BRENDA HUERTA SOTO
Brenda Huerta Soto migrated from Mexico City and currently resides in East L.A. Brenda graduated from UC Riverside where as a student advocate served for three years as the UC Riverside Representative for the UC Undocumented Student Coalition. Through this role Brenda collectively advocated for more resources for undocumented students such as legal support, mental health services and scholarships. Brenda helped co-organize the second UC Undocumented Student Conference that brought together more than 200 undocumented students across the UC system into a space of healing, learning and student advocacy. During her tenure at UC Riverside, Brenda became one of the Steering Members of the California Dream Network, the college component of CHIRLA. During her involvement with CHIRLA, Brenda helped co-organize “Fundamentals of Resistance” a conference that brought together students and parents from the Inland Empire to a space of collective organizing for the immigrant rights movement. Brenda has also advocated for various pro-immigrant bills at the state level such as Health for All. Brenda also currently organizes with the Warehouse Workers Resource Center for the Labor Rights Movement. Brenda is a community member dedicated to abolition framework and dismantling white supremacy.
HUMAN RESOURCE SPECIALIST
Hakan Jackson, serves as our Human Resource Specialist. He was born and raised in Southern California. Upon graduating high school, he joined the United States Air Force as a Biomedical Equipment Technician. During his 12 years of service, Hakan obtained an Associates in Applied Science in Biomedical Equipment Technology from the Community College of the Air Force and a Bachelor of Science in Social Science from University of Maryland University College. After his Air Force career, Hakan attended Boston University where he earned a Master of Business Administration. He was an excellent negotiator in representing employees at CCAEJ during their departure and was able to ensure deserved payouts for each employee who left. He will serve as HR manager with a distinct certificate from SRHM, a highly respected entity on Human Resource that serves both the employees and employers. His additional skills are in Information Technology, Cartology, and Data Science. For fun, Hakan enjoys: podcasts, audiobooks, video games and bringing down systemic racism and the patriarchy.
ADMINISTRATION & FUND DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST
Jean Kayano, Jean was born in Hawaii and at two years of age her parents migrated to the mainland and landed in East LA where she was raised. After 35 years of extensive experience in the nonprofit world to help with organizational change and management work – she has finally discovered her passion for social and environmental justice work. Although her skill set revolves around organizational administration; human resource; and fiscal oversight – her greatest joy revolves around leadership building – working alongside community residents and The PC4EJ team who fight for the right to live in a healthy, toxic-free and sustainable environment. Jean’s skills includes managing all the various program elements. She feels grateful to engage with others through this life-changing work and organization.
Graciela Mendez “Chela” serves as our finance manager. In 2006 Chela received a B.A. in Economics from University of California, Riverside. Immediately after college Chela gained experience in the finance world by working in the finance/ accounting department at various businesses. At her previous role as Finance Director she quickly planned her process to monitor; control financial activities such as procurement of funds, utilization of funds, accounting, payments and risk assessment. Chela was also fortunate to serve as a Community Organizer in the Inland Empire for many years advocating for environmental justice and the respect of the people. Chela was born and raised in Los Angeles and currently still lives in the Los Angeles County area with her family. In her free time Chela enjoys watching the Los Angeles Dodgers win the National League West Division Championship every year, listening to music while she commutes in traffic, eating pan dulce while drinking black coffee and spending time with her amazing family and friends.
SENIOR POLICY ANALYST
Andrea Vidaurre (she/her) grew up in the unceded territories of the Tongva, also known as the “Inland Empire” of Southern California and graduated with a BA in Global Studies from the University of California, Riverside. She has lived at the intersections of multiple issues which led her to engage in work that advances her communities’ quality of life. Over the past couple of years, she has worked on environmental justice issues throughout the Inland Empire. She is a co-founder, member and policy analyst of the Peoples Collective for Environmental Justice, a community based organization focused on fighting environmental racism and finding solutions through community work.
COMMUNITY BUILDING CONSULTANT
Deyadira Arellano, is serving as a Community Building Consultant. She is an experienced organizer serving urban and rural communities. Her work as a community organizer includes the intersection of issues such as environmental justice, immigration, public education, labor, and gender justice. Deyadira’s Mexico/Texas roots help to bridge gulf coast and west coast communities through various efforts and collective
Andres Garcia is serving as a Communications Consultant. He was born and raised in San Bernardino, California. Andres is a mostly self-taught multi-disciplinary visual artist. After graduating from the Art Institute, Andres joined the graphic design industry working for advertisement and retail companies. Through organizing Andres began actively working with the community on environmental issues, developing graphics and media content for information campaigns and immediately discovered his love for community and desire for this type of work. He enjoys reconnecting with the land of his region and enjoying the rich culture in the Inland Empire and around the world.
Anthony Victoria, is our Communications Advisor. He’s built a career on being the eye of the barrio.
At a time when local news is underreported by major news media, as a journalist, Anthony helped shine a spotlight on Inland Empire policymakers and government agencies and their policy positions on immigration, homelessness, job-creation and public safety. Anthony had stellar years at CCAEJ with our social media in 2019 and 2020. Because of Anthony, CCAEJ’s presence and growth could be seen on three main platforms: facebook, Instagram and twitter. There was enormous increase in posts; interactions and tweets. Anthony put CCAEJ on the map not only locally or regionally but nationally. He wrote about the growth of Latino-owned small businesses, the warehouse industrial complex, and the significance of community events like “Juneteenth” and the “March for Our Lives.” Anthony is no longer just an observer. He is on the front lines of engaging working-class communities in the fight for equal access to live in healthy communities. His love and pride for the Inland Empire drives his advocacy and public service.
Alicia Aguayo is currently serving as our Communications Manager. She began organizing as a high school student with Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC) and her older siblings in 2010 after witnessing the on-going gun violence in San Bernardino. Alicia is the co-founder for the Students for Change Club at Arroyo Valley High School. She led initiatives to improve college going rates in the school district and carved a voice for students on campus that often received resistance from administrators that did not believe student voices mattered. With ICUC, Alicia advocated on local and statewide policy for issues such as health, immigration, education, jobs, and mental health. She attended the University of California, Irvine and earned a B.A. in Political Science. At UC Irvine Alicia began to explore her interest in communications work as an Outreach Coordinator for UC Irvine’s Middle Earth Housing. Alicia served as a Communications Director for a statewide campaign in the Inland Empire.
Born and raised on the West Side of San Bernardino (near the BNSF railyards) Alicia has noticed that amount of health issues her neighbors increasingly experience as she witnesses the expansion of warehouses closer to her home. Alicia believes that we need build a better relationship with the earth, our community, and with ourselves.