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 Associate Director 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, 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.
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 25 year old native of San Diego, that has dedicated her adult life to creating opportunity in underserved communities. She has worked with Alliance San Diego for 6 years starting out as a seasonal team leader in the Civic Engagement Program to a now organizing the CEP’s and assisting in developing grassroots leaders full time. She is currently a student at City College studying sociology who enjoys writing, photography, and videography in her spare time. Miss Wallace is a young leader in her faith group, as well as an active volunteer and mentor in her community. 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 be and create change in this world.”
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 comes from an agricultural migrant worker family 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 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.
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 marginalized. As Alliance San Diego’s Human Rights Organizer, Itzel is also part of the Dreamer Assistance Network which gives free – low cost legal services to DREAMers like herself and the San Diego Naturalization Collaborative, assisting qualifying residents apply for citizenship. Itzel is currently attending San Diego State University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.
Tiffany Harrison joined the Alliance San Diego team in 2014 as the Administrative and Development Assistant, and soon evolved into the All Peoples Celebration Assistant. She also is a Project Manager for the Urban League of San Diego County and Fund Advisor for the California Fund for Youth Organizers. But what she strives most to be is a good daughter, sister, and God mom.
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.
Erin Tsurumoto Grassi, Human Rights Coordinator
Erin grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is biracial (half Japanese American and half White) and fourth generation Japanese American, experiences which helped shape her passion for social justice and racial equality.
The first to graduate from college in her immediate family, Erin has a Bachelor’s degree from Whittier College in Political Science and Spanish, and a Master’s of Art degree from UCSD in Latin American Studies with a concentration in International Migration. Past internships include the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in the Bay Area, Assemblywoman (now State Senator) Lois Wolk’s district office, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva Switzerland. Prior to joining Alliance San Diego, Erin was a community organizer with Justice Overcoming Boundaries, where she worked with leaders on a variety of issues, including transportation, housing and immigration.
In her free time, you can find her running, cooking, reading, dancing and rock climbing.
Erin is excited to join the Alliance San Diego team and work with SDIRC.
Brisa Johnson, Civic Engagement Manager
Brisa Johnson is a native San Diegan; her background is representative of San Diego’s border town diversity, growing up in a multiracial family. She has completed an Associate’s Degree in Black Studies, and will complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Point Loma Nazarene University in December. Brisa is also a Mother with a working class background and knows the difficulties of maintaining a family in our region.
Through her education and because of her experiences, Brisa is passionate about progressive issues such as the struggle for equality, women’s rights, racial justice, and the importance of voice in creating change. She has been a leader in organizing against police brutality and promoting civic engagement. She has held positions with several community organizations, most recently the San Diego Chapter of the NAACP as the Vice President of the College/ Youth Division and United Domestic Workers as the Lead Community Outreach Organizer where she represented and advocated for homecare providers.
Erwin Mendoza, Communications Assistant
Erwin Mendoza is lucky to call San Diego home where he graduated high school and eventually college from San Diego State University with a degree in TV, Film, New Media studies. He has been in grassroots community work since 2008 with the Kuya Ate Mentorship Program and most recently the San Diego Asian Film Festival and continues to be a part of the progressive change in the world. His love of storytelling through visual and digital means brought him to the communications offices at Alliance San Diego. Besides community endeavors, he loves exploring the food and beer scene of the city San Diego and discussing the lack of pro-sports championships in San Diego.