Meet The Team
Co-Founder & Co-Chair
Michelle Carballo Agustin
Michelle Carballo Agustin was born in Ventura County and raised in South Oxnard, CA with her multi-immigration status family. Her passion for immigrant rights grew throughout high school and college. She received her Chicana/o Studies bachelors degree from California State University, Northridge and is currently in the process of obtaining her Master's degree in Latin American Studies from California State University, Los Angeles. She worked at the Law Office of Vanessa Frank in Ventura, CA for nearly four years as a paralegal. Michelle is now working as a substitute teacher and teaching assistant with the goal of becoming a high school ethnic studies teacher. She is currently a board member with CLUE-VC (Ventura County Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice), fellow of the Social Justice Fund of Ventura County, and a buddy for Af3irm Los Angeles. Her determination to seek justice for victims of notario fraud encouraged her to partner with her mother, Edith, and begin this grass-roots organization to tackle the issue head-on.
Co-Founder & Co-Chair
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Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Vanessa earned her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in Public Policy and returned, after working in immigrant-serving Bay Area public schools through AmeriCorps, for her law degree there. Vanessa focused her legal studies on immigration law and international human rights and development. Following two years as a litigator with a major international law firm in the Bay Area, Vanessa joined California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA), a legendary civil rights firm, in their Agricultural Worker Program’s Oxnard office. In 2009, Vanessa opened her own law firm, dedicated to providing high quality legal services to immigrants and their families and also to engage immigrants and US citizens in the struggle for humane and sensible immigration policies at the local, state and national level. Through her office, Vanessa advises local governmental and non-governmental agencies regarding the needs and resources of im/migrant communities and serves as an adjunct faculty member at California Lutheran University. Vanessa has received multiple awards and recognition for her commitment to community-based lawyer, most recently being honored as Ventura County Woman of the Year in 2020 and the 2021 Ben E. Nordman Public Service award from the Ventura County Bar Association.
Rev. MG “Lupita” Alonso
Rev. MG “Lupita” Alonso is a bi-cultural, 2nd generation, Mexican-American pastor who comes from a humble immigrant family. Her grandfather and great-grandfather came to the United States from “Santa Rosalia” in the early twenties, to work as miners for a Copper Mine Company in San Francisco. After a mine accident, they both became field workers in the agricultural fields of Imperial Valley. Her Mother was born in El Centro, California and was raised by her grandfather after her mother- pastor’s grandmother- died giving birth due to lung disease complications.
Pastor Lupita was born in Mexico but was naturalized US Citizen. Due to an accident at birth, she grew up as a patient at the Shriners Hospital in Los Angeles from 3 months old until she was sixteen years old. She learned Spanish at age 5 and completed her studies on both sides of the border and became fluent in both languages -English & Spanish, at very early age.
She holds an MDiv degree from Claremont School of Theology (2005), studies in Special Education from San Diego State University, and a Master's equivalency in School Planning and Administration from Universidad Autonoma de Baja California. She also holds a Radio-TV producer credential for Public Radio and has gone through ‘clown school’ [she is known as “WHEELS’ within her clown community]; she is a puppeteer and doll maker; a proficient Spanish and ESL teacher and has studies in church planting and church revitalization.
She has served as a rural teacher in Mexico through CONAFE and INEA, as a Special Education teacher (K-12) in Imperial Valley, and has taught at Imperial Valley College, at CETYS- Mexicali, and at the UABC- Mexicali Campus. She has served as part of CHREM (Centro Hispano de Recursos y Educacion Ministerial), Hispanic Course of Studies at CST, and currently is part of the UM Association of Ministers with Disabilities, the UMW School of Missions, the CCORR (Conference Committee on Religion and Race), and the Disability Task Force at Cal-Pac Conference. She currently serves as Secretary of the Santa Paula Ministerial Association, as the Chair of the North District Hispanic Committee and is a member of the American Translators Association. She also collaborates with the Justice For Our Neighbors and other local agencies serving immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees.
She is a wife and a mother, and an Elder in Full connection with CAL-PAC United Methodist Conference. Currently serves at El Buen Pastor UMC as a senior pastor. Pastor Lupita is a spiritual leader, dynamic, passionate about disability and faith issues, immigration, children, full inclusion and grace for all; and above all – truly in love with Christ.