Meet our wonderful team of dedicated environmental and social justice leaders
Interim Executive Director
Esther Portillo returns to CCAEJ to serve as interim Executive Director after serving as a national campaign coordinator and previously working as CCAEJ’s Organizing Director from 2005-2008 as well as 2016-2018. She is a well-respected organizer and will bring strong leadership
Interim Program Director
Currently, Italia serves as the Interim Program Director at the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ). In her free time she enjoys spending time at the gym, gardening and watching movies.
Gabriela Mendez is a resident of the City of Riverside and has been active in various movements fighting for immigrant protection, special needs, and environmental issues.
Special Projects Coordinator
Mariana has a successful background in civic engagement, mobilizing the community, and currently leads CCAEJ's Census efforts. She is also a Planning Commissioner for the City of Jurupa Valley and triple-majored in international studies, sociology, and political science at University of California, Irvine.
Research and Policy Analyst - Fellow
Mariela is a UC Riverside graduate student and supporting CCAEJ's local policy efforts.
Interim Finance & Admin Director
Ana Gonzalez joins the Executive Team with experience as a former business owner and educator as well as community organizer.
Gabrielle Scott Thetford
Gabrielle will be leading internal communications and office management needs.
Interim Communications Coordinator
Faraz's brings experience as the former editor of UC Riverside's Highlander Newspaper and in local political as well as issue-based campaigns.
Interim Grant Coordinator
Ericka brings over 10+ years working in environmental justice, formerly as CCAEJ's organizing director. She will be leading grant management and development as well as reporting.
Interim Civic Engagement Coordinator
Adonis has a strong background in leadership as a former Student Body President at CSUSB and working directly with communities of color in civic engagement.
Vero is a proud mother of three and a grandma to five grandkids. One of her favorite quotes is “He who does not live to serve, does not serve to live.”
Research and Policy Analyst
The son of two immigrant parents from Guerrero, Mexico, Ricardo is a research and policy analyst with interests in urban and regional planning. He is a native of the Inland Empire, having been born in Upland, CA and raised in Ontario, CA.
Interim Policy Coordinator
As a research and policy
analyst, Ivette hopes to combine their science, policy, and community passion to advocate for
the Inland Empire.