STAFF

 

Linda Sanchez, YO! California Network Director
linda@yocalifornia.org

Linda was born in Oaxaca, Mexico and migrated to Orange County in her early teen years. In 2014 she graduated from UC Berkeley where she received a dual degree in Political Science and Chicano Studies. Linda has over 10 years of experience in youth leadership development and most recently worked on various bills aimed at combating the punitive systems in California. 

Daulton Jones (he/him/they/them), Central Valley Lead Organizer
daulton@yocalifornia.org

Daulton was born and raised in Yokuts Territory (aka Bakersfield). The Central Valley is their home and they do this work to ensure that this beautiful place that held and raised them up is given the support it needs to flourish! During his time in movement work, Daulton has focused on restorative justice with Black and brown youth and families, housing eviction protections, economic justice and the fight for defunding and reinvesting in community revitalization with the People's Budget Bakersfield. As an Afro-Indigenous person, the only reason Daulton is here today is because of their ancestors' understanding that the fight for freedom lives in not just the body, but in the spirit as well.  

Ashley Uyeda (she/they), Capacity Building Director
ashley@yocalifornia.org

Ashley has over ten years of experience in the field of youth organizing for racial, economic, and gender justice. Her foundation in youth organizing comes from her work with SoCal for Youth in LA, a multi-racial network of youth organizations in Los Angeles that builds the capacity and power of youth organizing regionally across communities and issues. In 2007, she joined Khmer Girls in Action as an organizer with Cambodian American young women, and eventually served as their Organizing Director where she developed the strategic vision and direction of local and regional campaigns, led GOTV efforts, and focused campaign work on School Based Wellness Center, Anti-Deportation efforts, educational justice, young women’s health access and reproductive justice. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys hanging out with her niece, baking and playing Taiko drums with her Taiko troupe in Los Angeles. 

Jeremy Lahoud, (he/him) YO! Cali Co-Director
jeremy@yocalifornia.org

Jeremy has worked for and with grassroots organizations focused on youth organizing for racial and social justice since 1994. In 2004, he joined Californians for Justice as Long Beach Lead Organizer and subsequently served as Organizing Co-Director in 2007-2008 and Executive Director from 2009-2012. Prior to moving to California, he spent a decade organizing for racial and educational justice with African American, Latinx, and Arab American youth at the Southwest Youth Collaborative in Chicago. Since 2013, Jeremy has also been a Senior Fellow with Movement Strategy Center focused on strategic support, transformative movement building, capacity building, and coaching with youth organizers across California. Jeremy lives in South Los Angeles with his partner, Maria, a high school instructional coach, and their three children, Adila, Tecún, and Amar. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking the traditional Lebanese food he grew up with, playing capoeira with his adopted Los Angeles family, the Omulu Capoeira group, and learning from his Rinzai Zen teachers, Norma Wong and Rosie Abriam.

Sabaa Zareena (they/them), Administrative & Operations Manager + Fellowship Manager
sabaa@yocalifornia.org

Sabaa (they/them) has been providing administrative and operations support to arts and social justice projects since 2010. Their dedication to supporting arts and social justice initiatives stems from their own experiences of creating art inspired by historical and current social justice practices and theories. Some of the organizations they’ve worked with are Just Be, Qulture Collective and CultureStrike. In addition, they've worked with many projects centered in catalyzing change and building strong foundations of support for intergenerational Black, POC, migrant and LGBTQ communities.   

When not working with YO! Cali they’re cultivating a healing justice project aimed at creating intentional spaces to support the mental and emotional health of GNC and Trans communities. They're also studying film making and photography in relation to performative interactive arts.

J. Ishida (they/them),  YO! Cali Co-Director
jsi@yocalifornia.org

J. brings 17 years of organizing experience working with youth of color to fight for racial justice in public education with Californians for Justice. They began as a volunteer and joined the staff in 2001, moving through the organization’s leadership pipeline from an organizer to senior strategy director. They bring expertise in staff and youth led campaign strategy, base-building, leadership development, staff development, narrative strategy, and fundraising. On the leadership team, J helped to guide the organization through leadership transitions, strategic planning, and organizational assessments to build an organization that was sustainable, effective, and accountable to its values and constituents. J is also an associate with Movement Strategy Center and has served on the boards of the Gay-Straight Alliance Network and the California Fund for Youth Organizing and as a founding member of Liberation Ink, a silk-screening collective whose profits support social justice organizations.

Grisanti Valencia (they/she), Healing Justice Director
grisanti@yocalifornia.org

Grisanti Valencia is the Site Support Coordinator at YO! California, where she organizes to build community power throughout the Central Valley. Grisanti is a Queer Indigenous Zapotec migrant from Oaxaca who loves her adopted home Fresno. Grisanti writes poetry from personal experiences focused on her childhood and the Oaxaqueño culture.  She began youth organizing in 2012 in immigrants rights and has grown to love the work in the valle. Grisanti is the site support coordinator for YO! Cali, prior to joining the YO! cali team she was the Organizing Coordinator at Californians for Justice. When not working, you can find her having family time and hanging around Fresno with her furbaby Flicka, attending poetry nights and building the Central Valley Healing Collective in Fresno. 

Citlali Ruiz Martinez (she/her/ella), Youth Organizer
citlali@yocalifornia.org

Citlali is Oaxaquena and Zaptoeca, migrated and raised in Santa Ana! Citlali loves her hometown full of bright colors, radiant community, and her chosen family. Over the years Citlali has centered her love for young people and community through volunteering in various organizations that focused on youth empowerment, womxn reproductive rights, youth civic engagement, and other youth spaces. Currently Citlali is focusing her work at Youth Organize California as Youth Organizer, she continues to uplift and support young people through  leadership, healing, and political education. 

She loves drinking ice coffee and reading on her time off, as well as spending time with her friends and family out at the swap meet or having adventures in Santa Ana