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Manuel Criollo

Director of Organizing & Lead Organizer, Community Rights Campaign. Manuel guides and directs the Strategy Center's organizing and campaigns.  As lead organizer of the Community Rights Campaign, he leads our struggle to challenge policies and practices in the city and county of Los Angeles that criminalize Black and Latino youth, particularly the school-to-jail track in LA Unified School District, with the largest dedicated school police force in the country. For nearly a decade, Manuel was the lead the organizer of the Bus Rider Union, the country's largest grassroots mass transit organization. He has worked on a wide range of local, regional and statewide campaigns, and has done solidarity work with social movements in Chiapas, Mexico, El Salvador and Venezuela.  Before coming to the Strategy Center, Manuel was the Project Director of the SALUD Project at Clínica Para Las Américas.  He received his BA from University of California, Santa Barbara, where he organized youth and students against anti-immigrant and anti-affirmative action ballot initiatives in California. In 2006, he was recognized by La Opinion as one of the "Future Leaders of Los Angeles" and in 2010 he was awarded the prestigious Soros Justice Fellowship for his work toward ending LA truancy ticketing policies.  Son of immigrants from El Salvador, Manuel grew up in Pico Union. Fluent in Spanish.