"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
"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.
"Growing up on military bases around the world, locals just viewed all of us as 'Americans.' It was not until we moved back to my family's hometown of Omaha, Nebraska that I understood that our country and our communities were deeply divided on the basis of race and class and sexual orientation and gender identity. I chose to commit myself to understanding and dismantling my new reality, where all the black kids sat together in the cafeteria, because I realized that we all have the power to get up, bring people together, and tackle the underlying issues to make the cafeteria and world a more inclusive, safe space for everyone"
Tamika served as the California Director of Young Invincibles, where she developed and oversaw programs, including healthcare, higher education, and youth employment. Tamika was an attorney at Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center from 2009-2012. She was a member of the Gender Equity & LGBTQ Rights Program, where she engaged in community education, negotiations, litigation and policy work. Tamika joined LAS–ELC as a Skadden Fellow in the Racial Equality Program expanding employment rights outreach to members of the African-American communities of the Bay Area. She received her Juris Doctorate in 2009 from Stanford Law School, and in 2006 received her BA in Psychology and BS in Sociology with a specialization in Criminal Justice from Creighton University. She serves as the co-chair of the National Center for Lesbian Rights Board of Directors. LinkedIn Twitter
"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.
"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
"Growing up in a culturally and socioeconomically diverse community in Maryland, I gained an early appreciation for the common humanity that unites us, while also witnessing unequal treatment in social systems. My community engrained in me a passion for fostering intercultural understanding, justice, and equal opportunities for all." Allison joined Liberty Hill in 2013 after graduating from Loyola Marymount University with a BA in Political Science and Peace Studies.
"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.
"When I think of my grandfather and the hardships he dealt with to better himself and the generations after him, I realize there is still a great deal of work to be done. Racial discrimination is still relevant, as is homophobia and prejudice against so many communities." Bryce has volunteered for many organizations that empower people of color. Currently, he is studying business finance at Santa Monica College.
"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.