About Us



We bring the fight for environmental justice to Orange County through advocacy, public accountability, healing, and systemic transformation.


Healthy shared environments that are home to resilient and thriving communities.

Orange County Environmental Justice

Staff and Board


Project Director

Enrique Valencia leads the development of Orange County Environmental Justice and the affiliated Orange County Environmental Justice Education Fund.  In his role, he collaborates with organizational stakeholders including the Advisory Board, partner organizations, and community residents.  Enrique began his work for social justice as a high school student when he organized around education issues with Californians for Justice.  His youth organizing experience was key in helping him understand that people organized in large numbers have the power to challenge injustice and pass favorable policies.  He went on to obtain a B.A. in political science from UC Berkeley and has since worked on voter engagement and organizing around labor, immigrant, and education issues.  Enrique understands the historical and present inequities that result in low-income communities of color bearing the disproportionate share of environmental devastation and he believes we must support the empowerment and organizing of these communities to lead the fights for environmental justice.

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Community Organizer

Keila Villegas (she/her pronouns) is OCEJ's community organizer. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a BA in Environmental Studies and an emphasis on political science in 2019. She grew up and currently lives in Santa Ana, CA. Keila is passionate about establishing progressive environmental justice while acknowledging its intersectionality with the world around us


Advisory Board Member

Julie currently serves as the Development Manager at Environmental Charter Schools in South Los Angeles.  In her role, she works to develop and build partnerships while overseeing fundraising, marketing, grants and communication activities.  Julie has fifteen years of experience in nonprofit development and fundraising, youth development, and community arts, particularly in Orange County.  She currently serves on the board of the Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association (VAALA), the Steering Committee of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative and organizes with VietUnity-SoCal.  Julie is committed to developing powerful youth, promoting artistic expression as a way to nurture community, and building strategies for change within communities of color.  She has taught at the National Academy of Social Sciences in Vietnam.  Julie holds a B.A. in Sociology and Asian American Studies and a minor in Education from UCLA.  


Advisory Board Member

Ray Hiemstra has spent the last sixteen years at Orange County Coastkeeper working to preserve, protect, and restore coastal and inland water quality and habitat.  As Associate Director of Programs, his work includes water quality advocacy and policy development, Marine Protected Areas, species and habitat restoration, and water and sediment monitoring.  Ray is a member of numerous committees and workgroups including the Port of LA/Long Beach Harbor Safety Committee and Newport Bay Management Committee.  He is a lifelong resident of Orange County and spends his spare time working with the Sierra Club and community groups or outdoors with his family and friends.  

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Advisory Board Member

Connie McGuire, PhD, is Director of Community Relationships with the Community-based Research Initiative of the Newkirk Center for Science & Society at the University of California, Irvine.  She works on Research Justice oriented projects in a variety of settings including in the struggle for Environmental Justice. She is a cultural anthropologist and a Latin Americanist by training and teaches community based participatory research methods course in UCI's undergraduate Community Engagement Minor. Connie has trained in and works as a coach and guide in several mindfulness-based practices including yoga, meditation and Hakomi, a mindfulness-based, somatic method for assisted self-study.

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Advisory Board Member

Oscar Teran, Esq. is Director of Career Development at Western State College of Law in Irvine and prior to that was a legal aid attorney with a focus on representing migrant farmworkers in rural communities. As a lawyer and an educator, Oscar is interested in using law as a vehicle for social justice and in empowering students--particularly those with identities that are underrepresented in the legal profession--to discover authentic and fulfilling ways to practice law. Oscar has also taught courses in diversity, equity, and organizational leadership in the Masters of Leadership Development Program at Chapman University. In his free time, Oscar enjoys spending time with his partner, watching artfully made movies, and taking long drives on twisty roads.

Orange County Environmental Justice

Contact Us! ¡Contáctenos!

(657) 210-1321

Mailing Address: 

Orange County Environmental Justice

PO Box 3584

Tustin, CA 92781

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© 2018 by Orange County Environmental Justice

Orange County Environmental Justice is a project of Tides Advocacy