Patricia Jovel (PJ) Flores is Orange County Environmental Justice's new Project Director, and is excited to lead the organization in confronting the many environmental issues disproportionately affecting Orange County's marginalized communities. PJ was raised and currently lives in Santa Ana, California. She began organizing as a student at UC Berkeley, where she worked to bring student power to bear in support of campus labor organizing and the local prison abolition movement. After graduating, PJ returned to Santa Ana, where she organized with Colectivo Tonantzin, a local grassroots organizing collective, to fight wage theft and defend the rights of day laborers and domestic workers in Orange County. Currently, she helps coordinate the Tierras Comunitarias Coalition to ensure public lands in Santa Ana and Garden Grove are put towards community needs such as public parks and open space, in addition to organizing alongside Acjachemen and Tongva activists to Protect Puvungna and other sacred sites in Orange County. In her free time, PJ is a storyteller and musician, and is currently working on a novel centering trans femmes and two-spirit people in the fight for liberation and Indigenous sovereignty. In all her work, PJ is dedicated to building bridges between local Indigenous communities and communities of color in defense of the water, land, and air that we all call home.
Keila Villegas (she/her pronouns) is OCEJ's Community Organizer since July 2020. 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. After learning and being constantly exposed to the reality of climate injustice and people of color always cornered to receive the lower end of the stick, she wanted to turn those emotions into action. Her passion is rooted in prioritizing the well being of our neighbors through community stewardship & leadership. Overall, Keila is passionate about establishing progressive environmental justice while acknowledging its intersectionality with the world around us by creating spaces and opportunities for community leaders to thrive.