Board of Directors 

Melissa Arechiga

Melissa Arechiga is a Los Angeles native born to the Arechiga family. In the Chicana/o Studies you will find her family in the chapter’s true blue to a time before the Dodgers. The Mexican American communities were known as Palo Verde, La Loma and Bishop. Today The Battle of Chavez Ravine is the political term used to describe their history in Los Angeles. Melissa is the personification and radical root that blossomed by connecting her history to higher education. She graduated from the University of California Berkeley, with double majors, and is establishing herself as a community activist. She has a fervent desire to empower, advocate and give back to the community. Strong willed and persistent, her goal is to connect, grow and develop leaders with other women of color in the community. Her foreseeable future is limitless as she continues to pursue education through Law School. She hopes to collect and contribute to the strong brown history of Los Angeles and Los Arechiga's.

Vincent Montalvo

Vincent Montalvo was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Living in Echo Park for over 30 years as an active community member, the barrio is home. According to what has been said and written by white Anglos, Echo Park was one of the roughest and toughest barrios in Los Angeles. Despite this at a young age Montalvo knew his community had more good than bad to offer. However, the barrio stories have always been told and written from the gringo/outsider perspective and not from the Latino/community residents. Montalvo family has a long history in Echo Park and Palo Verde. For those who don’t know where Palo Verde is, baseball fans walk over it every time they attend a Dodger’s baseball game. His grandmother, grandfather, and mother were all born and raised in the barrio of Palo Verde. Today, Palo Verde is one of the barrios buried under Dodger Stadium. Growing up by his mother’s side, Montalvo learned what it meant to be active in his community. He learned by his mother’s example what it meant to invest in his community. She was heavily involved in the PTA and all school functions. He grew excelled and was elevated in his desire to empower his community when he met Juanita Dellomes. She was one of the most passionate community activists in Echo Park. She was taking on many of the larger issues that affected the barrio city wide. He met Juanita Dellomes when he was 14 years old and their fight and work continues for the barrios. At 15 years old, they started the Youth Fishing Club “Los Tiburones” which was sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Game. “Los Tiburones” lasted more than 12 years. The program served many children in Latino/neighborhoods to introduce them to the world of sport fishing, one of his favorite pastimes. They also took on the issues of gentrification and many of the other issues that plague barrios of color. His family’s history in Mexico, Palo Verde, and Echo Park are one of the most important parts of his foundation. For this reason, he stands against injustice and oppression. What happened to the three barrios of Palo Verde, Bishop, and La Loma continues to happen in all the barrios of color today. From the lack of understanding of culture and history (which for him one of the greatest riches), Montalvo  is a firm believer that people have to know who they are, where they  came from so they have a clear understanding of where they are going in the future. He asks that everyone questions and researches before they accept anything to be true, especially when it comes to Latino/a history. Montalvo believes that only unity will set the people free.

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