Meet Team Deeds.
Claudia Yoli Ferla is a community activist born in Caracas, Venezuela who often shares her narrative as a Dreamer and a young queer Latinx living in the United States. For over five years, she has enjoyed reaching out to communities in Texas, both in politics and advocacy sectors, working with organizations like Battleground Texas, Texas Freedom Network, and the West Fund. She has spearheaded several projects, her favorite being Justicia: Modeling Our Stories, a fashion show and art collective that showcased regional narratives of reproductive justice, gender, and identity on the border. It was an intimate show that stripped away the hateful political rhetoric, and focused on people, their stories and their power. Claudia formerly served as the Director of Community Affairs for the Office of Texas State Senator José Rodríguez, proudly working for an elected official who is a staunch advocate for social and political change. Claudia is a feminist, a reproductive justice warrior, a luchadora– a #Changemaker.
Amber Davis joins the Deeds Not Words team as our Manager of Finance and Operations after formerly serving as our part-time logistics coordinator. She is a native Texan, born and raised in Fort Worth and an Austin resident since 2013. Amber is a graduate of Texas Christian University, with a BA in Communication Studies. She is a licensed real estate broker and, before joining our team, worked in commercial property management.
Amber keeps herself busy spending time with her husband, Peter, and chasing after her two future #Changemakers, Ellis (2) and Sawyer (5 months). She believes the most attractive quality in a person is the proper use of there, they’re and their. She prides herself on being a queso connoisseur and has yet to figure out how to fold a fitted sheet.
Edith is a graphic designer and artist who works to engage young #changemakers through art and advocacy. She is a proud Tejana and Austin native who actively works to serve her community. Since graduating from St.Edwards in 2016, she has been involved in the local art scene painting murals, being involved in community art projects and organizing workshops and lectures about design and publications for Austin creatives. As part of #TeamDeeds she is excited to show young women the power of art and its essential role in making change.
In her freetime, she enjoys catching a concert, reading, and learning how to be a better dog mom.
Andrea Reyes Sierra is a first-generation American and proud Chicana born and raised in El Paso, TX. She earned her dual Bachelors in International Politics and Microbiology from the University of Texas at El Paso. As a young activist inspired by the strong women in her community, she accepted the challenge to stand up to the strong negative rhetoric our head of state and other representatives have expressed through ‘passing the mic’ and weaponizing local narratives by uplifting the voice of the youth. While living in El Paso, she had the opportunity to intern and serve as Youth Advisory Committee chairperson for the Office of Texas State Senator José Rodríguez (2017). Motivated by the opportunity to work alongside like-minded organizers to hold federal and local-representatives accountable, her enthusiasm for using advocacy and outreach techniques as a tool for progressive change has led her to spearhead movements in the borderland region focusing in immigrant rights; she served as the communications liaison for the Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee (DMSC) as well as serving as a co-founder to Education Not Deportation (END), a student led coalition seeking to protect DACA recipients from unjust immigration laws such as SB4 in Texas. Apart from movement work, Andrea’s experience stems from having five political campaigns under her belt ranging from the local, state, and national levels. Most recently, she served as Field Manager for Beto O’Rourke’s campaign. Currently based in Austin, Andrea is eager to learn more about issues that directly affect women regardless of societal definition and how she can share her expertise in advocacy to drive team collaboration, build coalitions, and work together towards social and political change!
Andrea is a self-proclaimed color coordinating superhero and loves traveling!
Raised on gospel, grits, and politics in North Carolina, Sydney first witnessed the importance of having underrepresented voices shaping our conversations and policies when she volunteered on Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign at age 12. Since then, Sydney has been an advocate for civic and political engagement and uses digital storytelling to amplify the stories of marginalized communities who are often left out of our conversations and policies. Sydney is a graduate of Arizona State University (Go Sun Devils!), where she studied Journalism and Mass Communications and minored in Women and Gender Studies.
In 2018, Sydney moved to Austin, Texas to work as a fellow with the Texas Tribune, where she reported on immigration, healthcare, and politics. Most recently, Sydney worked for a political consulting firm where she helped progressive candidates, clients, and organizations elevate and deliver their messages and ideas across Texas through print and digital communications. Along with delivering Deeds’ online messaging and collaborating with its #Changemakers, Sydney is a freelance writer covering gender and culture and serves on the programming committee for #bossbabesATX, where she works to amplify the work of women and non-binary creatives, organizers, and entrepreneurs.
As a product of mentors who empowered her through civic and political engagement, Sydney aims to create and sustain spaces where self-identifying women can unapologetically bring their power.
When she’s not online, you’ll find Sydney wandering around Austin’s thrift stores or relaxing at Barton Springs.
Youth Outreach and Organizing Manager
Leah Charbonneau is an educator and social justice advocate. A North Carolina native, Leah graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in International Studies and Sustainable Development. Leah holds a Master’s in International Education with an emphasis in Intercultural Service, Leadership and Management from SIT Graduate Institute. Leah has been an English language learner instructor domestically and abroad, turning her passion into action through teaching students of all backgrounds the power of communication and expression.
Leah is an AmeriCorps Vista alum serving with the Migrant Education program in North Carolina. She’s held positions with Spanish Ministry of Education, Henderson County Migrant Education, South Seattle College, the Institute for Shipboard Education, Northwest Harvest and more. She’s outspoken about farmworker rights, immigration issues, women’s equality and the environment. Leah draws inspiration from the powerful voices that aren’t afraid to get in the arena, make mistakes, look silly, be heard and find joy in the simple moments.
Cristina Chavez is a first generation Mexican-American originally from Houston, TX. The daughter of immigrants Cristina knows some have to work harder than others. A graduate from the George I. Sanchez School of Education from the University of Texas, she received her degree in Youth and Community Studies having always been interested in the role our community plays in our learning. During her 8 years in Austin she has worked at various educational and basic needs non-profits. Her background is in community engagement, resource sharing, event planning, fundraising and leadership development. Most recently she served as the program manager for Movement Mujeres a shared program of Jolt Initiative and Deeds Not Words. Movement Mujeres seeks to create a model of change by demonstrating that investment in women of color leaders is the path to driving systemic change in Texas. She was instrumental in the launch and initial execution of this revolutionary program. Coming from a perspective of servant leadership Cristina is committed to loudly and actively uplifting women, who are too often told their voices value less. In her spare time, you can find Cristina at a local coffee shop with her dog, or traveling to Chicago to visit her nieces and nephews.