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.
Katina Castillo is an emerging thought leader, transformational facilitator and healing arts practitioner who advocates for healing justice and collective care designed on principles of Natural Law and place-based ecosystem sustainability. Katina's social justice and healing contributions center wellness for communities of color. For more than fifteen years she has served poor & low-income youth & families, those directly impacted by incarceration and/or substance abuse, mental health challenges and complex trauma.
Katina spearheaded the first Healing Justice Conference for frontline organizers and service-providers in the summer of 2013 as Western Regional Manager for the Community Justice Network for Youth, a program of the W. Haywood Burns Institute. In 2021 Katina completed her M.A. in Depth Psychology with specialization in Community, Liberation, Indigenous and Eco- psychologies from Pacifica Graduate Institute and holds a B.A. in English with concentration in Folklore and Culture Theory from UC Berkeley. She is second generation California-born mixed-ethnic Latina of Central American, Mexican, and Greek descent.
Wendy is a first-generation born and raised California girl from humble means. Her story really starts when her mom arrived home early from working in the grape-fields one day to find that her daughter was not in school, but instead with friends. This led her mother to drastically uproot and move the family to Mexico. Through initial resentment turned into self-reflection Wendy learned about her culture, the deeper struggles and strife, and what the American Dream really represents.
Upon returning to California, Wendy had a new perspective and a new sense of connectedness to struggling youth, victims of generational traumas, and people caught in cycles of poverty. Simply by happenstance, after she left Cal State Monterey Bay, she focused on youth and families much of her career path. As a Family Services Specialist in Salinas, to Foster Parenting teenagers, to being an involved Computer Science high school teacher that led ESL classes in the evenings to parents. Wendy works to add her little grain of sand into cultivating positive change.
Sussan Garcia is a passionate Central American advocate and researcher who sees the digital world as the future of accessible education that centers the teachings of decolonial, queer, Black, Indigenous feminist, system-impacted communities. She was born and raised on Canarsee land, also known as Queens, New York City by two Guatemalan parents.
Sussan is the founder and director of Central American Disruption, where she provides radical education to the Central American diaspora and others around her as she unlearns and relearns regional and diasporic narratives. She graduated from New York University in Abu Dhabi with an Arab Crossroads Studies and Political Science degree in 2020. She is also a UC Berkeley PPIA JSI alumna.
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.