Our Team

MUJER’s Board of Director’s is comprised of women and gender non-conforming and non-binary peoples from the Latin American diaspora. All of the board members are required to sit on at least one committee that supports the organization’s development. 

 

Aldeli Albán Reyna, President

Aldeli Albán Reyna is an Afro-Peruvian writer, poet and storyteller from Montréal. She is an artist with a natural talent for using language to bring stories to life coupled with an ability to transform her lived experiences, using English and Spanish narratives. She holds an Honours BA in Women & Gender Studies, Spanish and Italian from the University of Toronto. Her passion for activism, equity and learning stems from a long history of community engagement work, life experiences and a desire for social change. As YWCA Canada’s Public Policy Coordinator, Aldeli organizes violence prevention campaigns like #NOTokay, facilitates reconciliation work between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth through the 4Rs Youth Movement, and works on youth projects and Latinx initiatives.

She is the Outreach Coordinator for the Feminist Art Conference and has moderated panels on Black Exoticism: Fetishization of the Black female body and Intersectionality: Collaboration, Cooperation, Community. She is also a Steering Committee Member for the 4Rs Youth Movement. Aldeli also developed the 2014 curriculum for the Latin@/Latin American Feminist Course Committee for MUJER.

 

MaryCarmen Lara Villanueva, Vice-President

Marycarmen was born and raised in Mexico City. She has a B.A. in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Calgary and extensive training in the fields of community work, immigration and settlement, adult education, project planning and social development. Marycarmen has several years of experience working in the non-for-profit sector, she has also volunteered in various community organizations in Mexico, Calgary and Toronto.

 

Claudia Cornali Motta, Director of Finance

Claudia is a queer Latinx woman born and raised in Toronto, Canada. She studied at U of T and George Brown College, specializing in Project Management and International Relations. She has coordinated and delivered programs to youth on the topics of financial literacy and entrepreneurship as a means of creating their own economic empowerment. Her background in front-end web development and work as a project coordinator has led to her work with brands like TD and Virgin Mobile Canada. Claudia is committed to the centering of Queer, Indigenous and Afro-Latinx voices and she is looking forward to creating spaces with MUJER where the Latinx community can express themselves freely and openly.

 

Roxana Escobar Ñañez, co-Director of Fundraising

Roxana is a Peruvian M.Ed. is Social Justice Education at OISE. She holds a B.A. in philosophy and an M.A. in political science by the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (Lima). Roxana’s professional experience include eight years of teaching at both undergraduate and graduate levels, public service in the Peruvian Ministry of Education, and several research projects. Her interests cover a wide range of topics related to intercultural education, feminist theories, Afro-descendant diaspora in Latin America and Caribe, and critical thought. At OISE, Roxana has been awarded the Muriel and Dany Fung Award and the International Students Fellowship.

 

Antoinette Salazar Medina, co-Director of Fundraising

Antoinette Salazar Medina is a queer, sex-positive, intersectional feminist of Afro-Dominican and Afro-Peruvian descent. She is a Behavioural Science graduate from George Brown College, and is currently working on an Honours Bachelor in Sexuality Studies at York University.  She aspires to be a sex educator committed to anti-racism and anti-oppression. She developed a course alongside her supervising professor called, Decolonizing the Afro-Latinx Diaspora hoping to contribute to Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean feminism in academia. Antoinette is particularly interested in social, political, and economic issues affecting (dis)abled, queer, trans, Black and Indigenous individuals within Latinx communities. Antoinette helped launch a blog tackling homophobia and transphobia in newcomer communities for Newcomer Women’s Services. She also volunteered for The Centre for Women and Trans People at York University as a workshop facilitator, and continues to volunteer for events that centre queer and trans individuals. She also co-organized the successful Women Rock Fest fundraising event for MUJER.

 

Mercedes Sharpe Zayas, co-Director of Communications

Mercedes Sharpe Zayas is a second-generation queer Salvadoran femme committed to equity and anti-oppression both within and beyond the latinx diaspora. The majority of her work has centred on the relationship between gentrification and precarity in the urban form, with a specific focus on the feminization, racialization, and geographic concentration of poverty in Toronto’s urban peripheries. She has cultivated this work both through her Master’s degree in Urban Planning at the University of Toronto, as well as through her professional experiences as a Policy Research Intern at the City of Toronto and as a Research Assistant for the Inclusive Local Economies program at the Metcalf Foundation. Mercedes has won a number of awards for her research, including the 2016 Marsha Ritzdorf Award for Best Student Work on Diversity, Social Justice and the Role of Women in Planning and the 2013 Richard F. Salisbury Prize for the best undergraduate thesis in Honours Anthropology at McGill University. Mercedes has been volunteering with MUJER since 2014, and joined the Board of Directors in 2017.

 

Daniela Glaser Alvarez, co-Director of Communications

Daniela was born in Colombia, and grew up in Toronto. She holds a Bachelors of Social Work degree from Ryerson University, and is in her last semester of her Masters of Social Work degree at Ryerson University. Daniela was actively involved with the Ryerson students’ union as the racialised students’ collective coordinator, advocating, implementing and facilitating anti-racism initiatives and events on campus. She also served on the board as a faculty director of community services. Daniela founded Ryerson University’s 2013 -2015 chapters of the Organization of Latin American Students as the president, building Latinx community on campus through facilitating social, and educational events. She is dedicated to working with the Latinx community with a background in counselling, trauma work, facilitating support groups for survivors of domestic violence and advocacy with an anti-oppressive, anti-racist, decolonizing approach. Daniela’s experience includes working at Nellie’s Women’s Shelter, and Costi Immigrant Services Family and Mental Health Centre. Her research looks at the experiences of Latinx women working with sexual violence in the Latinx community through a critical race feminism framework. Daniela is interested in the impacts of sexual violence on racialised women, and decolonial approaches to collective healing. On her spare time she is a food enthusiast, and is known to be dancing whenever the opportunity arises.

 
Laura Salamanca, Board Member

Laura was born in Colombia, and grew up in London, Ontario. She is committed to anti-oppression, anti-racism, decolonization, violence prevention, and reproductive justice work. Laura has been working in the field of sexual health for over 2 years, as a counsellor and client advocate. She has a research background in medical anthropology, gender studies, and women’s health. She has a Master’s degree from the University of Toronto, where she was actively involved with CUPE 3902. She is interested in labour issues, intersectional feminist theory, political ecology and Indigenous land rights, immigration, and issues of sexual and reproductive justice. Laura is an avid volunteer and has contributed to organizations such as Planned Parenthood Toronto, the Rights and Democracy Network, Hope’s Garden Eating Disorders Support and Resource Centre, and Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care in London, Ontario. She joined MUJER’s Board of Directors in 2014.

 

Maria Paola Wong Moreira, Board Member

María was born in Nicaragua and raised in British Columbia. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in History from St. Thomas University, a Bachelor of Education from the University of New Brunswick, and a Master of Arts in History with a focus on Latin American History and the History of Women, Genders and Sexualities from York University. A certified teacher and a member of the Ontario College of Teachers, María is the Program Manager of Casa – Pueblito, a Toronto-based non-profit organization which facilitates community development and intercultural learning with a focus on youth in Canada and Latin America. Here, she is responsible for Voices for Change: Developing Leadership in Inclusive Education, a program aimed at increasing Latinx student success and retention rates.  An animal lover, she volunteers with animal rescues and enjoys travelling and curling up with a good movie or book in her spare time.

 

Lourdes D’Uniam, Board Member

Lourdes is an interdisciplinary artist, community organizer, and student currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in the Integrated Media program at OCAD University. A native of Abya Yala, they have been calling Turtle Island home since 2002. Their practice explores themes of coloniality and the decolonial option, with a particular focus on the introspective scrutiny of their experiences as a gender non-conforming, queer person of colour with Afrolatinx and Indigenous roots. Their work aims to create sites of resistance and empowerment, exposing and seeking to dismantle the interlocking systems of oppression that strive to disempower marginalized, racialized, and sexualized bodies. Lourdes is passionate about forging strong community connections and developing spaces to engage with and celebrate the voices of people who are seldom heard, especially those who may fall under the umbrella of Trans*/Queer Latinx identities.

 

Nylda Gallardo Lopez, Board Member 

Lady Noyz is hip-hop. As Toronto’s first lady of the dance floor for almost 2 decades, Nylda  Gallardo-Lopez; aka Lady Noyz, has personified the essence of her art, its beauty, its resilience, its revolution and its ability to uplift. Never having been formally trained as a dancer, Nyldasnubbed the odds of a vastly male dominated field and has cemented herself as a leader and an icon in her community. Lady Noyz fiercely prides herself in a skill set that is self-taught and passed on by her elders in the Hip Hop, Afro-Latinx, and South American Indigenous roots. Over the years Nylda has continued to raise her profile through countless community based initiatives including Harbourfront Centre, Royal Conservatory of Music; Learning through the arts program, the TDSB, and Toronto Community Housing Projects. Nylda has also directed the choreography,  public relations, and event coordination of innumerable professional dance  troops, shows, workshops, video appearances, corporate partnerships, and youth programs throughout the Americas. While Nylda‘s main focus and inspiration over the  last 18 years was rooted in being a single mother to her son, she used that as her driving force to implement her anti-oppresive, anti-racist, body positive framework in dance and social work all over Toronto. Currently working on Youth Programming at Mujer and focusing on her own holistic approach as a curandera (“healer”), Noyz is focused on creating new possibilities with and for her art form on an international platform.