Kareem Gongora is a graduate of Fontana Unified, first generation college student, and parent to two Fontana Unified students. He attended Sequoia Middle School’s Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program and A.B. Miller High School in 2001. Upon graduation in 2005, Gongora would go on to attend Concordia University Irvine and enter the Intercultural Scholar Leadership program, designed to cultivate diverse leaders.
Penny NewmanBoard Member Emeritus
Penny was added to the Board as Board Member Emeritus. She provides the institutional memory for the Board and grounds the organization in its purpose and mission.
Penny Newman is the Founder and Executive Director of CCAEJ. Penny has been active in environmental justice issues for more than 39 years and lives in the small community of Glen Avon, in the newly incorporated City of Jurupa Valley, California with her retired firefighter husband of 51 years, Jan, and their two Yorkies – Jiminy and Cricket. Trained as a Speech and Language Pathologist with an emphasis in neuropathology, Penny began her organizing career through the battle to stop exposures from the Stringfellow Acid Pits, California’s worst toxic waste site. Penny has written extensively on environmental justice issues and is featured in several books on environmental justice. She is a highly sought after speaker, trainer and advisor locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, conducting workshops around the nation and in China, Russia, India, and Cuba. Penny has appeared on television on shows like Oprah Winfrey Show, and The Today Show, and was featured in the HBO America Undercover documentary movie, “Toxic Timebomb”.
Chikako TakeshitaBoard Member
Chikako Takeshita is an associate professor UC Riverside. She joined the Women’s Studies Department in 2004. Her first book The Global Biopolitics of the IUD: How Science Constructs Contraceptive Users and Women’s Bodies (MIT Press, 2012) traces the development of the intrauterine device from the 1960s to the present. Her work demonstrates that various social interests, including the desire to restrict global population growth, the threat of medical malpractice litigations, anti-abortion politics, and women’s aspiration for better reproductive control have all played a significant role in directing scientific research on the device. Her current research project Surgical Birth examines cesarean section as a controversial technology that has been the focus of debate in obstetrics, public health, and women’s health advocacy as well as among mothers who are subjected to the procedure. She is also investigating the discourses of sustainable futures that are formulated in the scientific community and the general public. (Bio courtesy of UC Riverside)
Bronwyn LeebawPresident Elect
Bronwyn Leebaw is Associate Professor of Political Science at UC Riverside, where she teaches courses in human rights, transitional justice, political theory, international politics and ethics, and environmental justice. Leebaw received a PhD in Political Science from UC Berkeley. She is on the steering committees of the Peace and Conflict Studies Minor and the Global Studies Major at UC Riverside.
Elizabeth LopezFinancial Officer
Liz is a small business owner and a community representative on the Board. Liz and her family live in one of our focus communities. Her community fought a drag racing track next to her home that had measured noise levels above 130 decibels. She and her husband sued the County and San Bernardino and won forcing the facility to install mitigation measures reducing the noise significantly. Liz chairs the Finance Committee and oversees our annual audit.
Nanette Pratini, MS EcologyBoard President
Nanette is one of our newer Board member but is a longtime member of CCAEJ. She is a GIS Specialist with Albert A. Webb Associates in Riverside. She is a longtime activist in the City of Riverside and brings a much-needed guidance to our technology development