I am humbled to be named Executive Director of CBE and am honored by the confidence that the board and staff have shown in me during this transition. As a long-time community member and activist, I have closely followed and long admired CBE’s rich history of fighting to improve the realities of folks in low-income communities and communities of color. It is with great enthusiasm that I am joining the CBE family to continue this work.
In this new role, I hope to build upon the my experience in movement-building for environmental justice and social change. Over the last 20 years of community organizing, I have had the pleasure of struggling and working with activists and organizers throughout the country in service of racial, educational, environmental and economic justice. I have also worked to expand immigrant and worker rights in our communities.
While serving as Director of The Coalition for Educational Justice (CEJ), I worked with our staff, members and allies to improve the educational experience and environment of young people of color in Los Angeles and throughout California. Later, as the Director of Organizing at the Sierra Club, I led organizing efforts throughout the country to challenge the extraction, export and burning of fossil fuels, protect and create access to public lands, protect endangered species, and promote clean and renewable energy development. During my time at Sierra Club, I worked with our members, staff, and allies to demand that people in low-income communities and communities of color have access to clean and renewable energy industry jobs and careers.
While I have embraced the challenges of fundraising, planning, and leading staff, the most exciting part of my work has always been leadership development. Helping young people of color become organizers and grow to be leaders in their own communities for justice inspires me and guides the work that I do-work that I looking forward to continuing at CBE. I also look forward to collaborating with CBE’s board, staff, members and network of partners on advancing our mission and moving closer to our vision.
Byron Ramos Gudiel