East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice info@eycej.org 323.263.2113

Board of Directors

At the heart of our organization is the Board of Directors, made up of members from the local communities of East Los Angeles, Southeast Los Angeles and Long Beach. The Board of Directors is not just the face of the organization; they also identify local issues, guide the direction and help to meet the mission and vision of the organization.

EYCEJ Board of Directors 

Yesenia Fernandez– Yesenia Fernandez, Ph.D., was born in East Los Angeles and raised by a community of hardworking people–her single mother in Rosemead, her mother’s family in the City of Commerce and her father’s family in East Los Angeles and Michoacan, Mexico. She is currently Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, Cal State Dominguez Hills. Previously she was a district administrator in Lynwood. In addition, she spent fifteen years at Bell Gardens High School as an English teacher, administrator, and student advocate. She was a first generation college student who earned a Bachelors in English and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Cal State Los Angeles and a Ph.D. in Education at Claremont Graduate University. She now studies how systemic racism in the public school system perpetuates segregation and precludes students of color ​from higher education and its intersection with school leadership. She is dedicated to working with school leaders and policymakers to ensure equity and justice in urban schools. She first became involved with EYCEJ in 2007 after her students, who became involved with EYCEJ, inspired her to learn about the environmental racism with which our community is forced to live. She hikes, learns, and hopes to contribute to her community. She can be reached at:  yfernandez@csudh.edu


Kristina Santana– Treasurer

Kristina grew up and still resides in the City of Commerce. She earned her BA in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley, and her MS in Public Administration from California State University Los Angeles. She currently works in local government where she enjoys helping residents. She also enjoys volunteering at her local catholic parish. Her biggest passion is working for clean air for the residents of Commerce and she is very happy to volunteer her time to the East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice to make clean air a reality, sooner than later.

Javier Garay– Secretary

Javier Garay was born and raised in Bell Gardens. Beginning his activism during his junior year of high school as a youth member, Javier began developing knowledge of the organization and work through dedicated volunteering. Javier’s work with the organization has assisted in identifying his passion for clean air, quality of life, and community. Outside of the organization, he is currently a student at the University of California, Irvine studying for a B.A. in Environmental Engineering. He enjoys coffee, joking around, and having fun experiences.

Suzzette Aguirre -Suzette was raised in Huntington Park. Growing up with asthma next to the industrious city of Vernon, Suzette became involved with Communities for a Better Environment in high school and has since been involved with environmental justice work. She has worked alongside community members in EYCEJ’s La Cosecha Colectiva program and was in the first and second cohorts of the Marina Pando Social Justice Research Collaborative. She graduated from CSU Long Beach with a B.S. in Dietetics and Food Administration and is currently a Master of Pulbic Health student at UCLA in the Community Health Sciences department. Suzette is dedicated to tackling health inequities by building up low income communities of color. 

Iris Verduzco – Member

Maria Reyes– Member

Julius Calacsan– Member