Our board is comprised of local leaders dedicated to strengthening and uplifting our communities so that all people can achieve their full potential in an environment of harmony, safety, equality and justice.


DSCF6746_2.jpgIsidro D. Ortiz, Ph.D., Board President Dr. Ortiz is Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at SDSU. A political scientist by training, he pursues the study of Chicana/o political activism and educational politics and policy and has published studies in these areas. Dr. Ortiz has been recognized for his teaching and mentoring of students and community service and leadership. Among his recognitions for the latter are the UC San Diego Cesar Chavez Legacy Award for Community Leadership and the KPBS-Union Bank “Local Hero in Education” Award. He also serves as co-chair of the San Diego County Latino Concilio on Higher education and as vice chair of the Education Consortium of San Diego County.
Dr. LaWana Richmond, Board Vice President Dr. Richmond holds a Bachelors in Business Administration from SDSU, a Masters in Information Systems from National University, and a Doctorate in Education Leadership from UC San Diego/CSU San Marcos. She is dedicated to ensuring our young people have every opportunity for equitable learning, opportunity to learn of our communal past and opportunity to embrace who they are as individuals. Her passion for futurism, in general and Afrofuturism in particular, is driven by the times we live in; Times when the adversity and the opportunities it presents beckon us to rise above ourselves.
Vivi.pngVivienne Esrig, Board Treasurer Vivienne is currently the Deputy Director of the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park. She comes with a lifetime of experience in non profits managing and administrating one thing or another including 20 plus years at Harvard Medical School. She was the Treasurer of the Board of MOXIE Theater Company and has served on various other boards both nationally and regionally including the National Organization for Women (Boston) and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. She has a BA in Finance and an MBA in non profit management and is a life long Bostonian.

Victor Roosen, Board Secretary Victor Roosen, formerly with the American Red Cross, is now the Senior Emergency Planning Advisor at SDGE. He is a former regional disaster relief manager for the American Red Cross overseeing disaster preparedness, response, and recovery programs.  This included staffing, volunteer management, program development, FEMA compliance, disaster planning, and community based organization relationships.


Ken MRev. Beth Johnson, Board Director Rev. Dr. Beth Johnson is a minister of the Unitarian Universalist church. She works on intersectional justice issues, including immigration, racial and worker justice, climate and environmental justice, and reproductive justice. She has served on numerous boards where faith and justice meet. Dr. Johnson also provides spiritual direction, workshops, and retreats for faith leaders and activists in order to foster personal and systemic transformational change. Dr. Johnson received a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Claremont School of Theology and is committed to sacred activism - linking spirituality and radical social change.
Denise Serrano, Board Director Ms. Serrano is an experienced policy advocate, community organizer, and fundraiser who is a product of a binational and multicultural border region. She is currently the Director of Public Affairs for UCSD where she is responsible for overseeing comprehensive advocacy and government relations. She previously worked at the San Diego LGBT Community Center and the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties.
Ken MIrving Hernandez, Board Director Irving is a Dreamer from the border region of San Diego, California. Arriving to the United States at the age of 6, he persevered through various barriers and ultimately graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering. Currently, Irving is a manager at an immigration law firm and an activist in the DACA movement. He has been widely interviewed by local, national, and international media outlets. He also served as a guest editor of The Guardian and has helped shape the narrative about Border Dreamers, deepening an understanding of what it means to live in the border region as a Dreamer.
Jim Gerber, Board Director Mr. Gerber is a Professor of Economics, Emeritus, from SDSU where he served for 34 years. He has been a visiting professor or scholar at universities in Tijuana, La Paz, Guadalajara, and Mexico City. Jim also served as co-editor for the Library of Congress' Handbook of Latin American Studies. His written works about the US-Mexico border include articles, book chapters, a textbook, and a co-authored book. Jim holds a PhD in Economics from UC Davis and was a firefighter for the US Forest Service before becoming a professor.
Ken MKen Malbrough, Board Director Mr. Malbrough is a proud native of Southeast San Diego. He retired in 2012 as a Deputy Fire Chief of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department after 31 years. He is an active community leader and now serves on the boards of the State of California Board of Registered Nursing, the Black American Political Association of California San Diego Chapter (BAPAC-SD), and the San Diego Parks Foundation.
Ken MMaribel McKinze, Board Director Maribel grew up in southeast San Diego and is first generation. Maribel Is a Union Organizer at United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 135. Maribel is responsible for improving the lives of the workers by informing workers of their rights and organizing them to achieve a collective bargaining agreement with their employer. Maribel will always be on the frontlines by either picketing or canvassing for candidates that are labor friendly, she has been recognized as a young change maker by the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice (ICWJ), UFCW International Walmart Associate Outreach program, San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council and UFCW International Organizing training.
Danell.pngMica Pollock, Board Director is Professor of Education Studies and Director of the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment, and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) at UCSD. Her work explores educators’ key role in daily efforts for antiracism and equality. Her newest effort is #USvsHate, an educator-and youth-led anti-hate messaging project. She previously taught high school in California, worked in the civil rights field, and served as a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford.
Danell.pngMitra Ebadolahi, Board Director is the Senior Project Director for Economic Justice at Upturn. Prior to joining Upturn, Mitra spent more than a decade with the ACLU, where she co-created the Border Litigation Project and litigated civil rights cases at the intersection of immigrants’ rights, racial justice, and police practices. She has served as a Lecturer at the UC Irvine School of Law and as a law clerk to federal district and appellate court judges. She is an immigrant from Iran and a Fulbright Scholar who has lived and studied internationally.
Vivi.pngNorma Cazares, Board Director Norma is a 1st generation San Diego native, raised in Logan Heights and Southeast San Diego. She started community organizing at 15 years of age, and has been a dedicated and passion political, educational, and social activist ever since. Norma graduated from SDSU with a B.A. in Public Administration and a Masters of Science in Counseling Education. During her time as a student, she was actively involved in issues related to civil, human, and women's rights, and Chicano empowerment. She then went on to be employed with the State of California Employment Development Department for 15 years, then resigning to accept a position as a Counselor at Southwestern College where she served until 2015. At Southwestern, she helped countless students of underrepresented backgrounds reach their educational and career goals. In retirement, she is continually dedicated to community activism and to making San Diego a better place for all people. Norma is currently a member and the President of the Board of Directors of McGill School of Success, a public charter school of the SDUSD, and is the founding member of the South Bay Forum. 
Danell.pngSamantha Jenkins, Board Director is a distinguished US Naval Veteran and a proud first generation Guyanese American. She is a Leadership Coach, Nonprofit Consultant, and DEI trainer who has served on a number of boards including as the Chair of the Citizens Advisory Board on Police and Community Relations, Chair of the Skyline Paradise Hills Community Planning Group, and Board Member with the Black Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (BWILD). Samantha asks the questions others won’t to illuminate issues.
Danell.pngSmith Sirisakorn, Board Director is a leadership and community development professional with experience as an advisor to numerous boards and campaigns. Currently, he is President of the Retirees Chapter for the United Domestic Workers of America. His experience extends to strategic consulting, private equity management, and legal consultation. He has a biology degree from MIT, and a JD and Master’s degree from the University of New Hampshire. He is a World Series of Poker Champion.

DSCF6751-3.jpgAshley L. Walker, Board Chair Emeritus Ms. Walker is a longtime resident of San Diego, who has dedicated her entire career to building community. Ms. Walker recently retired as the Executive Director of the City of San Diego’s Human Relations Commission, which is devoted to issues of equal opportunity, conflict resolution, violence prevention, multiculturalism and diversity. Prior to that position, she was an administrator at the YWCA for 13 years, where Ms. Walker pioneered programs and created resources to eradicate domestic violence. Currently, Ms. Walker serves on the board of the Family Justice Center Alliance, and the San Diego Domestic Violence Council. She previously served as a member of the Grants-making Committee of the San Diego Foundation for Change and the Gay and Lesbian Funding Partnership Committee of the San Diego Foundation, and as the Chair of the Board of the San Diego Women’s Repertory Theatre. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her unwavering commitment to social justice.
DSCF6749-2.jpgDavid J. Miles, Ph.D., Board Chair Emeritus Dr. Miles moved to San Diego over 20 years ago as a post-doctoral fellow at The Scripps Research Institute. He soon joined Invitrogen Corporation where he managed key teams and departments, including technical support, quality assurance, manufacturing, contract research, and finally product marketing. He retired as a business unit director to attend the California School of Culinary Arts, and become a Cordon Bleu chef. He used this new training to work for Father Joe’s Villages in San Diego serving as the dedicated chef for the teen residents of the Toussant Academy. He has served on the board and as president of the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation. In addition to other volunteer work, he has most recently been a member of the San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative Advisory Committee that helps raise and make grants to fill funding gaps for HIV/AIDS services in our county.
DSCF6749-2.jpgDanell Scarborough, Ed.D, Board Chair Emeritus Danell was formerly the Executive Director of the San Diego Human Relations Commission-a Commission devoted to issues of equal opportunity and access, mutual respect, and inclusion. She was also the Executive Director for the City's Citizen's Review Board on Police Practice. Danell was appointed by the Mayor to support the Human Relations Commission in advocating for and advising the Mayor and City Council on social justice issues, conducting activities that foster mutual understanding and inclusion, and protecting basic human and civil rights. Danell is a trained and experienced mediator. For the past 20 years, Danell has led public sector organizations in organization development initiatives in the area of leadership, management and board develop development, diversity, strategic planning and community involvement process. She serves as President of the Board for the California Association of Human Relations Organizations (CAHRO) and on the board of Leadership California, a women’s leadership network.