Leading the fight for safe and healthy workplaces

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Board of Directors

Cipriano Belser, Organizer, SoCalCOSH

Cipriano Belser is a worker turned Organizer. His journey into the labor movement began 3 years ago while working in hospitality in Los Angeles. The exploitation he witnessed and experienced drove him to seek out ways to change and bring power to low wage workers. Beginning with volunteering with The Los Angeles Federation of Labor which led to being certified through their Organizer Training Institute, he then took on a research internship with Jobs To Move America, working to hold large manufactures accountable to their workers and the communities they built factories in. Cipriano stepped into full time organizing work with The Restaurant Opportunities Center of Los Angeles using previous work experience to build collective power with hospitality folks in LA. He joined the SoCalCOSH team in 2021 seeing power in the ways occupational health and safety allows worker advocacy across industries and communities.

Ángela Castrillo-Vilches, Health and Safety Program Assistant, NENYCOSH

Ángela Castrillo-Vilches, NENYCOSH Health and Safety Program Assistant, is a Puerto Rican scholar and worker's rights advocate from Boston, Massachusetts. Previously to her work with the COSH Network, she worked with Fondo de Accesso Para la Justicia, a non-profit that gave legal aid and affordable housing to homeless families in Puerto Rico, and Beloit College’s Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusiveness as the Head Student Programmer, where she not only planned and executed community-wide events, but gave Inclusivity training to faculty and staff (including campus RAs) of the college. She was a key contributor in the creation and reform of the training program, and was a staunch advocate for marginalized students on campus. She received the Outstanding Individual Award for her campus advocacy in 2018. Alongside her current work for NENYCOSH (based in Albany, NY), Ángela  conducts research on the colonization of Puerto Rico and its modern day effect on the people.

Thais Forneret, Director of Development & Operations, Worksafe

Thais has been involved in several social justice causes for many years: urban poverty and homelessness, food deserts, and child poverty. She is currently part of a homeless resources center, a community garden, and a children’s ministry. Through this labor of love, Thais has assisted unhoused individuals to obtain resources and nutritional foods, and secured school supplies for children in her community. Workers spend a great deal of time at their places of employment and Thais believes that that time spent should not be detrimental to the employees’ health and life chances. Thais fundamentally believes in the humanity of all workers, regardless of hierarchical structures. As such, she has advocated for equal pay for equal work, safety at the workplace, and has implemented anti-harassment and grievance processes so that workers feel safe in their work environments.

Cecelia Gilligan Leto, Project Director, New Jersey Work Environment Council

Cecelia Gilligan Leto is the Work Environment Council of New Jersey (WEC) Project Director focusing on safer and healthier workplaces.  Leto is responsible for the day-to-day supervision of grant funded projects and the production of deliverables. She acts as the lead health and safety training specialist for onsite participatory trainings, Train the Trainer workshops, and public programs. Leto has provided participatory safety and health training and strategic advice to over 9,500 workers from over 130 unions, employers, and organizations.  She is an authorized OSHA trainer for 10-hour and 30-hour courses and holds a bachelor’s degree in Labor Safety and Health from the National Labor College.  Cecelia currently serves as the Vice-President of the Greater NJ Coalition of Labor Union Women, United Steelworkers Local 4-397 Unit Chair and NJ Women of Steel Coordinator.  In 2016, Leto received the National COSH Educator of the Year Award and in 2008, she received the Hero of Healthcare Award from the Health Professionals and Allied Employees union for exceptional training of their members.

Jaribu Hill, Founder and Executive Director, Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights

Jaribu Hill is a Civil and Human Rights Attorney and community organizer.  She is Founder and Executive Director of the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights.  Hill is an author and an international spokesperson on Civil and Human Rights topics.  A former safety and health specialist with NYCOSH, Hill advocates for safe workplaces and humane treatment of workers in Mississippi. Through her organization, Attorney Hill has provided legal representation and advocacy for hundreds of workers in the state.  Hill and the Center have successfully joined with Mississippi workers to improve workplace conditions and force employers to adopt and enforce policies against racial harassment and all forms of discrimination.  Joining workers in their fight against workplace human rights abuses is at the very core of the work! To date, the Center has successfully represented victims of workplace sexual and race harassment and retaliation and joined with workers to provide trainings and listening sessions.

Jeff Newton, Membership & Communications DirectorMassachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health

Jeff Newton (he/him) has worked as the head of MassCOSH’s communication and fundraising since 2010. During his time with MassCOSH, he has increased giving to record levels and created a professional public relations department that has earned thousands of media hits. Newton has kept his thumb on the latest proven trends in fundraising and is a firm believer in using messaging that is inclusive and inspiring to further the fight for good, safe jobs. He also has board experience, serving as a board member for Community Works from 2010 to 2018. Prior to MassCOSH, Jeff worked at the Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project as head of development where he oversaw the creation of dynamic fundraising vehicles and improved the organization's community relations. Newton also worked for the Massachusetts Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance as its program coordinator where he advocated for improved electrical infrastructure in New England and headed media relations.

Holly Shaw-HollisBoard Member, Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health

Holly Shaw-Hollis lost her husband, Scott Shaw, on September 7, 2002. He was working on a barge in Philadelphia and because there were not safety regulations in place, he fell into the river and died. Holly became involved in advocating for worker safety so other families would not feel the pain her family has. She is on currently on the Executive Board of Philaposh, as well as Recording Secretary. She also is on the Board of National COSH, and has been involved with USMWF since 2003. Holly has been a PFT member (AFT local 3) since 1989, and is now part of the PFT Retirees. She has remarried and her husband, Bill, is also involved with fighting for worker safety. Holly has two sons, two step-daughters, and two granddaughters.

Charlie Uruchima, Program Coordinator, NYCOSH

Charlie Uruchima was born and raised in New York City (Lenapehoking Territory) of Kichwa-Ecuadorian descent. Blending his passions for Quechua, community organizing, and digital media, in July 2014, Charlie co-founded Kichwa Hatari, the first Kichwa radio project in the U.S. The work of Kichwa Hatari has been featured in publications like the New York Times, CNN, RT, and the Associated Press. Since 2012, Charlie has worked extensively with grassroots organizations in New York City, like Democracy Now, New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE), and Brandworkers.  Since 2016, Charlie has also consulted for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at NYU on indigenous audiovisual and education programs. Currently, Charlie works at the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) coordinating the Manhattan Justice for Workers Collaborative (MJWC), a city-wide workers’ rights initiative, where he recently helped organize and launch the New York City Workers’ Bill of Rights in five Latin American indigenous languages, including Kichwa, K’iche’, Mixteco, Garifuna, and Nahuatl.

Alejandro Zuñiga, Safety and Health Organizer, Fe y Justicia Worker Center

Alejandro Zuniga is from Mexico and has lived in the United States for more than 30 years. Since his arrival in this country, he has been involved in different struggles for human rights in the community, specifically helping the immigrant community inside and outside the United states. He is part of the NDLON team of national health and safety trainers. He is a staff member of Faith and Justice Workers Houston as a health and safety organizer. His experience as an immigrant worker, and as someone who suffered monoxide poisoning in the workplace, has given him more strength to fight for other workers to prevent others from harm's way. He now runs national trainings that educate and empower workers to advocate for safe working conditions.