Site Placement: Pillars of the Community
Hello, my name is D’Marcus Andrus, and I am very grateful to be a part of the Student for Economic Justice Fellowship Program!
I am originally a Louisiana native, and I am highly enthusiastic about congregating and fellowshipping with my peers that are also fired up about matters pertaining to social justice, and the advancement of minority groups that have been systematically disenfranchised. As an aspiring filmmaker, there’s nothing that I love more than a good story. In most cases, good stories contain great lessons, and great lessons yield invaluable perspective. I say all that to say, while our respective pursuits of higher education may be the binding glue that joins us all, it is the value of human insight that drives my passion for social justice. It is also why I know that there is a lot of work to be done, and I’m proud to be doing it!
Site Placement: Center on Policy Initiatives
Jesús Martín is a second-generation Mexican American who is proud to represent his Mexican roots and American nationality. He is currently attending the University of California, San Diego where he is double majoring in International Studies – Political Science and Latin American Studies, in which he focuses on border and migration studies as well as public policy. Having experienced racial and socioeconomic boundaries within San Diego County, Jesús Martín is an active member of the community where he lobbies and advocates for everyone’s’ rights and liberties. Through the ACLU and community volunteering Jesús Martín has sought to understand the hardships that San Diegans must endure daily with the purpose of changing the status quo. Attending UCSD has allowed him to understand the political institutions that promise to represent the community, but he knows that the knowledge is of no use if it isn’t directed towards bettering the lives of those who he cares about. Jesús Martín is excited for beginning his experience with Students for Economic Justice and knows that he will apply all his forthcoming experiences into raising awareness and bettering the livelihood of our San Diego communities.
Site Placement: Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE)
Sarah Guzman is a first-generation, queer, Mexican American, student-worker at the University of California, San Diego. They will be graduating in June 2022 with a double major in Political Science and Ethnic Studies and a minor in Education Studies. Growing up in the Imperial Valley with her single mother, grandma, and aunts, Sarah grew up in a powerful matriarchy that has influenced her values and work ethic. The Imperial Valley, a border town, taught Sarah about the institutional injustices that Black and brown folks faced in employment, housing, health care, environment, etc.
Due to their dedication to community building and social justice, Sarah is currently interning at the Cross-Cultural Center at UCSD where they organize webinars that highlight social justice issues for the community. Alongside the CCC internship, Sarah has been involved in United Students Against Sweatshop, where they engage in community building as they organize student solidarity with service workers on campus.
Site Placement: Majdal Center
Rami is a recent graduate from UC San Diego, where he studied Political Science and minored in Ethnic Studies. He was born in San Diego and was raised in Encinitas specifically, where he began to notice the social, economic, and environmental disparities between neighborhoods in San Diego county. He recognized the selective access to clean water, clean air, food, housing, and economic security as exclusive to more white, affluent populations within the County.
Through his internship at the US Immigration Policy Center, he held a research and legal-focus, utilizing policy and election work to support immigrant communities nationwide. Rami is looking to shift his focus from political activity to community building, and is drawn to the impact of individual communities over political actors. As the queer son of a Jordanian immigrant and Palestinian refugee, he utilizes the collective traumas of his people towards envisioning a future of transformative justice for all global populations. As an SEJ Fellow, Rami will gain critical community building skills that will propel him towards a career path emphasizing social and economic justice in San Diego, nationally, and globally.
Site Placement: Mid-City CAN
Cheyenne [they/she] is a soon-to-be graduate from UCLA. Raised in National City, she attended Sweetwater High School where they were an active student leader and established the first committee to host an annual multicultural assembly. Throughout their time at UCLA, Cheyenne was a student-worker in order to help support herself. When her job shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she was able to dedicate more time to political education for her family, friends, and herself, drafting public comments for city council meetings, and compiling resources to share broadly on social media. Now that they are graduating with a degree in Sociology, Cheyenne is ready to take the activism off of social media and begin doing work in the community to build solidarity and fight towards liberation.
Site Placement: California Teachers Association
Hannah (she/her) takes pride in her hometown, San Diego, just as much as she takes pride in her Mexican roots. Her experiences living all over San Diego and Tijuana, and going to schools within these cities, have taught her about the importance of an education that connects with one’s story. As a Chicana, Hannah is determined to help other first-generation Americans and immigrants find a sense of belonging in the classroom. Everyone’s history deserves to be told, and everyone’s needs deserve to be respected, so she aims to make these educational institutions more accessible and intersectional.
Hannah is currently attending SDSU as History Major with an Anthropology and Interdisciplinary Studies Minor—in order to help San Diegans’ futures become brighter, she is committed to learning about our past mistakes and successes. Beyond educational reform, Hannah is also a passionate advocate of food banks, libraries, and free museum programs.
Site Placement: San Diego 350
Savahanna O’Toole is a first-generation college student and social justice activist. She grew up in rural Iowa and moved to San Diego in 2013. In 2016, she suddenly lost the ability to walk. It took two years to receive several medical diagnoses but her journey with disability is what ultimately stimulated her passion for social activism. Upon returning to college, she worked as an intern for the American Federation of Teachers where she participated in a range of social justice activism including racial justice, economic justice, environmental justice, gender equality and healthcare rights. She then was an intern for the San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council where she helped organize with local union leaders and aided the passing of worker-friendly legislation. Savahanna is a sociology major, seeking a BA in social work. She hopes to work as a patient’s advocate, ensuring patients receive the quality of care they deserve.
Site Placement: IATSE Local 122
Ramon Saldivar is a first-generation, Chicano college student, and is the son of immigrants. He will be graduating from San Diego City College, and will be transferring to San Diego State University in the fall of 2021 as a Political Science major. Ramon was born and raised in South West Chula Vista. He has personally seen the inequities and struggles his community faces, and is motivated to bridge the inequities low income, black and brown communities face. Ramon has wanted to get involved locally in his community, and has been involved with ACCE since 2018, a local/statewide community based organization that fights for social, racial, and economic justice.
Since getting more involved in his community Ramon has been involved in different campaigns, lobbied local/statewide representatives, interned for AFT local 1931, interned at the California State Assembly, and continues to volunteer when given the opportunity. Ramon is currently working in the office of Vice Chair Nora Vargas.