Meet The Team
¨Education for Liberation¨
Isabel Vinent Grimany Ph.D.
Isabel was born in Honduras and has lived in the US periodically since 1983. She earned her B.S. in Social Work from Florida International University, in Miami. She earned her Ph.D. in Education at the University of Oviedo, Asturias, Spain. Isabel holds a Doctorate in Education adscript to the Women's Studies program. Her doctoral thesis focused on Feminist Popular Education and its application in projects of legal training and development. Her interests and areas of expertise include: popular education, gender training, social research, and evaluation and assessments of social projects. Isabel is a co-founder of a "La Tapizca" (the Harvest, in Spanish) in Honduras and now Popular Education Consultants in the US that assesses progressive social organizations in terms of educational and organizational capacity building processes. Isabel is also a Deputy Director of Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) the immigrant State-wide organization that coordinates most of the efforts in Florida to bring justice to the immigrant community throughout the State.
Lashae Copeland M.A.
Lashae is a native of Saint Petersburg FL, but does her work as a racial justice community organizer and educator in Central FL. Lashae holds a Master degree from the University of Central FL and prides herself on being a young African American woman working to thrive in a world that is not always just. Through community building, education, and healing justice, Lashae works to transform her world in to one that is more equitable for all. In doing so, she uses her voice as a power tool to have conversations around racial equity and liberation. As an embodied yoga social justice practitioner, Lashae uses movement through her body to connect with herself and other marginalized groups of people. She believes that the fight for justice is her intergenerational duty and she is honored to continue the work of those who came before her. Previously, in her former organization Lashae designed and implemented the "Freedom Schools" for Black and Immigrant kids during the Black History Month. Also, a Community Assessment project and a Community Development Plan with the Black community in South Apopka, Florida. Additionally, she participated in the implementation of the Florida Feminist Organizing School, organized by the Global Grassroots Justice Alliance, and in the implementation of the "University Without Walls" organized by Florida Immigrant Coalition. Currently she holds a position teaching U.S history through a racial justice and class lens in Central Florida.
Reca Fernandez Ph.D.
Originally from El Salvador, Reca Fernandez has lived in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, Spain, and now in the US. He graduated from law school in Honduras. He worked as a lawyer for the Catholic Church in rural Honduras, defending peasant people and teaching human rights.
Reca earned his P.h. D. in Education at the University of Oviedo, Asturias, Spain. His doctoral thesis (Summa Cum Laude) focuses on Participatory Action Research applied to social development projects. He is also a specialist on Popular Education methodologies applied to community organizing and to organizational development.
As part of his consultant job, he has facilitated educational processes for community leaders on human rights, social leadership, popular education, gender, masculinity and community development. He has been working intensively on Strategic Plans and Strategic Campaings plan in the US.
Reca was part of the Board of Directors at Highlander Center in Tennessee, the historical Popular Education Institution of the South.
Elizabeth Ortel M.A.
Elizabeth Ortel was born in Tallahassee, Florida. She has a degree in Anthropology and Latin American Studies. She also has a Master's Degree in Latin American Literature and, in addition, she has done a work internship in the Iquitos area, Peru (Amazonia). She speaks English, Spanish and German. Professionally, she is interested in adult education (for social commitment), and research on behalf of social justice movements, and in public history / popular education (developing a broad understanding of the cultural and economic roots of current phenomena). Her hobbies are related to genealogical studies and personality theories.
Liz Ortel has worked as a "Director of Academic Support" at Hope Community Center, a non profit organization in Central Florida. Currently, she is planning to proceed with his Ph.D. studies in Linguistics Anthropology.