Spatial Justice: Resource Site for Gentrification of Highland Park

Actors' Biographies

Ezak Amaviska Pérez is a down & brown, trans, Latino, Native American (Hope), Two-Spirit organizer. He currently works as the Director of Leadership Development at Gender Justice L.A., which works to  elevate the collective voice and power of the trans & gender non-conforming community. Ezak is an honoree of the TRANS 100 list, a big boy vintage model, a former sex educator with Cucci, a sex education collective in LA, and a recent awardee of the title Mr. Quest 2016! They are a proud Brown Boi Project member and currently practicing how to hold space as a fire keeper for & with his Two-Spirit community. His family on his dad’s side traveled from New Mexico, to Lincoln Heights, to Highland Park, where his grandparents lived just above York Blvd. for many years. Ezak currently resides in Highland Park but was displaced/pushed out from their last place in Highland Park due to transphobia and gentrification. He is passionate about issues that impact low-income/poor communities of color. He believes we must resist in order to exist! Ezak is also a drama queen and a fashionista!
Emmanuel Nunez is a first generation Mexican AmeRican, with african and asiatic ancestry. He grew up in a Highland Parque, on land that once belonged to the Tongva people of California. He grew up with Spanish speaking monolingual parents who were paying rent to sustain a home, a humble apartment on a hill. Growing up, Emman was often marked as gifted by administration at Yorkdale elementary but was mired with internalized oppression.  He began to breach and release that heavy self-hate while attending college, at Cal State LA. After studying sociology, women’s studies and ethnic studies at CSULA, Emman knew that he desired to find employment in the work of love, making change. He sought to build with a group artivists and they formed the Northeast LA Alliance two years ago. Unforunately, our comrade had to move out of the neighborhood and is now living in South Central. Currently, Emman is a Public Ally and builds with communities such as Filipino and Filipino American caregivers, residents of Historic Filipinotown near Echo Park, and with tenants at the Larry Itliong Affordable Housing.
Nancy Aragon is a queer eco-feminist, and community leader who advocates for the rights and visibility of womxn, queer and trans people of color and immigrant workers. She is a member of the North East Los Angeles Alliance, a collective that is focused on documenting the negative impacts of gentrification in Highland Park through the use of different mediums such as art, music, photography, and community organizing. When Nancy is not slaying the patriarchy, you can find her planting seeds of resistance at Proyecto Jardin.
Crystal "Star" Orozco is a sexually ambiguous neo feminist who currently focuses on uplifting and shifting paradigms of the so called norm. A community leader, art activist, and facilitator for the healing arts, she is the founder of Divine Feline Collective, a program and series of events that emphasizes on the Divine feminine energy to further the healing and transformation in our communities. She is committed to creating opportunities for Artists and has afforded the passage of transitional housing opportunities in her Studio "The New Seed Co-Creative" which is currently being displaced the Month of May. She is also a collective member of NELA Alliance and invested in building relationships with various sectors of city organizations and redistributing resources to the community.
Liza Beltran is womyn ov color feminist and activist advocating for the rights for displaced people's in the Northeast part ov LA. She is currently a member ov the Northeast Los Angeles Alliance that works directly with poor, working class communities of color who have been affected directly by the process ov gentrification. As a collective member, she helps in documenting the rapid and devastating changes occurring in Northeast LA. Upon that, she is currently a student at UC Riverside challenging the academic industrial complex studying Media and Cultural studies with a focus on film theory.

Karen Anzoategui is a gender queer writer/solo performer and artivist with gender pronouns They/Them/Theirs and a member of Nela Alliance. Most known for their solo show, Ser! a Queer transnational solo theatre soccer show spectacle, with music written by originally inspired by CA immigration legislation HR4437 and social manifestations in Argentina, was selected as a finalist for the Downtown Urban Theatre Festival in New York City in 2012, dramatuged by reg e gaines.  Ser! then received its world premiere at Los Angeles Theatre Center with raving reviews, co-produced by Latino Theatre Company and Anzoategui.  Ser! was nominated for five LA Weekly Awards and won two LA Weekly Awards They are in the cast as the re-occuring guest star role of openly queer character, Daysi Cantu, on the Emmy nominated original HULU series, East Los High.
Miguel Ramos was born and raised in the occupied Tongva territory of Los Angeles; he is inspired daily by the resilience and the practices of working class communities of color around the earth. This passion propels him to engage in ways of decolonizing how we seek environmental and social justice. Miguel sees the importance of reclaiming space mentally and physically as a way to heal and grow as a community.  Currently he is working on a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning and aims to continue his education to decolonize how we plan for inclusive communities .When Miguel is not organizing an action or performance with other NELA Alliance members he is on his bike finding balance meanwhile moving forward in this journey called life.