Staff

Natividad Chavira

General Counsel

Natividad Chavira is General Counsel of Justice In Education and Chairman of its Board of Directors. He is retired from his position as General Counsel of the Diversified Business Group of Unocal, a Fortune 100 Oil Company, where he was employed as a lawyer for almost 25 years, becoming General Counsel of DBG in 1994.

Natividad was born in Flagstaff, Arizona and raised in East Los Angeles. He has undergraduate degrees in Scholastic Philosophy and English Literature, a Master’s Degree in Theology, a California Lifetime Teaching Credential in History, English and Theology and his Law Degree from Loyola School of Law in Los Angeles. Before becoming a lawyer, he taught high school and English as a Second Language in inner city schools of East Los Angeles, thereafter accumulating over 30 years of distinguished government and corporate law practice.

In 2004 Mr. Chavira was selected for the Pro Bono Counsel of the Year Award by both the California State Bar and Corporate Counsel America.
Mr. Chavira has served on various Boards, Foundations and Commissions during the past 30 years including the following; Industrial Areas Foundation, Justice and Peace Commission of the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archdiocese, St John’s Seminary College Board of Trustees, Salesian High School Advisory Board, Center City West Association, City of Los Angeles Centers Planning Committee and Central City Association of Los Angeles.

Natividad is married to Darlene Chavira. They have two married sons and reside in North Orange County.

All children are entitled to a free and appropriate public education.
— 20 USC Section 1400 (c) (5)
 

Michael Clements

Director of Training and Advocacy

Michael Clements, Justice In Education Director of Training and Advocacy, was born and raised in North Orange County. He did both his undergraduate and graduate study at St. John’s Seminary and Theology.
Mike co-founded The Gary Center in La Habra and served as its first executive director. This award-winning service center is now in its fourth decade. Clements was appointed to the Orange County Human Relations Commission and was named a Headliner of the Year for community service by the Los Angeles Times in 1973.

Mike extended his public service in the following 30 years as a community organizer, trainer and advocate focusing on innovative school reform for underserved children and improving public health access, mainly with the pre-eminent Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF).

In 2014 Mike was honored as a Distinguished Alumni of St. John's Seminary, as well as a "Civil to Silver Rights" honoree by the Orange County Interfaith Alliance and the Church of the Redeemer CDC.

Mike and his wife Enedina have three adult children and four grandchildren, several of whom are special needs children.

 
 

COMMUNITY COUNCIL

Advisors

Michelle Walsh Ph.D, Retired School Psychologist
Rebecca Jurado, Elementary School Teacher
Richard Pallet - Retired Engineer
Steve Valdez Ph.D - Professor

 

Volunteer Parents

Esther Alba
Esther Morales
Evangelina Aguas
Guadalupe Torres
Laura Brennan
Mariah Ha
Tom Hua

 

Board of Directors

George Crook, Esq.

Mr. Crook is the Chair of the Board of Directors for Justice In Education. He is an accomplished attorney and mentors the Justice In Education membership. He has practiced Special Education Law since 1999. In his 35 years of practice, he has been a Partner in two successful law firms, a twelve year member of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, a strong supporter of education in the low-income, Hispanic communities of Los Angeles and Orange County and is regarded as one of the best Special Education attorneys in the country. Finally, Mr. Crook was a teacher and college admissions counselor at Salesian High School in Boyle Heights for seven years and a member of the El Rancho Unified School District Board of Trustees for ten years.

 
 

Frank Torres, Ph.D

Dr. Torres is a Professor of Education at the California Polytechnic University at Pomona. Dr. Torres was raised in East Los Angeles and leads the McNair Scholars Program at Cal Poly students who desire to continue their education beyond the undergraduate level to Masters and Doctorate Graduate Programs. He has a distinguished history of educational involvement with low-income, minority communities in Los Angeles and Orange County. Particularly participating in and or leading many Industrial Areas Foundation efforts throughout Southern California.

 
 

Esther Morales

Ms. Morales has two children with disabilities in Orange County schools. She has served as a parent volunteer since 2008 and currently serves at the Director of Volunteer Services and Chair of the Community Council Committee. Ms. Morales now advocates for her own children and supports parent clients of Justice In education as the monthly Support Group lead

 
 

Jim Yacenda

Mr. Yacenda is the Vice President and Community Investment Officer for the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco operating from his offices in Santa Ana, California. Mr. Yacenda succeeded Michael Clements as the Executive Director of The Gary Center in La Habra, California - a community non-profit agency that serves more than five thousand individual annually through core counseling, dental and auxiliary programs as as food distribution and education. He also has distinguished history of participating in and leading efforts to support low-income, ethnically diverse communities.