Andrea Guerrero is the Executive Director of Alliance San Diego. She leads an outstanding team that is building coalitions and mobilizing resources to achieve greater impact on the issues that matter. Before joining Alliance San Diego, Ms. Guerrero was the Field & Policy Director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties. Prior to that, she practiced immigration law before administrative, federal district and appellate courts. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley Law School (J.D. 1999), University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs (M.A. 1994), and Stanford University (B.A. 1992). Originally from Mexico City, Ms. Guerrero views the world from a binational, bicultural, and bilingual lens. She has dedicated her professional life to protecting civil rights and advancing social justice. Watch Ms. Guerrero’s TEDx talk, Immigration Reform: A Chance for a Better America.
Christopher received a Bachelors degree in History and Ethnic Studies from the University of San Diego and is currently the Director of Civic Engagement at Alliance San Diego. His work centers on empowering communities of color and low-income communities through building bridges, creating collaboration, and identifying common issues. He is a father, brother, uncle, husband (very soon), and global change activist, who has traveled and lived all over the world. Christopher’s life experiences, education, training, and work give him a deep understanding of the complexities involved with empowering people. He is inspired by family, artists, co-workers, and close friends, who keep him honest and hopeful.
Christian Ramírez was born in Tijuana, Mexico. Since 1994 Christian has been active on issues relating to US immigration policy and its impact on southern border communities. He has presented in international and national gatherings on the state of human rights in the US-Mexico Border. Mr. Ramirez is a nationally and internationally recognized spokesperson on immigration and border enforcement issues. At the Alliance San Diego, Christian serves as Director of Human Rights Programs, staffs the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium and the Southern Border Communities Coalition as well.
Fofie joined Alliance San Diego in 2012. She has worked extensively in program and administration with non-profit organizations and foundation affinity groups in New York, NY and Washington, DC. Her professional and volunteer work has focused on health education and empowerment in low-income and immigrant communities, AIDS/HIV education, domestic and community violence prevention, and LGBT coalition building. She has traveled extensively and has volunteered in West Africa and Central America. A bicultural child of the immigrant experience, Fofie is committed in her personal and professional life to social justice and health and educational empowerment.
Mr. Alfaro is the Immigrant Rights Organizer of Alliance San Diego. He joined the team in 2011 and has been working on documenting and reporting immigrant abuse in collaboration with partners across the U.S-Mexico border. He also plays a coordinating role in two coalitions, the San Diego Naturalization Collaborative and the Dreamer Assistance Network, both which assist immigrants in San Diego. Prior to joining Alliance San Diego, Mr. Alfaro was a researcher with the National Latino Research Center, where he focused on evaluating the results of a youth empowerment program and getting A-G requirements implemented in North San Diego school districts. On his spare time, Mr. Alfaro enjoys spending time with his family and two dogs and doing outdoor activities.
Diamond is a 23 old native of San Diego, that believes in restoring a better California. She has worked with Alliance San Diego for 3 years as a team leader in the Civic Engagement Program, training canvassers to mobilize communities that have an underrepresented voice. She is currently a student at City College studying sociology who enjoys writing and photography in her spare time. Miss Wallace is a young leader in her faith group, as well as an active volunteer with Community Life Improvement & Multi-Cultural Bridging, where they provide free informational services, job training, food distributions, and events centered on bringing diverse communities together. She states, “All the work I do is devoted to the people who need it most. I believe that I was put on this earth to change the world… one community at a time.”
Matthew Yagyagan, Development Manager
Mr. Yagyagan is the Development Manager of Alliance San Diego. He manages and implements development strategies to raise funds to support the program work of Alliance San Diego. Prior to coming to Alliance San Diego, he was a 2010 OCA Intern in Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office and was a 2011 Fellow in People For the American Way’s prestigious Front Line Leaders Academy. In his spare time, Mr. Yagyagan is a Mentor with People For the American Way’s Civic Engagement Fellowship and a National Trainer for OCA’s Asian Pacific American Y-Advocate youth leadership program. Mr. Yagyagan graduated early from the University of California, Berkeley in 2010 with dual B.A.s in Political Science and Ethnic Studies.
Ricardo Favela was born and raised in San Diego’s North County. He is the son of agricultural migrant workers and has been active in defending migrant rights since the age of 15. Mr. Favela serves as a board member on the CSA-81, a SD County Parks and Recreation committee covering Fallbrook, De Luz and Rainbow. He is currently a Multimedia MFA candidate in SDSU’s School of Art and Design and has been working for the Alliance San Diego as the Strategic Communications Coordinator since November of 2009. On his spare time, Ricardo plays softball, and enjoys camping and hiking.
Itzel was born in Mexico City and brought to the United States at a young age. She was one of the beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which allows her to work and be protected from deportation in the United States. She began volunteering at a young age through her mother’s union and she learned early the hardships that many workers face. Itzel enjoys rallies, voicing her opinion and helping others who are in the same position. As Alliance San Diego’s Immigrant Outreach Coordinator, Itzel was also part of the Dreamer Assistance Network which gave free – low cost legal services to DREAMers like herself. She is still part of the San Diego Naturalization Collaborative, assisting qualifying residents apply for citizenship. Itzel is currently attending San Diego State University.
Kim Rescate was born in a country of many islands. She is a lover of food and a runner (’cause of all the food). She initially took up running in case of a zombie apocalypse (unless they turn out to be the fast kind, in which case this endeavor is sort of a waste). She is a geek, but that is not the whole story. Though her passion for most things geeky is certainly a main driving force in her life, she also loves traveling, snowboarding, hiking, eating/making/sampling food, and anything that can keep her attention for longer than a minute. Although she conformed to society’s measurements of success by going to college for accounting and media, she is mostly a self taught geek, who forged her way into unknown lands with cunning and guile. She watches a lot of film and television and reads graphic novels which often leads to skewed ideas. Kim works in Communications but hopes it leads to a recurring role in Doctor Who, or Lost Girl. The most exciting part of her day is picking out which business casual outfit to wear, a decision based almost exclusively on the question “Would [insert television, literary, or otherwise fictional character here] wear this?” She did not choose the way of the Jedi, this life-long path chose her.
Nicole-Marie Cotton, Administrative & Development Assistant
Nicole has worn many hats in her life connecting activism, education and research. As a high school student, she volunteered as an ESL tutor for immigrant youth and started a letter-writing campaign for better accommodations for newly arrived immigrants taking Basic Standards Tests. She started a career in science mentoring underrepresented youth in science outreach programs and eventually became featured in New Scientist Magazine (UK) for her research in Microbiology. Her Master’s thesis in Urban & Regional Planning was a health score card of communities in Orange County. A passion for integrating science and social justice led her to design and participate in service-learning trips to Mexico, Peru, and Honduras to work on Social and Environmental Justice issues. She later served as an Americorps VISTA at a university connecting college students to volunteer service-learning opportunities at local non-profits agencies. She also worked on a program of the OC Children and Families Commission awarding Capacity Building grants to small non-profits from Federal Stimulus Funds. Her most recent adventure was living in Mexico conducing sustainable development research on Afro-Mexican rural communities.
Eddie Junsay, Event & Volunteer Coordinator
Eddie is a recent graduate from UC San Diego where he studied Environmental Science and minored in Urban Studies and Planning and Music. He worked as a campus organizer where he organized students and administration to support fair and sustainable labor practices. His passion for organizing brought him to Alliance San Diego where he is now the Volunteer and Event Coordinator. When he is not working at Alliance, Eddie can be heard belting his favorite musical theater showtunes or seen snorkeling with sharks and various sea creatures around the shores of San Diego. He is most famous for his performances of old RnB hits which he puts on everyday in his shower.