Sylvie Bello, Treasurer
In 2011, shy of her 30th birthday, Bello was selected by African Immigrant Magazine as one of "The 100 Africans Making in Difference in America." That same year she received a Community Leader award from the Cameroon Student Association-USA. Bello started her non-profit career as an accounting intern in New Jersey, where she attended Kean University with a major in Finance. Prior to starting CAC, she was the Finance and Operations Manager for the non-profit Roundtable of Greater Washington. She is an arts and theater buff, sits on the advisory panel of the Baltimore Museum of Arts, and in her spare time volunteers as an usher at the Ford's Theatre and the Shakespeare Theatre Company.
Dia Bùi, Secretary
bridging her passion for community organizing with effective policy change for social justice. Her lifelong commitment to empowering young people is rooted in her own experiences growing up in a refugee family living in a low-income, immigrant neighborhood. She understands the intersections of identity and the value in connecting people of all backgrounds on a deeper level. Dia is also a poet and has performed spoken word in multiple cities across the country. She embraces culture, writing, and music as tools of learning and empowerment
Anna Duncan, Chair
As a Tenant Organizer with the Latino Economic Development Center for four years, Anna Duncan served as the organization’s representative to the DC Language Access Coalition and was an active member in the Housing Committee. She assisted in the transition to MLOV becoming an independent 501c3 from 2008-2010. Anna has worked for almost ten years as an organizer with immigrant communities, first in Ohio working with migrant farmworkers, and then in DC working with low-income tenants on affordable housing issues. She has great experience developing campaign strategy, training organizers, and facilitating leadership development with members.
Anna has also worked as an interpreter and translator for several years, and believes in the importance of this work in ensuring that diverse voices are able to share their experiences with each other and build community together. As a founding member of the DC Interpreter Collective, and through coordinating language access for several social justice conferences and gatherings Anna has also trained other organizations to incorporate language justice into their work. Finally, as a life-long DC resident, having grown up in Mt Pleasant, Anna is committed to this community and to working with her neighbors to ensure that everyone that contributes to this city is able to fully participate in civic life and have equal access to all the city has to offer. She firmly believes that the voices and leadership of directly impacted immigrant communities must be at the forefront of struggles to fulfill this vision, and as a Board member will work to ensure MLOV continues to play an important role in amplifying these voices.
Blanca Hernandez, Board member
Blanca is an an Immigration Paralegal with the International Business Law Firm in Washington, DC. Over the past decade, she has been involved in immigrants’ rights activism ranging from undocumented students’ access to education to calling an end to deportation. Most recently, Blanca collaborated with the #Not1More campaign, calling an end to deportation and family separation. Over the years,Blanca has worked with monolingual communities in the areas of organizing, law, and policy, in order to secure language-accessible information in order for them to be able to make informed decisions about their communities and their well being. Such work has included community presentations, community meetings, workshops, or listening sessions.
Blanca became involved in the immigrants’ rights movement during her college years. During this time she advocated for bills that would provide undocumented California students access to in-state financial assistance. Simultaneously, Blanca worked and advocated for a federal bill that would have provided undocumented students, nationwide, a pathway to citizenship. Her advocacy efforts led her to become involved with Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC), an organization which aims to support college students in their pursuit of college, career, and citizenship. As a result, Blanca became involved in the legal profession.
Blanca understands that becoming naturalized in the U.S. does not guarantee a person access to voter information in all aspects of the process. With that in mind, she became involved with The Greenlining Institute’s, Our Democracy Program, where she worked on a project that aimed to make California’s ballot initiative accessible to non-English speaking citizens.
As part of the MLOV Board of Directors, Blanca wishes to continue to expand access to information to all immigrants, regardless of immigration status.
Kavitha Kasargod-Staub, Board member
Kavitha Kasargod has been an educator in the District for the past 10 years both outside the classroom and as a classroom teacher. In her last job, she taught D.C. History with a focus on examining and analyzing the multicultural history of the District of Columbia. Through that experience, she has seen first-hand the power of MLOV's S.M.A.R.T program as many of her students were SMART organizers. Their voices among their peers were powerful reminders of what it takes to create an inclusive and just society.
As a long-time resident of D.C and an immigrant to the United States, Kavitha believes all residents must have equal access to resources and supports MLOV's work to help achieve a more just city. Kavitha lives in the District with her husband Eli, two children Priya and Ezra, and their pup Badmash.
Thomas Mariadason, Board member
Brenda Pérez Amador, Board member
Brenda was born and raised in Mexico City for the first 10 years of her life. Coming to the U.S. without knowing any English and without any legal documentation, did not stop her from taking advantage of the opportunities that this country has to offer. In her junior year of high school, Brenda got involved with SMART (the Student Multiethnic Action Research Team) and became a Lead Student Organizer. The work that SMART did was recognized by the Washington Peace Center, when they awarded Brenda the 2013 Youth Activist Award. During her senior year, Brenda was awarded the Princeton Prize in Race Relations (she in fact was our DC representative for this prestigious honor), and was given the opportunity to speak at Princeton University about the work that she was doing with/for SMART.
After graduating from School Without Walls in 2014, Brenda became a SMART alumni. She feels that without the skills and connections she gained through SMART, she would not have been able to been an integral part in the making of the documentary, RISERS. RISERS presents the obstacles undocumented youth face every day and inspires youth leaders to become active in their communities and pursue higher education. As a current student at the University of the District of Columbia, Brenda studies civil engineering with a focus in urban sustainability to one day reduce pollution problems in third world countries.
MLOV is still seeking dedicated social justice defenders for our amazing Board of Directors !!
Complete this online application by July 15th 2016 in order to join our team!!
Contact the Board
Email board (at) mlovdc.org with any questions or concerns