Meet the Young Religious Leaders Fellowship of Summer 2024

CLUE is delighted to announce the arrival of our latest fellows, who will participate in a rigorous training program in faith-rooted organizing and contribute to a crucial social justice campaign led by an experienced organizer. 

Caleb Ayers, I am a missionary kid who has spent half my life in China. I am a friendly person who likes to meet new people. Right now I am living in Lake Forest, and I go to Biola where I just finished my first year. I am a Christian trying to be different than the stigma attached to its name and my faith is a core part of me. With the YRLF internship, I am hoping to learn more about effective strategies to fight against injustice. Through this internship, I want to give people hope and bring about change in conditions for the better. I am looking forward to learning at the feet of someone who has more experience and wisdom in fighting against injustice.

Daniel Timberlake (They/He/She) is a recent graduate from California State University, Long Beach and is from Long Beach, California. Timberlake was in the class of 2024 at CSULB, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and a minor in Queer Studies. Their research and learning interests include ancient Near-Eastern religion, Christianity, Buddhism, queer religion, women and spirituality, and transnational feminisms. They intend to return to CSULB to start their master’s program—also in Religious Studies—next Spring. While they are agnostic/spiritual in belief, Timberlake takes much inspiration from the work of Vietnamese Buddhist monk and activist Thích Nhất Hạnh in informing their worldview and philosophies. Additionally, they are a participant at the Community Congregational United Church of Christ of Los Alamitos wherein they helped facilitate the creation of a Queer Theology group, a weekly meeting that acts as an open forum for non/religious queers and allies to discuss the interplays of queerness and spirituality. This fellowship will be Timberlake’s first foray into faith-based community organizing. They are eager to learn how faith is employed within activist spaces and in turn how this faith-based activism is used for the upliftment and betterment of the community.

Danielle Lizarraga, I’m twenty-four years old from Orange, CA. I’m the eldest of 6 children, and our family’s faith is Judaism. I graduated from California State University, Los Angeles, in May 2024 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. I plan on continuing my education to pursue a law degree in the near future. I would like to use my degrees to make positive impacts on communities by working in the public sector and working on policies that would benefit communities that are underserved. I look forward to learning more about community activism during this fellowship and what work needs to be done to improve the lives of people in the community. I also hope to gain valuable experience from this fellowship to help me in my future career endeavors in activism and apply some of the knowledge I acquire in my work.

Hannah Wells, I use she/her pronouns, and I’m from the Lakewood/Long Beach area. I am a Peace and Justice Studies Major at Chapman University, and a member of the leadership board for Disciples on Campus. I’m a part of the Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ. I align with the progressive Christian values of spirituality, inclusivity, diversity, social justice, and curiosity. This summer I’m eager to learn more about how different faith communities have created and sustained peace. I hope to learn how to turn conversations and dialogue into actions. Productive communication is an important building block for change, but I want to learn more about direct community action.

Jennifer Coria, I am 24 years old and from Compton California. My faith tradition is Lutheran. I’m also a part of the congregation at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bell, where my mom is a pastor. I graduated from Cal State University of Long Beach and studied Business Marketing. After graduating, I worked alongside my mom, to advocate for the asylum seekers residing in the congregation. We have more than 40 asylum seekers in our congregation and because of their stories and their experiences with discrimination and mistreatment, I wanted to learn more about how to bring change to vulnerable groups we often as a whole overlook. From this fellowship, I want to learn how to bring more awareness to the mistreatment and unfairness of how vulnerable groups are treated and discover more ways to help them. Building connections with people of different faith traditions and backgrounds will help me learn how to approach certain groups better and help them by providing them with the resources they need. CLUE has helped many people in different areas and I would like to know what it takes to contribute to helping those who need a helping hand.

Luke Antaky, I am a rising senior at Loyola Marymount University, where I study Political Science and serve as Student Body President. I am from the South Bay of Los Angeles and gained initial interest in politics and activism through organizations like the CA YMCA’s Youth & Government program.  I was raised between the Catholic and Greek-Orthodox faith traditions and have recently found meaning in the teachings of revolutionary religious leaders like Dorothy Day, who devoted her life to radical empathy and resistance. Through the YRLF program, I am excited to learn how to bring my passion for organizing to a new level and find my religious and spiritual identity while doing so. I look forward to working with people of diverse backgrounds and experiences to accomplish a common goal. Most of all and most importantly, I am excited and honored to be a part of the fight for the recognition and dignity of working people in Los Angeles. 

Mina Alvarado Goldberg (she/her/ella), I am 20 years old, and I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I am a student at UC Berkeley, majoring in Sociology with intended minors in Ethnic Studies and Data Science. My activism and organizing experience stems from a family tradition of social justice advocacy, shaping my values from a young age. I was raised in a multicultural household that included being involved in a secular progressive Jewish community. This summer, I hope to strengthen my connection to this aspect of my identity and further explore the intersections between faith and social justice. Through the YRLF program, I also hope to learn practical organizing strategies and methods for making a difference in my community.

Paris Donohoe, I am a rising senior at Chapman University studying Conflict Management and Religion. Originally from Portland, Oregon, I’ve relished my hometown’s politically active atmosphere and started attending protests and working in mutual aid at a young age. After serving on my school district’s DEI committee to develop age-appropriate social justice curriculum for K-12 students, I continued my passion for community empowerment through working at Chapman’s Fish Interfaith Center and serving as ambassador for the Chapman Democrats/Anti-Authoritarian club for the past three years. I spent the bulk of my time last year conducting research on the Palestine/Israel conflict and traveled to Jordan, Syria, Israel, and the West Bank to learn from journalists, diplomats, activists, and bereaved parents about the human cost of the conflict. My faith tradition is in the Disciples of Christ church, but people in my family come from many different religious backgrounds. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, baking, strength training, running, and going to the beach with friends! This summer, I am excited to learn more about the inner workings of labor unions and how interfaith alliances can be leveraged to strengthen workers’ rights. Author and educator bell hooks wrote wisely that “the moment we choose to love we begin to move against domination, against oppression,” and I am excited to put this principle into practice through my work with CLUE!