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.
|Danell Scarborough, Ed.D, Board President 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.|
|Isidro D. Ortiz, Ph.D., Board Vice President Dr. Ortiz is Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at San Diego State University. 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.|
|Vivienne 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 was appointed the Regional Disaster Officer (RDO) for the American Red Cross San Diego Region in January 2016. Victor leads and is responsible for the Disaster Services Department, including preparedness, response, and recovery programs throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties, as well as in American Samoa. He leads the over one-thousand-member disaster workforce in the region. Victor is also the Vice President of the San Diego Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and San Diego Citizens Corps member of the Urban Area Working Group (UAWG) who administers the Urban Area Security Imitative (UASI) funds from the US Department of Homeland Security for San Diego County.|
|Rev. Beth Johnson, Board Director Rev. Dr. Beth Johnson has served as minister of Palomar UU Fellowship in Vista since 2004. She works on intersectional justice issues, including immigration, racial and worker justice, climate and environmental justice, and reproductive justice in San Diego and nationally. She is the past co-president of the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice and currently serves on the board of UURISE (the Unitarian Universalist Refugee and Immigrant Services and Education), the steering committee for Faith Leaders for Reproductive Justice, and the steering committee of the UU Environmental Justice Collaboratory. 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.|
|Christopher S. Morris, Board Director After attending the University of California, San Diego, Christopher S. Morris graduated from San Diego State University in 1989 where he played on the 1987 national championship rugby team. He graduated from Brigham Young University Law School in 1992.Following in his father’s footsteps, Mr. Morris immediately went to work for the San Diego City Attorney’s Office. Starting out as a prosecutor, Mr. Morris transferred to the civil division and for almost 10 years defended the City and its employees in complex litigation ranging from civil rights cases to complex construction disputes. Under former City Attorney Mike Aguirre, Mr. Morris served as the Head of the Criminal Division, overseeing the prosecution of the over 30,000 misdemeanor cases the City Attorney’s Office filed each year. In 2008, Mr. Morris left the City Attorney’s Office for private practice. In May 2014, Mr. Morris started his own firm specializing in governmental liability, including civil rights, contract claims, employment matters, and eminent domain.|
|David J. Miles, Ph.D., Board Director 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.|
|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.|
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.
|Julia Yoo, Board Director Ms. Yoo is a Partner at the law firm of Iredale and Yoo, APC, where she fights on behalf of people whose Constitutional rights have been violated by wrongful arrest, illegal searches or the use of excessive force. An honors graduate of Wellesley College and the University of Colorado Law School, Ms. Yoo began her career as the Legal Director for the Law Center for Women Prisoners, where she successfully represented incarcerated women in cases of mistreatment and sexual harassment and abuse. Ms. Yoo has served on the Boards of Directors of various educational and criminal justice organizations. She currently serves as a Board Director of Girls’ Think Tank, a grass roots organization addressing homelessness and violence against women.|
|Ken 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.|
|Mary Grillo, Board Director Ms. Grillo is recently retired from SEIU after 35 years. During part of that time she served as the elected Executive Director in San Diego, advocating for the rights of local government employees, janitorial workers, and nursing home workers. In 2005, she went on to work at the International Union supporting regional and local unions. She is the co-founder of Center on Policy Initiatives and a proud graduate of Wellesley College.|
|Norma 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.|
|Samuel Tsoi, Board Director Samuel is an immigrant who is grateful for the opportunity to exercise his voice and leadership at a time when democratic institutions are threatened around the world. He is currently the Assistant Director for the 21st Century China Center at the UCSD School of Global Policy & Strategy, where he where he works to promote constructive discourse on US-China relations. He is also the Co-Founder and Lead Organizer for Welcoming San Diego, an effort to advance the civic, social and economic integration of immigrants and refugees in the region.|
|Vernita Gutierrez, Board Director As Director of Community Engagement for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest (PPPSW), Vernita Gutierrez is responsible for representing and advancing the organization’s mission by contributing to and strengthening partnerships in San Diego County through community collaboration, education and outreach. She is passionate about community health, reproductive justice, LGBT equality, youth leadership development and other social justice causes. Ms. Gutierrez serves on several boards and committees, including the Black Infant Health Program’s Community Council; the San Diego Refugee Forum Health Task Force; treasurer of the Faith-Based Action Coalition of San Diego County; and boards of directors for the SoNo Community Alliance; Project New Village and the San Diego LGBT Community Center. She is currently a Fellow with the Center for American Progress’ Faith & Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute, and served on the host planning committee for the 2014 U.S. Conference on AIDS. Vernita was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA where she studied administrative systems management at Drexel University. She relocated to San Diego, CA in 1989.|
Ashley 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.