Kristina McKibben, Esq.
Immigrant Rights Attorney
Kristina McKibben is a graduate of Boston University School of Law (J.D.) and University of California at Davis (B.A.) As a member of the California state bar, Kristina regularly represents clients in state court proceedings as well as the U.S. Department of Justice – Executive Office of Immigration Review, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. After returning home to California’s Central Valley in 2011, Kristina fought for systemic changes to language access for Spanish speaking victims of crime, planning for statewide implementation of immigration services, and in assisting with large scale group processing workshops for applicants of naturalization and DACA. Kristina's current work includes building removal defense strategies for Central Valley residents, serving as Attorney-of-the-Day in immigration court, representing detained immigrants in writs of habeas corpus, and bringing Federal Torts Claims Act (FTCA) suits on behalf of families separated at the border under the "Zero Tolerance" policy.
Jason Obra Sias, Esq.
Civil Rights Attorney
Jason O. Sias is a graduate of Loyola Law School - Los Angeles, and licensed in both California and Louisiana. Mr. Sias is a fierce and compassionate defender of civil rights, working to right social wrongs in state and federal courts alike. Mr. Sias’ work focuses on accountability, dignity, and respect. His clients have been everyday people taken advantage of by big banks, victims of excessive force by government officials, and children in administrative proceedings. Mr. Sias often takes cases to trial, and fights tenaciously for the full results his clients deserve. Named as a Super Lawyers Rising Star, a Top 40 under 40 most influential African Americans, and recognized by the California Assembly for his legal work, Jason has proven to be a champion of community.
Birdiet “Viviana” Villa
Bilingual Legal Assistant
Birdiet Viviana, or “Viviana” as clients affectionately call her, is a native of Guatemala. Viviana is trained for formal court interpretation in Spanish and English, but shines in speaking to community members from all walks of life. Viviana is a vital member of the legal team: interpreting during Spanish language interviews before the asylum office, preparing clients for testimony before both Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice, and supporting detention conditions investigations. Viviana has participated in country conditions monitoring in Guatemala as an attendee at the Cristosal Global School, completed CLINIC's Immigration Fundamentals course, and is currently undergoing rigorous training for DOJ Accreditation so that she can continue to support our communities in an advocacy role.
Gabriela Solano Hernandez
Gabriela Solano Hernandez hails from León, Mexico, and has since relocated to California's Northern and Central Valley. Gabriela is a fierce advocate for immigrant and children's rights, and has most recently contributed to multiple border projects to protect migrants in vulnerable circumstances. In Texas, Gabriela assisted father and sons in obtaining release from family detention so that they may pursue their asylum claims. She connected Spanish speaking families with services they had waited months to access, and followed up post-release to connect them to local resources. At the California border, Gabriela assisted migrant children in arts projects to work through stressful situations and express their needs to policymakers in the U.S.. At Community Justice Alliance, Gabriela finds novel ways to elevate migrant issues on the local and national levels so that we can support a responsible immigration reform.
Ashley Jackson, Esq.
Ashley Jackson is a graduate of Boston University School of Law, and a member of the California, Illinois, and Massachusetts bars. Mrs. Jackson leads Community Justice Alliance's development as it launches legal access programs in rural areas, and currently serves as Senior Privacy Counsel for GE's US and Canada Healthcare Group, and named a 2019 Super Lawyers Rising Star. Mrs. Jackson is an International Association of Privacy Professionals certified information privacy professional who advises domestic and international clients on issues of breach response, litigation, employee training, risk assessment and management, policies and procedures, table top exercises, data privacy and information security due diligence during corporate transactions, and data protection clause review for contract negotiations. Mrs. Jackson serves as a strong mentor to young people of color.
Jorge Diaz is an actor actively engaged in the LIMA Coalition, comprised of media personalities and artists striving to equalize Latinx amplification. In 2019, Jorge helped a family of asylum-seekers in California's Central Valley elevate their story of fighting for safety and legal access in the United States. Jorge is known for roles in the films Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones and The 33, as well as the drama miniseries The Long Road Home. Jorge also has been known to cameo in recurring roles for Days of Our Lives, Jane the Virgin and the Hulu drama East Los High, and has provided voice work for the animated shows Elena of Avalor, The Lion Guard, and Lost in Oz. His guest appearances include roles in Arrested Development and The Good Place.
Co-Founder/ Board Member
Melvin Robert is equal parts educator and entertainer, with a genuine love for uplifting community. As an actor, singer, and TV personality, Melvin co-hosts of an Emmy nominated show, and has appeared on everything from KTLA-5 Morning News to the The Wendy Williams Show. Melvin holds a masters in Educational Studies, and served as a teacher and counselor for over a decade to students from elementary to college. Melvin drew on his family’s history as one of the first Black families in Inglewood during the 1960’s, later becoming a backbone to the neighborhood as the local grocer, to support first generation college students in embracing their own power while navigating new challenges. Even when off the clock, Melvin strives for representation of others as an active member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Gay Men’s Chorus.
Jennifer Sagadraca, Engagement Manager for Randstad Technologies, holds a degree in Business Management and enjoys a passion for development. She is an active member of Women in Tech, a mentor focusing on equity in higher education, and a firm believer in investing in youth. As a mentor in Minds Matter, Jennifer commits to high school students’ longterm trajectories by assisting with standardized testing preparations, participating in enrichment activities, and admission into higher education. Jennifer continues to mentor her students well into their higher education experience. As the daughter of immigrants from the Philippines, Jennifer draws upon her family’s experience paving the way for other immigrant families in creating space and elevating others’ stories.
Community Advocate Intern
Patty Mondragon is a third-year Political Science Major and Writing minor at the University of California, Merced leading the charge in ensuring undocumented residents are connected to critical relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is originally from Santa Ana, California. Patty previously interned with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) in Sacramento and at the American Bar Association in Washington, D.C. through the University of California Washington Program (UCDC). She has been a part of law fellow programs, such as the UCLA Central Valley Law Fellows Program and the UC Davis KHOP Law Fellows Program. Patty brings her passion about social justice issues and community engagement to California’s Central Valley. She plans to pursue a career in immigration law.
Juan J. Esparza is a 2020 Robert E. McNair Scholar who recently graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Women’s Studies and a Certificate of Special Study in Victim Services from California State University, Fresno. Esparza is also one of the organizers and presenters from Fresno State’s First Gender, Race, and Sexuality (GRS) Undergraduate Conference in which he presented his work “Self-Emasculation” (2019). Esparza’s McNair research explores Title IX’s mandated reporting policy and how feminist professors navigate compliance culture in lieu of commitments to anti-violence work. Esparza engages with LGBTQ+ community based organizations through his work as a community researcher in Qistory: Our Queer Stories. He will continue his academic work and activism at Arizona State University, West through a Masters program in Social Justice & Human Rights in Fall 2020.
Community Advocate Intern