Juan was born in Philadelphia as the second of five children to Colombian parents. He spent most of his childhood and adolescence in Cochabamba, Bolivia where his parents worked in holistic health and community development. During his time in Bolivia, Juan worked with rural and peri-urban communities supporting community-based programs such as: center or victims of sexual abuse, a health clinic, elementary school, health promoter training program.Since 2008 Juan has worked for Congreso de Latinos Unidos, a multi-service organization with a mission of strengthening Latino communities. He is currently a member of Central Baptist Church Wayne, a NSM member congregation. Juan joined the NSM Board because of his belief in the dignity of every human being and the importance of living out faith through service, thus achieving a more just and humane world for all.
Gerardo Flores is from a small town called Tianguistengo, Acatlan de Osorio, Puebla, Mexico. He finished high school in agriculture and his dream was to enter Chapingo University. He passed the academic exam in 1975, but not the socioeconomic examination (requiring money and land) and they suspended me after that. He began to organize students in the Peasant Torch group to return to their villages to fight injustice and the exclusive control of power. The organization sent him to the US to Chicago in 1985 and then to New York and Philadelphia in 2006 to financially support the organization. Gerardo has been a member of NSM since the beginning, 10 years ago. During the day he owns his own food truck with his wife Teresa. Gerardo is a member of Visitacion BVM church.
Heather is a member of Tabernacle United Church in West Philadelphia, a NSM member congregation. She is a native of Georgia, and lived and worked at the Open Door Community, a Christian community of radical hospitality and activism in Atlanta. In the late 1990s, Heather lived and worked in Mexico, where she witnessed the flow of migrants to the North in the wake of NAFTA. In 2000, she returned to the U.S., committed to working for hospitality and justice for immigrants in this country, after watching their home communities be economically devastated by U.S. driven policies. She is honored to be part of supporting the work of NSM where the values of welcoming the stranger and justice for the oppressed are central.
Laura is a Philadelphia native who has worked with immigrant communities in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Quito, and the Bay Area. Her work with Somali Bantu refugees in the early 2000s drew her to work in policy and free legal services, and eventually to law school. She has since had the chance to provide legal services to asylum seekers, people in detention, and immigrants harmed by business, lenders, and government agencies. She now works as a consumer attorney providing free legal services to advance economic justice. She is honored to play a small role in supporting NSM’s fierce advocacy and courageous campaigns, and to be part of its loving community.
Rama was born in Ivory Coast to parents who immigrated from Guinea. She spent her childhood and adolescence in Ivory Coast and at the age of 19 she moved to the United States to further her education. Rama now calls Philadelphia home where she lives with her husband and four children. As a first-generation immigrant, she is excited to serve on the NSM board and support the critical work they are doing to help immigrant communities and uplift their mission.
Prudence Powell is a DACA recipient, from Jamaica she has been living in the united states for 26 years she is a single mother of 2 US Born children ages 21 and 16. She’s an advocate for herself and others in immigrant justice work. For the last 4 years, she has been working at Pennsylvania Immigration & Citizenship Coalition here in Pennsylvania. As the civic engagement coordinator, Prudence is also an active board member for the Caribbean community in Philadelphia as their immigrant advisory where she helps lead FB meetings and inform the community about any immigration changes. Prudence is a firm believer in storytelling and sharing her story. Prudence is excited to be part of the NSM board and looking forward to learning more and growing.
Philippe was born in Bogota, Colombia to parents who were both Holocaust survivors. An immigration lawyer, he began his career as a staff attorney at the American Friends Service Committee, Immigrant Rights Program in New Jersey where he worked together with Salvadoran and Guatemalan families. Today, he continues his work as an immigration lawyer at HIAS Pennsylvania and is a congregant at Rodeph Shalom synagogue in Philadelphia. Having had the opportunity to work side by side with NSM members, staff and allies, Philippe is excited to be on the organization’s Board to support its critical work.