Power to Win Series - 6/15 Speaker Bios

Mónica Córdova | Executive Director, Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing

Mónica Córdova (she/her) - is the Executive Director of the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing, a US-based philanthropic intermediary dedicated to building the leadership and capacity of BlPOC youth, working-class young people, young women, and queer and trans youth in transforming social and economic conditions. She honed her vision and practice for nearly a decade as the youth organizer and then Co-Director of the SouthWest Organizing Project, a local grassroots organization in New Mexico where she focused on building power among people from low-income communities of color. Today, Mónica uses her grounded experience to bring philanthropic leaders and youth organizers together to ensure young people have the resources and tools they need to fight for a more just and democratic society. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Climate Equity Policy Center and is the Board President of the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center. She’s a proud mama, Chicana, and certified professional coach.

James Lopez | Executive Director, PowerU Center for Social Change 

James is an Afro-Latino native of Rochester, New York. He graduated from the University of Buffalo, where he earned his degree in Psychology and African American Studies. It was around this time, that he began organizing through various organizations after the tragedy of Trayvon Martin. He was a former Organizer with VOICE-Buffalo, where he organized with residents and faith-based institutions in order to push a policy on policing reform and alternatives to mass incarceration. He also helped build Black Love Resist in the Rust (BLRR), which was an organization that is committed to transformative organizing and Direct Action in Buffalo.

James is committed to helping build strong organizations in South Florida that prepare young people to lead important movements in their lifetime. He sees Power U as an institution that can set the foundation needed in order to make that a reality.

Jennifer Maldonado | Program Manager, Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing

Also known as J-Mo, was raised in El Sereno, Los Angeles (CA). At an early age, she began organizing with InnerCity Struggle’s youth program called United Students. It was that experience that ignited a fire for educational justice. She graduated from UC San Diego with a BA in Ethnic Studies and minor in Education Studies. She returned to the Eastside to work at InnerCity Struggle through a FCYO fellowship to fight for wellness resources both in the schools and communities. But none of the wins mattered if those most impacted were being displaced. She developed a loved for tenant and housing justice and has worked with landtrusts in LA County. She is now the Program Manager at FCYO guiding the Organizing to Win Lab- working with organizations across the country to sharpen our strategies and assessment practices to win big.

Krystal Portalatin | Longtime Youth Organizer, Consultant and Level-Up Lab Coordinator

Krystal Portalatin-Gauthier is a proud Nyuorican and movement organizer, consultant, and coach. She has been part of dope social justice organizations who focused on anti–gentrification, decriminalization, and Queer and Trans liberation. Her role at FCYO has been to support the gen power labs in various capacities. More recently she has been coordinating the Level Up Lab.

Rapheal Randall | Senior Fellow, Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing 

Rapheal Randall (he/him) is the Senior Fellow at FCYO and the former Executive Director at Youth United of Change (YUC), whose formal training in product design and urban planning informs his approach to left political work.

Christopher June Zizzamia | Program Director, Funders’ Collaborative On Youth Organizing 

Christopher June (they/she), is the Program Director of FCYO and an experienced organizer, trainer, and strategist who believes that building the multi-racial working class’s power is the key to transforming the world towards justice. They came to the FCYO team after a decade, spanning different parts of the movement eco-system, from educational justice in a base-building organization to statewide community-labor coalition work, and are excited to be alongside brilliant organizers trying to build real power.