Erika Garcilazo is the Northern California Regional program manager for the California Justice Leaders project at Impact Justice. California Justice Leaders utilizes a credible messenger model that centers adults with prior legal system involvement as authorities on their experience. The project provides career development training and supports members as they provide case management to system impacted youth in their own communities.
Erika grew up in Southern California’s rural desert and is a daughter of Mexican immigrants. Erika is committed to a person-centered approach and has filled the professional roles of educator, mentor, advocate, and case manager. Prior to her work at Impact Justice, Erika worked with people with disabilities and the neurodivergent community. She managed a career development program, Project SEARCH, at UCLA Medical Center and provided case management through California’s Department of Developmental Services. Erika is passionate about creating pathways to liberation for marginalized communities. She grounds herself in a decolonial framework, both creatively navigating current oppressive systems, while moving towards solutions that center joy and healing.
Erika received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from University of California Santa Cruz and served as a research assistant there exploring issues of intersectional consciousness, whiteness, masculinities and queer BIPOC feminisms.
In her free time, Erika enjoys arguing with her three cats and communing with nature through adventure sports such as snowboarding and white water kayaking.