Fellows


At The Opportunity Agenda's Communications Institutes, rising leaders working on issues critical to opportunity develop their communication skills, including framing and narrative development, utilizing public opinion and media research, understanding digital communications and social networking, persuasive writing, and on-camera broadcast presentation. Upon completion, they become Communication Fellows, and get to work shaping the public dialogue in their home communities.

    Rosa Calderon

    Community Leader, North Alabama Committee for Immigrant Justice/Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice

    Rosa Calderon came to the United States at the early age of six. Rosa was able to adjust her status due to the fact that her father had received his green card under the immigration reform of 1986.

    Get to know Rosa

    Irma Georgina Cruz

    Regional Coordinator, Border Network for Human Rights

    Irma Georgina Cruz was born and raised in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. She is a mother of three and immigrated to the United States in 2002 to provide a better life for her family. In 2006 she was approached and invited to a “know your rights” presentation given by the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR).

    Get to know Irma

    Kate Desormeau

    Staff Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

    Kate Desormeau is a staff attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), where she has worked since 2015. Prior to joining NRDC, Desormeau was a staff attorney with the Immigrants' Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union.

    Get to know Kate

    Eduardo Garcia

    Field Manager, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

    Eduardo Garcia is a field manager at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in Washington, DC. In this role he facilitates multicultural coalition efforts to advance federal campaigns in a key set of states.

    Get to know Eduardo

    Jorge Alberto Gutierrez Cortez

    Former Project Coordinator, Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project, a project of the United We Dream Network

    Jorge Gutierrez is an UndocuQueer activist and organizer born in Nayarit, Mexico, and raised in Southern California. He graduated California State University, Fullerton with a Bachelor’s Degree in English.

    Get to know Jorge

    James Knoepp

    Deputy Legal Director, Southern Poverty Law Center – Immigrant Justice Project

    Jim Knoepp manages the SPLC’s immigrant justice initiative, which combats workplace exploitation and other human rights abuses of immigrants. He has been with SPLC since 2008.

    Get to know Jim

    Michele McKenzie

    Director of Advocacy, Advocates for Human Rights

    Michele Garnett McKenzie is Advocacy Director at The Advocates for Human Rights. She directs policy advocacy and community and coalition engagement around The Advocates’ priority issues, including immigration and human trafficking.

    Get to know Michele

    Armando Minjares Monarrez

    Community Leader, Sunflower Community Action

    Armando immigrated to the United States in the summer of 2001 at age 15 to the little town of Ulysses, Kansas, with his brothers and single mother. They came with tourist visas and overstayed them. By the time he graduated high school he realized he couldn’t afford to go to college due to his immigration status.

    Get to know Armando

    Victor Palafox

    Steering Committee Member/Organizer, Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice/Immigrant Youth Leadership Initiative of Alabama

    Victor Palafox is a community organizer and aspiring History teacher based in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama with the Immigrant Youth Leadership Initiative of Alabama and a Steering Committee member with the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice.

    Get to know Victor

    Keith Rushing

    2013 Communications Fellow, The Opportunity Agenda

    Keith Rushing, a native of Queens, New York, is a graduate of Carleton College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He worked as a print journalist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Virginia, and California.

    Get to know Keith

    Ameesha Sampat

    Communications and Operations Coordinator, Immigration Equality

    Ameesha Sampat is the Communications and Operations Coordinator at Immigration Equality, based in the Washington, DC office.

    Get to know Ameesha

    Moises Serrano

    Organizer, El Cambio

    Moises Serrano is a proud Latino, undocumented, and gay man. Having lived in the United States his whole life, he is proud to call himself a Mexican-American.

    Get to know Moises

    Silky Shah

    Communications Director, Detention Watch Network

    Silky Shah is the Communications Director of the Detention Watch Network (DWN), a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to reform the U.S. immigration detention and deportation system.

    Get to know Silky

    Ivy O. Suriyopas

    Director, Anti-Trafficking Initiative, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)

    Ivy O. Suriyopas is the Anti-Trafficking Initiative Director at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF). She provides legal representation, conducts community education, and engages in policy advocacy on human trafficking issues.

    Get to know Ivy

    Natalicia Tracy

    Executive Director, Brazilian Immigrant Center

    Natalicia Tracy has been Executive Director of the Brazilian Immigrant Center (BIC), the New England Region’s largest Portuguese-speaking workers center, for two years. Before becoming Executive Director, she was Secretary of the BIC board from 2006-2010.

    Get to know Natalicia

    Karen Cassandra Tumlin

    Managing Attorney, National Immigration Law Center (NILC)

    Ms. Tumlin focuses on promoting the rights of low-income immigrants through litigation and administrative advocacy. Currently she is litigating cases challenging state anti-immigrant ordinances and federal immigration detention policies. Her practice also includes litigation on due process, detention, and employment issues. Before joining NILC as a Skadden Fellow in 2005, Ms. Tumlin clerked for Judge Nelson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

    Get to know Karen