Meet our 2017 Boards & Commissions Training Fellows—11 passionate community leaders who are interested in serving on local government boards and commissions and are committed to social justice and improving equity throughout the Inland Valley.

Angelica Balderas
Angelica is actively involved in social justice issues in her community of San Bernardino. To name a few, she has worked with the UFCW, IREN, and Sierra Club. She joined the CCAEJ Boards and Commissions Training because she believes local elected and appointed seats are the most vital in our communities as they hold power to push a progressive platform that can better our local environment and tackle social justice issues.
Joshua Bell
Joshua lives in San Bernardino and joined CCAEJ’s Boards and Commissions Training to learn more about his community and get more involved. He also volunteers with Sierra Club’s My Generation campaign and believes that all of his experiences will allow him to help his community understand more of the issues that impact local residents. He hopes to use this knowledge and his passion for music to help others find and use their voice.
Elizabeth Cho
Elizabeth is an educator and community-based artist from Chino. She completed her undergraduate degree at Wellesley College, where she majored in media studies and education. Since returning to the Inland Valley, she has been involved with mentoring, arts programming, and college and career awareness for local youth. Elizabeth joined the Boards and Commissions Training Program to gain an understanding of the workings of local politics and learn how she can generate sustainable change in the Inland Valley.
Erin Edwards
Erin is a proud resident of Ward 1 in Riverside. Dedicated to making her community more inclusive and innovative, Erin volunteers with a local refugee-serving organization. For the past ten years, she has worked in the nonprofit sector locally and abroad. Currently the chief storyteller for a global women’s fund, Erin’s other professional experience includes program development for a dance and theatre troupe in Port-au-Prince, leading an anti-hunger coalition in Chicago and overseeing the individual and family health investments of the United Way of Winnipeg.
Cassandra Flores-Montano
Cassandra lives in Murrieta and joined CCAEJ’s Boards and Commissions Training in order to tap into the local politics of Riverside County and make a positive impact. She is committed to serving Latinxs and LGBTQ folk and loves to create and advance initiatives that benefit these oppressed communities. Her goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in American Studies or History where she can dissect social movements and act as a connection between local communities and the academy.
Julieann Hawk
Julieann has spent most of her life working for fairness and equity as a paralegal or in local school districts. Julieann decided to participate in CCAEJ’s Boards and Commissions Leadership Training to use the strengths of her background to serve her community. She has taken the initiative and graduated from the Riverside Policy Department’s Citizen Academy and hopes to serve on the Community Police Review Commission to promote professionalism and accountability of the sworn staff of Riverside Police Department.
Selena Lomeli
Selena graduated from UCLA with a major in political science, a concentration in international relations and a minor in civic engagement. She believes in giving back to the communities that raised us and using our voices to create change. Selena volunteers with the city, interns with Norma Torres’s 35th congressional district office, and teaches Sunday school at River Church. By working alongside her community, Selena learns how local government works and how to more effectively impact social issues through civic engagement.
Janet Long, Ed.D.
Janet is the Director of Priscilla’s Helping Hand, Inc., a nonprofit agency that serves the educationally and economically disadvantaged in the Del Rosa area of San Bernardino. She serves as a board member for the Taft Newman Leadership Academy and as an adjunct sociology instructor at San Bernardino Valley College. She has lived in the Jurupa Valley area since 1990 and would like to serve on a board or commission that will give voice to those who feel unrepresented. She hopes to use a position of leadership to serve as an advocate and source of empowerment for her community.
William Long
William is a Prevention Specialist at Option House, Inc., the premier domestic violence prevention agency in San Bernardino. A native of New Jersey, William has been a resident of Southern California for 38 years. He moved to Riverside County in 1990 and was a strong supporter of the City of Jurupa Valley’s first incorporation effort. He has a strong background in social services, working in agencies that dealt with substance abuse treatment and foster family services.
Sheila Muir
Sheila is a Jurupa Valley resident who is involved in a local campaign against overhead transmission lines in her community. Sheila has worked with children and families for over 15 years. She is an activist for the safety and well-being of children and has a passion for helping everyone benefit from their community. As a mother, she feels like it is important for her to teach by example and hopes to grow her leadership skills and community activism through the Boards & Commissions Training.
Dalila Valdez
Dalila has lived most of her life in the Inland Valley. She is a graduate student at UC Riverside’s School of Public Policy and currently serves as the Southern California Fellow for IGNITE National. She has also been involved with the Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center and believes that local policy decisions can improve survivors’ access to services. Dalila joined the Board and Commissions Training to obtain the skills she need to advocate at the local government level for immigrant communities, survivors of sexual assault and women throughout Riverside County.

Previous Boards and Commissions Training Fellows

The following Boards and Commissions Training Fellows graduated from this program in June of 2017 and continue to do excellent work in their communities.

Tiffaney Boyd
Tiffaney Boyd is an alumna of California State University, San Marcos and currently a Southern California Fellow at IGNITE National. She has lived in Riverside County for most of her life and is passionate about getting involved in her community and advocating for positive social change. As a woman of color, she is interested in local government commissions, because she sees a lack of representation for her community. Tiffaney is a part of CCAEJ’s program, because she believes that democracy is more than voting on Election Day. She sees the decisions made on a local level that impact the lives of residents in Hement/San Jacinto and wants a seat at the table to be the voice of her community.
Hakan Jackson

Hakan Jackson is the data scientist on CCAEJ’s team and a homeowner in Jurupa Valley. He sees the effects that good and bad policy decisions have on the communities in the Inland Valley and wants to build power in his neighborhood to keep our elected officials accountable. Hakan is passionate about politics and people—not business as usual. He is excited to be a part of the Boards and Commissions Training Program, where he can use his passion to help make the world a better place.

Emelia Martinez
Emelia Martinez is an undergraduate student at University of California, Riverside with a double major in political science and computer science. She was born and raised in Pomona, CA, where she sees a vibrant city in need of more resources, investment and elected officials who love her city as much as she does. Emelia believes the program will help her better understand how local government works and hopes to learn strategies that would combine resident involvement with local government decision-makers to benefit the community.
Cassie Nguyen
Cassie Nguyen is a Randall Lewis Health Policy Fellow at the University of California, Riverside School of Public Policy. She is a resident of Riverside and believes that the Inland Valley is at the heart of progress with many intellectual leaders pushing for positive change—especially many new graduate students like her who are eager and ready to be a part of the democratic process. She believes that millennials are the future leaders and investment in their knowledge is vital. Cassie is a cancer survivor, lobbyist for the American Cancer Society and is in the Boards and Commissions Training Program to improve health legislation within her own community and throughout California.
Kim Rocha
Kim Rocha, 2017 Boards and Commissions Training Fellow Kim Rocha, a proud resident of Bloomington, knows how to fight for what she believes in. She spent many years as a dedicated union member and now works to keep warehouses from being built in residential areas. What started off as a fight for equitable jobs and clean air for her family has now turned into a fight for her whole community. She regularly opens her house to host community meetings to discuss community plans related to warehouses and other environmental issues. Kim became a Boards & Commissions Training Fellow to network and grow the skills she needs to represent her community.
Thomas Rocha
Thomas Rocha, 2017 Boards and Commissions Training Fellow Thomas Rocha is a lifelong resident of the Inland Valley. As a machinist who has worked in a union shop for 39 years, he believes that union rights are human rights. Bloomington is a small, neglected, and disinvested unincorporated community of San Bernardino County and it has recently been the center of mega-warehouse development. Tommy is fighting against residential-area warehouses, including one proposed only 70 feet from his home. Tommy joined CCAEJ’s Boards & Commissions Training to speak up on behalf of everyone in his community and make lasting changes.
Toya Vick
Toya Vick, a Moreno Valley resident, is a proud single mother to four sons and four grandchildren. She moved her family from South Central LA to the Inland Valley in search of more opportunities and a better community, but found a brand new set of problems from racism to a lack of support for families with lower incomes and disabilities. Toya is a part of the Boards and Commissions Training Program to fight for a better community. She is working to be a voice for the voiceless, arms and legs for the disabled, and a heart for the children.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Duke University and a Master’s in Sociology from San Diego State University.