Meet our Keynote Speakers
Dr. Andres Lopez is a trained sociologist and professional research and evaluation scientist. Academically, his training and research centered on how inequalities of race, gender, and sexuality are reproduced in organizations and urban settings. He has expertise in a wide range of research methodologies that utilize feminist, anti-racist, and queer theories.
He has over ten years of experience conducting action research meant for solving social/practical problems and equitable evaluations of programs, processes, and organizations. Andres’ applied research experience is highly collaborative, partnering with various stakeholders across governments, universities, and grassroots, community-based, and nonprofit organizations.
Andres is a second-generation immigrant of Cuban and Mexican heritage. He was born in Long Beach, California, and grew up in Los Angeles until moving to Portland during his teen years. He spent ten years in college living in the midwest, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Xavier University and a Master of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His doctoral training began at Iowa State University, where he finished his doctoral coursework in the sociology department and earned a graduate certificate in Education for Social Justice. Andres completed his schooling at Oregon State University, where he received a Ph.D. in Applied Anthropology. He currently lives in the SE Portland neighborhood of Lents with his partner Nicholas and two dogs Benito and Vida. You can contact him at email@example.com.
Carmen Xiomara Urbina is currently the Deputy Director of the Oregon Department of Education, a bilingual and bicultural professional with 30 years of experience working with communities of color and education systems. She is a proven leader who brings diverse and unique lived-experience and skills. She has developed her exceptional talents serving in early learning settings, K-12 school districts and ESDs, higher education, and leading culturally specific and highly respected community-based organizations in Oregon. Carmen’s efforts are always grounded in equity, focused on the needs of all our students and families, and designed to bring community and education organizations together in both safe and effective ways.
She has facilitated and led asset based complex and targeted outreach in communities of color to implement effective parent involvement and recruitment strategies in districts, schools and community based organizations. Her equity, diversity and inclusion based professional development work with teachers and leaders are designed to enlighten and empower without guilt, shame, blame or judgment of self or others. She is a highly skilled facilitator that has developed, implemented and presented professional development courses for thousands of administrators, teachers and K-12 staff across Oregon, communities of faith and communities of color. Her work is geared to interrupt and transform current and systemic educational inequities and to ensure all students have access to personalized, equitable and high performing schools that believe and demonstrate each student can, should and will succeed.
From addressing systemic issues of educational inequity to implementing effective collaboration practices to creating school structures and classrooms that work for historically and currently underserved student populations, she is committed to working with educators, organizations and communities to collectively meet the needs of our children through strong, effective, and equity-focused leadership.
Her knowledge in Spiritual Psychology provides a clear lens for viewing individuals, organizations, and the entity of the systems they operate to guide effective, systemic, and long-lasting change.
She has served as the Migrant Education Director for Lane and Douglas County with Lane ESD, Program Development and Outreach Coordinator with the Educational, Methodology, Policy and Leadership Department, College of Education at the University of Oregon and Senior Associate for the Oregon Center for Educational Equity. She also was the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Manager for Eugene School District 4J and former Executive Director of Centro LatinoAmericano. She attended the University of Santa Monica where she was awarded a Masters in Spiritual Psychology and Oregon State University where she was awarded a B.S. in Agriculture and Resource Economics and a Minor in International Economics in 1989; she also holds an associate degree in business administration and accounting.
Current Professional Activities: Active member of COSA- Equity Advisory Board and Board of Directors. She is Board Member of Educación and Justicia para la Raza, active Board Member of GLAD, senior member of the Unidos for Oregon Leadership Project. The UNIDOS for Oregon Leadership Project aims to reverse our history of regional disconnection, increase multigenerational leadership and collaboration in all sectors and lay the foundation for lasting systems change throughout the state.
Past Professional Activities: Appointed member by Governor Kate Brown to the Council on Educator Advancement, member of the Southern Oregon Advisory Committee for the Oregon Community Foundation, Lane Community College Budget Committee, member of the Diversity Action Committee for the University of Oregon, Past-President of the City of Eugene City Club, Former Chair of the City of Eugene Human Rights Commission, Past member of the Governor to the Medicaid Advisory Committee. She also served as a board member to the Governors Racial and Ethnic Health Task Force and served from 1999 to 2003 and continues to be an active and vocal health care and human rights advocate.
Sample of Videos/Conference Presentations:
- My Journey to Love... As an Activist: Carmen Urbina at TEDxUOregon - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajtr0hifTnk
- Carmen Urbina & John Lenssen -- Trans Healing -- Peace Conference 2008
- Latino Roots- “Carmen Urbina: My Journey to Activism” by Nina Sobotka https://vimeo.com/128837908
- 90by30 Project- Carmen Urbina Presentation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-AU87nsSTY
- Turtle Award-Eugene City Club - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lW9oPOhjsLY
Carmen Urbina Keynote Speaker Salem Keizer Coalition for Equality 2019 Luncheon - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kY4b58h-Bo
Meet our presenters for breakout sessions on November 1
Nancy Ramirez, Building Community Program Officer, Meyer Memorial Trust
Attuned to people’s ability to envision solutions where challenges exist, Nancy’s outlook, as well as her commitment to social, political and economic justice, was shaped by her binational experience. Born and raised in Mexico, she has called Oregon home for more than 30 years. In joining Meyer at the moment it intentionally focuses on equity, Nancy relishes the opportunity to continue supporting creatives, risk-takers, innovators, community builders and the organizations that engage them.
For over 20 years, Nancy has contributed to the nonprofit sector in various capacities including strategist, developer, director, adviser, consultant and board member. The culturally specific programs she developed and established for youth, community leaders and executive level professionals over her years of service in the field have maintained long-term impact.
Nancy serves on the Oregon Department of Education’s Latino/a/x and Indigenous Student Success Advisory Group and is a steering committee member for the Oregon Economic Justice Roundtable. She also served on the Nonprofit Association of Oregon board from 2013 to 2019, where she launched an internal diversity, equity and inclusion change process during her term as board President. She holds a Master of Arts in Leadership and Organizational Development from Saybrook University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Administration of Justice from Portland State University. She also studied at Universidad Latina de América in Morelia, Mexico, and received political training at Harvard University.
Jaime Arredondo, Executive Director, CAPACES
Jaime is a proud immigrant from Las Ranas, Michoacan, Mexico and former farmworker. Today he is the Executive Director of the Capaces Leadership Institute and has over 16 years of experience working in the non-profit sector. Some of his favorite roles have included: tour guide, smiles provider, peace maker, convener, agitator (with a smile), storyteller, wannabe graphic designer, handy person, and community builder. In 2011, Jaime was recognized by Shelterforce, the oldest community, economic development magazine in the nation, and selected as one of 6 under 36 young leaders in the country.
Jaime loves to give back to Oregon and his communities. He serves on multiple boards including:
- The Collins Foundation
- Western Oregon University Board of Trustees
- Oregon’s Latinx Leadership Network
- Centro de Servicios Para Campesinos
- Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Network Steering Committee
On his off days, Jaime enjoys running, spending time with family, volunteering, and watching sports. His favorite foods are mole and sandwiches. Jaime has been happily married for 12 to his beautiful wife and is proud father of two daughters.
This is a panel discussion on the housing crisis in Oregon.
Maria Ramos Underwood (she/her/ella), Chief Development Officer, La Clinica and LPP Statewide Advisory Council Member
Maria Ramos Underwood is a proud immigrant to the U.S. hailing from Topia, Durango, Mexico. She was born at Santa Lucia, her grandmother’s ranch high in the mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental. Maria was brought to the U.S. by her loving parents who wanted a better life for their children. The young family of six settled in Mesa, Arizona. With the birth of Rosana, the fifth child, Maria’s family became eligible to change their status to U.S. Permanent Residents. This opened doors to grants and scholarship allowing Maria to graduate from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Maria has dedicated her professional career to helping Latinx families succeed. She has worked at La Clinica, a federally qualified health center in Medford, for 21 years, and currently serves as this organization’s chief development officer.
Chelsea Bunch (she/her/hers), MSW, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Oregon Housing & Community Services
Chelsea Bunch is the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Oregon Housing and Community Services, working build OHCS’ foundation to center equity and racial justice in the work of the agency, and building and supporting staff capacity to operationalize the work. Prior to this role, Chelsea worked as a Housing Integrator within OHCS, building bridges and partnerships with other state agencies, partners, and stakeholders. For over 14 years, Chelsea has worked with youth, families, and communities in various capacities, which brings her the most joy. Chelsea approaches her life and work centering equity and racial justice, understanding that none of us can thrive until of us can thrive. The thread of all her work has always been a love and desire to engage with and empower communities to come up with solutions that will have a great impact on their lives. She believes in the value and importance of innovation and knows that innovation is strongest when it comes from a spirit of collaboration and curiosity. One of her favorite quotes is from author and social justice activist, Bryan Stevenson: “The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice.”
Celia Núñez (she, her, ella), Executive Director at Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry (CCBI)
Celia Núñez is purpose-driven, results oriented, Latina executive. Former elected and appointed official, exceptional community college senior level administrator and proven policy advisor. An exemplary professional with high standards for life-long learning, transparency, and integrity. Exceptional background in cultivating an ecosystem that values inspiration, innovation, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Celia consistently demonstrates a high level of self-awareness and intellectual horsepower with an extensive interpersonal savvy.
Celia currently serves as the Executive Director for Chemeketa Community College Center for Business & Industry (CCBI) serving Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties. In this role she leads the college’s efforts to plan, organize and manage the marketing, outreach and coordination of services to business and industry. Prior to this role, Celia held a variety of challenging and significant leadership positions in both the private sector and state government.
Celia’s education journey includes a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from George Fox University. She is a proud graduate of the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI), the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Program at Harvard University and the Leadership Development Program at the Center for Creative Leadership.
Named by Hispanic Magazine as one of the top Latinas in government and politics, Celia was a City Councilor and City Council President for the City of Wilsonville, Oregon and a member of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). She has been on the Board of Trustees for Oregon Tech, a member of the Oregon Community Foundation’s (OCF) Northern Willamette Valley Advisory Council for a decade, and instrumental in the establishment of OCF’s Latino Partnership Project.
Meet our presenters for breakout sessions on November 2
Michael Reyes Andrillón (He/Him/His), Education Specialist, Latinx Student Plan Coordinator
Michael was born in Puerto Rico and raised in the military. He moved from place to place growing up attending 10 different schools. He graduated from Washington State University, Michael began working in education. This included coordinating youth programs at a farmworker community, college admissions, and then student affairs. After 12 years, he shifted his focus to working in philanthropy funding and supporting community-led efforts for policy change. Now, Michael works at the Oregon Department of Education leading the Latino/a/x Student Success initiative. Michael also currently serves as a board member for the Reynolds School District. In his personal time, Michael hangs out with his wife, son, daughter, and their pup.
Ashley Arisai Meza (she/her/ella),DACA Coordinator at the Student Multicultural Center at Pacific University
Ashley is a senior at Pacific University studying to be a multimedia journalist. Her passion is sharing stories and experiences that deserve recognition from different perspectives. Being a multimedia journalist means sharing these stories through writing, documentaries, short films, podcasts, and more.