Legal and Policy Director
Rita was born in California to immigrant Mexican parents. She graduated from NYU School of Law in 2009 and moved to Alabama in 2019. Rita’s approach to law and activism is heavily influenced by her family’s experiences, her years fighting alongside parents and children whose families were being separated by the state, and her passion for courtroom advocacy.
Immigrant Justice Organizer
Fábio Melo was born and raised in Itapeva, SP, Brazil, and came to the US at age 18 in 1998. He lived most of his life in Washington, D.C. In 2019, he moved to Alabama for an opportunity to support the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s research project on capoeira angola. Through that research, he familiarized himself with the social justice community in Alabama by getting involved with the Shut Down Etowah campaign and becoming a founding member of the Etowah Freedom Fund. As the Immigrant Justice Organizer for Adelante, he looks forward to continuing to serve our community and strengthening the relationships of immigrants from all different nationalities.
Miriam is originally from Guatemala and loves working with and for her community. She arrived in Alabama in 2005. She previously volunteered at La Casita, and then worked at the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama for several years. “For me it is a lovely experience to be able to show my community what one day other people taught me. Now I have the great opportunity to work at Adelante and continue to be involved with the community, which is the work I have always loved to do,” explains Miriam.
Director of Administration and Fundraising
Victoria was born in Montevideo, Uruguay and moved with her family to Birmingham in 1996. She studied English at the State University of New York at Purchase as well as the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her professional background includes community organizing, communications, and development with a focus and passion for Latin American culture and storytelling of the immigrant experience in the U.S. “Working at Adelante is an incredible honor,” says Victoria, “I deeply admire every member, their powerful individual voices, and their collective fight for liberation.”
Felicia was born in Birmingham to Mexican immigrant parents. After the passing of Alabama’s draconian anti-immigrant legislation HB-56, she and her family became prominent activists for immigrants’ rights while many of her family members were in deportation proceedings. Felicia has since volunteered, worked, and served on committees for the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ACIJ), Greater Birmingham Ministries (GBM), and the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA). She currently attends the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a major in Pre-Medicine and plans to attend medical school to become a Neurologist. Felicia graduated from Army Basic training in February 2020 and is currently a member of the Alabama National Guard.
Isaac Guazo Estrada
Economic Justice Organizer
Isaac Guazo is a queer Mexican chilango with a deep interest in the holistic development of healthy communities. Isaac studied theology focused on critical gender studies. His professional experience is as pastor of the Methodist Church of Mexico where he developed social justice programs in addition to groups focused on spirituality and sexual diversity. Before working as an Economic Justice Organizer, Isaac collaborated with the Labor Rights Defense Program as a Fellow. “Joining the work of Adelante is, for me, a badass challenge and experience like no other.”
Our Board of Directors
Board of Directors 2020-2021
Marisol Aguilar *
Jean is the Latino Outreach Coordinator at AIDS Alabama.
Jesica Tellez* not pictured
Previous Board Members:
Prof. John Maddox
Marcos Baltazar Marcos
Benjamín Tzompaxtle Itehua
Dr. Carlos Alemán
Miguel Carpizo Ituarte
Pastor Tommy Morgan