Leaders + Members

Causa Justa :: Just Cause members are leaders in their communities and advocates for radical change in our society. Our members are Latinos and African-Americans from the neighborhoods of East and West Oakland and the Mission and Excelsior districts of San Francisco.

Causa Justa members participate in skills trainings, know-your-rights trainings, political education, and campaigns. They strategize with each other as well as with allies. They talk with their neighbors. They talk to the media. They speak out on the streets and in the offices of elected officials.

Causa Justa invests in our members because we know that in building people’s power we build stronger communities while building a stronger movement for change.

Meet some of our members!

Joanne Abernathy

(Joanne pictured with daughter Katrina left)

“I am a former member of POWER and been a member for over 10 years. I’m so excited about the merger. we both have similar issues across the bay and in San Francisco. What we go though in San Francisco is what they’re going to go through in Oakland. I’m hoping that merging brings more POWER to the people and inspire more people to be involved.”

James Stancil

“I am part of the Black Priorities Project – I’m one of the leaders. I’m looking forward to us trying to bring back a lot of the Blacks into the Oakland-San Francisco area. Now that the merger is here, I see us doing great things together.”


Mustafa Solomon

“I like living in Oakland, I’m a photographer and it’s close to the music scene and the cultural scene that I work with. I lived in the same neighborhood all these years and I’m comfortable there. I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.”

Ernest Stokes

“Everybody dreams of a better world and if you want your dreams to come true you gotta work for it. I’m looking forward to an exciting year. We are entering interesting times, things are going to be moving forward and they are going to be exciting. Everyone should get their action suits on.”

Ana Gutierrez

“Keep fighting. No one can help you if you don’t help yourself. CJJC held me up and didn’t let me buckle. Now [with the new agreement] I’m more peaceful and can finally sleep through the night instead of waking up every 2-3 hours wondering what’s going to happen.”  

Candelario Melendez

“I came here when I saw Causa Justa helps the community.  Without hope, nothing changes. I came in and asked what I could do to help. I see how they treat community members and resolve cases. The service that CJJC gives the people, well, if they weren’t here a lot of these clients would be out on the streets. I was organizing in El Salvador when I was a young man. I came here and this is where I landed. This is my place.”

Margarita Ramirez

“This (foreclosure) is happening all over — we are not the only family this is happening to. You have to make room in your life to keep attending the meetings and actions to help other people.”

Click here to watch video on Margarita by the Reel Justice Program/Center for Third World Organizing.

Maria Hernandez, Member Leader, Steering Committee

“I joined in 2001 when I needed a repair done in my apartment, and I sought out the support of a community agency that defends tenants against landlord abuses. What we won was not only repairs but also the landlord stopped abusing us. I was looking to volunteer, to understand how the system worked. I told my brother I like it here. I had the idea that this was the place I was looking for. And it is.”


Dabphne Huges, Member

“I came to CJJC for a census outreach job [in 2010]. I joined as a member because I liked what I saw. I liked the people. I liked the participation in the community, and the campaign work is really important. I can see that we’re actually trying to solve problems. There’s so much I’m learning that I wouldn’t get if I wasn’t a part of this organization.”