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Roberta Javier was born in Nampa, Idaho, and grew up in Arizona, Oklahoma, and California. Her ancestors are Cherokee and Sac and Fox. From 1958, when she was six years old, to 1968, Roberta was raised in Los Angeles County foster homes. During those years, she was strictly forbidden to explore her Native heritage or connect with other Natives.


She married at age 16 and raised a son and three daughters. Once her children were grown, Roberta returned to school. She received a Bachelor's degree in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2005 and a Master's in Social Work from California State University, Los Angeles, in 2009. She then worked in the American Indian Unit of Los Angeles County's Department of Children and Family Services for 12 years, retiring in 2018.

Since then, Roberta has continued to volunteer to improve the lives of Native families, especially of children in foster care. ​



Born and raised in Los Angeles, Laura Escobar is a citizen of the Muskogee Nation, and a descendant of survivors of the Trail of Tears and the Indian Relocation Act, as well as from migrant workers.


She is an active community member, serving as an organizer and in other roles for causes she believes in, including improving the well-being of Native American families in Southern California. 



David is an enrolled member of the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo and has served  Indian Country as an attorney and consultant for over 10 years. He graduated from UCLA School of Law's Federal Indian Law joint degree program in 2009, earning a J.D. and a Master's in American Indian Studies.

He served as an in-house attorney for several California tribes, including the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and the Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria. Projects he has managed include building the Bear River Tribal Court and Public Safety Departments, negotiating settlement agreements with school districts to resolve discrimination against Native students, managing tribal government grant portfolios, developing tribal enterprises, and training local government agencies to work with tribal communities. David has worked in higher education as the head of human resources for Cal Poly Pomona and Pomona Community College. Currently, David runs his own law practice and serves as an Appellate Court Justice for the Northern California Tribal Court Coalition and the Sauk Suiattle Tribe in Washington. 



Kathleen Ashelford is a citizen of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Her involvement in Native organizations includes leadership roles in the American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES). She co-founded the California AISES Professionals Chapter and serves as its chapter secretary.


Before entering the nonprofit world through a term in Americorps, her previous career included 20 years in the information technology industry, followed by work in the learning and development profession.


Kathleen has a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Biola University and a Project Management Professionals (PMP) credential from the Project Management Institute (PMI) International. She is earning a grant-writing certification through the Grant Professionals Association. She and her husband are active members of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society, for which they also volunteer.  


Robin Thundershield is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North and South Dakota. He currently resides in Los Angeles County and is a board member for the American Indian Community Counsel and also served on the Los Angeles County Health Department’s Covid-19 Advisory Council. He is also a part of the Conrad Hilton Foundation’s Lived Experience Evaluation Team.

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