Board of Directors
Yá’át’ééh shí éí Cynthia Begay yinishyé. Kiis’áanii nishłį́. Naakaii Dine’é bashishchiin. Tódích’íi’nii dashicheii. Naakaii Dine’é dashinalí. Ákót’éego diné asdzáán nishłį́.
Cynthia Begay, MPH (she/hers) is Hopi, Sunforehead Clan, born for the Navajo and Mexican people. She is a doctoral student at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and a Senior Epidemiologist for a Native-woman owned consulting company. She is a longtime advocate for Native communities to advance health equity and reduce health disparities. Guided by community-based participatory research methods, Cynthia has worked with Tribal communities in California, specifically in cancer control, mental health, and substance use, for over ten years. She is a co-founder of the non-profit Native American Pathways, located on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. In addition to her work in public health, Cynthia enjoys creating contemporary and familial Hopi overlay jewelry, weaving, and visiting her family in Sipaulovi, Second Mesa, AZ.
Kimberly Robertson is an artist, anti-violence advocate, scholar, teacher, mother, and citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation who works diligently to employ Native feminist theories, practices, and methodologies in her hustle to fulfill the dreams of her ancestors and to build a world in which her daughters can thrive. Robertson is an Indigenous anti-violence advocate who has received trainings and certifications from Sacred Circle, the former National Resource Center to End Violence Against Native Women as well as the current National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center. Robertson is also an active member of the Los Angeles Indian community and in this capacity has served as the chairperson for the Parent & Community Committee of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Indian Education Program; as a councilmember of the American Indian Community Council; as the project coordinator for Insight – an Indigenous Youth and Violence Prevention Project; and as the community outreach coordinator for American Indian Families Partnership. Robertson is currently the co-creative director for Meztli Projects’ Ready to Rise Initiative.
Robertson earned an MA in American Indian Studies and a PhD in Women’s Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2012. She is currently an Associate Professor of American Indian Studies at California State University, Long Beach. Her scholarship centers Indigenous feminisms and focuses on Indigenous resistance to violence against Native women. Her creative practices currently include screen printing, collage, beadwork, installation art, and zine-making and centers the ideas and practices of ceremony, storytelling, intersecting subjectivities, dislocation, decolonization, and Indigenous futurities.
Elizabeth Garcia is a Chicana born and raised on Tongva and Tataviam lands, Los Angeles, CA. Raised by immigrant parents, she has had the privilege and opportunity to work in various capacities within and outside of the nonprofit sector. Her experience as a receptionist, secretary, and bookkeeper for small businesses allowed her to prosper in an administrative and operational role at The California Native Vote Project (CNVP). Through her career journey, she has been able to earn a B.A in Sociology with an emphasis in Social Welfare and Social Justice from California State University, Northridge. She’s had the honor of volunteering at El Centro del Pueblo where she supported youth in the homework club. This is where early in her career she recognized the importance of community centers for families and youth. In addition, she spent time completing her externship at the Center for Living and Learning where she supported their executive director with partnership meetings and case workers with support services. Her time there reiterated the impact community-based organizations can have on the welfare of individuals. Elizabeth believes in the importance of all students having equitable access to higher education and living a healthy work-life balance. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling to new places with family & friends and being outdoors with her dog, Luna.