The Colibrí Center has arranged for Raise the Bar Consulting Services to provide leadership while Colibrí prepares to hire a new permanent executive director. Raise the Bar’s Brian Best is serving as Interim Executive Director of the Colibrí Center. Brian calls on four decades of non-profit experience in New York, Washington DC, and Tucson to guide his work. He has extensive experience in administration and management, executive leadership, and fundraising.
Brian’s work history on the east coast includes organizing work with Bread For the World, management work with Amnesty International USA, and being the administrator of a progressive Episcopal church in Washington DC. In Tucson he served as Executive Director of BorderLinks, which provides education about migration justice issues to groups from around the country. Brian was the recipient of the Washington Peace Center’s Port in the Storm award. He is a member of the Tucson Samaritans, providing humanitarian assistance to migrants as they pass through the Arizona desert, and a novice salsa dancer.
Gia Del Pino moved to Tucson in August 2020 to continue her passion of working for immigrant rights and justice along the U.S.- Mexico border. Prior to the move, she was the co-founder and lead organizer of a grassroots immigrant-led organization called Madres Sin Fronteras (Gainesville, Fl). Madres Sin Fronteras was created in 2017 in response to the new administration’s hardline anti-immigrant platform. Together they worked tirelessly to create a set of strategic plans to ensure justice and protections for affected communities and vulnerable families. Key campaigns include:
Community ID: Working together with law enforcement, city and county council to implement a community ID to give affected community members access to public schools, health care facilities, libraries, certain banks, and a viable/verified identification card in case undocumented individuals need to engage with local law enforcement.
Sanctuary: Working in coalition with the Westminster Presbyterian Church and Human Rights Coalition of Alachua County, to revitalize the Sanctuary movement from the early 80’s in Gainesville.
Rapid Response Hotline: Working together with Pioneer Valley Workers Center to develop a 24/7 Rapid Response Hotline to address immigrant-related emergencies and/or field questions about ID, sanctuary, and other community resources such as reliable legal aid and health care.
Community Bail/Bond Fund: Developed the first-ever community bail/bond fund for detainees in North Central Florida. This formed part of the accompaniment program which pairs allies and volunteers with families of detainees to drive to the surrounding detention center to visit their loved ones.
Gia Del Pino is the proud daughter of immigrants who grew up in predominantly immigrant community in Miami, Fl. She has a MFA in Art and Technology from University of Florida and is currently pursuing her Ph.D in Art and Visual Culture Education at the University of Arizona.
Mirza Monterroso is Colibrí’s Missing Migrant Project and DNA Program Manager. Originally from Guatemala, Mirza specializes in archeology and has earned her M.A. in Forensic Science. She worked for several years in Mayan archaeology sites and caves in Guatemala, Belize, and México. In 2006, she began working as a forensic archeologist, digging clandestine graves created during the Guatemalan genocide. She has been an expert witness in cases of violations of human rights and crimes committed against the civil population. Mirza also taught several courses in forensic anthropology at the Universidad de Rafael Landívar and the Universidad de San Carlos in Guatemala. In 2016, she joined the Colibrí Center as the DNA Program Manager.
Perla is Colibrí’s Family Network Director. She is originally from Hermosillo, Sonora, and migrated to the US with her family in 1999 and was raised in Tucson, AZ. Perla earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Pre-law from the University of Arizona, where she focused on immigration law reforms and justice for migrant rights.
Post-college, Perla has continued her focus on social services while working as a Case Manager for the Office of Refugee Resettlement working in the reunification of unaccompanied minors in the US-Mexico border with families who reside in the US. She continued her work as the Children’s Specialist for the Guatemalan consulate in the Border Protection team.
Perla continues her dedication to migrant rights as Colibrí’s Family Network Director. She will continue a legacy of work to build solidarity, community, a movement among families who have experienced loss at the border.