Board of Directors

Board of Directors

  • Cipriano Belser

    Cipriano Belser

    SoCalCOSH

    he/his/él

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    Cipriano Belser is a worker turned Organizer. His journey into the labor movement began 3 years ago while working in hospitality in Los Angeles. The exploitation he witnessed and experienced drove him to seek out ways to change and bring power to low wage workers. Beginning with volunteering with The Los Angeles Federation of Labor which led to being certified through their Organizer Training Institute, he then took on a research internship with Jobs To Move America, working to hold large manufactures accountable to their workers and the communities they built factories in. Cipriano stepped into full time organizing work with The Restaurant Opportunities Center of Los Angeles using previous work experience to build collective power with hospitality folks in LA. He joined the SoCalCOSH team in 2021 seeing power in the ways occupational health and safety allows worker advocacy across industries and communities.

  • Thais Forneret

    Thais Forneret

    Worksafe

    she/her/ella

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    Thais has been involved in several social justice causes for many years: urban poverty and homelessness, food deserts, and child poverty. She is currently part of a homeless resources center, a community garden, and a children’s ministry. Through this labor of love, Thais has assisted unhoused individuals to obtain resources and nutritional foods, and secured school supplies for children in her community. Workers spend a great deal of time at their places of employment and Thais believes that that time spent should not be detrimental to the employees’ health and life chances. Thais fundamentally believes in the humanity of all workers, regardless of hierarchical structures. As such, she has advocated for equal pay for equal work, safety at the workplace, and has implemented anti-harassment and grievance processes so that workers feel safe in their work environments.

  • Cecelia Gilligan Leto

    Cecelia Gilligan Leto

    New Jersey Work Environment Council

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    Cecelia Gilligan Leto is the Work Environment Council of New Jersey (WEC) Project Director focusing on safer and healthier workplaces.   Leto is responsible for the day-to-day supervision of grant funded projects and the production of deliverables. She acts as the lead health and safety training specialist for onsite participatory trainings, Train the Trainer workshops, and public programs. Leto has provided participatory safety and health training and strategic advice to over 9,500 workers from over 130 unions, employers, and organizations.   She is an authorized OSHA trainer for 10-hour and 30-hour courses and holds a bachelor’s degree in Labor Safety and Health from the National Labor College.   Cecelia currently serves as the Vice-President of the Greater NJ Coalition of Labor Union Women, United Steelworkers Local 4-397 Unit Chair and NJ Women of Steel Coordinator.   In 2016, Leto received the National COSH Educator of the Year Award and in 2008, she received the Hero of Healthcare Award from the Health Professionals and Allied Employees union for exceptional training of their members.

  • Jaribu Hill

    Jaribu Hill

    Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights

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    Jaribu Hill is a Civil and Human Rights Attorney and community organizer.   She is Founder and Executive Director of the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights.   Hill is an author and an international spokesperson on Civil and Human Rights topics.   A former safety and health specialist with NYCOSH, Hill advocates for safe workplaces and humane treatment of workers in Mississippi. Through her organization, Attorney Hill has provided legal representation and advocacy for hundreds of workers in the state.   Hill and the Center have successfully joined with Mississippi workers to improve workplace conditions and force employers to adopt and enforce policies against racial harassment and all forms of discrimination.   Joining workers in their fight against workplace human rights abuses is at the very core of the work! To date, the Center has successfully represented victims of workplace sexual and race harassment and retaliation and joined with workers to provide trainings and listening sessions.

  • Charlie Uruchima

    Charlie Uruchima

    NYCOSH

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    Charlie Uruchima was born and raised in New York City (Lenapehoking Territory) of Kichwa-Ecuadorian descent. Blending his passions for Quechua, community organizing, and digital media, in July 2014, Charlie co-founded Kichwa Hatari, the first Kichwa radio project in the U.S. The work of Kichwa Hatari has been featured in publications like the New York Times, CNN, RT, and the Associated Press. Since 2012, Charlie has worked extensively with grassroots organizations in New York City, like Democracy Now, New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE), and Brandworkers.   Since 2016, Charlie has also consulted for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at NYU on indigenous audiovisual and education programs. Currently, Charlie works at the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) coordinating the Manhattan Justice for Workers Collaborative (MJWC), a city-wide workers’ rights initiative, where he recently helped organize and launch the New York City Workers’ Bill of Rights in five Latin American indigenous languages, including Kichwa, K” iche” , Mixteco, Garifuna, and Nahuatl.

  • Julio Fernandez

    Julio Fernández

    Workers’ Dignity

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    Julio Fernandez has over 20 years of experience organizing in the labor and immigrant rights movement. He has a great passion for his work and a strong sense of social justice.   In 1999 he witnessed a white boss brutally beat a co-worker. This frightening experience was the beginning of a new life dedicated to the struggle for economic justice and dignity for all.   He has contributed to the work of multiple groups across the country, particularly within the Southeast, including the Tennessee Immigrants Refugees Rights Coalition (TIRRC), Jobs with Justice, the Ironworkers Union, SEIU, and the Southeast Immigrant Rights Network. Currently, he works as the Construction Worker Organizer at Workers’ Dignity, where he plays a key role to organize construction workers to fight for dignified construction jobs in his hometown of Nashville, TN.

  • Melissa Martinez

    Melissa Martinez-Chacon

    Border Workers United

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    Melissa Martinez is a worker rights advocate, whose leadership draws upon her own and her family’s journey from Mexico and in the US.   As a former dreamer who moved to Texas from Mexico at age five, Melissa knew first-hand the importance of the DACA (Deferred Action for Child Arrivals) program.   She spent five years advocating for its passage in DC, sharing her story with Congressional representatives.   Melissa was introduced to labor rights when her mother became a victim of wage theft in 2014 while working long, extra hours at a restaurant in El Paso.   As a result, Melissa began to involve herself in labor rights and Know Your Rights trainings, volunteering at Border Workers United, an El Paso-based COSH worker center, during breaks in college at the University of Texas at El Paso.   She advocated for domestic workers and victims of trafficking by sharing their stories in Washington DC since many of them could not leave El Paso, being a border city with a 50 mile radius to USCIS checkpoints.   After volunteering for two years at Border Workers United, Melissa became and has served as the group’s administrator for over 6 years.

  • Bacilio Castro

    Bacilio Castro

    Western North Carolina Workers’ Center

    he/his/él

  • Brian Mitchell

    Brian Mitchell

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    Brian Mitchell  was a public employee for the City of Manchester [NH] for 25 years. At that time, he served on the City Safety Review Board. He is a retired local union officer for ASFCME Local 298 and AFSCME Council 93. He worked for the State Employee Association SEA SEIU Local 1984 for over 10 years. In 1999 Brian became a member of NH COSH; he wore many hats and held many positions. He was promoted to director of NH COSH in 2009 and still currently holds this position. He also volunteers at Smith Road School helping to organize extra-curricular activities. Hearing the stories of individuals who are injured or killed in workplace fatalities and meeting their families really drives his passion to keep people safe and educated.