Staff

Rev. C.J. Hawking, Executive Director

Rev. C.J. Hawking, Executive Director of Arise Chicago since 2007, has been partnering with workers and faith leaders to bring a fuller measure of God’s justice to the workplace since 1993. In addition to being a first-generation college graduate, Hawking was on the forefront of advocating for the inclusion of women and the LGBT community in ordained ministry. A graduate of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, she is the Harry F. Ward Pastor for Social Justice at Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church in Oak Park. Hawking served as a visiting lecturer on labor and social movements at the University of Illinois and Indiana University. She co-authored “Staley: The Fight for the New American Labor Movement”, (University of Illinois Press, 2009) which won three “Book of the Year” awards. Rev. Hawking is grateful to the amazing Arise staff, two-thirds of whom have been with Arise for 10 years or more, board, worker-members, congregational members, and supporters for building Arise into an international model for pursuing worker justice.

Andy (Andrés) Fox, Associate Executive Director

Andy (Andrés) Fox (he/him/él) joined Arise in April 2024 as the Associate Executive Director. Most recently, Andy served at the Illinois Department of Labor as Chief Legal Counsel. Prior to IDOL, Andy was the first ever Director of the Office of Labor Standards for Chicago, where his groundbreaking work cemented the office as the benchmark for worker rights on the national stage. His ability to navigate pathways to justice for workers is unparalleled through local, state, and federal enforcement agencies. He has served in a variety of legal and leadership positions throughout his career. Andy attended law school at IIT Chicago Kent. He went to Loyola University as an undergraduate, and then served two years as a missionary in Tacna, Peru. Andy’s service work in Chicago started at Casa Aztlán in Pilsen where he taught citizenship and ESL. He then worked at Cooper Dual Language Academy as a bilingual teacher while he went to law school at night. His Spanish and English language skills have been critical to his reaching vulnerable populations. He lives in Pilsen with his family and is an overly active cyclist.

Laura Garza, Worker Center Director

Laura Garza (she/her/ella) has been the Worker Center Director for Arise Chicago since March 2021. Laura’s passion for worker rights is not accidental. As an immigrant born in Monterrey, Mexico, and a young organizer in Chicago, she partnered with various non-profits to organize youth leadership programs. As a college student working with migrant farm workers, she continued her passion for workers. For 23 years, Laura worked for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1, fighting for economic justice while centering racial, gender, immigrant, and environmental justice in all of her work. Laura held various leadership positions over her tenure at SEIU and was always grounded in her passion developed at a young age – organizing. Women's rights have also been vital for her. Ensuring that women, especially women of color, are represented in the workplace and feel safe from any forms of harassment has been essential to her everyday work. Laura has held key leadership posts: former board member for Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) and Arise Chicago. Laura is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago with a major in Sociology.  Laura is fluent in Spanish and English.

Liz Haas, Development Director

Liz Haas (they/she/elle/ella) joined Arise Chicago in June 2024. As Development Director, they lead Arise Chicago’s fundraising efforts, and cultivate and manage Arise’s relationships with donors and grantmakers. Previously, Liz has worked as Senior Grants Manager at Fair Fight Action, Development Manager at the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), and AmeriCorps VISTA Resource Development Associate at KAN-WIN. Liz received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College in history with a focus in comparative colonialism. They grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and their passion for immigrant rights and worker justice emerges both from their heritage as the grandchild of Taiwanese/Chinese immigrants and their own experiences with unionization and the power of workplace organizing. Liz also enjoys theater, speculative fiction, and building LGBTQ community.

Adam Kader, Public Policy Director

Adam Kader (he/him/él) served as Arise Chicago's Worker Center Director for 14 years before becoming Public Policy Director in 2021. He is proud of his Palestinian roots and his union member parents who instilled an enduring commitment to social and economic justice that he has carried throughout his work. Before joining Arise Chicago he worked as an adult English language learner instructor for a variety of immigrant community organizations in Chicago and taught a Labor and Social Movements course at the University of Illinois. Adam received a master’s degree in Urban Planning and Public Policy with a concentration in Community Development from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and Spanish, with a minor in Gender Studies, from Lawrence University.  Besides raising his daughter with his wife, Adam enjoys old-fashioned hobbies including reading books, listening to vinyl records, and taking urban hikes.  Adam is fluent in English and Spanish.

Margarita Valenzuela Klein, Director of Member Organizing

Margarita Klein is the daughter of political refugees from Chile and has been dedicated to workers’ rights and social justice for over two decades. Margarita brings a culmination of 20 years experience in the workers rights and labor movement to Arise Chicago. She has experience training teams of workers to create workplace demands, win union representation, and make concrete workplace improvements. Having won awards for Labor Woman of the Year for the Chicago Federation of Labor, 100 of Chicago’s most influential women, as well as featured and profiled with the Chicago Tribune, Margarita brings her experience and passion for workers’ rights and organizing to Arise. Margarita is fluent in Spanish and English.

Shelly Ruzicka, Communications & Finance Director

Shelly Ruzicka (she/her/ella) joined Arise Chicago in 2006. As Communications & Finance Director, she leads narrative strategy, press work, finances, and supports member leadership development. Shelly is passionate about supporting workers to share their stories as a powerful means to win campaigns. She has secured 100-200+ local, national, and international stories annually, including significant coverage of immigrant women in the #MeToo movement, and the workplace COVID crisis. She is a 2021 alumna of the University of Chicago’s Civic Leadership Academy; 2015 alumna of the ReFrame Strategic Communications Mentorship; and earned bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Intercultural Studies at Elmhurst College during which time she studied at Oxford University, and Universidad Espíritu Santo in Ecuador. Her family’s roots in working class Polish and Czech immigrant communities and being the daughter of a public school teacher inspire her focus on the workplace as a critical point of social change. Shelly is bilingual in English and Spanish and enjoys film festivals, tap dancing, and cooking elaborate dinners. 

 

Alejandra Campos, DALE Coordinator

Alejandra Campos (she/her/ella) joined Arise as DALE Coordinator (Deferred Action for Labor Enforcement) in 2024. Previous to Arise, she has worked in the culinary industry and worked her way up from line cook to proud sous chef. She also has experience as a paralegal. Alejandra was hired as an Arise member after leading a group campaign with coworkers facing wage theft on the job. After learning her rights she was inspired to support other workers end abuse and improve their workplaces. Her leadership on her own workplace campaign combined with her paralegal experience makes her a perfect fit to help lead Arise’s DALE efforts with our members. In her role, she co-coordinates organizing our DALE intake process and connects members with immigration attorneys. The most rewarding part of her job is letting workers know when their work permits have arrived, and being part of that transformational moment. Born in Jalisco, Mexico and raised in California and Chicago, Alejandra is bilingual in English and Spanish. 

Lisseth Cervantes, DALE Coordinator

Lisseth Cervantes (she/her/ella) joined Arise as DALE Coordinator in 2023. Born and raised in Chicago, she is the proud daughter of a hard working immigrant mother. Lisseth first came to Arise as part of a workplace campaign with her mother and other coworkers. After attending a Worker Rights Workshop, she felt like her eyes were opened to the multiple abuses at her job and was ready to take action. Before joining Arise on staff, she worked in fast food as a worker and manager, and during COVID received certification as a nail technician and worked at a nail salon. She is bilingual in English and Spanish. As DALE Coordinator, Lisseth oversees our DALE intake process, connects members with immigration attorneys, and provides interpretation. Coming from a Latina family, Lisseth is especially proud of her work supporting members, who like her mother, organized against workplace abuse. Her favorite part of her job is being able to let workers know when they received their work permit and seeing their joy. She feels privileged to help bring the benefit of a work permit to Arise immigrant members who never thought they could receive such protection. 

Nadia Don, DALE Organizer

Nadia Don (she/her/ella) joined Arise Chicago as DALE Organizer in 2023. She is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico and has lived in Chicago for many years. She first came to Arise after experiencing an unjust firing. Through determination and support from Arise, she won a settlement, and became an active Arise leader. Having graduated from law school at El Centro Universitario Guadalajara Lamar, at Arise, Nadia felt connected back to her justice roots at Arise. She supported Worker Rights Workshops, recruited new members, and later led coworkers at a different job in a campaign fighting unsafe conditions and retaliation. She has been a media spokesperson for her campaign and Arise Chicago. As DALE Organizer, Nadia says her most important role is helping workers to get past their fear to organize and to apply for DALE. She finds her law training and her own experience of workplace problems brings professionalism and empathy to her conversations with members.  Nadia is a single mother proudly raising two daughters to be strong women and good humans. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.

Ania Jakubek, Domestic Worker Organizer

Ania Jakubek has been the Domestic Worker Organizer at Arise Chicago since 2010. Born and raised in Poland, Ania came to the U.S. in 1998 to work as a domestic worker, a position she held for 8 years while attending college. Prior to Arise Chicago, for five years, she was an organizer for the Northwest Neighborhood Federation, which partnered with SEIU’s Hospital Accountability Project. She also coordinated the New American Initiative program, which assisted immigrants in filing for and obtaining citizenship. Ania brings her passion for organizing Domestic Workers to Arise through recruiting, training, and by providing workforce and leadership development to Arise members.  A trained interpreter, Ania is fluent in Polish and English.

Jenny Maoloni, Accounts Manager

Jenny Maoloni (she/her), the Arise Chiacago Accounts Manager since 2012, received her master's degree in Library & Information Science from Dominican University and her bachelor's degree in Speech Language Pathology from Elmhurst College. Before joining Arise she worked at a financial firm and a small business. Jenny manages all aspects of accounting, processing donations, payroll, audits, government compliance forms, organizational insurance, and the benefits programs at Arise.

Jorge Mújica, Strategic Campaigns Organizer

Jorge Mújica Murias joined Arise as Strategic Campaigns Organizer in 2012. Born in Mexico, Jorge participated in labor and popular movements until he emigrated to the United States in 1987. Has worked as a journalist for several newspapers, Univision and Telemundo, and twice won the First Place award for Investigative Reporting from the Association of Hispanic Publicists. He is one of the main organizers of the 2006 immigrant rights marches, and co-author of “Voces Migrantes, Movimiento 10 de Marzo”, a book about the immigration movement. Jorge has worked for several labor unions, is a member of the National Council of the National Union of Writers, and several community organizations that have fought for the interests of the Mexican community abroad. He was elected to the Mexican Federal Congress in 2021, representing the Mexican diaspora. Jorge is fluent in Spanish and English.

Luke Sullivan, Religious Organizer

Luke Sullivan (he/him/él) has been the Religious Organizer at Arise Chicago since 2012, having served his first two years as an intern through the Dominican Volunteers USA Year of Service Program. As Religious Organizer he builds support from clergy and congregations for Arise Chicago’s union and non-union worker campaigns, public policy campaigns and to support Arise’s fundraising efforts. Luke coordinates Arise’s annual Labor in the Pulpit/on the Bimah/in the Minbar program, which places speakers in over 100 services over Labor Day weekend and distinguishes Arise as the program’s national leader. Luke is pursuing his graduate degree in nonprofit management and is an associate with the Congregation of St. Joseph. He is fluent in English and Spanish.

Jose Uribe, Workplace Justice Campaigns Organizer

Jose Uribe (he/him/él) joined Arise Chicago in August 2021 after spending nine years working as a Union Organizer with American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). During his time at AFSCME, he organized home care providers in Vermont and New Jersey, advocated for the expansion of medical interpreter services in California, partnered with public employees in Northern Virginia to grow their union’s power, supported cab drivers in Chicago and New Orleans in their fights against unregulated competitors, and educated migrant farm workers on their rights at work in North Carolina.He earned his Bachelor of Arts in the Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance from the University of Minnesota. As an Organizer at Arise, Jose supports workers to learn their rights and take action to enforce them, including through building workplace committees.  In his spare time, he enjoys baking, music, and playing and collecting video games. Jose is fluent in English and Spanish.

Moises Zavala, Workplace Justice Campaigns Organizer

Moises Zavala is a seasoned labor movement leader with over 25 years of experience, championing workers' rights and empowerment. Born in Michoacán, Mexico, and raised in Chicago's Back Of The Yards neighborhood, he has a deep-rooted commitment to community issues. Beginning with grassroots organizing around housing and community safety, Moises transitioned into union organizing, joining Local 881 UFCW in 1998. He rose to become the Director of Organizing, overseeing significant union victories. His leadership extended beyond the local level, serving on the Executive Board of Local 881 and as Chair for the 4th Congressional District at the Illinois AFL-CIO. His advocacy for immigrant workers and collaboration with community organizations earned him a position in the Institute of Mexicans Abroad from 2009 to 2011, where he spearheaded efforts to establish Labor Rights week across all Mexican Consulates in the U.S. His commitment to education and dialogue led him to obtain a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a master's degree from DePaul University School of New Learning in Organizing Through Dialogue in 2013. As an Organizer at Arise, Moises supports workers to learn their rights and how to enforce them, including through making collective demands and building workplace committees. Fluent in both English and Spanish, he continues to be a driving force for social and economic justice in his community.

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