Our Team
Kristina McKibben, Esq.

Executive Director

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.

Director of Litigation

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. 

At Community Justice Alliance, Jason often leads post-conviction relief efforts to restore our community members' access to full opportunities. He serves as a supervisor to multiple externs on police misconduct cases as well as FTCA suits on behalf of families separated at the border, and invests in budding attorneys for social justice movement work.

 
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.

Osvaldo Hidalgo Otamendi

Removal Defense Fellow

Osvaldo Hidalgo Otamendi grew up in Madera, CA and is the son of two parents from Mexico. He graduated from UCLA (B.A.) and from Santa Clara University Law School (J.D.). At Santa Clara, he helped put on multiple free immigration-related legal assistance, from San Jose to his hometown of Madera. Osvaldo has volunteered at the detention centers in southern Arizona and represented a client in their immigration removal case before the 9th Circuit. Osvaldo is passionate about immigration and criminal justice reform, and joins Community Justice Alliance in partnership with ChangeLawyers and Immigrant Legal Resource Center as one of ten recent law graduates and attorneys participating in removal defense capacity building for indigent communities in California's Central Valley and Central Coast.

 
Ana Palomares

Ana Palomares is a proud daughter of immigrant farmworkers and first-generation college graduate. She received her Bachelor of Art in Business Administration from Fresno Pacific University and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Organizational Leadership Management. She is a devoted community servant with an extensive background in family advocacy. She brings over fourteen years of experience in community advocacy, case management, team building, grant administration, policy and systems change.

 

Ana is driven by the principles of equality and social justice in service to communities of color.  She understands first-hand the struggles and challenges that immigrant families are faced with due to the lack of available resources and language barriers. Her passion to helping others is what has motivated her to become an advocate for human rights by assisting families navigate through diverse and complex government systems to achieve a healthy and productive life.

Ana leads the Fresno regional Opportunities for Youth social services project, a partnership with California Department of Social Services, creating innovative success plans for undocumented unaccompanied minors and building a model for the nation.

Case Manager Director

Program Navigator

Fabiola Sahagún

Born and raised in Fresno, Fabiola is a fundamental believer in the free movement of people. Fabiola graduated from Humboldt State University in May 2017 after earning a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and a minor in Ethnic Studies. Since then, Fabiola committed herself to exploring her curiosity and passion for justice.

 

In August of 2017, Fabiola volunteered with Casa del Migrante de Saltillo, a shelter for Central American migrants in transit through Mexico. After completing her volunteer term in Mexico, Fabiola earned a specialization degree in International Migration from El Colegio de la Frontera Norte in 2018.

 

Fabiola started working as a legal assistant in 2018 and has been an immigration paralegal in both private and nonprofit organizations. In her previous role with Esperanza Immigrant Right’s Project, Fabiola supported Franco class members, detained individuals who were declared by a judge to be mentally incompetent to represent themselves in immigration proceedings. She plans to pursue an advanced degree in Cultural Anthropology and use research to fight for the liberation of all immigrants.

At Community Justice Alliance, Fabiola uses her background serving undocumented communities to reimagine social services and mutual aid to build valuable resources and partnerships so that we can thrive regardless of immigration status.

Jessica Emigdio

Jessica is a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, whose journey began in Guerrero, Mexico. She is an eager advocate for positive, inclusive change in the immigrant community. Jessica previously worked with the non-profit Fresno Immigrant youth in Action (FIYA) to develop immigrant youth leadership in in partnership with non-profit organizations and schools.

 

Jessica’s pursued education to lift up youth. She has a BA in liberal studies from California State University, Fresno with a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)  and child development. Jessica’s educational and professional career has spanned multiple positions which have allowed her to make meaningful connections with youth of varying ages and backgrounds. Jessica has worked as an educator in Fresno for the past seven years. She has created lesson plans and written curriculum for her students every term, often drawing back to her personal lived experiences to guide her understanding of others. Her years spent working with youth have fostered a passion to help youth have equal and fair access to resources and tools they can use to be successful.

At Community Justice Alliance, Jessica creates opportunities for youth to explore their own potential, engage in art therapy, and link with partners for long-term success.

 

Youth Mentor

Board Member

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.

Co-Founder / Executive Secretary

Board Member

 

Co-Founder / Board Member

Board Member

Jorge Diaz

Jorge Diaz is an Latinx actor and joy amplifier. Jorge is actively engaged in the LIMA Coalition, comprised of media personalities and artists striving to equalize Latinx representation. 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.

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.

Board Member

Board Member

Jennifer Sagadraca

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.

Melvin Robert

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.