Bilingual Parent Organizer
Miguel “Mike” Figueras is originally from Santiago, Cuba and immigrated to the US in 1970. He has lived in Chicago and Miami, where he spent over 11 years working with at risk students and families as an academic advisor for Miami Dade County Public School’s Outreach Program. As an immigrant, he has lived experience with the challenges in schools as well as injustices. Since 2006, Mike has worked with organizing community leaders at El Pueblo as well as families with the NC State Juntos program. His joy is being a partaker of community empowerment as well as being a witness of social positive change. He believes that the only real power is people power and that people of color unified have enough strength to change the worlds system of oppression.
Jackie Perez-Albanil is originally from Raleigh, NC but has lived the majority of her life in Chatham County. She also has cultural roots from Oaxaca and Veracruz, Mexico. Jackie’s background in social work has motivated her to support her community and advocate for social justice issues. She is excited about the work with EJA because she passionately supports community progress and is eager to make positive changes in NC. Jackie is looking forward to the conversations she will have with families, students, and organizations about the changes that are needed now and how we can work together for a better future.
In her free time she likes sewing as well as winter sports like skiing!
Director of Organizing
Fernando Martinez is a community organizer originally from El Salvador with three decades of experience in power building and policy change. He will join the EJA Organizing team as the Director of Organizing, a role he previously held. Fernando will work with families who are directly impacted in the education system specifically in the areas of special education, ESL and school discipline issues. He will be leading the organizing team who works with those directly impacted in building parent and student power to change school policies on school funding, special education, ESL, and school discipline issues, among many issues. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor activities such as playing soccer, hiking, riding a bicycle and fishing.