Jorge F. Rodriguez is an Assistant Professor in the Integrated Educational Studies program within the Donna Ford Attallah College of Educational Studies at Chapman University. His interests include a critical examination on how culture, privilege and power intersect within school systems and their larger community environments. His work explores the Politics of Knowledge, Funds of Knowledge, Critical Media Literacy, Ethnic Studies, and the praxis of centering counter narratives within his scholarship. Jorge is passionate about creating spaces for youth and students around social justice, self-determination, and cultural resistance. His teaching and research experience demonstrate his ability to both create and operationalize culturally relevant curriculum and reflective learning environments.
Yenni Diaz, born in the state of Mexico and raised as a Santanera, has over 15 years of organizing experience in Orange County, which ranges from grassroots organizing with groups such as Orange County DREAM Team advocation for the higher acess for undocumented youth and OC May Day Coalition to organize Santa Ana’s annual May Day March. She was the Executive Producer of “Stop Stealing Our Cars,” a documentary following the policy change of the car impoundment policy in Santa Ana, and she has formerly worked with non profits like OCCORD, SABHC and OCEJ bringing community groups, residents, and governmental officials, and other organizations. Currently she is one of the Executive Producers of Itz Happenin Radio Show.
Elena Marquez is a doctoral student in the Donna Ford Attallah College of Educational Studies at Chapman University, researching cultural and curricular studies with an emphasis on critical literacy and its implications on identity development. As a graduate research assistant with SAYMP, Elena offers research guidance for the Youth Participatory Action Research as well as her passion for creating liberatory spaces of reflection and expression.
Karen Garcia was born and raised in Santa Ana and is also a Santa Ana College student. She is active in her community and is a local community organizer. Also an artist and a poet, Karen strives to become an educator in her city.
Marisa Brugger is a current student at Chapman University. She is pursuing a degree in Film Production with a minor in Integrated Educational Studies. Marisa joined the SAYMP team because she wanted a way to combine both her studies; she feels as this is a great opportunity to combine her two greatest passions together. She has previously worked on many narrative films and wants to delve deeper into another mode of storytelling. Marisa is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is excited to learn more about the city and community of Santa Ana throughout this process. As an outsider, she wants to hear about the stories of others and give everyone a voice.
Avery Tang is a Theatre and Education double major at Chapman University. They are involved in numerous art forms such as creative writing, photography, music, and theatre. One of Avery's many life goals is to improve accessibility to arts education across communities, due to the power art and education to open minds and broaden horizons. Art is how they began, and continue, to claim their space in the world. Through SAYMP, Tang is motivated to give youths a creative and influential outlet to express themselves and amplify their voices.