Hugo Lujan - Community Organizer
Hugo Lujan was born and raised in East Los Angeles and is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz. His organizing background is rooted in facilitating educational spaces where community knowledge and identity is affirmed and harnessed as a powerful tool for social justice. Previously, Hugo worked as an educator at a student led/student facilitated class at UC Santa Cruz entitled Engaging Education. He also participated in organizing students and workers at UCSC around fair and livable wages. As a youth, he organized with East LA community for im/migrant rights for the first May 1st march in downtown Los Angeles, and around LGBTQ rights for youth in k-12 schools.
Jan Victor Andasan - Community Organizer
Jan Victor Andasan was born in the Philippines until he emigrated in 1997 to Long Beach. He lived there for about five years where he attended Daniel Webster Elementary. He moved to Carson in the South Bay area where he got involved with student organizing against the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. He went to the University of California where he got a Bachelor in Arts in Asian American Studies with a concentration in Pilipin@ Studies. During his tenure at UCLA, he was involved with organizing students of color, LGBTQ issues, and various issues affecting underrepresented communities. He worked on the affordability, accessibility, and quality of higher education. He has a passion for addressing social justice issues
Maria Becerra -Administrative Assistant
Maria Becerra was raised in the city of Maywood and for the past 10 years she has been residing and raising her three children in the City of Commerce. Maria has been a member of EYCEJ for seven years, and has strong relationships with community members. Maria has also served as the Board Secretary of EYCEJ for several years. She attended East Los Angeles College where she studied Business Administration.
mark! Lopez - Executive Director
mark! Lopez comes from a family with a long history of activism. He was raised in the Madres del Este de Los Angeles Santa Isabel (Mothers of East LA Santa Isabel – MELASI), an organization co-founded by his grandparents, Juana Beatriz Gutierrez and Ricardo Gutierrez. This set his trajectory as a community activist. He has engaged in a wide array of student activism at UC Santa Cruz where he earned his B.A. in Environmental Studies, and taught university courses at UC Santa Cruz, Cal State Northridge, and UCLA Extension. He spent 4 years organizing with Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) in South East LA, where he was the Youth Program Coordinator. mark! earned his M.A. from the Chican@ Studies Department at Cal State Northridge, where he completed his Masters thesis titled The Fire: Decolonizing “Environmental Justice.” After serving as Lead Organizer for East Yard Communities and Co-Director with EYCEJ Co-Founder Angelo Logan, mark! is now the Executive Director. He organizes in the area where he was born, raised and continues to live.
Taylor Thomas- Research and Policy Analyst
Taylor Thomas is a born and bred Long Beach local. Having had an overly compassionate grandmother and an underserved community, she has been involved in social justice movements since the age of 15. She has organized for quality and affordable education, as well as homeless rights. With the guidance and support of Great Leap and EndOil, Taylor, along with four other community members, co-wrote and performed a theater play called ‘The Air We Breathe’, which chronicled what it’s like living in Long Beach and dealing with air pollution. She aims to combine art, sustainability, compassion, and social justice into a movement of love. She is currently earning her B.A. in Human Development at CSULB.
Zully Juarez- Development and Communications
Zully Juarez, daughter of Guatemalan Maya immigrants, was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. As a youth, Zully became aware of environmental racism in her own community through her involvement with Youth for Environmental Justice at Communities for a better Environment (CBE). Zully is a graduate of UC Berkeley, with a BA in Gender & Women’s Studies and Ethnic Studies, where she focused on building awareness and visibility of Maya indigenous resistance in Guatemala and Los Angeles. As a liaison between the Multicultural Community Center (MCC) and Chican@/Latin@ Student Development (CLSD), she assisted in creating and implementing cross-cultural community building workshops on gender, racial justice and popular education curriculum both on and off campus communities. She is invested in creating a world where our grandchildren can live rather than survive.