DJPC Director – Rebeca Zúniga-Hamlin
Born in Nicaragua and grew up in both Nicaragua and Guatemala, from a young age, she has been committed to political action on behalf of the excluded by serving the poor and underprivileged. Her own mixed background – Nicaraguan Miskito Indian and white North American – has allowed her to commit to the long-term struggle for social justice, challenging unfair economic and criminal systems that affect the immigrant communities. She also has a keen understanding of the intersecting patterns of exclusion along dimensions of race, ethnicity, language, gender, immigration-status, and class. She and her partner Aaron and daughter Luna Serena live in Denver.
DJPC Board of Directors
Elliot Williams, is a Senior Associate at Siegel Public Affairs where he advocates on issues ranging from immigrant rights and environmental conservation to reproductive justice and educational equity. Elliot’s work in the nonprofit world has been broad. It includes community development in Chicago, Southern Mexico and Guatemala, promoting educational opportunities and economic empowerment. Additionally, Elliot did advocacy research and writing while living Bolivia and served as a caseworker for elderly and disabled residents of Wisconsin.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts in History and Anthropology at Tulane University and his Masters of Arts in Sustainable Development at the SIT Graduate Institute and lives in Southwest Denver with Brooke and Jacob.
Lynn Holland, grew up in a rural Vermont town that shared a border with Quebec. As a student, she spent a summer in Nicaragua and toured a Salvadoran refugee camp while the contra war was going on in the 1980s. After she returned, she became involved in the DJPC and began speaking and writing on human rights issues arising from war and authoritarian rule in Central America. After many years on hiatus while raising her two children and teaching at the University of Denver, she was welcomed back by the DJPC in the 2000s.Since then, she has traveled with DJPC delegations to Honduras, Peru, and Chiapas, Mexico where she learned about the ravages to human health, community life, and the natural environment caused by metal mining. Her aim as a board member is to assist these and other communities to fend off threats brought on by mining and other extractive industries and build toward a better future.
Preston Enright, was born in Philadelphia, where he attended a Quaker elementary school, and lived subsequently in Omaha and Fort Collins, where he attended Colorado State. During a year off, he worked as landscaper and met a veteran of the Salvadoran military who told Preston of the massacres and human rights violations of the US-backed regime. Preston’s interest in US empire had been awakened, and on his return to CSU, he saw a talk by Noam Chomsky, and things haven’t been the same since. He subsequently worked with the Committee for Peace and Justin in Latin America and went to Nicaragua on a cultural exchange with a Boulder-based solidarity group, “Los Pipitos.” He has continued travel in Latin America, and he has politics has evolved to focus on grassroots media, including a YouTube channel called The Public Mind of Denver, and a program of leftist lectures on Denver’s community access television station, working with David Barsamian of Alternative Radio. For fun, he rides his bike, hands out copies of Yes! Magazine, and volunteers his time representing DJPC at community fairs, tabling and meeting people to educate them about DJPC and the causes DJPC defends.
Amy Czulada, is a current International Studies master’s student at the University of Denver, focusing on the intersection of migration and human rights. She is originally from Philadelphia, PA, where her family, including her beloved niece and two nephews, still resides. Her interest in Latin America began in high school while studying Spanish, but it grew after traveling in Mexico and Central America in college. She lived and worked at the US/Mexico border for two years, organizing casework for survivors of violent crimes. She currently coordinates the Wage Theft Direct Action Team at Centro Humanitario, which negotiates with and pressures employers to pay their workers when they have failed to do so, and is involved with the Sanctuary movement in Denver. After graduation, she hopes to continue working with immigrant and refugee communities in Denver.
Lorena Gaibor, is a recent transplant to Denver since March, 2016. Lorena moved to Denver from her home state of NJ where she was born and raised. Her parents and all of her extended family are from Ecuador. Lorena spent two years of her life living in Quito, Ecuador, most significantly during her freshmen year of high school where she attended an American High School while living with her extended family. Being Latina for Lorena has meant straddling the borderlands of living between two cultures and has informed her identity as a first-generation Latina. Her political awareness of the struggles of resistance in Latin America began as a teenager. Her identity as an activist and organizer was formed as a young high school student during the first Persian Gulf War. Later she organized with Cuban solidarity groups in NY/NJ, helping to coordinate US/Cuba Youth exchanges as well as college student organizing efforts. More recently, Lorena has organized around immigrant rights in NJ and now is participating in solidarity efforts with immigrant rights groups here in Denver. Lorena work’s as Clinical Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Latino Certificate program at the Graduate School of Social Work at Denver University.
Kaelyn DeVries, is a Master of Arts candidate in International Security at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. Her academic interests involve US/Latin America security policies that adversely affect people living in situations of poverty, including issues surrounding crime and criminalization of youth, and drug war policies such as mass incarceration and hyper-militarization of the region. Kaelyn came to Denver in the fall of 2016, after pursuing a career in the field of International Development, where she had the opportunity to live and travel extensively throughout Latin America. Most recently she served in a regional technical advisory role based in Guatemala, where she provided technical assistance and training to teams of local staff who implemented women’s social and economic empowerment programs in rural and urban communities in five countries in the region. During this time, she witnessed firsthand the tremendous strength and tenacity of indigenous women as they fought for access to education, information and the ability to make decisions about their own body, mobility and finances. The experience led her to believe wholeheartedly in the power of historically marginalized people to create change when given the right opportunities; the same opportunities afforded to you or me our entire lives. Last year, Kaelyn traveled with a DJPC delegation to Chiapas, Mexico where she learned about the devastating consequences of mining initiatives and the Mexican government’s illegal collusion with corporations to silence local communities who oppose them. In working closely with DJPC, Kaelyn aims to challenge these antiquated power structures and support DJPC in its work toward social justice for all people in all walks of life.
Message From the Board
Greetings from the DJPC Board,
As many of you are aware these past few months have been a time of great transition for the Board of Directors. Connie Curtis, Richard Kruch and Steve Piper have all stepped down after many years (decades) of service. Among many other contributions Connie Curtis served as Board President and Steve Piper as Treasurer for the past several years. Richard Kruch spearheaded many of DJPC’s fundraising events, particularly through Build For Peace. Together, they have steered DJPC through countless acts of solidarity and resistance, delegations, awards nights, advocacy and salons. Their commitment to DJPC has been unwavering and we all owe them more thanks than can be expressed in this email.
Thankfully, we have since also added new members to the Board. In Preston Enright and Lynn Holland we have the past two winners of the Member of the Year Award. Our newest Board member, Amy Czulada previously served as an intern with DJPC. We are excited to welcome these Board members in their new roles and have them engaged for years to come.
We continue to be actively looking for members to join the Board as DJPC moves on to a new phase. Please let us know if you are interested becoming part of this team. As always, we are also looking for volunteers at any level even if you are unable to join the Board itself.
In hope and solidarity,
The DJPC Board of Directors/ April 2017