Will Wiltschko is a graduate of UCLA with a B.A. and an M.A. in Political Science. At UCLA, Will worked as a student organizer for civil rights and studied the theory and philosophy behind nonviolence. He was a legal intern with the ACLU in Southern California, where he planned community outreach strategy within the state of California, fighting school districts in response to D.J. v. State of California on issues of equitable access to English Learner programs. Will was also recently a staffer on Bernie Sanders’ 2016 Presidential campaign, where he was the lead field organizer in Southwest Virginia. He ran operations out of the Southwest Virginia regional field office, where he trained and recruited hundreds of new volunteers.
Will spent the past year supporting the California Trade Justice Coalition’s efforts to defeat the TPP.
Aaron Lehmer-Chang, who comes out of the San Francisco Bay Area’s social and environmental justice movement, is a veteran of fair trade fights. He participated in the “Battle of Seattle” in 1999 where union members, environmentalists, and global justice activists shut down the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting, and organized against the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) agreement with a student, labor, and community alliance. Aaron co-founded a regional eco-justice organization, Rooted in Resilience (formerly Bay Localize), which works to build equitable, resilient communities. He holds a Master’s in Globalization and the Environment from Humboldt State University and a triple BA in Anthropology, Environmental Studies, and Philosophy from Iowa State University. Aaron’s background also includes working for Van Jones’ Ella Baker Center for Human Rights as State Policy Director, for Julia Butterfly Hill’s Circle of Life Foundation, for David Brower’s Earth Island Institute, and with the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC).
Vlad joins the California Trade Justice Coalition from Los Angeles, where he built up his background organizing for immigrant rights as both a student and a professional. He brings his experiences to the table on the intersection between migration and trade justice. Vlad previously served as a program coordinator with the UCLA Labor Center, supporting many of their initiatives dedicated to developing immigrant youth leaders across the country.
Alex Lyons has worked on campaigns for social justice and economic justice for many years, including working to pass Proposition 30 in 2012 to protect the affordability of higher education in California, along with lobbying to dismantle the laws that contributed to the rise of mass incarceration in the state. He graduated magna cum laude from UCLA in 2015 with a B.A in political science. Alex believes passionately that the central challenge of our time is the need to make globalization an agent of empowerment and development instead of the accelerator of inequality and environmental degradation it has come to be.
Jake is a UC Berkeley undergraduate student pursuing a BA in Sociology. Since getting his start running direct actions for queer justice in high school, Jake has worked with 350.org, the California Student Sustainability Coalition, and the Divestment Student Network, organizing students across the country to develop successful campaigns for fossil fuel divestment and environmental justice. He believes person-to-person relationships are the root of our movements’ strength, and that we are living in a critical era in which that strength can be leveraged effectively for trade policies that protect workers and invest in communities facing environmental destruction and health risks.