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Nelson Carrasquillo comes from Arecibo, Puerto Rico, where he worked as an organizer for a fishermen’s union and an organizer for PRISA, an ecumenical-based organization in San Juan, Puerto Rico. With his Masters in Social Work, Mr. Carrasquillo worked several years as director of a social service agency in Puerto Rico.
Since 1992, Mr. Carrasquillo has been the executive director of El Comité de Apoyo a los Trabajadores (CATA- The Farmworkers’ Support Committee), working with migrant farmworkers located in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the Delmarva Peninsula, and Puerto Rico as they struggle for better living and working conditions, adequate housing, environmental justice, dignity, and respect.
In his capacity as executive director, he participates in several boards including the Urban/Rural Mission and the Farmworker Health and Safety Institute. Mr. Carrasquillo has been appointed to numerous commissions and planning groups including the USDA Small Farm Commission (1998), the USEPA’s Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee, overseeing the Food Quality Protection Act, the United Methodist Concern for Worker Task Force, National People of Color Environmental Summit II, New Jersey Latino Health Advisory Committee, and the New Jersey HIV Prevention Community Planning Group.
Since 2000 Mr. Carrasquillo has worked in solidarity towards encouraging dialogue among the migrant community, especially with Latino, South East Asia, and Chinese youth organizations. By promoting a dialogue among different ethnic groups in the Pennsylvania area, common areas of needs could be identified and achieve the possibility of working together to solve the problems.
In 2005, Mr. Carrasquillo received the Alston/Bannerman Fellowship award for his years of social activism and promoting environmental justice and immigrants’ rights. In 2007, he was named to Governor Corzine’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Immigration. In 2008, he was asked to sit on the Latino Advisory Board for the NJ Department of Family and Children. In 2009, he was named an Executive Board Member of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey and became chair of the Immigration Committee. In 2010, Mr. Carrasquillo was named a Heninburg Civic Fellow through Rutgers-Newark in order to address the most important legal issues faced by immigrants in New Jersey. He also represents CATA on the Gloucester County Cancer Coalition.