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Faith in the Valley leader Carmen Ojeda

Leader Profile: Carmen Ojeda

A few years ago, Faith in the Valley leader Carmen Ojeda was taking an ESL class in her community of Dos Palos in Merced County when some classmates began sharing their concerns around language and involvement barriers in their children’s schools. Carmen knew what it was like to feel that way because, as an an immigrant from Mexico, she, too, had some barriers she had to overcome to get her voice heard. Carmen also knew she could help those parents because of what her experience with Faith in the Valley had taught her: that they could make the changes they…

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Our Work in Merced

Faith in Merced leaders have built a powerful cohort of youth organizers who are advancing issues related to Health for ALL, environmental justice and ending the criminalization of young people of color.

We are currently organizing to block the implementation of a state-funded gang injunction program, which includes a new system to fund a database and other resources to increase arrests of young people. Our leaders are working with the public defender and other partners to ensure that resources are instead focused primarily on rehabilitation and re-entry, through research meetings, press conferences and other action.

Since 2016, youth leaders have also organized outreach events and played major leadership roles in community action forums and meetings with policymakers and other officials to advance Health for ALL. The leaders have also led DAPA/DACA outreach forums.

Our key issues include:

  • Immigration and Health 4 ALL
  • Education (LCAP)
  • Prop. 47 and second-chance opportunities for the formerly incarcerated
  • Green jobs
  • Youth empowerment
  • Empowering the South East Asian community
Faith in Merced organizers and leaders
Faith in Merced organizers and leaders
Faith in Merced staff
A Health 4 ALL action
Faith in Merced organizers and leadersFaith in Merced staffA Health 4 ALL action

Faith in the Valley is my sacred place. It's were I have family that sees me for who i am, and it's where I fight for my undocumented community.

Arlette Flores
Merced United Methodist Church Leader

Our Key Accomplishments

Ethnic studies implementation, foster youth resources and English Language Learner summer academy

When Gov. Jerry Brown named Merced County as one of five counties in California to implement the Health 4 ALL Kids initiative, we were called upon to lead the effort. We also were instrumental in getting the Merced County Board of Supervisors to explore solutions for undocumented adults in the county

Our leaders have set up resistance forums and rapid response teams (safe havens) to keep families safe

As a result of our LA RED work, Livingston is set to become Merced County’s first sanctuary city

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