Founder & Emergent Strategy Director
Ámate Cecilia Pérez (pronouns: she-we) is a decolonizing Nahuah from Kuzcatlan (El Salvador) and the founding director of Decolonizing Race and the Latinx Racial Equity Project. She is also a race equity and liberation trainer, an organizational development consultant, a social justice warrior and a writer. She works with movement building organizations, non-profits, unions, government agencies and foundations to increase their impact and organizational effectiveness. Ms. Perez has directed multiple national and transnational organizations. Prior to her social justice experience, Ámate worked as a print and radio journalist. Ms. Perez and her family fled the Salvadoran civil war in the early 1980s, grew up in the Central American community in Los Angeles, and benefited from the 1986 immigration reform law. She has a B.A. from UCSD and a master’s in journalism from UCB. Ámate is queer, a martial artist and mother. She now lives in Inverness, CA on unseeded and occupied Coast Miwok and Tamal Indian territory.
Heidi Maria Lopez (she, they), is a Black, queer, first generation in the US Quiskeyana who believes in people and our power to shape our lives, heal and create new possibilities. Heidi Maria builds relationships that change this world so that POC, particularly poor Black people, take back what has been taken from us, (re)claim our history and shape our lives in freedom and with Love. She has worked in a variety of settings from youth development to higher education and city government, and has a GED as well as an MSW. Heidi’s current organizing is as a racial equity and liberation facilitator all over the world through gatherings that center ancestral wisdom, racial equity, healing and building community.
Research and Communications Coordinator
Ysanet Batista Vargas (she/her/Ella) is a queer Black-Dominican woman, born in Harlem, NY and currently living in the Dominican Republic. Ysanet is a Farm School NYC alum and holds a certificate in Urban Agriculture, Permaculture Design, and Maroon Beekeeping. She completed her undergraduate degree at Johnson & Wales University and worked in hospitality & tourism for 10 years before transitioning to community, place and identity centered organizing. In 2016 she created Woke Foods, a worker cooperative focused on offering Dominican and other Afro-Caribbean plant based gastronomy and food sovereignty. At LREP, she focuses on our Communications and Research work. Ysanet enjoys raising her daughter, resting, self & community care, surfing, and growing food.
Graphic Design and Communications Specialist
Lorena Estrella (she/her/ella) is a first generation Dominican Jersey girl. She is deeply committed to equity and liberation work, and to centering and elevating the voices of young people of color in educational and movement spaces. In 2020, Lorena earned an MFA degree in Design for Social Innovation at the School of Visual Arts. She is passionate about the arts as a means for social change and is always learning and seeking ways to make art and build community. Lorena loves breakfast any time of day, fresh flowers, plants of all sizes, traveling, making zines and scribbling poems.
Alysia Mann Carey (they/she) was birthed from the sweet and saltwater crossings of Harbour Island, Bahamas and Madison, WI. Born and raised with her 4 younger siblings and many cousins in Madison, Alysia played many afternoons with the Gingko tree her grandfather planted and nurtured back to health in the 1950s, planting many seeds of healing they are still uncovering each moment of everyday. Alysia is a godmother, mama-auntie, auntie, sister-sibling, queer beloved soul that seeks to offer and embrace healing magic with Mother Earth. As a multiple language learner, translator and interpreter, they connect Black diasporic communities by bridging languages and co-creating spaces and experiences where Black folx can re-encounter, thereby transforming language barriers into expressions that explore the different meanings of the world that we carry within ourselves. Alysia works as a transformative & healing justice facilitator and curriculum developer consultant and offers workshops around embodiment & trauma, intergenerational healing in Spanish and English with the purpose of weaving these knowledges into the creative efforts that continue to work of liberation. Alysia is also finishing up her doctoral studies in political science at the University of Chicago.
CONTRIBUTORS AND TRAINERS
Aa Valdivia (pronounced ah-ah) is of mixed heritage ancestry who uses THEY/THEM pronouns. Their father comes from a small village in Zacatecas, Mexico while their mother is from the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. Aa is Two Spirit, Black, Indigenous, Boricua Xicanx Eco-Feminist, QTPOC! (Queer 2 Spirit Person of Color). They have been engaged in Social justice work since the mid 1990’s.
aa is strongly motivated by social justice teaching frameworks where teaching becomes an interactive experience where both the student and teacher (and community) are engaged in the process of learning. aa believes, we are all a diversity of knowledge that can come together to benefit all participants. As a queer person of color, with an invisible disability, they have experience firsthand the oppression, marginalization and hegemonic practices that exists within higher Education environments. aa is sensitive to issues surrounding identity (race,class, gender, sexuality, ability, etc.) and learning styles (auditory, visual, tactile, kinesthetic, etc) and believes all people have the knowledge to contribute. aa currently teaches Social Justice, Food Justice, and Ethnic Studies related courses at various Bay Area Universities.
Alberto Perez-Rendon is the Director of Programs at Asociacion Mayab in San Francisco, a non-profit organization serving the Maya and other Indigenous immigrant communities in the Bay Area that he helped found in 2004. He was also previously a Program Manager for the San Francisco Department of Public Health, managing programs serving the homeless and the marginally housed in San Francisco. Alberto attended the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México where he graduated with a degree in Medicine in 1999. He also has a Master of Public Health from San Francisco State University. He has dedicated the past 15 years to such issues as language access for Indigenous communities, health equity, health promotion, education, and the intersection between culture, the arts and health and healing.
Amaya Noguera-Mujica is committed to fighting injustice through developing Critical Literacy, Education and Organizing. Amaya Noguera-Mujica works tirelessly to integrate theory into practice. She has led youth programs on cultural awareness and youth advocacy throughout the north west from Seattle, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, LA and Long Beach. From 2009-2012, she worked as the Coordinator for Sacramento Area Youth Speaks, an alternative literacy program based out of UC Davis’s School of Education. Amaya has served as a classroom coach helping educators in Oakland public schools align their craft with principles of inclusion and cultural relevance, as well as served as Lead Community and Engagement Specialist for Year Up Bay Area, working closely with community based organizations to develop strategies and working relationships founded on the ideals of self actualization and community support. Amaya is currently a consultant supporting school mergers, developing culturally liberating anti-racist schools, abolishionist curriculum writing and planning, and coaching.
Amaya supports the Latinx Racial Equity Project as the lead facilitator for the Black Latinx work. She is a strong Black Latinx consultant who brings her intersectionality into her analysis and approaches to everything. A dedicated parent, Amaya has had opportunities to expand on this work in countries all over the Caribbean and Central and South America with individuals and organizations dedicated to dismantling injustice. Amaya Noguera-Mujica received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Educational Theory from New School University in 2007, she has received National acclaim for her efforts as a writer, organizer and her commitment to social change.
Ariana Gil is an equity and inclusion organizational development consultant, trainer and social justice educator. She brings over a decade of experience in community organizing, curriculum development and project management around issues impacting underserved populations and communities of color to her work as a consultant. She is experienced in non-traditional and shared-leadership organizational structures including staff engagement, supervision and coaching. Originally from Tijuana, Mexico, Ariana has organized around migrant rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, youth issues and race equity in the Bay Area since 2008 and has a deep personal commitment to lifting up intersectionality and interconnectedness in building liberatory practices and spaces.
Fernando Enciso-Márquez is a native and lifelong San Franciscan, and grew up in a Colombian household in the Mission and Excelsior neighborhoods. He serves as Assistant Director of Community-Engaged Learning at University of San Francisco, where he also teaches courses on hip hop and social activism in the Sociology Department. He has committed his career to working across communities to shape transformational social change, and he previously worked with the SF Public Defender’s Office and nonprofit partners in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood. He serves on local political and social issue campaigns, and is also a member of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission Equity Advisory Committee. Fernando participated in the Oakland 2015 LEP cohort, and now supports LEP trainings and our social media community. He is currently living, working, and dancing salsa in his motherland of Cali, Colombia as a US State Department Visiting Fulbright Scholar.
Jessica Estévez, has passionately invested her service and expertise in empowering and developing inclusive leadership and management for hundreds of nonprofit, K-12, higher education and corporate audiences.
As the current President of Estrategia Group, Jessica uses her collaborative management skills to help the consulting firm provide ideas, strategies and solutions to non-profits, educational institutions and businesses. She uses her “love without fear” philosophy to promote community and civic engagement and racial equality. Jessica’s efforts earned her the USA Network Characters Unite Award in 2010. She has been coaching and developing leaders using a strength-based and transformational leadership model. She was trained by Donald Clifton, developer of CliftonStrengths Finder, Gallup’s online assessment.
Born in New York and raised in the Dominican Republic, Jessica holds a Masters of Management from Heller School at Brandeis University and a Bachelors of Arts from Mount Holyoke College. She also has an online teaching certification from the University of Winsconsin-Stout. Her husband Edwin Estévez and daughters Taina and Natalia share residence in TX and FL.
María Tomasa Bulux Mejía, Maya K’iche’, nacida en Santa Cruz del Quiché Guatemala. Ha trabajado por muchos años con diferentes comunidades Mayas en Guatemala abogando por oportunidades de educación formal para las niñas en áreas rurales. También ha ayudado en crear materiales para incrementar la asistencia y participación de las niñas en la escuela.
Participante activa en los movimientos sociales y de apoyo a la participación política de la mujer en los procesos de desarrollo comunitario y organizacional. Miembro fundador de dos asociaciones que promueven la participación de la mujer y el uso de la tecnología para el desarrollo. Además, representa a organizaciones de mujeres en espacios de participación política. A nivel universitario contribuyó a la formación de Trabajadores Sociales.
Reside en San Francisco California desde finales del 2008. Actualmente trabaja como Gerente del Programa de Promoción de la Salud en CARECEN SF, apoyando al equipo de promotoras de salud y promoviendo prácticas saludables para la prevención de enfermedades crónicas, tomando en cuenta los conocimientos ancestrales y reaprendizaje de la cultura para la promoción del bienestar y la salud.
Our Co-Founding Trainer
Janvieve Williams Comrie is a human rights strategist, trainer and organizer with a deep commitment to assisting in the building of powerful social movements for racial justice and human rights. She is an expert on race and human rights, and internationally recognized for her work with African Descendent communities. She has worked in a variety of fields and for several human rights institutions, including the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights Regional Office Central America, where she coordinated a regional program on race and racism. She has also done groundbreaking human rights work, both with grassroots organizations, NGOs, and with the United Nations, primarily in southern-based United States, Canada, Mexico, Nicaragua, Belize, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil to name a few. Presently Janvieve serves social movements as a facilitator, communications consultant and strategic planning consultant. She is a writer for Al Jazeera on issues of human rights, race and immigration. Janvieve is also part of a worker owned food cooperative for mothers, Ginger Moon, has two children, and lives in the Bronx, NY. https://www.janvieve.com/full-bio