art and volunteering as a youth basketball coach or with other youth programming.
Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico, Maria moved to Boulder, CO at just five years old. As an immigrant, Maria has a unique perspective of what it means to be both a Latina with the traditional values of her native culture as well as what it means to identify as an American. With a foot in both worlds, it is no surprise that immigration and immigrants rights are two of the causes she is most passionate about, though she considers herself as an activist for all human rights causes. She currently works as an Immigration Paralegal in Boulder County and has experience working as a CASA child court advocate for more than a year. When she isn't fighting the good fight in a law office, Maria can be found channeling the inspiration of her Mexican culture to design her next fashion line and inspire others through her art.