A Lo Largo del Viaje | Along the Journey. Conversations with our friends to honor Hispanic Heritage Month
Join us for our Community Engagement Charlas, A Lo Largo del Viaje
Community Engagement Charlas is a creative project from MAPA Collaborative, LLC. Paula and Maritza, Co-founders, will be your host for the series.
Lucia Gómez is the Political Director of the NYC Central Labor Council - AFL-CIO. Prior to joining the NYC CLC, Lucia was the Director of Organizing and Strategic Partnerships for LiUNA Local 78. In different capacities, her life’s work has been around empowering workers and their communities to take action through grassroots organizing, leadership development, and civic engagement. Lucia has held high responsibility positions in government and non-government sectors. She has extensive knowledge of voting and enfranchisement laws, as well as extensive experience in election administration & electoral campaigns, geographic information systems, decennial census, and community organizing. Ms. Gómez has a BA from Rutgers University-New Brunswick and studied anthropology at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, México. Lucia is a graduate of the Cornell University/NYS AFL-CIO Union Leadership Institute, the Hispanic Federation/Baruch College Leadership Institute, the Coro Immigrant Civic Leadership Program, a past Policy Fellow of the National Institute for Latino Policy, Board member for the NYS Immigrant Action Fund, Make the Road Action, and Align. She also serves as the Vice-President of Latinas United for Political Empowerment Political Action Committee (LUPE PAC) in New Jersey.
Ednaliz Camacho Montes
Ednaliz Camacho Montes es nacida y criada en Puerto Rico. Curso sus estudios elementales, intermedios y superiores en Maunabo, PR. A la edad de 17 años comienza estudios universitarios en la Universidad del Sagrado Corazón donde termina un Bachillerato en Comunicaciones. Luego realiza una concentración menor en Psicología y posteriormente Maestría en Consejería Psicológica en la Universidad del Turabo. Posee las licencias de Consejería Profesional y Psicología. Se ha desempeñado como Consejera Profesional en el Departamento de Educación de Puerto Rico. Como Psicóloga ha trabajado en Salud Mental, Educación Especial y desde hace casi dos años posee práctica privada brindando a la población infantil y adulta. En su tiempo libre disfruta compartir con su familia y viajar. Recorded Video
Anayra I. Túa-López, PhD, MPH
Dr. Anayra Tua-Lopez has been in a continual interaction with teen parents and their families, which fueled her desire to deeply understand their experiences and development of effective evidence-based practices that will better their ecological context and social inclusion potential. As the Chief Executive Officer in Proyecto Nacer, a not-for-profit organization that serves teen parents and their families using a family-centered and complex systems approach for its model of service known as the Family Incubator Model, she developed a practical lens and systemic approach to research. These interests drove Dr. Tua-Lopez to conclude a translational research postdoctoral certificate, was accepted as a principal investigator for the Puerto Rico Clinical and Translational Research Consortium (PRCTRC), and is a board member for the International Journal of Translational Medical Research and Public Health. Anayra considers herself a scholar-practitioner and public health professional with a passion for maternal, child, and family wellbeing. Thus, she considers her leadership at the national policy level and development of best practices as a board member of the Child Welfare League of America one of her most exciting roles. At the local level, Dr. Tua-Lopez has provided her leadership as a Commissioner for the Alternative Education Commission of Puerto Rico. She believes that well-grounded leaders are knowledgeable about the multiple contexts, discipline approaches, and are systemic-focused individuals. Dr. Tua-Lopez is a mother of two, who loves her time at home, drinking coffee, listening to bossa nova music, and talking to her daughter and son, of 11 and 9, respectively. As a Latinx leader, she deeply cares for advancing effective policies to significantly reduce child poverty and decrease the racial inequities in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Latin America. Recently she had one of the most fulfilling experiences while sharing a presentation for the Human Rights in Education Award from the Iberoamerican States Organization in Mexico City. It was clear at this point that her passion is establishing highly significant connections with people who are dedicated to advance social justice and equity. The role that she also plays as a liaison for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition is in constant collaboration with Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Enrique Cochegrus nació en la Ciudad de México, pero desde muy pequeño creció en la ciudad de Mérida, en el estado de Yucatán en el sureste de México, por lo que se considera orgullosamente yucateco. Estudió Ciencias de la Comunicación en la Universidad Anáhuac. Fue Director de Difusión Cultural de esa misma universidad y más adelante Coordinador de Vida Estudiantil para DeVry University en Toronto, Canadá. Después de unos años es invitado a regresar a México para ser parte del equipo fundador de la Universidad Anáhuac Cancún. Enrique decide experimentar en un área profesional diferente, y se muda a la isla de Cozumel en el Caribe Mexicano para unirse al equipo de ventas de la cadena hotelera mexicana El Cid, logrando al poco tiempo ser nombrado gerente de ventas de esa locación y ganando reconocimientos como uno de los principales profesionales de ventas de toda la Riviera Maya. Ante la oportunidad de una nueva aventura profesional, Enrique deja el sector hotelero y se une al mundo de los emprendedores iniciando su propio negocio, LM Distribuciones, obteniendo la exclusividad como distribuidor oficial de los productos de Kimberly Clark Professional y 3M para la Isla de Cozumel. Teniendo un gran éxito en el rubro de la distribución de productos profesionales de limpieza, Enrique decide involucrase mas en dar de vuelta a la comunidad, y funda la organización sin fines de lucro Halcones Dorados, la cual tenía como misión el promover valores y habilidades para la vida a través del deporte. En el 2013 Enrique toma una nueva aventura y decide llevar a sus hijos de vuelta a Toronto para continuar sus estudios ahí. Durante ese tiempo Enrique siente el llamado de nuevo a ayudar a los menos afortunados, y se une como voluntario a la organización sin fines de lucro St. Felix Centre, en la ciudad de Toronto, la cual trabaja en apoyar a personas que se encuentran experimentando la falta de vivienda, pobreza extrema, enfermedades mentales y adicciones. Expuesto a una realidad que le era desconocida, Enrique siente un profundo llamado a continuar ayudando, y decide dejar el mundo de los negocios para dedicarse al 100% a apoyar a esa organización. Transfiriendo exitosamente sus habilidades y conocimientos al mudo de las organizaciones sin fines de lucro en Toronto, Enrique hoy día es Director of Business Development and Communcations de St. Felix Centre. Durante todo este tiempo, Enrique tuvo la fortuna de formar una bella familia al lado de su esposa Roxanne, y sus dos hijos, André y Jordi, quienes son su principal motivo para seguir dando lo mejor de sí mismo para hacer de “la película de su vida” un verdadero “blockbuster” que inspire a otros nos solo a obtener éxitos, sino a poner sus habilidades a servicio de los demás.
Javier has been practicing law for over 15 years and has spent more than 10 of those as in-house counsel in the pharmaceuticals industry. Javier began his legal career in 2000 as a litigation associate at the law firm of Thelen Reid & Priest in New York City. In 2004, he joined the legal department at Berlex Laboratories, Inc., a subsidiary of Schering AG, which was subsequently acquired by Bayer AG in 2006. While at Berlex/Bayer, Javier served as Corporate Counsel to the clinical development function, the US diagnostic imaging business and the oncology and specialized therapeutics global business units. In 2008, Javier joined Reckitt Benckiser LLC as Senior Counsel to the healthcare category and helped successfully manage the integration of Adams Respiratory Therapeutics and its portfolio of OTC products into the core Reckitt Benckiser business. He also took on increasing responsibility for the legal affairs of RBP as the business and operations of the company grew and evolved. In 2010, he worked alongside Shaun Thaxter on the acquisition of the global (ex-US) marketing rights to the buprenorphine franchise from Merck & Co., Inc. Following the integration of the buprenorphine business and establishment of RBP as a global business, Javier was appointed VP General Counsel of RBP in 2011 with a remit to build and lead a strategically focused, high-performing team of legal and corporate compliance professionals. Javier obtained his BS in Civil Engineering from Rutgers University and MSE in Structural Engineering from the University of Michigan. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a JD and is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey and Virginia (corporate counsel).
Laura Ferre Sanjuán
Born in Bocairent, Spain, Laura Ferre Sanjuán graduated in English Studies from the University of Valencia in 2018. She then pursued a Master's degree in Geopolitics and Strategic Studies at the University Carlos III of Madrid and a Master's degree in Diplomacy and International Relations at the Diplomatic School of Spain. Moved by her interest in human security, peacebuilding, and respect for social and individual dignity, Laura has worked in different countries in the fields of intercultural education, diplomacy, international security, and humanitarian action.
Rana Shariatdoust is currently the Assistant Principal of School Culture at Mastery Charter Hardy Williams Academy where she has been an assistant principal for 3 years. She previously served as a Dean of Students and Mathematics Department Chair at Delaware Valley Charter High School. After completing her undergraduate studies at the College of New Jersey, Ms. Shariatdoust began her 2-year commitment with Teach For America in the Greater Philadelphia Region. In August of 2012, she was placed at Delaware Valley Charter High School as an 11th grade math teacher where she has remained. In the middle of her third year she stepped up to work with the entire senior class as their guidance counselor when the 12th grade counselor left. Now in her fourth year at DVCHS, Ms. Shariatdoust was offered the position of Dean in order to have a larger impact on school culture and achievement. As she began her journey into school leadership, it was critical to ensure she was aware of the power dynamic that existed as a school leader with the community where she serves. As a Latina, her identity helped drive values and decisions for students and the staff members who interacted with them on a daily basis. Her main goals are to create a community of joy, create a sense of belonging for students, and keep student emotional and physical safety key in all areas of the school day whether home, hybrid or what have you. Ms. Shariatdoust also sits on the Board of Directors for Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority Inc. as the Director of Parliamentary Procedures.
Julian A. Gomez
Julian A. Gomez is a multicultural educator and community organizer based in Dover, NJ. Driven by his passion for organizing, project building, and community mobilizing, Julian most recently founded IDEA Cultural, an independent project whose mission is to promote cultural values within his community through artistic and educational initiatives that emphasize and stimulate diversity and multiculturalism. Julian’s passion for community organizing comes from his experiences as a first-generation Latino immigrant from Cali, Colombia who benefited greatly from the collective support offered by community members who saw his potential and invested in his success. Some of the pivotal experiences that have shaped Julian’s worldview include attending County College of Morris and joining the Center for Latino Arts and Culture (CLAC) at Rutgers University, places where he first felt a sense of belonging since leaving Colombia at the age of 17. At CLAC, he put together his very first poetry reading, organized fundraisers, and family events. These key experiences shaped Julian’s evolving understanding of the Latino immigrant identity in the United States, continue to influence his work ethic in his professional roles, and motivate his many community endeavors. As a proud Latino immigrant, Julian is actively involved in his community where he seeks to spread awareness about nuances and uniqueness of the Latino culture and the varying experiences across the United States. Choosing to settle roots in Dover, NJ has been strategic for Julian as he seeks to provide a stable home and community for his family. In alignment with his philosophy of starting small and making a larger impact, he wishes to raise his kids in a way where they can be productive, positive members of society. Julian currently works as Associate Director of Admissions at Ramapo College, while also being an active community leader in his hometown through organizations like Your Voice Dover and Club Colombia. Julian earned his Associate’s degree from County College of Morris in Communications and Journalism, his Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University in Latin American Studies, and his Master’s degree in Multicultural Education from New Jersey City University.
Renata’s genealogy interest started when her first son was born 22 years ago, and during the past 4 years, she has focused her energy on further discovering her family’s history via a genealogy project that uses genetic genealogy practices to complement traditional genealogy. Renata attended Teachers College, Columbia University, and earned her Masters of Arts and Masters in Education in Counseling Psychology. Renata’s professional background in Counseling and Higher Education has allowed her to serve a diverse community. For the past twenty years, she has provided counseling and mentoring to adults, teens, and children. Her skill set, although clinically grounded, is strengthened by her experience with Program Coordination, Policy Compliance, Student Retention & Success, Team Leadership, Famly Education & Support, and Community Outreach. Renata also facilitates workshops on diverse mental health issues, multicultural competence, and access & success to higher education. Renata has often served in a leadership role at her children’s parent/teacher initiatives.