Council of Trustees

Semillas’ Council of Trustees embodies the legal decision-making authority of the organization and is charged with executing the mission and vision of the organization and charter schools and honoring the proposals generated in the Governance Assemblies and by faculty. The Council of Trustees holds four regular meetings per year and special meetings as needed. The following lists Council members currently serving:


Dr. Irene Vásquez

President, Co-Founder
 of Semillas, Director of the Chicano Hispano Mexicano Studies Program at the University of New Mexico 

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Dr. Irene Vasquez received her Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has served as a member of the Council of Trustees since 2002. Some of her publications and editorial works include: “Chicana/o Movement,” New Dictionary of the History of Ideas (2004) and “Afro Latino Influences,” Encyclopedia Latina (2004). Dr. Vasquez held the position of Chair of the Chicana/o Studies Department at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Currently, she is Director of the Chicano Hispano Mexicano Studies Program at the University of New Mexico. She is an Associate Professor in American Studies.


Dr. Reynaldo F. Macías

Treasurer, Professor, Chicana and Chicano Studies, UCLA

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Dr. Macias was an undergraduate student at UCLA in the late 1960's. He was part of a student group that led the effort to establish a research center and academic program in Chicano Studies, and later became the first graduate student Chair of MEChA at UCLA. Nearly thirty years later, he is the newly appointed chair of the Ceasar Chavez Center for Interdisciplinary Instruction of Chicana and Chicano Studies. A prominent education and sociolinguistics scholar, Macias specializes in bilingual education, educational history and policy analysis, literacy, language demography, teacher preparation and multicultural curricular education. He has written on Chicanos in higher education, bilingualism, language minorities, and the changing demographics in the schools. Prior to returning to his alma mater, Macias was a Professor of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara and director of the nine-campus University of California Linguistic Minority Research Institute. Macias hopes to bring international prominence to the Chavez Center by supporting the country's premier program in Chicano studies.


Gypsie Vasquez Ayala

Secretary of the Council of Trustees, Community Advocate

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Gypsie Vasquez Ayala is a passionate community advocate, traditional Aztec dancer and long-time parent of Anahuacalmecac. Ms. Ayala is currently serving as a parent representative on the Council.



  • Dedicated Traditional Aztec Dancer for more than 25 years
  • Member of Iztac Cuauhtli Group that spans 4 generations 
  • 3rd. Gen Chicana from the community of Boyle Heights
  • Active in Community Activism since High School
  • 30 years in working in the community in the Social Service sector primarily with a focus on  Families, Mental Health Services, Youth Rehabilitation for Agencies such as Hathaway Sycamores, Amanecer Community Counseling Services and Phoenix House just to name a few
  • Graduated 2 children from Anahuacalmecac very involved parent and Cultural Guide supported ceremony and all recharters
  • 2021 will be a graduate from Pacific Oaks College with a B.A. degree in Advocacy and Social Justice
  • Business Owner of Arte Quetzalcoatl Designs for 16 years, creator of handmade traditional and modern jewelry 

Edmundo Pérez 

Zapotec Native, Parent Member, Entrepreneur, Community Advocate

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Mr. Edmundo Perez has been a member of the Council of Trustees since 2002. As an active member of the community of El Sereno, he also served as President and Treasurer for OPAM, an organization dedicated to serving indigenous immigrants from the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. He earned a veterinary/animal husbandry and accounting degree from El Colegio Nacional de Educación Tecnica from San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Mr. Perez is currently the Treasurer of the Council of Trustees and a parent of three students enrolled at Academia Semillas del Pueblo, Semillas’ K through 8th grade charter school.


Dr. Ernesto Colin

Professor, Loyola Marymount University

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Ernesto Colín is an Assistant Professor in the Specialized Program in Urban Education at Loyola Marymount University. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in the Anthropology of Education. He has also studied at Loyola Marymount University.

Dr. Juan Gómez Quiñones

Emeritus Board Member, Co-Founder, Professor, Department of History, University of California, Los Angeles

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Dr. Juan Gomez-Quiñones specializes in the fields of political, labor, intellectual and cultural history. He earned a B.A. in literature, M.A. in Latin-American Studies and a Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he now serves as Professor of History. Professor Gomez-Quiñones has been active in higher education, cultural promotion and Chicano Studies efforts. He was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and pursued his research at the University of Texas. He trained in social analysis at the Newberry Library Community History Program, Chicago. Dr. Gomez-Quiñones was co-editor of “Aztlan, International Journal of Chicano Studies Research” and currently serves as President of the Council of Trustees for Semillas Sociedad Civil.