Eddie Martinez, Executive Director
Phone: (213) 446-7125
Eddie Martinez (He/Him/His) is the executive director of Latino Equality Alliance. Eddie is a co-founder of LEA and served on our board for six years before stepping down to serve as our executive director. He has more than 20 years of non-profit management and civic engagement experience including 18 years of tenure with The Wall Las Memorias Project, an HIV/AIDS organization in Los Angeles. He studied business marketing at Long Beach State University.
Vicky Gutierrez, Programs Manager
Vicky Gutierrez (She/They/He) was raised in Santa Maria, CA by a Mexican immigrant family. They have been involved with non-profit community work for over three years and have lead highly successful Drag Bootcamp initiatives. As an artist, Vicky has been involved with DTLA drag culture since 2015 when they got their start in Highland Park's emerging queer nightlife. Vicky’s zodiac sign is Taurus and they share a birthday with singer/songwriter Lizzo. At LEA, Vicky hopes to make activism accessible through music and art.
Yesenia Mendoza, Development Manager
Yesenia Mendoza (She/Her/Ella) was born and raised in Southeast Los Angeles. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts & Master’s of Arts in Communication Studies with emphasis on Health Communication from California State University of Los Angeles. Yesenia’s health communication research on cost of care conversations were presented in the International Communication Conference of Health (ICCH) and the 2019 CSU Student Research Competition where she placed second amongst 250 students. Additionally, her research contributions to caregiver communication about cancer have been published in the Journal of Psycho-Oncology. In her free time, Yesenia enjoys writing and painting. She hopes to continue to write grants for LEA that will raise the resources needed to uplift LGBTQ youth in their own journey towards self-discovery and passion.
Jasine Cumplido, Lead Programs Coordinator
Jasine Cumplido (She/They) is a queer youth leader that was born and raised in Boyle Heights. They are a former LEA Youth Council member and were recognized by the city of Los Angeles in 2016 for their activism work with LEA. In 2019, Jasine completed a year-long Social Justice internship with another local nonprofit organization known as Legacy LA. They earned their Associates Degree in Sociology from East Los Angeles College in 2020. Jasine has been part of the LEA staff since 2021, after transitioning out of her previous role as Youth Advocate at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. In 2022, she was promoted from Community Organizer to Programs Coordinator. Jasine is currently pursuing their Bachelor’s in Sociology at Long Beach State University. She is the lead coordinator for the LEA Boyle Heights Youth Club, the Rainbow Education Coalition- Los Angeles (RECLA), Orgullo Camp, and the LEA Youth Scholarship.
Jesus Suatan, Programs Coordinator
Jesus Suatan (He/She/They) was born and raised in the community of El Sereno, in the Northeast Side of Los Angeles. They are currently attending East Los Angeles College, where they study communications, and working on obtaining their Bachelors Degree in such field. Upon completion, they hope to pursue a career as a meteorologist. In the past, Jesus has served LEA as a LGBTQ youth intern, Census Outreach Organizer and has slowly worked their way up towards their current held position. Their number one mission in life is to help people by bridging the gaps that stop them from getting to the other side: success.
Jesica Santiago, Community Organizer
Jesica L. Santiago, from Oaxaca, Mexico (She/Her) is one of LEA’s Community Organizer and is the lead coordinator of the Communications Team. As a first-generation college graduate, her icons are her parents whom she admires and is grateful for their hard work. Jesica’s career path will always be about advocating for a better world and community. She believes unity and teamwork can help break boundaries for people like her.
Angel Elizalde, Programs Coordinator
Angel Elizalde (He/Him/His) is a passionate advocate for the LGBTQ+ and undocumented immigrant community. As a leader and member of an Aztec Dance group he shares his culture to members of the community in South Los Angeles. He enjoys singing traditional Mariachi music in hopes to join a Mariachi group. As he continues to advocate for the community, he plans to go back to college to continue his studies.
Sanya "Bibi" Lojero, Resource Navigator
Sanya "Bibi" Lojero (she/her) is the Resource Navigator of Latino Equality Alliance as of June 2022. She has been involved in community work for several years in vary capacities since she was a high school student in need of LGBTQIA+ resources. Over the years, she has also been involved with performing and producing queer and trans focused events in the Queer Nightlife scene throughout Southern California. Currently, as a Resource Navigator, she aims to connect LGBTQIA+ folks with necessary resources to improve our overall community health and wellness that allows us to better take care of one another.
Javier Garay, Community Organizer
Javier Garay (they/them) is a dedicated Bell Gardens native whose activism began in their youth, fueled by a passion for improving the SELA community. This drive was ignited within the environmental justice movement at East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, where Javier's work identified their focus on quality of life, and community building. They received their B.A. of Environmental Science from the University of California, Irvine and has continued to work around SELA since them. They began attending LEA membership spaces in 2021 in Bell Gardens and immediately felt connected to LEA's goals. Through LEA, Javier hopes to build the connections necessary to build safe communities for LGBTQ+ people in the SELA region.
Eduardo Salas, Development Coordinator
Eduardo Salas (He/They) was born and raised in the Oakland Area of California. He graduated from UCLA with a concentration in Chicana/o Studies and an Associates in Human Development. His non-profit work is rooted in coalition building within Latine and LGBTQIA+ communities across Mexico and Nicaragua–having lived in both his teenage years. Over the years, he’s also been heavily involved in creating queer-latine narratives in the Film Industry and showcasing work at Outfest, LA LGBT Festival, and more. He hopes to relentlessly uplift and champion his communities wholeheartedly at LEA in the pursuit of coordinating safer spaces.
Victoria Blackburn, Resource Navigator
Victoria Blackburn (she/her) is the Resource Navigator of Latino Equality Alliance as of November 2023. Using her lived experiences as a transgender woman of color, an entertainer in the LA nightlife, and as an LA transplant who experienced homelessness and housing instability on her journey to accessible transgender healthcare, she continues to pave a way for herself and her future. Her goal now as a Resource Navigator, is to use her lived experiences through the hoops and hurdles, to provide an easier time for LGBT+ folks who find themselves in similar situations..
Milagros Montalvo, Development/Marketing Assistant
Milagros Montalvo (She/They) is a Queer Nuyorican raised by a community of strong and resilient afro-boricua womxn in Brooklyn. She graduated from University of Southern California with a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) from the Peter Stark Producing Program and graduated from Pomona College with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Media Studies. Prior to transitioning to the non-profit space and working with LEA, Milagros worked for over 5 years in the Film/TV industry advocating for more inclusive storytelling. She cares deeply about harnessing the power of storytelling and uplifting the voices of underserved communities. Milagros hopes to use her skills and background in film/tv, marketing, storytelling and her personal experiences to support LEA’s mission to advocate for and protect the Latine LGBTQ+ community in Southern California.
Chris Olivares, Webmaster/Consultant
Christopher Olivares (He/Him) is a graduate from East Los Angeles College where he received an Associates Arts degree in Sociology and Law, Public Safety and Society. He is currently attending CSU Dominguez Hills where he wants to obtain his Bachelor's Degree in Sociology and Minor in Public Administration with the focus in social work and non-profit work. Chris was born and raised in SELA in the incorporated ares of Walnut Park and the City of Huntington Park. His work with LEA revolves around building and assisting with LEA website with the Development team. Chris usually spends his time outside of LEA as a Photographer and Videographer, his main focus is mostly dedicated towards the LGBTQ+ community. His life goal is to create a Non-Profit Organization to help develop college students for career clothing closet programs in SELA for homeless and low-income students.