After listening to workers in the meatpacking, construction, restaurant and cleaning industries share stories of injustices they were experiencing at work and in their neighborhoods, Sergio Sosa envisioned an organization that would help unite these community members, harnessing their collective power to make change.
This organization’s mission would be guided by a model of organizing based on identifying, training and developing leaders; promoting and advocating for workers rights; and developing effective methods of participating in the civic society.
In collaboration with Latino/a workers, social and faith institutions and hometown associations, Sosa brought his vision to life in 2009, incorporating the Heartland Workers Center. In 2010, the Heartland Workers Center received its nonprofit status.
We want to build a community that works for all.
The Heartland Workers Center develops and organizes leaders, promotes workers’ rights, and fosters a culture of civic engagement in order to build power and create change with immigrant and underrepresented communities.
The Heartland Workers Center is dedicated to helping build a community that works for all across the Midwest.
We envision becoming a recognized and self-sustaining organization that provides leadership training to immigrants and workers.
Our iron rule is “Do not do for others what they can do for themselves.” This rule is fundamental to our ability to develop leaders who are capable of promoting, protecting, and defending their rights.
Meet our Team
Lina Traslaviña Stover, Ph.D.
Dr. Stover is a Sociologist with deep commitment to address inequality and social justice. As a leader, she is passionate about discovering what makes people tick. She seeks to gather passion with talents to build stronger communities. Lina says that leadership is about motion: "It is the active and intentional effort to build relationships, communicate with compassion, and collaborate patiently.” Dr. Stover is also a mom and an educator: "learning is social, we do it best when we process with others."
Y'Shall Davis was an Independent Hip-Hop Artist who travelled the country distributing her own material. She earned an Associates Degree in Chemical Dependency Counseling and a Certificate in Case Management from Metropolitan Community College. She previously worked at the Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition. While working for the NUIHC, She enrolled into UNO to major in Psychology and Minor in Non-Profit Management.
Raul grew up in Lima, Peru and moved to the United States in 2002. He has a bachelor of Law and Political Science degree from San Martin de Porres and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Bellevue University. His work experience has been vast, including time as a paralegal, math and science tutor, and instructor in Spanish, computing, and citizenship classes. He has worked in a variety of organizations, community centers, and nonprofits in Omaha. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family, reading and doing outdoor recreational activities.
Antonio is originally from Guatemala. He arrived in the United States in 2001 and graduated high school in 2016. Antonio is trilingual, speaking K'iche' (a Mayan dialect), Spanish, and English. He also serves as an interpreter. Before working at the Heartland Workers Center, Antonio had a position as Quality Control at a pork processing plant in Fremont, Nebraska. In addition to working full-time for the HWC, Antonio is attending Metro Community College to become a certified interpreter. Antonio affirms that "the only way to do great work is to love what you do."
Originally from Chihuahua, Mexico and raised in El Paso, Texas, Mayra has lived in Norfolk for more than twenty years. She is married, has two wonderful teenage children and a dog named Luna.
Mayra has been an active volunteer in her community for many years and currently serves as the chairperson of the Norfolk Area Diversity Council. Diversity and inclusion are some of the things she is passionate about along with cooking for her family, watching movies, and traveling.
She looks forward to working in the community and connecting resources to people that need them.
Andrea was born in Bogota, Colombia. Andrea is a proud naturalized American Citizen who lives in Nebraska City. Andrea moved to the United State in 2010 and lives in Nebraska City. She started working as a community organizer for the Heartland Workers Center, after she worked at Cargill for ten years. Her family is made up of her domestic partner, two children and three grandchildren, enjoys being with her family, she loves gardening and helping the community at the same time. Her goal is to seek to break down language barriers and be a bridge for the Hispanic community.
Our Board of Directors
CEO and Owner, Midwest Maintenance Companies, Inc.
Maria Vazquez, Ph.D.
Board Vice President
Vice President for Student Affairs, Metropolitan Community College.
Daniel A. Padilla
Executive Director, Lending Link.
Kimara Z. Snipe
Nebraska Civic Engagement Table.
Owner, El Pueblo Tires.
Rosenda A Ovalle
Director of Latino Banking
First National of Nebraska, Inc.
Christian Espinosa Torres
Small and Emerging Small Business Program. City of Omaha Human Rights and Relations Department.
Vice President of Family & Community Engagement Nebraska Children and Families Foundation.
Luis is originally from Peru, where he earned a Bachelor degree in Journalism and Public Relations from the University of San Martin de Porres in Lima. He moved to New York with his family in 1992, until winds of change made their way to Schuyler, NE in 1995. He has been involved with the Schuyler community for several years, promoting inclusion, social integration, and a welcoming environment for all. Luis has previously worked for the Peruvian Police Department, in food processing and production plants, provided labor service for rural areas poultry farms as contractor, insurance agent, as well as Human Resources Specialist for several years. He enjoys cooking, traveling, going to live concerts, soccer games and gardening.