Introducing our Lisa Fittko Intern: Carla Navoa

Fittko Intern

Fittko Committee

Carla Navoa, Vreni Naess, Jackie Kirley, and Jackie Zevin 

Although I have only worked at Crossroads Fund for a little over a month, I have met many passionate and inspiring activists and community members. One of the most exciting moments in starting my internship was meeting the Lisa Fittko Committee members, a group of kind and generous women who fundraise for the internship in memory of their dear friend Lisa Fittko. Lisa Fittko was a social justice and peace activist who passed away in 2005. Since then, these women have worked to honor her legacy through the Lisa Fittko Internship program.

As an introduction to the program, Jackie Zevin--one of the committee members--hosted me and the other women--Jackie Kirley and Vreni Naess--at her home in Lincoln Park. After a warm welcome, we set to work on sending out mailings to prospective donors (a regular icebreaker activity at Crossroads). After stuffing envelopes and divvying up the letters to include personal handwritten notes, we settled down to lunch. As we shared a meal, they shared some of their fondest memories of Lisa: the way she was always “ready to go”, ready to talk on the phone or to have friends over at her home even in the middle of the night; her sharp tongue and willingness to challenge others; and of course, her lifelong commitment to political activism through organizing and storytelling.

I’m honored to have the opportunity to grow as a social justice advocate through the mentorship of Crossroads Fund staff and the support of the Lisa Fittko Memorial Internship Committee. In the spirit of Lisa, I’m also “ready to go,” eager to learn and to build.

Carla is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago and holds a degree in English and Asian American studies. She comes to us from the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center (KRCC) where she worked as a Youth Organizer and Development Associate. As a 1.5 generation Filipina-American, her immersion into community organizing started in 2010 when she joined the Immigrant Youth Justice League and began to mobilize fellow undocumented students. Her outreach efforts in the Asian American community led her to KRCC’s youth organizing council Fighting Youth Shouting Out for Humanity (FYSH). In her work with FYSH, she facilitated political education workshops and collaborative art projects, coordinated campaigns around immigration reform, and supported youth-led actions and fundraising events. During her free time, Carla enjoys riding her bike, reading, cooking, and working in her modest little garden.