Greater investments in social justice organizing and power building has supported the establishment and strengthening of many collaboratives and coalitions addressing root causes of systemic issues. An overview of the plethora of collaborative work going on in the IE will be shared, along with deeper explorations of several examples of collective impact: the Black Equity Initiative, the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice, the Children’s Cabinet and the Inland Empire Youth Organizing Coalition.
The Evolution of the Inland Empire Social Justice Ecosystemis part of a three-session series happening from April to May. This series includes:
Context Matters: Changing Demographics and the Importance of the Inland Empire in California
Wednesday, April 6, 2022 | 1:30 – 2:30pm Learn More >>>
Caring for our Inland Empire Communities: Health Disparities & Workforce Solutions
Wednesday, May 18, 2022 | 1:30 – 3:00pm Learn More >>>
The Inland Empire: A Region on the Rise
The IE is rich in diversity, culture, history, and economic opportunity, attracting residents from across the country. In 2020, the Inland Empire showed one of the biggest population gains from migration nationwide. People moving to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties increased by 50 percent over the previous year. It is estimated that the Inland Empire is one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, growing by 9% in the last Census and topping off a decade of inland movement.
The impacts of these changes on the Inland Empire, along with the COVID pandemic of the last two years, have reverberated through every system, institution, and community, deepening challenges for the most vulnerable.
Join us for a 3-part series to learn about the Inland Empire and the resiliency of its communities through its creative, resourceful, and collaborative mission-driven nonprofit organizations that work together to transform lives, communities, and the region as a whole.
Executive Director, Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice
Margarita Luna, MSW, MPH, CPC
Senior Program Manager, The California Endowment
Margarita Luna joined The California Endowment in June 2007. As Senior Program Manager for the South Region overseeing TCE’s Schools-related investments, Luna manages a grant portfolio focused on improving community health through quality, inclusive and equitable education via community engagement in policy/advocacy and systems change.
Prior to joining The Endowment, Luna served as a Pedro Zamora Fellow with AIDS United (formerly AIDS Action), Keck-Vivian Weinstein Child Advocacy Fellow and later Senior Social Worker for Public Counsel among many other positions advancing the health and well-being of the most disenfranchised.
Luna earned her B.A., M.P.H. and M.S.W. from UCLA. She is also a Certified Professional Coach and lives in San Dimas with her husband and two sons.
CEO, Inland Empire Community Collaborative (IECC)
Born and raised in the Inland Empire, Susan Gomez spent her life in dedication to others. In September 2013, Susan Gomez became the President/CEO of the Inland Empire Community Collaborative. The Inland Empire Community Collaborative (IECC) is the result of nine years and over 100 nonprofits working together to strengthen nonprofit organizations and improve outcomes for individuals and communities throughout San Bernardino & Riverside County.
Furthermore, her collaborative efforts include being a co-chair of the Inland Empire Capacity Building Network, a Líderes fellow for Hispanics in Philanthropy, a member of the Latino Community Foundation, a board member for the California Association of Nonprofits, and chair of the UCR IE Rise Nonprofit Equity Committee.
She has helped to ensure nonprofit partners serve the people most impacted by oppressive structures and systems to make progress toward positively impacting marginalized communities. This work has borne fruit in the development of the Inland Empire Children’s Cabinet, a coalition of experts that represent a great cross-sector of industries that work to help address and minimize negative impacts on children and youth. She has been instrumental in mobilizing and coalescing organizations to advocate for greater funding for children. As we move forward, the structures she has helped to create positions the IE to advocate for a better future.
Chief Visionary Officer, The Youth Mentoring Action Network
Torie Weiston-Serdan is the Chief Visionary Officer at the Youth Mentoring Action Network an Inland Empire non-profit organization building youth power globally through education, mentoring, and wellness. A leader in the youth mentoring field, she wrote Critical Mentoring: A Practical Guide, which has become the handbook for culturally sustaining youth work. Torie is also the director of the Community Engaged Education and Social Change in the School of Education Studies at Claremont Graduate University. Through her community-based work, she mentors and resources young people with the desire to ensure they have what they need to build the future. Torie commits time to board service and serves on the boards of MENTOR CA, Tru Evolution, Give Build Share, Big Brothers Big Sisters LGBTQ National Advisory Council, the Research Board of the National Mentoring Resource Center, and the California Endowment.