Our work is possible because of the volunteer service of our amazing board members. As we begin a new fiscal year, we want to say gracias to board members completing their terms of service for their dedication to our mission of building a welcoming community, and creating opportunities where Latino families can belong, contribute, and succeed.
Board Chair from 2018-2020, Terry has served on the Conexíon Américas’ board for 8 years and was the first LGBT chair. She teaches at Vanderbilt University Law School as Professor of Law, Professor of Medicine, Health and Society, and Chancellor Faculty Fellow. As Terry steps down as chair, she will remain on the board ex-oficio.
“Conexion Americas has been mi otra casa for nearly ten years. I have been privileged to help us grow from a small office on Music Row to a glorious, welcoming, dynamic center in the heart of immigrant Nashville—Casa Azafran—where Latinx and immigrant communities, and a host of amazing community partners, strive to do justice every day. It is a place where I, a Cuban-American Nashville transplant, always know I belong, because it is a place where everyone belongs. I am happy to pass the torch of leadership on this next iteration of our extraordinary Board, and am so excited about what our talented, dedicated staff—under the unmatched leadership of Juliana Ospina Cano—is going to do next to help my fellow Latinx Tennesseans belong, contribute, and succeed.”
M. Janella Escobar
Head of Corporate Communications at Cracker Barrel Country Store, Inc. M. Janella has served on Conexión Américas’ board for 6 years.
“As I reflect on this moment where I ‘formally’ culminate my journey I reflect on all of the things Conexión stands for. Immigrants and refugees have always been a source of our country’s strength, one of our greatest assets is our great diversity. The work of Conexión and organizations that are unified in the mission of creating welcoming communities are more important now than ever before. I am so proud of the work of CA, with your leadership and the inspired and committed team behind you, I know Conexión will continue to implement innovative approaches to integrating newcomers and truly celebrate the richness in diversity, recognizing that immigrants and refugees are sources of economic and cultural vitality. So as we (because I will always consider myself part of the team) continue to help permanent residents prepare for citizenship, prepare first-time home buyers with the tools and guidance to reach that milestone, welcome students and help them reach their full potential, equip workers and entrepreneurs who contribute to our economy, know that we are ringing true to what it means to be a beacon of hope for some of the world’s most vulnerable people- and that is what this country needs now more than ever.”
Chairman, President, and CEO of Studio Bank. Aaron has served on Conexión Américas’ board for 6 years.
“Conexión Américas means the world to me because it’s an organization full of wonderful people who are helping our fellow human beings to thrive. Simply put, they live the golden rule… Love your neighbor as yourself. And the immigrant community are certainly, and thankfully, our neighbors! The future of Conexión Américas is as bright as the smiles on the faces of immigrant families who benefit from all of their efforts. As the immigrant community grows and thrives, so will the wonderful Conexión Américas organization!”
Raquel Eve Oluyemo
Member and Attorney at BoneMcAllester Norton PLLC and Adjunct Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University Law School.
“Serving on the board of Conexión Américas has been a rewarding experience. I will always cherish my bond with fellow board members and the staff. I learned so much about Conexión’s direct impact in Tennessee and beyond. To everyone at Conexión, I say thank you for inspiring me to continue working toward a more inclusive community for our Latinx neighbors and for immigrants from around the world. To borrow the phrase of my alma mater, I truly entered the organization to learn, but I depart to serve.”