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Co-Chair/Founder

ERICA MENDOZA

Erica Mendoza is a dreamer from Michoacan, Mexico. She immigrated to San Jose, CA when she was six months old. Erica attended San Jose City College and transferred to San Francisco State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Cinema and TV Film Production. Growing up watching telenovelas and Disney princess stories, Erica saw the roles that women portrayed, and it inspired her to want to change the narrative of women in the media. Her goals are to showcase strong women role models that young girls can look up to and strive to become. Similarly, Erica wants to break the Glass Ceiling portrayal of minorities in film by illustrating them as accomplished, thus shedding light of their true representation in America. Erica’s professional career has made her an accomplished Producer, Directress and Actress. She has started, produced, and organized a variety of films such as master workshops, short films, such as Deferred Boy, commercials for Nissan, and produced big budget movies. Through her activism, Erica is the president of the Los Angeles LULAC Chapter, and is organizing a national campaign for Todos O Nada por DACA, where she serves as the Multimedia Media Director and Spokesperson. Erica is contributing her expertise as the Founder and Chair of Igniting Justice.

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Co-Chair/Founder

CATHIA SANCHEZ

Cathia Sanchez was born in Mazatlan Sinaloa and raised in California. She immigrated with her parents to the United States when Cathia was 4 years old. Cathia grew up living in fear that she and her family would be deported. Moreover, she worried that because of her status her efforts to be a productive member of society would go unnoticed. Cathia learned at an early age the importance of facing her fears, education and hard work from her father who studied in college in Mexico and her mother who was forced to abandon her studies to financially support her family. 
Cathia attended Vintage High school in Napa and graduated with honors. She then attended Napa Valley College and received an AA in Human Behavioral Sciences. Later, Cathia received her bachelor’s in psychology from Sacramento State University in 2011. In 2014, Cathia began participating in beauty pageants and started her career in modeling. Simultaneously, Cathia also worked in her field of education as a mental health counselor for adults struggling with mental health disorders and addictions. Currently, Cathia is signed with Halverson Model Management and works as a Mental Health Specialist for the Sheriff's Department, dedicating her time helping the incarcerated population integrate back to society. Recently, Cathia started a youtube channel called Candid with Cat where she shares life experiences including revealing that she is a DACA recipient. The positive outpouring responses that Cathia received in her video and the recent broadcasted injustices lead her to becoming a Co-Founder and Chair of Igniting Justice. Cathia prides herself on her worth ethic, persistence, and leadership skills. She hopes to use her growing platform and public speaking skills to bring awareness to the injustice’s minorities face today.

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Vice Chair/Founder

JOSE BARRERA

Jose “JB” Barrera is a dreamer from Michoacán Mexico. He is best known for his work with LULAC where he serves on the California LULAC Executive board as the youngest ever Deputy State Director. Being the only Dreamer and DACA Recipient on the board, JB chairs the LULAC Immigration Committee as well as the CA LULAC Corporate Advisory Board, Legislative committee and Co-Chairs the Civil Rights Committee. He has lobbied at all levels of government for the undocumented community with his main goal being to help pass a clean Dream Act. Jose is a 2018 graduate from the University of California Davis where he earned his degree in Political Science and Spanish. While living in Davis, Jose worked for a top Public Affairs firm which helped him further his interest in Public Relations. Jose has worked and consulted for a variety of groups including the Port of Hueneme, and Energy, and Water groups who promote sustainability; simultaneously, Jose has consulted for different political campaigns where he’s helped elect progressive candidates who advocate for the LatinX community. During his free time, you will find JB at the beach running, swimming, biking or rollerblading.

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Secretary/Founder

DANIEL GAITAN

Daniel Enrique Gaitan is a California litigation attorney at a prestigious law firm in Silicon Valley and counsels clients on employment discrimination cases and specializes on intellectual property matters, including trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, antitrust, and unfair competition law. Notably, Daniel was selected by the renowned author J. Thomas McCarthy to update the latest edition of McCarthy on Trademarks and Unfair Competition treatise, which has been cited in over 5,000 judicial opinions, including thirteen US Supreme Court rulings. In law school Daniel was apart of the team that won the International Trademark Association's (INTA) 2017 Saul Lefkowitz National Moot Court Competition, taking first place in the Best Oralist and Best Team Overall category.However, as a son of immigrant parents, Daniel's other passion lies with immigration law. Previously, Daniel has worked for organizations that helped individuals apply for DACA. In the future, Daniel hopes to utilize his legal background to affect positive legislation for the immigrant community and to help immigrants navigate the complex legal system.