Staff

Andrea-400px.pngAndrea Guerrero, Executive Director
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Andrea Guerrero 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.


 

Tomas_copy.pngMallory Adamski, Communications Director 
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Mallory Adamski is a Diné (Navajo) woman on her life’s journey to uplift the stories, voices, and truth of people of color around the world. Before joining Alliance San Diego, she led the communications efforts for She the People, the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center, and StrongHearts Native Helpline. Before that, she earned awards as an independent journalist and writer for her reporting on Indigenous health, cultures, and politics. She has a master's degree in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, along with a bachelor's degree in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations and a Minor degree in Peace and Justice Studies from Utah Valley University. In her spare time, she enjoys running, gardening, and spending time with her family.

Tomas_copy.pngTara Kaveh, Communications Project Director 
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Tara Kaveh is a first generation Iranian-American, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her Bachelor's degree in Journalism with a concentration in Integrated Marketing and a minor in Ethnic Studies from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She has a dynamic background as a multimedia reporter, copywriter, graphic designer, and marketing manager. Growing up in a progressive environment, Tara has had a passion for human rights and social justice from a very young age. She has worked with numerous organizations including Amnesty International, The Beat Within, and the National Iranian-American Council. When she's not working as an activist, Tara loves writing, photography, international travel, and enjoying the beauty of nature.

Tomas_copy.pngTomás Perez, Communications Coordinator - Digital Producer
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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. Tomás enjoys writing music, going to art and music shows, and dabbles in photography and videography.

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Erika Clark, Digital Communications Coordinator
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Erika Clark is a first-generation Mexican-American, born and raised in Oklahoma. There, she ran the first-ever social media street team for Fiestas de las Americas, a city-wide event showcasing the beauty of the multicultural heritage in Oklahoma. Erika earned a B.A. in Public Relations with a minor in enterprise studies from the University of Oklahoma. With experience creating relationships with media, managing social media and influencer marketing campaigns, she has a passion for bringing groups together to make change happen. In her spare time, Erika enjoys exploring new hiking trails, reading and cooking.

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Eithel Krauss, Multimedia Producer
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Eithel Krauss is a Mexican-American journalist, documentary filmmaker and producer. As a child of the northern borderlands of Mexico, he grew up understanding the differences and struggles within cultures. Migrating to the United States and working on various video productions helped shape his skills and made him the passionate filmmaker he is today. While supporting different famine relief projects along the years in Kenya and Madagascar he always presented a great passion for journalism and altruism. He is proud to call San Diego his home and is currently supporting the efforts of Alliance San Diego and beyond.
 

 

Itzel Maganda Chavez, Civic Engagement Director
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Itzel Maganda Chavez was born in Mexico City and grew up in the city of San Diego since she was 5 years old. At the age of 17, Itzel participated in her first Civic Engagement Program, where her passion for social justice first ignited. As a proud member of the Alliance San Diego team, Itzel has used her voice to share her experiences as an Undocumented / DACAmented community member living in the border region. Itzel also led and designed immigrant integration programs with Alliance San Diego from 2013 - 2020; offering an array of services and tools for the immigrant community. Itzel holds a Bachelor's degree from San Diego State University in Political Science with a minor degree in Anthropology. Prior to returning to Alliance San Diego as the Civic Engagement Director, Itzel worked with SEIU-United Service Workers West as a Political and External Organizer, Building Skills Partnership as the Census Project Specialist and Assemblywoman (now Secretary Treasurer for CA Labor Fed), Lorena Gonzalez, D80. During her free time, Itzel enjoys reading, walking with her dog, building legos and spending time with her family. 
 

Ted Womack, Civic Engagement Manager
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Ted Womack Jr. was born and raised in San Diego. From a young age, Ted has shown interest in empowering and educating his community through resource development, relationship building, and shared information. Ted began canvassing with Alliance San Diego in 2012 and quickly realized he connected deeply with Alliance San Diego's mission and goals. Returning to ASD for civic engagement programs, Ted started utilizing his experience to create change in his community, even hosting his annual 2M Toy Drive to help people get presents for kids for Christmas. In his spare time, Ted works as an audio engineer, writer, and event manager. His professional and personal work has provided Ted the opportunity to create relationships across various sectors of work.

erin-400px.pngJ’Nyka FaulknerCivic Engagement Coordinator
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J’Nyka Faulkner is 5th generation Kumeyaay belonging to Santa Ysabel and Viejas. She is a native San Diegan, growing up on the Viejas reservation. J’Nyka realized her passion for community engagement after phone banking with Alliance San Diego in 2014. As she became more engaged, she continued to return to ASD to educate her community through civic engagement programs. J’Nyka pushes for representation for the black and native community, people of color and womxn. She actively participates and has led security teams for protests, organizes food drives and advocates for policy reform. In her free time, she enjoys hiking Cowles Mountain and going to beaches across San Diego County.

erin-400px.pngChristopher KennisonCivic Engagement Organizer
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Christopher Kennison was born and raised in San Diego. Chris is Black & Filipino and grew up in the Southeast communities of Chollas View & Mount Hope, as well as the South Bay in Imperial Beach. Growing up in these communities allowed Chris to see a full range of San Diego. Witnessing the social injustices in his communities with people of color and over policing, he always knew it wasn't right. Chris has always had a passion to speak out when he sees something wrong. Chris graduated from SDSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration Management in 2021. He first got involved in community work in 2014 and since then has done numerous volunteer programs, internships and worked with local organizations. Chris enjoys helping out people & showing them that their voice is important. Giving back to the community and empowering people to be leaders in their own communities is something he strives for. He firmly believes that, "No matter what happened in your life, you write your own story and could always change your outcome."

erin-400px.pngJaylynn ChoiCivic Engagement Organizer
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Jaylynn Choi is a child of immigrants from Korea and was born and raised in Hawaii. Growing up in Hawaii, Jaylynn always had a passion for community organizing, working with several different nonprofit organizations through the Interact Club with Rotary International. In the Spring of 2023, she received a Bachelor's degree with a double major in Political Science and Sociology with a concentration in social justice from the University of San Diego. Prior to joining Alliance SD, she helped pilot the Oat Milk Default Project on USD’s campus that aligned with her interests in climate justice, sustainability, and inclusivity. As a womxn of color, she strives to use her lived experiences to uplift and connect with vulnerable communities with empathy and compassion, spreading awareness on social justice issues through education and communication. 


 

Michelle Celleri, Legal Rights Department Director
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Michelle Celleri has been actively involved with the immigrant community and promoting diversity for over fifteen years.  She came to Alliance San Diego to create high impact change.  She believes everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of where they came from and their socio-economic status.

 

hectorHector Oviedo, Legal Rights Manager
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Hector Oviedo was born in the Mexicali-Calexico border region, he moved to San Diego after completing his B.A.’s in Spanish Literature and History of Latin America at UC Riverside, and completing a year of service with AmeriCorps VISTA in Los Angeles. He spent over 5 years representing immigrants in their affirmative and removal  processes as a Fully Accredited Department of Justice Representative at Catholic Charities, San Diego before joining Alliance San Diego. Outside of fighting for immigrant rights, Hector enjoys camping at National Parks, attending musical festivals cross-country, watching soccer and spending time with his fiancée and two dogs.

hectorAndrea Tecpoyotl Tepale, Legal Rights Organizer
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Andrea Tecpoyotl Tepale is a DACA recipient who began advocating for the undocumented community in high school when she realized that the DACA program was going to be rescinded. DACA changed her life. It opened doors to unimaginable opportunities. As a student at the Univerisity of San Diego she took on several leadership roles, but being a student coordinator for the undocumented and DACAmented students on campus helped her raise awareness about the immigrant community and allowed her to work personally with different undocumented and DACAmented students. Andrea holds a B.A. in Sociology and Ethnic Studies with a minor in Spanish from the University of San Diego.
 

hectorYolanda Torres Villa, Legal Rights Organizer
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Yolanda Torres Villa has over ten years of experience as a non-profit community advocate. She is Mixtec, an Indigenous Native from Oaxaca, Mexico. She holds two Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies and Liberal Studies, emphasizing Latin America Studies from California State University San Marcos. Yolanda has worked as a Legal Advocate and Small Business Developer at Access Inc. Her expertise includes guidance on business start-ups and assisting Victims of Domestic Violence in obtaining their legal status. Yolanda has developed and maintained strong relationships with immigrant communities throughout her career. She enjoys doing arts/crafts and nature walks with her two children in her spare time. 


 

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Erin Tsurumoto Grassi, Policy Director
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Erin Tsurumoto Grassi 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-400px.pngLilian Serrano, Southern Border Communities Coalition Director
[email protected] 

Lilian Serrano is a third generation fronteriza, born and raised in the Tijuana-San Diego border region. She spent her teens in Oxnard, California, a small agricultural town in Ventura County. Lilian has over a decade of experience working in community education, human rights advocacy, and social justice work. She became civically active as a High School student in 2006, when a series of anti-immigrant proposals in the U.S. Congress sparked a national mobilization for immigrant rights. Her personal and professional expertise have allowed her to build and maintain strong ties in north San Diego County with community members impacted by immigration policies and farmworker families. Lilian earned her B.A. in Human Development and B.A. in Spanish from California State University San Marcos. Her professional experience includes serving as Co-Chair and Steering Committee member of the Southern Border Communities Coalition, Chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, Coordinator of Alianza Comunitaria and Co-Director of Universidad Popular.

Patricia Mondragon, Regional Policy Manager
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Patricia "Patty" Mondragon is a first-generation American; one of three daughters of Mexican parents who immigrated from the beautiful state of Michoacán. Her father having worked as a bracero in Northern California decided to relocate his young family to San Diego, where they established strong roots in North Park. Patty went on to study Psychology, Information Systems and Human Computer Interaction at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. She is passionate about public policy, social justice, civic engagement and issues important to womankind. She is the proud mother of a budding social justice warrior, Alex, and together they have supported the work of Alliance San Diego to mobilize for change. 

erin-400px.pngRicky Garza, Border Policy Counsel
[email protected] 

Ricky Garza is based in McAllen, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley, where he grew up and his family has lived for generations. He holds a bachelor's degree in international relations from Georgetown University and a law degree from Columbia. After graduating law school, he was the 2018 Singer Social Justice Fellow and later staff attorney at the Texas Civil Rights Project, where his work focused on border justice issues including opposing the border wall and the intersection of policing and immigration enforcement along the Texas border. At TCRP, he served on the Southern Border Communities Coalition Steering Committee, and his work today focuses on fighting border militarization and systems that make us less safe.

erin-400px.pngJenny Johnson, Border Policy Advisor - DC
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Jenny Johnson is based in Washington, DC and engages policymakers and partner organizations to amplify and advance SBCC’s vision for border policies that expand public safety for all, protect human rights, and welcome people at our borders. Prior to joining the SBCC, Jenny was the Senior Policy Associate for the Latin America Working Group's Mexico & U.S.-Mexico Borderlands Program.  Jenny was born in Washington, DC, but called southern Arizona home for almost a decade.

erin-400px.pngNedy Velazquez, Border Policy Coordinator
[email protected] 

Nedy is a first-generation immigrant and DACA recipient. She grew up in Escondido, CA, and now resides in Washington D.C., but is always a proud San Diegan. Nedy attended UC San Diego and has a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in American Government and Politics. Her experiences living in a militarized border region and her identity as an immigrant made her keenly aware of the discrepancies in resources and mistreatment of her community from a young age, which heavily impacted and influenced her passion for advocacy on those issues. She has organized communities to grow in their power and trained hundreds of people, predominantly low-income individuals, BIPOC, immigrants, and young adults on the legislative process at the local, state, and national levels. Outside of work, she loves attending concerts, baking Ube Crinkle cookies, and basking in the sun. 

erin-400px.pngSamuel Tsoi, Policy Fellow
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Samuel Tsoi is a Policy Fellow at Alliance San Diego, representing ASD in regional housing policy coalitions and state-level initiatives. Previously, he served on the Board of ASD, and was an equity impact manager at the County of San Diego Office of Equity & Racial Justice, where he built data and grantmaking initiatives to advance equitable outcomes and foster belonging. He also served as the assistant director for the 21st Century China Center at UC San Diego, and co-founded the San Diego Asian Pacific Islander Coalition, and Welcoming San Diego, a cross-sector strategy to advance immigrant integration. Prior to moving to California, he built diverse advocacy coalitions in Massachusetts, and was a consultant in the field of corporate social responsibility and a freelance journalist covering Asian American affairs. Samuel is a graduate of Gordon College (BA) and the University of Massachusetts Boston (MS) and has completed advanced studies at Tufts University and Harvard Kennedy School. He is currently a Community Scholar at the University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Sciences, where he also completed the Horizon Scholars Program and the RISE Urban Leadership Program.

 


 

Miesha Rice, Advancement Director 
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Miesha Rice is native of Charlotte, NC, but has lived in San Diego for about 9 years. She has a B.A. and M. A. in English Literature and Liberal Studies. At a young age, her parents began actively involving her in community outreach work with Coca-Cola Bottling company. She grew up learning the knowledge and skill of interacting with all kinds of people on personal levels.  That skill was later elevated during her tenure with Apple as a Concierge team member. With the help and creativity of her mother she gained experience with planning and executing large events. She spent the rest of her free time traveling and performing original poetry on stages all over the country. That exposure inevitably led her to the social justice work here in San Diego. She spent a few years as a teaching artist in various local elementary schools in partnership with Arts for Learning San Diego. Miesha started her journey advocating for change as the Volunteer Coordinator during the 2012 election season; learning a host of information about immigration, education reform, and canvassing. It has been an amazing trip; especially for her two growing daughters who are striving to be Change Agents themselves. 

Mackenzie Martinez, Advancement Manager 
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Mackenzie (she/her/ella) is a proud Jewish Chicana originally from Richmond, VA. From a young age, Mackenzie has always felt a calling towards social justice and a commitment to leveraging her privilege to uplift others. In 2021, she graduated from Elon University with a double major in Spanish and Anthropology as well as minors in gender studies and Latin American studies. Mackenzie was drawn to the border after graduation and has worked with immigrant and refugee populations since. She is passionate about language equity, empowering women of all backgrounds, and advocating for humane border policies. When she’s not working, Mackenzie enjoys playing music, dancing Ballet Folklorico, reading, and spending time at the beach.


 

Jayne Sacco, Finance Director
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Jayne Sacco was born as the sixth child to an immigrant father from Sicily. She was exposed to diversity at a young age in the middle-class neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio in which she was raised. Jayne always dreamed of traveling, advancing her education and learning about different cultures. At the age of 18, she made the move to San Diego - by herself - to further her education. Jayne holds an MBA, as well as a Bachelors in accounting and business. Jayne continued her journey in education, pursuing her interest in learning sign language by becoming a certified interpreter for the Deaf. She currently tutors Deaf students via webcam, and interprets on occasion. Jayne's true passion is working in non-profit organizations; she transitioned from the private sector to do work that she feels touches our community. In the position of financial management Jayne is happy to use her skills to serve her community in a positive way. On any given day, you will find Jayne cooking up a storm, weight lifting, or playing with flowers, that is, if you happen to catch her when she’s not traveling (which she does often).

2017-08-02.pngKyle Brandon, Human Resource and Office Manager
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Kyle Brandon 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.

Karen.pngKaren Le, Research Data Analyst
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Karen is the child of Vietnamese refugees which inspires her long-standing passion for immigrant rights and social justice. She holds a B.A. in International Studies-Political Science and an M.A. in Sociology from UCSD. Over the course of her professional and academic career, she has developed expertise in various subject areas such as migration, international organizations, political sociology, and law and society. In addition to years of research experience in both the non-profit and academic sectors, she is also partially accredited by the Depart of Justice to assist clients in filing immigration applications. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking, and traveling!