Brenda Huerta Soto- Community Organizer
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.
Hakan Jackson- 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.
Jean Kayano- 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- Finance Manager
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.
Andrea Vidaurre- 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.
Deyadira Arellano- 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 decision making.
Alicia Aguayo- Communications Manager
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. 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.
Alondra Mateo- Program and Community Organizer
Alondra Mateo moved to the Inland Empire in 2017 to attend the University of California, Riverside(UCR) where she received a B.S. in Mathematics.Throughout her time at UCR she advocated for women in STEM, as less than 20% of the engineering college identified as a woman. This included creating inclusive spaces for women and supporters to meet each other and share common experiences, hosting workshops with professors, and co-organizing professional events that centered women. She also advocated for undocumented students and co-founded an organization that aimed to create opportunities and provide guidance for immigrant youth. Alondra now lives in Highland and through her work as a Promotora for PCEJ, she has learned a lot about community efforts and is passionate about working together in the struggle to create a healthier and safer community in her role as an Organizer. In her free time, Alondra enjoys trying new foods, drawing, and learning about history.
Ma Carmen Gonzalez- Community Organizer
Ma Carmen was born in Michocacan, Mexico and migrated to the United States 17 years ago. The moment she first got here, she started to get involved with the community and has a lot of love for this city. She first got involved with organizing with ELAC as a parent representative when her son was in kinder and has remained involved because her love for community grew. She continued as a parent coordinator at San Bernardino High School, and volunteered with CHIRLA. Seeing the pollution and suffering in this city has motivated her to do this work and unite with others pushing for change. Above all, she does this work as a labor of love for the community.
Tania Gonzalez- Promotora
Tania was born in Jalisco, Mexico and was raised in Fontana, California where she still resides. She did her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Riverside and majored in Education. During her first year of college she was encouraged to join a group that organized on immigrant justice, and then learned about environmental justice during her third year and started to volunteer with local organizations. Tania is determined to see a change in her community and feels there is so much to do especially in a city like Fontana and the Inland Empire with water quality.
Ivette Torres- Research Consultant
Ivette Torres is a life long resident of Moreno Valley and is passionate about challenging norms in academia and advocating for community led research. She has been involved with CE-CERT at the University of California, Riverside and has led air monitoring studies focusing on the air quality on the West Side of San Bernardino. In her free time, Ivette loves to take pictures of nature and spend time outdoors in local reservoirs. She is currently a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley.
Darby Osnaya- Promotore
Darby Osnaya (any and every pronoun) has lived on occupied Tongva land in the inland empire since 1993. They have been environmentally conscious since childhood due to their upbringing with horticulturist and recyclist parents. With social consciousness ingrained in their mind early in life they got into activism at an early age. Darby has fought against homophobia, transphobia, racism, ableism, classism, sexism, and environmental injustice with a focus on intersectional oppression and identities since they were an adolescent. For the past three years they have been focusing on environmental justice in the inland empire, organizing with neighbors, politicians, and other local activists. In 2022, Darby helped form “We Are Colton”, a collective of Colton residents working to create a healthier community. In joining the People’s Collective for Environmental Justice, Darby looks forward to fostering and strengthening relationships with fellow inland empire residents and leaders at an authentic grassroots level.