Marcia Rincon-Gallardo MSW is Executive Director of the Alianza for Youth Justice, Principal of NOXTIN: Equal Justice for All, Adjunct MSW Policy Professor, and author.
At the Alianza, she directs the coalition’s efforts to amplify visibility and advocacy of Chicanx/Latinx to transform youth injustice systems with long term solutions rooted in cultura, comunidad and healing.
At NOXTIN, she provides training, technical assistance, and consultation nationally with local communities and youth justice system efforts to increase equity for Chicanx/Latinx and Indigenous youth by decreasing to end the use of incarceration.
Ms. Rincon-Gallardo has partnered with the CA Endowment, National Girls Initiative, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the Burns Institute, to implement proven effective strategies to successfully end use of incarceration downsizing the nation’s youth justice systems utilizing locally based healing informed, community centered approaches. Ms. Rincon-Gallardo, recognized as a leader and author in the field, co-wrote “Adapting JDAI to Tribal Lands: Lessons Learned” released in 2019, and two other publications to be released in 2020. She presents nationally and implements her Ollin Girls co-written curriculum locally with returning citizens to build the bench of leaders. She served as adjunct professor at CSUMB in an MSW policy class.
Ms. Rincon-Gallardo is Chicana, Mexicana, Indigena and is the mother of Tonantzin, Ilhuicamina and grandmother to Nevaeh and Serenita.
Joanna Molina is the Alianza Manager of Advocacy and Engagement, and a law school student. Ms. Molina was raised in a single-family household in the East Side of San Jose, where she experienced several childhood adversities. These experiences led Joanna to want to get involved in learning and changing the laws and the punitive ways our criminal justice systems impact brown and black youth and young adults. Joanna has worked in several nonprofits such as Next-Door Solutions, Abode Services, and Bill Wilson Center, using her personal experiences in the youth justice system to support those navigating the criminal justice system. She served on the Commission on the Status of Women for Santa Clara County, where she advocated for the rights of women inside our county jails. In her most recent previous position, she worked as Policy Aide to County Supervisor Dave Cortese, and her policy issues were pertaining to Juvenile Justice, women’s issues, and foster youth issues. Ms. Molina is a mother of 2 beautiful boys.
Hisis Mabel Alacantara Cruz, Alianza Administrative and Events Assistant, recently graduated from Evergreen Valley College earning her AA degree in paralegal studies. Her goal is to complete law school and become a civil rights lawyer to be the voice for those populations who need guidance, strength, and an identity. Hisis came to the United States in 2014 as an unaccompanied minor from Honduras and entered a Refugee Foster Care program in San Jose, California. Speaking no English and belonging to no one, she overcame numerous educational and employment barriers, acquired many skill sets, and began to make her mark in her community. Now completely fluent in English, Hisis was promoted to manager at her past job, started her own small business, and is a new homeowner. Graduating with a 3.3 GPA from community college was not only something she dreamed about but was also a first for her family back home in Honduras, as she is the first high school and college graduate.
Jacqueline Rivas-Duenas is an intern at Alianza for Youth Justice. She is currently completing her second year of the three-year program for the Masters in Social Work (MSW), at Cal State Monterey Bay (CSUMB).
Jacqueline received her Bachelor’s degree from CSUMB. Her major was Social and Behavioral Science with a concentration in Sociology.
She currently works as an Educational Advising and Retention Specialist for a Pre-College program called Educational Talent Search (ETS) at CSUMB, where she assists first generation and/or low-income students navigate their pathway from high school to college.
Christina Olsen is an intern at Alianza for Youth Justice. She is currently completing her first year of the two-year program for the Master’s in Social Work, at Cal State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB). Christina has a passion for working with youth, as she is also a part of the Pupil Personnel Services Credential program, and has hopes of becoming a school social worker.
She graduated Magna Cum Laude from San Diego State University in 2021 with a Bachelor’s of Sociology and minors in Spanish and Anthropology. Christina has been involved with the volunteer service organization Kiwanis for several years and has worked closely with many underserved and minority communities.
Julia Ramirez is one of the interns at Alianza for Youth Justice. She is a first generation student who is currently completing the three-year program for the Masters in Social Work (MSW) program at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB).
Julia received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Collaborative Health and Human Services (CHHS) with an interdisciplinary emphasis in Public Administration and Social Work from CSUMB in 2016.
She currently works as a Spanish tutor for Upward Bound (UB), a pre-college readiness program for low-income and first generation high school students, at Monterey Peninsula College (MPC).
Melina Mumtzis is an intern at the Alianza for Youth Justice. She received her Bachelor’s degree from California State University of San Marcos (CSUSM) in 2021. She majored in Sociology with a concentration in children, youth, and families.
During this time, she worked as a tutor, tutoring children ages 5-17 in a variety of subjects, many of whom faced personal and academic obstacles.
Currently, she looks forward to working with the Alianza in order to further her knowledge and ability to make a positive change.