LEA Advisory Board & Staff
Jaime Gallardo, Co-Chairperson
Daisy Chavez, Co-Chairperson
Ari Gutierrez Arambula, Secretary and Treasurer
Marco A. Gonzalez
Eddie Martinez, Executive Director
Eddie Martinez (PGP: He/Him/His) is the executive director of Latino Equality Alliance. Eddie is a co-founder of LEA and had served on the board for six years before stepping down to serve as executive director. He has more than 20 years of non-profit management and civic engagement experience including 18 years tenure with The Wall Las Memorias Project, an HIV/AIDS organization in Los Angeles. He studied business marketing at Long Beach State University.
Yesenia Mendoza, Development Coordinator
Yesenia Mendoza (PGP: 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 and 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.
Zacariah Flores, Community Organizer
Zacariah Flores (PGP: He/Him/His) was raised in the Boyle Heights area. After attending UC Davis, earning a degree in Community and Regional Development, he’s worked as a primary school educator and intervention teacher. He is currently working on his teaching credential at Cal State LA, believing that community organizing and teaching does and should go hand in hand. At LEA, he is excited to mobilize young LGBTQ leaders, honor their experiences, and guide them in their own empowerment and political activism.
Norma Sanchez, Community Organizer
Norma Sanchez (PGP: She/Her/They) was born and raised in Boyle Heights. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts & Master’s of Arts in Communication Studies with emphasis on Interpersonal Communication from California State University of Los Angeles. In the past Norma has served as an Intern, Social Media Ambassador, and LGBTQA+ Youth Council Advocate for Latino Equality Alliance. Her role as a Community Organizer oversees the management of programs which includes Youth and Parents. She firmly believes in helping educate, support, maintain, and create necessary tools for the LGBTQA+ community.
Jesus Suatan, Administrative Assistant
Jesus Suatan (PGP: 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 the next steps toward obtaining their Bachelors Degree in such field. Upon completion, they hope to pursuit 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.
Sophia Raygoza, Americorp Intern
Sophia Raygoza is in her final year at Cal State LA as a Public Health major. After graduating in Spring 2021, she hopes to work for a non-profit organization in the Los Angeles area helping underserved communities with health education. In her free time, she enjoys walking her dogs, baking, and roller skating.