Introducing Our New Board Members

June 10, 2020

In June of 2020, EBCLC welcomed seven new members of our Board of Directors. We’re thrilled to introduce this new cohort of board champions, who will guide us in impacting systemic change and hold us accountable to you, our community of partners, supporters, and clients. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Ellen, Jessica, Kennedy, Luan, Michelle, Sandra, and Saxon!


Ellen Ivens-Duran

Ellen Ivens-Duran is a current student at Berkeley Law. She has participated in pro bono and public interest opportunities around the Bay Area, namely EBCLC’s EDJY and Health & Welfare clinics. She plans to pursue a career in public defense, and is deeply committed to EBCLC’s model of clinical education, client-centered advocacy, and holistic lawyering.

Jessica Buendia

Jessica has fourteen years of experience in the foundation, government, and nonprofit sectors advancing progressive public policy and social impact programs. Currently, Jessie is the Deputy Director of the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC). Prior to joining SGC, Jessie was the Community Benefits and Social Responsibility Manager at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Jessie has a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Princeton University, an Advanced Project Management Certificate from Stanford University, and a Bachelor’s Degree from Macalester College. She is also a certified life coach with a focus on building transformational leadership within the social justice sector.

Kennedy Rose

Kennedy Rose joined EBCLC’s board in 2020. She graduated from Howard University in 2018 with a B.A and is currently attending Berkeley School of Law, where she is a member of Law Students of African Descent and serves as the Publishing Editor of the Berkeley Journal of African-American Law & Policy. Kennedy is a former EBCLC intern at the Community Economic Justice Clinic as well as a participant in EBCLC’s Name and Gender Change student-led legal services project. Kennedy wanted to join the board because she admires the unique connectedness between EBCLC and the surrounding community and hopes her contributions can strengthen that connection even more.

Luan Huynh

Luan Huynh is the Personal Budget Consultant to California State Senator Holly J. Mitchell, Chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee. Luan came to EBCLC as a Shartsis Friese Fellow in the Public Benefits Practice in 2005 and did that work for about a decade. But for the one year stint in the Housing Practice in 2006. Luan worked at the Child Care Law Center as a Senior Policy Attorney in 2015 where she worked on a budget and policy advocacy to obtain more child care access for working families and increased provider pay.

Michelle Natividad Rodriguez 

Michelle is the Chief of Programs at the National Employment Law Project (NELP), a non-profit that fights for policies to create good jobs, expand access to work, and strengthen protections and support for workers paid lower wages, unemployed workers, and workers of color. Michelle is a member of NELP’s executive management team, and she oversees the management of all program areas, including strategy, planning, implementation and evaluation, to support more effective and strategic wins. Prior to her management role, Michelle focused on fair chance employment for people with arrest and conviction records. Michelle is a well-respected advocate who has provided in-depth legal and policy analysis and expert technical assistance, support crafting viable policies in light of legal restrictions, and capacity-building through public education and authoring policy reports and outreach materials.

Sandra Johnson

Sandra studied Health Education and Social Science at City College of San Francisco where she received an AA degree in May, 2018. She draws from her own personal experience coming from a single parent household and having several formerly incarcerated loved ones. She is formerly incarcerated herself, having served 15 years in and out of the system. Sandra is an advocate for other families with incarcerated loved ones. Sandra has served as an expert witness and has testified many times in front of the CA state legislature and SF Board of Supervisors as a criminal justice expert. Sandra is the In-Prison Coordinator here at Root and Rebound and works to help others to reentry and navigate the many barriers. She wants to help others see that they are worthy of a better future and we as impacted people do not have to be held hostage to our past.

 Saxon Cropper-Sykes

Saxon Cropper-Sykes is Berkeley Law 2020 graduate and former EBCLC intern in the Housing Unit. Saxon received a certificate in Social Justice & Public Interest Law as well as Pro Bono Honors from Berkeley Law. As a board member, Saxon hopes to leverage his experience as a former intern to further EBCLC’s mission of justice through education and advocacy. Saxon is joining Sidley Austin LLP.

Click here to view our entire Board of Directors.