Aníbal Méndez
Community Organizer, Border Environmental Justice Campaign

Anibal edit2Aníbal joined EHC in 2008 as the Youth Group Coordinator for our Tijuana Community Action Team. He has a degree in psychology, is a graphic and webpage designer, a musician and composer, and has been a teacher, therapist, radio spokesperson, and video performer.

Aníbal enjoys seeing the Tijuana Youth Group members develop, learn, and increase their commitment to each other and to improving the quality of life in their community. His personal interests include music, psychology, reading, and sewing.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (619) 474-0220 ext. 119; Mobile: (619) 884-0166

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Bari Samad
Communications Director

Bari Samad picBari joins EHC with over 15 years of communications experience in the non-profit sector and is passionate about leveraging the digital medium for impactful storytelling, advocacy, and community organizing.

He has collaborated with former Vice President Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection campaign to organize Green Jobs Now, an online-to-offline national day of action that resulted in over 600 community events in more than 40 states. His digital media campaign on bay pollution generated a lead story on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Bari holds an M.A. in International Relations with a focus on Political Economy and is a practitioner of the Theater of the Oppressed, a form of community-based popular education that uses theater as a tool for social change.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (619) 474-0220 ext. 105

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Carolina Martínez
Policy Director

carolina edit2

Carolina works together with residents in low-income communities of color to advocate for climate and land use policies that respect their priorities, improve health, and are consistent with environmental justice principles. For 8 years she worked with National City residents implementing a comprehensive community plan that phased out polluting industries out of a residential neighborhood and created an affordable housing project. Currently, she is advancing the equitable implementation of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan.

Caro is a proud Colombian immigrant who enjoys working at the intersection of liberation, race, culture, gender, civic engagement, environmental issues, health and city planning in the struggle for environmental justice. Carolina has M.A.s in Urban Planning and Latin American Studies and spends her free time learning to play Son Jarocho and dance Puerto Rican Bomba.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (619) 474-0220 ext. 131

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Diane Takvorian
Executive Director

Diane takvorianDiane is one of the founders of EHC and has been its Executive Director since 1982. She holds a Masters degree in Social Work with an emphasis on public policy and community organizing. As a major force behind the environmental justice movement, Diane has served on international, national, state, and regional advisory boards. In 2009, President Obama appointed her to the Joint Public Advisory Committee for the NAFTA Commission for Environmental Cooperation. In July 2008 Diane received the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for her "creative and inspirational leadership benefiting the people of California."

Diane and her husband Bob enjoy adventure travel, working on the native plant landscaping in their yard, and Diane's cooking specialty is vegetarian soups.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (619) 474-0220 ext. 112; Mobile: (619) 992-0805

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Dominique Navarro
Fund Development Director

Dominique edit3Dominique joined EHC's development team in 2016 after working with various partners including the Center on Policy Initiatives and The San Diego Foundation Center for Civic Engagement in functions including grant writing, event planning, and community outreach. She has always been passionate about social and environmental justice and has worked on environmental education efforts in the U.S., Costa Rica and Mozambique.

She has a M.A. in International Environmental Policy and a B.A. in Environmental Systems with a minor in Ethnic Studies. She loves to travel, dance, try new food, and spend time with her three rescue dogs.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (619) 474-0220 ext. 133

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Eric Wilson
Human Resources and Administration Director

PIC For Website vJun2019Eric joined EHC with over 20 years of administrative and operational experience within the for-profit and not-for-profit arenas. He has notable experience in the management of Human Resources, Information Technology and Finance. He uses his skills and experiences to ensure the back office business processes of an organization are efficient, effective and compliant.

Eric has worked with several notable non-profits such as the San Diego Organizing Project (SDOP), United Way of Greater Los Angeles and the Phoenix House and several multi-million dollar for-profit companies. However, Eric’s heart is with social and environmental justice work.

When not administrating, Eric enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants and eateries, reading and spending time at the beach.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (619) 474-0220 ext. 123; Mobile: (619) 961-8102

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Franco García
Organizing Director

Franco GarciaFranco joined EHC in 2010. He has a B.A in Political Science from the University of California at San Diego. He directed the Community Building Department at the Coalition of Neighborhood Councils in San Diego and worked with the United Domestic Workers of America and SEIU 2028.

Franco likes working for environmental justice to secure a safe and healthy environment for the community. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (619) 474-0220 ext. 164; Mobile: (619) 794-5694

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Jorge Gonzalez
Barrio Logan Community Organizer, Voter Engagement Coordinator

jorge edit3Jorge considers himself a first generation fronterizo since he grew up living in San Diego and visiting Tijuana, Mexico regularly to see family. He began working with EHC in April of 2016. Jorge double majored in Native American Studies, Spanish and Chicano Studies. He has an M.A. from UCSB in Latin American & Iberian Studies. He joined EHC because he believes in its mission to raise awareness and build grassroots advocacy to fight against environmental racism in disadvantage communities at a local, regional and state level.

In his free time Jorge enjoys cooking, live music, collecting records, the outdoors, traveling and urban gardening. On his days off, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (619) 474-0220 ext. 122

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Joy Williams
Research Director

Joy WilliamsJoy received a Master of Public Health degree, with an emphasis in Environmental and Occupational Health, in 1986. She worked as a Hazardous Waste Specialist for the San Diego County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program. Joy interned with EHC in 1984 and began working at EHC in 1987. She specializes in the health effects of toxic chemicals, pollution prevention, community right-to-know, toxic use reduction and safe substitute programs, and community health.

Joy lives with her husband, son and cat. She enjoys reading, gardening, kayaking, and listening to her son play the French horn.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (619) 474-0220 ext. 110; Mobile: (858) 382-9448

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Julie Corrales
Executive Assistant

Julie Bio 100x150

Julie has two decades of experience in the private sector, providing administrative and project management support in the construction, engineering, and land development fields. She grew up in City Heights and now lives in Barrio Logan, both environmental justice communities, and in 2018 she merged her passion for environmental and social justice with her administrative skills by joining EHC.

She performs her poetry and spoken word at various venues in San Diego, her poetry has been featured on La Bloga and her essays have been published in local print media. Julie is on the Leadership Council of People Over Profits San Diego.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (619) 474-0220 ext. 124

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Karla Weber
Administrative Assistant

karlaKarla joined EHC in December 2016 with 11 years of experience in administration and finance. Born in Chula Vista and raised in Tijuana, she commuted across the U.S./Mexico border on a daily basis to attend school and work. Karla enjoys spending her spare time in Imperial Beach, where she currently lives with her husband and two daughters.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (619) 474-0220 ext. 101 

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Laura Benavidez
City Heights Organizer

Laura Benavidez Laura grew up in a diverse community in Southeastern San Diego, which sparked her love for learning and organizing. Her involvement in community organizing began at an early age and has led to her work with non-profits for the past 15 years. In 2016, Assembly Speaker Emeritus, Toni Atkins, recognized her as an “Emerging Female Leader”. Laura’s leadership focuses on empowering others to find their own voice, especially among underrepresented communities, women of color, and youth.

Laura holds Bachelors in Legal Studies and a combined Latin American and Latino Studies/ Sociology, in addition to her three Associates in Chicano Studies, Communication Studies, and Sociology for Transfer. She hopes to use the intersections of her education to assist the communities she serves through resource sharing, leadership development, and mentorship.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (619) 474-0220 ext.115; Mobile: (649) 340-8682

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Leticia Ayala
Campaign Director, Healthy Kids & Leadership Development

Leticia edit2Leticia received a B.A. in Business Administration in 1994, became a certified Lead Hazard Control Specialist in 2000, and was Home Energy Rating System certified in 2010. She joined EHC as Office Manager in 1995, became Membership Associate in 1997, Coordinator of EHC's pilot lead poisoning prevention project in 1998, and Campaign Director in 2002. In high school, Leticia was the Youth Representative for the Los Angeles Mayor's Committee on Children, Youth and Families. She is a member of the San Diego Citizen Advisory Committee for Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, the Southern California Healthy Homes Collaborative, Smoke-Free Housing Taskforce and the California Healthy Housing Coalition. Leticia is a 2010 graduate of the Rockwood Leadership Institute.

Leticia enjoys working for justice and is passionate about protecting children rights. She enjoys nature, traveling, photography, camping, feng shui, and dancing Rueda de Casino with her husband Pablo.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (619) 474-0220 ext. 121; Mobile: (619) 952-3632

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Lilia Escalante
Fiscal Manager

Lilia Escalante

Lilia joined EHC in 2000 with an AA degree in accounting and business management, and is completing a degree in international business. She is bilingual and is a certified translator/interpreter. In addition to her fiscal responsibilities, Lilia translates EHC publications and provides oral interpretation for events.

Lilia and her three children live next to Chollas Creek, the focus of EHC's urban watershed protection efforts. She and her family volunteer for watershed cleanup events.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (619) 474-0220 ext. 120 

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Magdalena Cerda-Baez
Campaign Director, Border Environmental Justice Campaign

Magdalena edit2Magdalena joined EHC in 2000. She was technical coordinator for the Mexican government agency INEA (Instituto Nacional de Educación para los Adultos), where she worked with adult literacy programs in the border region. She served as president of a community group in Colonia Guadalupe Victoria in Tijuana that secured land rights and infrastructure from the Mexican Government. In 2009, she received the Grass Roots Organizer award from the United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries.

Magdalena likes EHC's environmental and social justice efforts to create a world where many worlds can co-exist. Her family and friends are her joy, strength, and inspiration; dancing is her therapy. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, dancing, gardening, traditional Mexican cooking, sewing, and arts and crafts.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (619) 474-0220 ext. 117; Mobile: (619) 307-1695

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Monserrat Hernández
Community Organizer, National City

Monserrat edit2Monserrat learned about the opportunity to participate with EHC at her children's school and then served on EHC's Barrio Logan Community Action Team for five years. During that time, she was involved in the effort to change truck routes in the community. Monserrat began working at EHC in 2007.

Monserrat likes meeting people in the community, working with them to improve the quality of life for families and learn about social and environmental justice.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (619) 474-0220 ext. 103; Mobile: (619) 952-3656

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Oscar Medina
Transportation Justice Policy Advocate

Oscar pictureOscar joined EHC in 2019. He previously worked at Circulate San Diego for three and half years on active transportation planning projects, and various policy initiatives related to transportation and land use. Before his time at Circulate, he worked at Crowdbrite Solutions, a consulting firm, where he assisted public agencies in communicating complex land use plans to the general public. He is passionate about involving new people in planning processes.

Oscar holds a Bachelors in Public Administration/City Planning from San Diego State University. In his free time, he enjoys going to the beach, traveling, eating good food, and watching soccer.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (619) 474-0220 ext. 161; Mobile: (858) 922-4644

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