As the daughter of a Mexican immigrant, Chela is passionate about racial justice and immigrant rights. They hope to help support social justice advocates and organizations in holding each other accountable to genuinely living up to their values and building healthier, more sustainable movements. Chela specializes in grassroots organizing, canvassing, and outreach (including campaign management and integrated voter engagement efforts), as well as database management and student/youth engagement. They have extensive experience conducting statewide canvasses and GOTV campaigns, and have been called upon to present trainings on such topics as intersectionality and civic engagement for groups and college campuses throughout the Mountain State.
They have worked with numerous advocacy and social justice organizations across the country, from Greenpeace International to WV FREE. Chela currently serves as the Organizing Representative for the Sierra Club of WV.
Chela is a volunteer co-director of Holler Health Justice, an abortion fund bringing practical support and reproductive justice to West Virginia’s holler folk of limited means. They are also a co-founder and partner of Kaleidoscope WV, an all queer women owned consulting firm helping nonprofits, small businesses, political candidates, and individuals to create impactful changes in their communities and to rethink the traditional ways in which we organize and build power.
Chela serves on the West Virginia International Film Festival board of directors, where they help to bring films featuring and lifting up the work of those most underrepresented in cinema, including women of color and LGBTQIA+ folks, to West Virginia audiences.
A proud Marshall University marching band alumna, Chela is putting their musical talents to interesting use as one-half of the synthpop duo Period Dramarama. Chela shares their Charleston home with two bizarrely tiny adult cats – Gallifrey and Aurora.