Justin Davis (Oakland) – Kapor Center for Social Impact, Program Manager
Cristina Graham (Board Chair, Long Beach) – Cesar Chavez Foundation, Education Director
Taryn Ishida (Ex Officio Member) – Californians for Justice, Executive Director
Isabella La Mar (San Jose) – Student, CFJ Alum
Arun Ramanathan (Oakland) – Pivot Learning Partners, CEO
Anais Sandoval (Long Beach) – Student, California State University Long Beach, CFJ Alum
Maria Noel Fernandez (San Jose) – Working Partnerships, Associate Director of Organizing and Civic Engagement
Justina Acevedo-Cross (San Jose) – The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Program Officer
Victor Garcia (Oakland) – Victor Garcia Independent Consulting, Independent Consultant
Te ‘Ausha Garcia (Fresno) – Student, California State University Fresno, CFJ Alum
Santos Alvarado (San Jose) – Student, Independence High School
Reginal Quartey (Oakland) – Student, Oakland High School
Taryn Ishida (taryn_AT_caljustice.org), Executive Director, has been a part of the CFJ family for over ten years, helping start a college advising program in 2005 and serving on the board of directors before becoming Executive Director of CFJ. As ED, Taryn provides leadership in program and campaign strategy, development and outreach, alliance building and policy, and management and operations. Taryn previously worked at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, playing an integral role in launching the Foundation’s place-based grantmaking program in 2008. Prior to the Packard Foundation, Taryn worked at Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and the Steven and Michele Kirsch Foundation. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Pepperdine University, and is a candidate in the Masters of Nonprofit Administration program at University of San Francisco. Taryn enjoys being a devoted aunty to her niece and nephew, discovering new desserts, and playing tennis.
Igdalia Rojas (igdalia_AT_caljustice.org), Organizing Director, As the Organizing Director, Igdalia oversees and supports CFJ’s four regions by providing campaign strategizing, supervision and staff and leadership development. Igdalia was born in Michoacan, Mexico but has lived most of her life in San Jose, she is a former CFJ alumni. She became a student leader with CFJ while she was a Junior at James Lick High School, and learned to develop not only her skills as a youth organizer, but gained a deep passion for social & racial justice, which made her return to CFJ to organize her community. Over her 12 years of organizing experience with CFJ, Igdalia has played different roles within the organization; first as a parent organizer, San Jose lead organizer, statewide youth organizer, and recently the Organizing Director.
As an organizer, she has led several policy campaign wins such as a Bilingual Certification for Students at East Side Union High School District, a policy at the Alum Rock Elementary School District that created a college going culture, and the adoption of a resolution in the ESUHSD to make A-G College default curriculum. Igdalia has centered her life on organizing low-income students of color in her community to fight for social justice and racial justice. Through her work in CFJ she continues developing young leaders to be agents of social change. For fun Igdalia loves to read, organize and hike.
Edgar Campos (edgar_AT_caljustice.org), Organizing and Policy Director, Before joining CFJ, Edgar served as the Director of Community Engagement for the office of LAUSD Board Member Monica Garcia, and as the senior Lead Organizer with Community Coalition in South LA. His work there focused on developing everyday residents and youth into civic leaders that can work with elected officials and local government to better the quality of life for South LA through community initiated policies. Edgar holds a B.A. with double majors in Chicana/Chicano Studies and History as well as a minor in Political Science from UCLA.
Sutapa Balaji (sutapa_AT_caljustice.org), Development Manager, leads the foundation fundraising and supports grassroots fundraising at CFJ. She is inspired by the CFJ student leaders. Sutapa has worked in the Social Justice movement for about two decades now in India and the US. Before coming to CFJ Sutapa worked with Narika, a domestic violence agency for South Asian women in the Bay area. There she helped create and grow a women’s empowerment program SEED (Survivor Economic Empowerment and Development). She is passionate about empowerment of women and youth especially in marginalized communities. Sutapa has a Bachelors degree in Economics and a Masters in Business Administration. In her spare time Sutapa loves spending time outdoors with her son Ishaan and her partner Bala.
Chelsie Brooks (chelsie_AT_caljustice.org), Development and Communications Coordinator, organizes grassroots fundraising campaigns and coordinates communications with all of CFJ’s supporters. Chelsie started working with CFJ in 2010 as an intern for the Campaign for Quality Education while studying Political, Legal, and Economic Analysis at Mills College in Oakland. She is inspired by CFJ’s commitment to racial justice and political action, and is excited to be a part of building a strong foundation for this work.
Brian Feraru (brian_AT_caljustice.org), Operations Associate, supports administrative and financial tasks and helps coordinate logistics. Starting in January of 2014, he is impressed with the victories CFJ has won and the passionate diligence of the student leaders. Brian has split his time between the Social Justice and Environmental Movements, having worked most recently for Clean Water Action as the Oakland Office Administrator. He has worked as a volunteer with Western Service Workers, The Ella Baker Center, The Community Rejuvenation Project, The Prison Activist Resource Center and many others in the fight for a more socially just society.
When not working towards social change, Brian fills his time as the Ringmaster of the Vespertine Circus, as a white-water rafting guide, and with naps. In addition to educational equality, Brian is passionate about prison reform, and structural reform to the legal system in general. Brian has a B.A. from UC Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies and Psychology.
Terri Dunn, Part-time Bookkeeper, is responsible for payroll, accounts receivables, and accounts payable. She works full time with Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS), a non-profit organization that works with low-income and homeless people. She has been with CFJ since 2000. Though she is not involved with day-to-day organizing, she is very inspired by the great and needed work that CFJ organizers do daily. She has volunteered with CFJ since the No On Proposition 227 Campaign in 1998. She enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending as much time with family members as possible. She is committed to working on issues and solutions that impact her community.
Saa’un P. Bell (saaun_AT_caljustice.org), the Statewide Communications & Lead Organizer, is grounded in her southern roots of Greenville Alabama and Eastern Samar where the rain never sleeps. She is the oldest of six, in a serious, but comical, working class Black and Filipino immigrant family.
She oversees the campaign communications strategy for the statewide Student Voice Campaign in addition to leading Oakland’s local campaigns, alliance building & leadership development. Saa’un is a commitment to dismantling the roots of racial and educational inequities that continue to afflict poor, working class, & immigrant communities of color through transformative organizing, story-telling & movement building. Before CFJ, she organized queer youth of color on LGBTQ, Gender & Education issues and taught a class on Racial Discourse at Rudsdale High School in East Oakland.
Now, if you see Saa’un in the streets of Oakland she’s probably not smiling. For
fun serious, you can catch her kicking it with her Australian Shepherds Fox & Sir Fyodor Dostoevsky, fishing the Pacific Coast, reading, writing short fiction & philosophizing on everything from social justice issues to science fiction, to Sailor Moon.
The first to graduate in her family, Saa’un holds B.As in Philosophy, Sociology, Law & Society, and minors in Marxist & Ethnic Studies from UC Riverside.
Geordee Mae Corpuz, (geordee_AT_caljustice.org), Youth Organizer, is responsible for developing the leadership abilities and organizing skills of the students at Oakland High and Oakland Tech. She was born and raised in the Bay Area, and graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelor’s Degree in Asian American Studies and a minor in Communications. During her time at UC Davis she became highly involved in Asian Pacific American activism, educational equity, and access into higher education for underrepresented communities. She worked for BRIDGE: Pilipina/o Outreach & Retention on campus, and planned several youth conferences, including Pilipina/o Youth Conference which brings together Pilipina/o Youth Coalitions all around the Bay Area. She also performed at the Mondavi Center in the production of Asian Voices: My Own Story Greatest Hits, put on by Los Angeles Arts Commission’s artist Alex Luu. After college, she moved to Sacramento to work with Building Healthy Communities in South Sacramento, and worked on the Youth Block Report project. During her time there she developed the first annual “I Am Sacramento Conference” which served to cultivate Sacramento community and youth empowerment. She is highly involved in several youth organizations all over Northern California, and is also apart of the UC Davis Asian Pacific American Alumni Association.
Rhea Martin (rhea_AT_caljustice.org), Lead Organizer, is responsible for program planning and developing weekly core meetings at Edison High School. She joined CFJ in 2001 as a sophomore in high school, when she decided to start working towards educational justice, fighting against the educational inequalities that plague the African-American community. As a high school student, she helped to run and win a bathroom improvement campaign in Long Beach. While she worked in Fresno as an organizer, CFJ Fresno managed to cut the student to counselor ratio from 800:1 to 450:1 and won new student-friendly A-G posters for every classroom in Fresno Unified. A student at California State University, Fresno, she collects all things Bob Marley and loves pretending she can sing along with her favorite 90’s Hip Hop and R&B acts. As a staff member now, she cannot imagine working on anything more important than uplifting and empowering her community to speak up and demand change.
Angelica Lemus (angelica_AT_caljustice.org), Youth Organizer, Angelica has been involved in CFJ for 8 years. She first got involved as a high school student working to improve the conditions in her school. As a student, she led a campaign to improve restroom conditions and helped lead a successful effort to decrease the counselor to student ratio from 800:1 to 450:1, getting more bilingual counselors and new youth friendly A-G posters that have been distributed throughout all of Fresno Unified. After graduation, Angelica organized parents as a CFJ Justice Fellow. She is responsible for developing the leadership and organizing skills of students attending Roosevelt High School as well as the core leaders of CFJ in Fresno. She was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and raised in Fresno, CA. She is currently attending Fresno City College double majoring in Sociology and Archaeology. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, hiking, reading and going to the movies.
San Jose Staff
Rosa De Leon (rosa_AT_caljustice.org), Lead Organizer, As the Lead Organizer, Rosa oversees and supports CFJ San Jose region by leading local campaigns, staff and leadership development. Rosa was born and raised in Coahuila Mexico, and migrated to the U.S. as a teenager. She is a former CFJ alumni, and joined CFJ when she was a Sophomore at Overfelt High School.
During her 12 years with CFJ, Rosa has organized parents and youth in the East Side of San Jose. Her passion in the organization is the leadership development of young students. Some of the campaign victories that Rosa has been a part of are Bilingual Certification for Students at East Side Union High School District, a delay in the Californian H.S. Exit Exam, the passage of a resolution to create a college going culture at Alum Rock District and the adoption of A-G requirements as default curriculum in the ESUHSD. Rosa obtained her B.A. in Sociology from UC Berkeley and she enjoys dancing and painting!
Yvette Tran (yvette_AT_caljustice.org), Youth Organizer, works with the Silver Creek High School chapter and also provides support to the San Jose staff. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz, where she organized around access to higher education and retention of Asian/Pacific Islander students at UC Santa Cruz. Her current interests, other than access to equitable education, include access to healthcare and the use of food for preventive care and community building.
Long Beach Staff
Nancy Vargas (nancy_AT_caljustice.org), Lead Organizer
Kenyon Davis ( kenyon_AT_caljustice.org), Youth Organizer, leading work to identify and recruit new leaders in the BMoC Campaign and develop skills to advance changes toward a healthier community. Kenyon continues to tear down every form of institutional racism, since his involvement with CFJ in 2008. While in high school, Kenyon and his peers faced massive budget cuts, teacher layoffs and lack of counselor support and other resources for A-G and college readiness preparation. In response to these conditions, Kenyon immediately got involved with CFJ. He graduated from the Summer Youth Leadership Academy in 2008. When he graduated, he walked out with an armor of skills. Kenyon progressed through the leadership roles of a Volunteer, Member, Leader, Intern, Board Member, and now he is a staff member. It’s been a long ride with the organization, but he loves the fact that he can support students with the skills they need to be empowered. Kenyon truly believes a “Man can strip everything away from you, but not your education!”