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Dennis deLeon Sustainable Leadership Institute
Latinos in the Deep South
Latinos in the deep South logo Erik Valera
Program Director

Staff Bios

Erik Valera
Program Director

Erik Valera is Program Director for Latinos in the Deep South at the Latino Commission on AIDS. The program focuses on the emerging Latino population in southern states and related areas with burgeoning Latino communities. As Program Director, he works to build local leadership, strengthen networks and coalitions, enhance knowledge and cultural responsiveness, and spur actions to address the needs of the emerging Latino/Hispanic populations. Since 1993 Mr. Valera has worked to implement community and clinical programs for those affected by the HIV epidemic. Additionally, his expertise serves to support organizations and communities in the areas of community based participatory research, marketing, and professional networking. Erik holds a BA in Communication Studies with a concentration in Public Relations and Organizational Communication from California State University, Los Angeles. He lives and works in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Judith Montenegro
Director of Community Organizing

Judy Montenegro is the Director of Community Organizing for the Latinos in the Deep South Program at the Latino Commission on AIDS. Since 2004, Ms. Montenegro has worked with the immigrant population focusing on immigration reform, farm worker advocacy and awareness, and unionization of the workforce. She serves on the Boards of Directors to two non-profits in North Carolina and works to develop their fundraising strategies and manage their social media. Ms. Montenegro graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Sociology. She was born in Durango, Mexico and came to the U.S. at a very young age. Her parents applied for U.S. permanent residency under the Amnesty of 1986. She currently lives in Durham, North Carolina with her husband and dog.

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