"When I was 14, teaching Vacation Bible School in a public housing project in St. Louis, I became outraged at the poverty and isolation of the children, and committed myself right then to make a difference in the world."
Michele joined Liberty’s Hill’s Community Funding Board in 1982, became Director in 1989, and transitioned to special projects in 1998. Michele holds an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA and has served as a senior fellow to the UCLA School of Public Affairs since 2007. She serves on the boards of GREEN LA Coalition and the Venice Community Housing Corporation.Facebook
“I was raised to believe deeply in the promise of the American Dream, but the reality is that every day as a nation we fail to live up to our deepest values of freedom, opportunity and equality. In the pursuit of justice, I’ve been blessed to fight alongside young people demanding quality education for all, workers demanding the dignity and respect our Constitution guarantees, and folks of all backgrounds standing up for racial justice and declaring #BlackLivesMatter. These experiences have given me a deep faith that our collective action can make the American Dream a reality for all.”
Jennifer was the Executive Director of Wisconsin Jobs Now, a Wisconsin nonprofit fighting for social and economic justice. With 15 years of organizing experience, her accomplishments include winning campaigns for paid sick days, in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants, living wage laws and equitable development standards.
Jennifer was the 2013 Edna Award recipient from the Berger-Marks Foundation, which honors an outstanding young woman for her leadership in fueling social change. She was also named Bill Moyers “20th Activist to Watch,” in 2014.
Currently Jennifer serves on the boards for the Center for Popular Democracy and The Center for Working Families Organization. She earned her B.A. in Political Science and Women’s Studies and her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Wisconsin. Jennifer worked as an attorney for the Milwaukee Trial Office of the Wisconsin State Public Defender and Webb Law Firm.
"Growing up in Los Angeles cleaning houses on the weekend with my mother exposed me to privilege and inequity. As I later navigated my way through higher education I realized the problem was institutional. This shed light on my path to organize in the community where I grew up." Evelin's 10-year organizing background is rooted in the MacArthur Park/Westlake area, a gateway community for immigrants. Before joining Liberty Hill, Evelin served as director of community organizing, co-director and interim executive director of Collective SPACE, where she led community building efforts with area leaders. Evelin holds a B.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy from Occidental College.
"I graduated from high school in 1970 and started to work for Catholic Charities which drew me to an interest to social service work. That summer I attended the national Chicano Moratorium against the Vietnam War and this shifted my attraction to social change work." Margarita's subsequent years of college activism at St. Mary's College and political activism brought her to Liberty Hill in 1981, where she has been central to Liberty Hill's work investing in strong and viable organizing.
"Fresno, where I was raised, has one of the highest concentrations of poverty in the nation. It’s a place people leave and don’t want to return to. When I went to college in the Bay and became involved in efforts to promote social justice, I realized that if I was going to create real change, I needed to go back home." Daniela has an extensive background advocating for environmental justice and the rights of marginalized communities. In the San Joaquin Valley, she worked for the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment (CRPE), leading campaigns to secure clean air and develop grassroots leader in low income communities. She currently serves on CRPE’s board. In 2010, Daniela helped launch Communities for a New California, a statewide organization committed to achieving policy that is socially, economically and environmentally just for California families. Daniela holds a B.A. in Sociology from St. Mary’s College of California and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA.
"I was fortunate to be raised in Los Angeles in a family and faith community that emphasized social action and justice. In Judaism there is a teaching: 'In a place where there are no people, strive to be a person.' This has been a guiding principle for me in supporting community-led change in the face of the most dire social issues and institutional injustices." Joanna began her career at American Jewish World Service, a funder of international grassroots development work, and then went on to develop social justice educational and volunteer programs for teens at BBYO, Inc. Following that, she directed the executive office at the immigration services and advocacy organization HIAS, overseeing Board governance and strategic planning. She first joined Liberty Hill in 2013 as an intern with the program department. Joanna received her MPA from the USC Price School of Public Policy in 2014, and in 2006 received her BA in English Literature and Human Rights Studies from Barnard College.
"Traveling to Africa as a college student sparked my passion for social change. An environment of extreme poverty and desolation juxtaposed with joyful and gracious people stayed with me and upon returning home, I knew I had to be involved in social justice work."
Karen holds a BA in International Studies and a MA in Social Entrepreneurship & Change, both from Pepperdine University. LinkedIn
"When I was young, I sat in conservative churches listening to pastors proclaim homosexuality as a sin. As I grew older, I saw this as discriminatory and felt a great injustice was occurring. This disconnect between my religious and social views prompted me to explore other outlooks and lead me to the LGBTQ justice movement. There, I realized social change was possible and saw the importance of defending the rights we are all entitled to."
Michelle holds a B.A. in Psychology and International Developmental Studies from UCLA. LinkedIn Twitter
Finance and Administration
"I grew up in Montgomery and my parents won a discrimination lawsuit against University of Alabama. The university had rejected my mom from the residency program because she was a foreign medical graduate. This proved to me that everyone can fight against injustice."
Before joining Liberty Hill in 2009, Preeti worked at Connections For Children as their fiscal director for 9 years. She serves on the Board of Asian Pacific Americans for Progress (APAP) and Center for the Pacific Asian Family(CPAF). Preeti holds a B.S. from Duke University and an M.A. in Accounting from University of Southern California.Facebook
"When I began to look for a college to attend, I realized that everyone should be entitled to equal opportunities despite any circumstances they may have lived under or gone through in the past. That’s why I joined Liberty Hill." Esmeralda joined Liberty Hill in 2009. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Managerial Accounting from California State University, Dominguez Hills.
"To borrow a line from Vonnegut, studying anthropology taught me that there are no bad people. It is this belief that has drawn me toward social justice and toward fighting to change our systems of inequality and discrimination." Max’s work has ranged from energy management to creative placemaking to political campaigns on both coasts. He holds BAs in Anthropology and Public Policy from the University of North Carolina, along with a Masters of City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University. His passions are food systems, income equality and medieval Scandinavian poetry.