Author Bio

Jesusa Rivera is one of 11 in her family.  Migrating from Texas, Oklahoma and Michigan while the family worked as migrant farm workers, settling out in Michigan where they continued to work in the fields. The family moved to South Bend Indiana in 1973. Jesusa has a son, Santiago, whom she is proud of, a daughter in law Katie and two beautiful grandsons, Gabe and Joel who are the world to her. Jesusa’s work has been fighting for immigrant rights and for social justice for over a decade.  She began her work as a community organizer when she herself was asked for her documents over and over again.  Her fight for justice for immigration reform has taken her to Washington DC’s as a special invitation, nationally seated at Former President’s Obama press conference in 2012 along with national leaders for the announcement of DACA. She is currently a Bilingual Case Manager for Proteus, Inc., a National Farmworkers Jobs Program funded by the Department of Labor to assist migrant and seasonal farmworkers become self-sufficient as well as educating them about their rights and safety as it relates to their work in the fields. Jesusa covers 16 counties in the upper region of Indiana.  Her work as a community organizer paved the way to finding ways to bring out social justice within our immigrant farm working community. This work is dear to her heart, and brings back lots of memories for her and her family. “I do this work because I remember the way we were treated, the way they would speak to my mom and dad as if they were nothing, no one should be treated like that, people deserve dignity and respect – its shouldn’t matter if they lacked the language, lacked education, or lacked money, no one deserves to be treated as less than a human being.” Jesusa’s past and current board or directors positions:
  • Past Board member & President of the City of South Bend’s Safety Board (2004 - 2009)
  • Past Board member - La Casa Board member
  • Past board member – Christmas in April
  • Past board member - Salvation Army
  • Past board member - Madison Center
  • Past Director of a Mexican Dance Troupe
  • Past Director of Imagen Latina – Spanish TV program
  • Past Organizer Voter registration drives & Rallies 2000-2009
  • Past National Chair for Civil Rights for Immigrants 2013, 14 & 15
  • Past Cinco de Mayo Chair, 20 years
  • Current Parish council chair at St. Adalbert Parish
  • Chair of the Social Justice Committee – St. Adalbert Parish
  • Current Women Build Advisory Board for Habitat for Humanity
  • Current Commissioner for the Commission for Hispanic and Latino Affairs, & Executive Board
  • Member of Faith in IndianaA few awards Jesusa’s has been recognized for:
  • 2017 Honored by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indian Tribe
  • 2017 Latin Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership Award
  • 2016 Michiana Women’s Leadership Award
  • 2005 National Hispanic Leadership Award – Velasquez Award
  • 2005 Spirit of Women Award – Civic award
  • 2000 Martin Luther King Volunteer Award - City of SB
  • 1998 Dana Corporation’s Teamwork Award – Dana Corp


Tuesday - 3:00 pm-4:00 pm - Room: Salon E

Growers & Workers Resource Panel – PathStone

In a competitive economy, recruiting and retaining excellent workers is essential to good business. This panel will provide information on resources for growers to hone their competitive edge! Assistance to develop and maintain quality workforce housing Programs for education Training for safety and injury prevention Access to healthcare Worker recruitment services Legal resources And other