Community Organizer: Santa Maria
Zulema grew up in Ensenada, Baja California, as well as several cities in the LA area.
Even though she has always had a heart for social justice since she could remember, she became more actively involved in community organizing when she moved to the Central Coast to attend Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2013. Due to lack of diversity and inclusivity for marginalized communities and her experience as a first generation student, she changed her path from STEM to social psychology, and supplemented it with gender, queer, and ethnic studies to be able to dedicate her career towards social change. She was involved in efforts surrounding racial equality, immigration, gender equality, reproductive justice, gender based violence, LGBT+ rights, housing vulnerability, and food insecurity.
She has been published twice on research around being undocumented and being a survivor of gender-based violence, while also developing material for her Alma Mater's gender-based violence education and resources center around this intersection of identities. During her last year of undergrad, her work around social change was recognized by the Cal Poly Psychology Department and the Cal Poly Office of the President through two leadership in diversity awards.
After graduating in 2017, Zulema worked for Cal Poly's Dream Center through her year of service as an AmeriCorps, where she continued to focus on immigrant and undocumented student rights.
She began her work in community organizing in Santa Maria through the work by Just Communities and Truth in Recruitment on education equity before joining the CAUSE team in 2019.