The Transformative Leadership for Change | Staff

Neha Mahajan

The daughter of South Asian immigrants, Neha Mahajan has supported social justice and community organizing efforts for over 15 years.  As a young activist, she developed political consciousness in movements for immigrant justice, youth organizing, ending violence against women of color and dismantling the prison industrial complex.  Locally she served as Co-Executive Director of the Chinook Fund, Colorado’s only social justice foundation, where she provided leadership around progressive movement building, cross-class organizing, collective leadership and dismantling oppression in the philanthropic and non-profit sectors.  Neha also served as Co-Executive Director at Survivors Organizing for Liberation, where she oversaw financial management and fundraising for the statewide organization dedicated to LGBTQ justice and youth organizing.

Neha served as the Organizing Director Family Values @ Work. Previously she held the position of Director of 9to5 Colorado, leading statewide campaigns for paid sick days, family medical leave, affordable housing/transit and other critical issues affecting low-wage working women.  She is also currently on the Board of Directors of GIFT (Grassroots Institute of Fundraising Training) and member of Standing in Our Power, a national network of women of color committed to transforming leadership for social justice organizations & movements.  Neha is deeply committed to mobilizing resources, supporting the leadership of those most impacted and strengthening movements for social change by centering women and LGBTQ people of color.

The Transformative Leadership for Change | Governing Council

Carla Castedo

Carla serves as the Director of Economic Mobility of the Neighborhood Equity and Stabilization team (NEST) where she is responsible for developing, sustaining, and transitioning pilot programs that are focused on building economic mobility. These programs consist of a series of initiatives for families that center around equity, leadership growth, resource connections, and small business support.

Prior to her role with NEST, Carla served as the Colorado State Director for Mi Familia Vota (MFV) Education Fund. Castedo was responsible for leading MFV Colorado’s efforts to move crucial policy at the local, state, and federal level forward and develop strategic partnerships throughout the state to advance civic engagement. Her background has primarily focused on elevating the underserved community within Nevada’s and Colorado’s political landscape and she has helped build and maintain infrastructure to improve results in existing systems and coalitions.

Carla, an immigrant, who was born in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, moved to the United States, along with her parents and 3 siblings, when she had just turned 12 years old. Carla is an avid supporter of immigrant rights, higher education, leadership development, equity, social and economic justice and civic engagement. She desires to empower young people and working families.

Carla graduated from the University of Nevada with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology.

Lizeth Chacon, an immigrant from Chihuahua, Mexico, came to Colorado at the age of 12. During her first years of school, Lizeth noticed the injustices and difficulties many immigrants face and from that moment she began volunteering at her school and got involved in the movement for social justice. Lizeth was the first one of her family to graduate from college. In the fall of 2010 she graduated from the University of Colorado with two Bachelor’s Degrees, one in Political Science and a second in Criminal Justice. She got involved in the immigrant rights movement in 2006. In 2013, Lizeth was awarded a Mayoral Proclamation as “A Woman in Leadership” by Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan and in 2014 she became a founding board member of the Aurora Welcome Center.

In the fall of 2014, Lizeth became the Executive Director of Rights for All People and in 2015 she led the union of Rights for All People and Colorado Progressive Coalition to create Colorado People’s Alliance (COPA). In 2016, Lizeth co-chaired the statewide ballot measure that successfully increased Colorado’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020 and she co-created the Statewide Immigrant Resistance Table. Lizeth continues to lead collaborative efforts on climate, economic, immigrant and racial justice issues. Lizeth is the Founding Executive Director of Colorado People’s Alliance (COPA) and is currently on the Board of Directors of People’s Action.

Lizeth Chacon

Executive Director
Colorado People’s Alliance

Felicia Griffin

Felicia Griffin is the Deputy Director of Partnership for Working Families. A national organization focused on building diverse community and labor alliances to advance today’s most challenging issues around Economic, Racial and Gender Justice.

Felicia started her work in social and economic justice in 2002 and has worked as an executive director, research associate, deputy director, consultant, interim director, president and program manager since then. Felicia has worked on economic security policy on the state and national level (in partnership with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) and has worked on statewide organizing campaigns to increase Medicaid enrollment for children in poverty. She has also led a campaign funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation called “Race Matters: Policy through a Racial Lens” that focused on reducing disparities for communities of color in housing, employment, health and education.

In 2013, she became the Executive Director of United for a New Economy in Denver, which resulted in statewide Minimum wage increase, statewide wage-theft protections, funding for affordable housing in Denver. She is the co-founder and currently serves on the governing circle of the Transformative Leaders for Change Fellowship. Also serves on the national board of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United. Recently, she was a fellow at Cornell Universities; National Labor Leadership Initiative (NLLI) and is a fellow for Rutgers Universities Center for Innovation in Worker Organization (CIWO).

Felicia grew up in Aurora, Colorado and was raised by a single mother. Felicia knows firsthand what a good job means to a struggling family. In her first job she was a member of UFCW Local 7 (King Soopers) and she became a union steward at 16 year old. She is committed to opening the doors of opportunity for communities and people that have been left out of the “American Dream”. In her free time, Felicia loves to travel and spend quality time with her husband and children.