Barrios Unidos
Civic Group
Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos

We seek a world that is truly just for all. We move forward knowing peace is possible when we come together with understanding, respect and love.

Years of service: 40+

Their story: Daniel "Nane" Alejandrez saw a need to help bring peace to his urban California community, and that drove him to start the California Coalition of Barrios Unidos in 1977. Founded as a community-based peace movement, it was incorporated as a non-profit in 1993 with a mission of preventing and curtailing violence among Santa Cruz County youth by providing “life-enhancing alternatives.” That’s included providing both preventative and restorative services provided through environments ranging from middle schools to prisons, in some of the most marginalized communities. For his work, Alejandrez has been recognized with the National Fellowship of Reconciliation Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, the Leteher-Moffit Memorial Human Rights Award and more. He’s been featured in local and national press for his efforts to promote peace through gang violence prevention.

Fundraising focus: Barrios Unidos Productions (BUP) is a custom screen-printing shop that specializes in socially-conscious apparel-making. Check out their services here.

Daniel Alejandrez
Daniel "Nane" Alejandrez
Founder and Executive Director

The son of migrant farmworkers who found his way into trouble on the streets as a teen, Daniel found his cause after returning from service in the Vietnam War by founding the California Coalition of Barrios Unidos in 1977. Alejandrez wass driven by the words of legendary civil rights activist Cesar Chavez, who he heard speak as a 17-year-old.

We seek meaningful pathways for our youth, whether it be political and economic, or interpersonal and spiritual.