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New Executive Director: Dr. Sarait Martinez


Media advisory For Immediate Release: September 14, 2020 Contact: Nayamin Martinez, Treasurer, CBDIO Board of Directors at: (559) 907-2047; or email for more information Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño selects Dr. Sarait Martinez as Executive Director The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that on September 21, 2020, Dr. Sarait Martinez will become Executive Director of the Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño (CBDIO, The Binational Center for the Development of Oaxacan Indigenous Communities).  The Board of Directors unanimously chose Dr. Martinez after a thorough consideration of all candidates.  “Dr. Sarait Martinez is passionate to work alongside Indigenous communities, building coalitions to transform institutions and establish programs that support Indigenous immigrants and their families,” articulated Board Member Dr. Seth Holmes. Adding that, “Dr. Martinez brings her background as an Indigenous Zapotec immigrant, experience in leadership and organizing, familiarity with the organization, academic experience, and passion and respect for the community she will serve in this position.” Prior to this position, Dr. Martinez worked closely with Indigenous immigrant communities as Co-Founder of Oaxaqueño Youth Encuentro; Co-Founder of the Fresno-based Indigenous youth group “Autonomos”; and the first Binational Youth Coordinator for the Frente Indígena de Organizaciones Binacionales.  In addition, she has collaborated with Indigenous Mexican immigrant youth on participatory action research focused on education, identity and resistance in the Central San Joaquin Valley.  She brings impressive experience in leadership of community organizations as Organizing Director and Media Coordinator for Californians for Pesticide Reform, Associate Director of the College Assistance Migrant Program at CSU Monterey Bay, and Co-Founder of the Undocu-Support program to empower undocumented students at CSU Monterey Bay.  And recently, she ran a successful organizing campaign to ban cancer-causing pesticides from the Salinas Valley area.  One decade ago, Dr. Martinez’ organizing and leadership journey began at CBDIO as a community outreach worker.  She has taken with her the insights she gained from this experience as she stayed engaged as a volunteer in the Fresno and Greenfield offices of CBDIO.  More recently, she served on the Board of Directors and then as Chair of the Board of the organization.  Dr. Martinez holds a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and Chicano and Latino Studies with a minor in Economics as well as a Master’s in Public Administration from Fresno State University.  She also holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from San Francisco State University focused on the education, empowerment and well-being of Indigenous immigrant youth.  In addition, she holds a Certificate in Management and Leadership focused on non-profit organization management from Fresno State University.  The Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño is thrilled to welcome Dr. Sarait Martinez to the position of Executive Director to lead into the future along with the staff and community.  “As a Zapotec immigrant daughter of indigenous farmworkers in the Salinas Valley, it is an honor to serve CBDIO in this new capacity,” explained Dr. Martinez. “In these unprecedented times we are living, I look forward to working with the staff, community, organizations, foundations, and government officials towards a just world where indigenous and non-indigenous farmworker communities are treated with the dignity they deserve.” The Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño (CBDIO) was created in 1993 by the Frente Indígena de Organizaciones Binacionales (FIOB) to serve the indigenous migrant communities from the state of Oaxaca, Mexico that reside in California, United States (US). Each of our communities has its own language and culture that differentiate us from one another; however, all indigenous people face similar problems in our hometowns, as well as in the places to which we have migrated. Since its foundation as a non-profit entity, CBDIO has been dedicated to implement projects on workers’ rights, education, and health, providing orientation, training, counseling and referrals.

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