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Justine Santos

Organizing Director

Justine oversees the base building, leadership development and campaign strategy in Oakland as Organizing Director. She also leads the leadership development strategy across all four regions, holds the CFJ research team focusing on ways to build power through data and experience, and contributes to the statewide strategy. Justine started organizing in high school through a youth-led campaign to pass a violence prevention initiative that benefits Black and Brown youth in Union City, CA. Her analysis of social justice issues and agency to organize was born out of her Ethnic Studies education in high school, which confronted her with coming to terms with what it meant to be a first-generation, working class Pinay in the United States. Her campaign victory as a youth empowered her to continue developing as an organizer and she later got involved with Filipino American groups organizing for National Democracy in the Philippines and other grassroots organizations tackling issues around housing, environmental justice and education. Her institutional experiences working in education, especially initiating a social justice pathway, Change It Now (C.I.T.) at Chabot College in Hayward, CA and teaching Ethnic Studies for 3 years at Balboa High School through Pin@y Educational Partnerships grounded her in how deeply oppressive the current education system is and sparked her passion to fight for education justice. Justine loves that at CFJ, she is able to weave her passion for education with her organizing praxis. Her experiences throughout the years have affirmed her love for transformative youth organizing and commitment to fighting for racial justice and liberation. She is grateful to be part of the team! Outside of CFJ, Justine serves as a Library Trustee for Daly City to push conversations on community engagement, racial justice, equity in Daly City public libraries. For fun and joy, Justine values quality time with her peoples, her fur-babies Nala & Rumble, and connecting with Mama Nature through long walks or bike rides.

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