Andrea Guerrero, Executive Director
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 R. Wilson, Associate Director
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.
Hiram Soto is a lifelong resident of the Tijuana / San Diego region. His passion for social justice and social change carried him to the world of journalism. Mr. Soto is a former multimedia journalist and columnist with a thorough understanding of social-economic issues that impact minority communities, particularly Latinos.Most recently, he was the creative director for a digital agency specializing in content marketing programs and helping national organizations become top-notch publishers. When left unsupervised by wife and kids, he picks up his guitar and sings outdated songs nobody cares about.
Itzel Guillen, Immigration Integration Manager
Itzel was born in Mexico City and brought to the United States at a young age. She is 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. Itzel began volunteering at a young age through her mother’s union and learned very early the hardships that many workers and mixed-status families face in the border region. As Alliance San Diego’s Immigrant Integration Coordinator, Itzel has been organizing and coordinating informational forums throughout the county as well as immigration consultations and workshops for the immigrant community. Itzel is currently attending San Diego State University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. In her spare time, Itzel enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and dogs.
Erin Tsurumoto Grassi, Human Rights Policy Advisor
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.
Erwin Mendoza, Graphic Designer & Multimedia Producer
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.
Eryn Wilson, Civic Engagement Coordinator
Eryn Wilson was born and raised in Los Angeles, but has always had deep roots in San Diego. She began her journey at Alliance San Diego when she was a freshman in college, participating in her first voter outreach program. As a canvasser for Alliance San Diego, she became a vital part in empowering voters to become advocates for change in the community. Her leadership and determination contribute to her role as the Civic Engagement Organizer. As a black woman, who is first generation American born to an immigrant mother, she carries her culture proudly and allows this to guide her commitment to social change. Outside of developing community leaders, she enjoys the company of her family and exploring different eateries in San Diego.
Andrew Amorao, Special Project Organizer
Andrew possesses a wide range of non-profit and corporate experience, but is fundamentally passionate about empowering his local community. Andrew graduated with a BA in Asian American Studies from San Francisco State University before going on to serve as the coordinator of Kearny Street Workshop's APAture Festival, an annual multidisciplinary arts event presenting the work of emerging Asian American and Pacific Islander artists from around the San Francisco Bay Area. He then went on to a career in agriculture, primarily the strawberry industry, learning to work with a diverse range of people, companies, and governmental bodies in Ventura County. Andrew also has an extensive sales background as well as a certificate in Marketing & Media from San Diego State University. He has used his expertise in management, logistics, and communication these past five years as the Event & Program Coordinator for the Kuya Ate Mentorship Program. Most recently, he managed voter registration and engagement activities for Operation Samahan Community Health Centers.
Karen Le, Special Project Organizer
Karen Le is the Special Projects Organizer at Alliance San Diego. Being the child of refugees has played an integral role in her passion for immigrant rights, social justice, and educational equity. Karen graduated from the University of California San Diego in 2016 with a B.A. in International Studies-Political Science. During her time as a student, she held teaching assistant positions in both the Education Studies department and the College Academic Mentorship Program. As a teaching assistant, she regularly taught university students about the importance of teaching for social justice. She also interned at various local non-profit organizations and gained experience in policy research. Karen is thankful to be on the Alliance San Diego team and eager to fight for "harmony, safety, equality, and justice."
Nora Cardona, Human Rights Organizer
Nora Cardona was born and raised in San Diego up until 2011when she moved and was fortunate enough to call San Francisco home for five years. She graduated from San Francisco State University in 2016 with a Bachelors of Art in Sociology and a minor in Criminal Justice. Nora first became involved with Alliance San Diego through volunteering, and then she was a part of the Neighborhoods Rising Institute and the Fall Civic Engagement program. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, but most of her free time is dedicated to her niece and nephew.
Jesus Mendez, Human Rights Organizer
Jesus D. Mendez Carbajal is a 24-year-old displaced migrant who was born along the coast of Guerrero, Mexico. Jesus has lived in San Diego with his family since 1998. He is held up on the shoulders of resilient, rebellious, powerful, and spirit-full ancestors. Jesus holds many identities and lives an intersectional existence full of complexities. He is a proud brother, son, family member and friend. Jesus first became involved in his community through a church youth group, which introduced him to event planning and organizing. After high school his skills and involvement grew through the Black Student Union (BSU), Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlán (MEChA), and the San Diego Enero Zapatista Planning Committee. He eventually found his place in the larger immigrant rights movement. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Chicana/o Studies from San Diego State University in May 2016. During his time at SDSU, Jesus was also very involved with the Association of Chicana Activists (AChA). Jesus strives to change the world one step at a time by balancing his own self-transformation and healing process with societal/worldly change. During his free time, Jesus enjoys connecting with Mother Earth, listening to all kinds of music in various languages, laughing, and writing poetry.
J. Lee Hill, Jr. Interfaith Justice Coordinator
J. Lee Hill, Jr. is the Interfaith Justice Coordinator of Alliance San Diego. His work at Alliance is focused on developing an interfaith coalition of empowered faith leaders, and people of good conscience, to engage in collective strategies that lift up our shared values. He is an ordained minister with full standing in both the Alliance of Baptists and the United Church of Christ, with more than fifteen years of experience as a religious leader and justice advocate. He has earned degrees and alumni distinctions from both George Mason and Wake Forest and received a doctorate from Emory University. He concurrently serves as a local church pastor in the Emerald Hills community of Southeast San Diego.
Kyle Brandon, Office Coordinator
Kyle Brandon currently serves as the Office Coordinator for Alliance San Diego and is an alumnus of San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Afrikana Studies. Prior to working for Alliance San Diego, he served in many different capacities for the Grossmont Union High School District, Mission Valley YMCA and even managed and operated a food truck. He hopes to bring his experiences growing up in Central Los Angeles and experience running college, high school and elementary organizations to provide support for all of Alliance San Diego’s needs.
Vicki Gaubeca, SBCC Policy & Communications Strategist
Vicki Gaubeca currently serves as the Policy & Communications Strategist for the Southern Border Communities Coalition, a national coalition that is convened by Alliance San Diego. Prior to this role, Vicki served as the Director of the ACLU-NM Regional Center for Border Rights, based in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she helped develop and implement its mission of addressing civil and human rights violations that stem from border-specific immigration policy.
Tomás Perez, Communications Assistant
Tomás Perez was born and raised in San Diego, but has also lived and studied in Washington D.C. & the central valley of California during his time as an undergraduate at the University of California, Merced. Since 2013, he has been involved in local and national organizations focusing on protecting civil rights and social justice, and in 2016 he graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from UC Merced. Soon after he moved back down to San Diego when he first became involved with Alliance San Diego as a participant in the Neighborhood Rising Institute and Fall 2016 civic engagement program before eventually becoming the Communications Assistant for Alliance. Tomás enjoys writing music, going to art and music shows, and dabbles in photography and videography.
Mustafa Nizam, Civic Engagement Manager
Mustafa Nizam currently serves Alliance San Diego as the Civic Engagement Manager. Although he was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, he's called San Diego home for the last 30 years. He earned a Bachelors degree in business and marketing from Ashford University. Mustafa's Civic Engagement work began in 2010 with Pillars of the Community. In that capacity, he helped develop the organization to be able to help those in Southeast San Diego who were impacted by the criminal justice system. Today, he continues his work as an advocate for the marginalized communities and is excited to bring his knowledge and experience and to the organization.