Southeast Immigrant Rights Network

our team

Cathy Carrillo

Community Defense Organizer


Cathy Carrillo is a daughter of Peruvian parents who came to the US to set up home in Nashville, TN. She was born into a home of resilience, love and lucha. Raised in the South, she learned from a young age the value of community and people power. When her father was deported during the Obama administration, she started the work to educate herself, her family and friends about unjust immigration policies and the harm and harassment ICE brings to our communities. She has worked on sanctuary development, has worked as a local community defense organizer, and as a doula. Cathy co-founded The Movements Including X in 2018 to help youth and young adults have a space to learn, move, train and grow with each other and take on the issue that directly impacted them. She is excited to continue organizing, learning, and working in the South.

Mónica Hernández



Mónica has worked at SEIRN since May 2011 and has been organizing in immigrant communities for over 25 years. A native of Mexico with roots in both countries, Mónica moved to the South in 2001 to join the staff of the Highlander Research and Education Center, where she worked until 2011, She led Highlander's immigration work, co-developing and co-facilitating the Institute for Immigrant Leadership Development (INDELI), a regional Latinx grassroots organizing and leadership development program, and Threads, a multi-racial, intergenerational, multi-issue leadership development program. Mónica served as Highlander's Interim Co-Director in 2005-06. She was the Founding Board President of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition and currently serves on the board of the National Network of Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Before moving to the South, she worked at the Northern California Coalition for Immigration Rights in San Francisco for 13 years in various capacities, including hotline operator, program coordinator, and executive director.

Cynthia Martinez

Regional Organizer


Cynthia Martinez is a queer Oaxaqueña, child of factory workers raised in the rural South, proud to call Arkansas home. Cynthia comes to SEIRN with over four years of experience in gender-based violence advocacy and crisis intervention work in the Latinx community. Cynthia has spent the last four years embedded in local, statewide, and regional labor and trans & queer grassroots organizing efforts with the Northwest Arkansas Worker Justice Center, InTransitive, and Center for Artistic Revolution. She currently serves as a board member of Venceremos, and is a cohort fellow in Project South’s BAM Institute. Cynthia has a particular interest in utilizing collective art-making and auricular acupuncture as tools to sustain and uplift organizing efforts.

Nayely Pérez-Huerta



Nayely Perez-Huerta immigrated to North Carolina from Guanajuato, México at the age of 13. Her family was one of the thousands of farmworker families displaced by the North American Free Trade Agreement.  As an undocumented student, Nayely began organizing at the age of 16 and became the first member of her family to graduate from college. Nayely has organized with undocumented youth and adults on issues around in-state tuition, driver licenses for undocumented immigrants, poli-migra, and more. In 2012, she was hired as regional organizer at the Southeast Immigrant Rights Network and recently transitioned to the role of Co-Director. At SEIRN, Nayely works to develop and lift up the leadership of directly impacted grassroots groups; supports campaigns and initiatives that promote grassroots leadership; and helps bring together member organizations to strengthen the immigrant rights movement in the Southeast region.

Evelyn Servin

Membership and Communications Coordinator

Welcome Evelyn Servin who joined the SEIRN team on April 2019!

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