OneJustice Blog

Bring life-changing legal help to Californians in need.

The electric slide, bicycle-powered juice stand, and growing up in Taiwan

Meet the new OneJustice staffers

Look who we stole away from the City of LA, Alpine Legal Services, and San Diego State University!

We’re delighted to welcome a new crew to OneJustice!  A heartfelt welcome to Cheryl, Ruby, and Arbour – all of whom fit right into the OneJustice network with their big hearts, big ideas, and big visions of a more just world.  We sat down with them and subjected them to a series of questions to satisfy our curiosity and yours.  Read on and get to know them a little better!

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Cheryl Banares, Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Fellow – running the Justice Bus Project in Southern California

Cheryl, what drew you to the work of OneJustice?Cheryl Banares, Justice Bus Fellow

I was interested in learning more about OneJustice’s unique approaches to closing the justice gap in California, particularly the Justice Bus® Project. I worked at several public interest organizations throughout law school, but unlike the other projects I had worked on the Justice Bus was the first, in my experience, that was focused on providing free legal services to low-income Californians in rural and isolated communities. The idea of providing “pop-up” legal clinics in areas where they are most needed is what really interested me in the work of OneJustice.

What will you be responsible for at OneJustice?

I will be responsible for the Justice Bus Project in Southern California. I will continue to foster the existing partnerships with laws schools and legal services organizations in Southern California. I also plan to establish new partnerships and further expand the number of legal clinics throughout Southern California. I would like to plan trips to areas and counties the Justice Bus has never gone to in the hopes of providing legal services to more communities in California.

What did you do before coming to OneJustice?

Before I attended law school, I was a Legislative Analyst at the City of Los Angeles where I worked with other City departments to preserve and establish new parks and recreational areas throughout the City of Los Angeles. While in law school, I worked at several public interest organizations and participated in Loyola Law School’s Employment Rights Clinic. It is the culmination of these experiences that led me to the fellowship at OneJustice. Each of these experiences share a common theme of providing much-needed services to communities in the most need.

And tell us something else we should know about you!

I love to dance…though not professionally. You can often find me on the dance floor at weddings/clubs/lounges cutting a rug. My favorite type of music to dance to is 90s hip-hop and R&B, but I will dance to it all from the “running man” to the “electric slide.”

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Ruby Kimberly, Justice Bus Project Program Associate

Ruby Kimberly, Justice Bus ProjectSo Ruby, what caused you to want to work at OneJustice?

Having interned at a struggling legal services organization in rural Colorado, I was ecstatic to discover OneJustice and its critical support of small nonprofits of that nature. I was particularly drawn to the Justice Bus Program for its community building effect. Much of the pro bono legal work I have been exposed to in the past happened behind closed doors between an individual attorney and an individual client.  While this is certainly a part of Justice Bus clinics, there is also a much broader community engagement aspect that is fostered through the highly collaborative nature of the Justice Bus Program. This includes engagement between law students and attorneys with a common dedication to social justice, between OneJustice and smaller organizations, between urban and rural populations, and between clients and the legal services community.

What will you be doing at OneJustice?

As the Justice Bus Program Associate, I am responsible for organizing the logistical aspects of Justice Bus trips. This includes everything from booking the Justice Bus to ensuring each clinic is equipped with the tools necessary to best serve our clients. Through this position, I hope to continue improving upon the efficiency and sustainability of the Justice Bus project and assist in its expansion to reach as many underserved Californians as possible. My ultimate goal as an employee of OneJustice is to help empower disenfranchised individuals to exercise their legal rights as a means of cultivating a more accountable justice system for us all.

What did you do before coming to OneJustice?

I graduated from Colorado College in 2012 with a degree in History and Political Science and a deep commitment to social justice advocacy. While I had participated in nonprofit work extensively over the course my educational career, it wasn’t until the fall of 2012 that I became directly involved with legal aid as an intern at Alpine Legal Services in Glenwood Springs, CO. Through this experience I gained a profound understanding of the challenges confronting those forced to navigate the justice system with limited resources, and a lifelong passion for countering the detrimental effects this has on society as a whole.

And please share something not work related!

While in college I co-founded The Peddle Palace, a bicycle-powered, carbon neutral juice stand. This endeavor included biking 60 miles over a mountain pass while hauling a trailer of fruit to ensure our brand’s environmentally friendly status.

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Arbour Decker, Donor & Corporate Relations Manager

Arbour, tell us what drew you to the work of OneJustice!Arbour Decker, Donor Relations

I have always been passionate about equality, poverty alleviation, and assisting the disadvantaged. For me, the most important aspect of any job is knowing that I am positively impacting people’s lives. I feel strongly that all individuals have the right to successfully navigate the legal system regardless of income, race, education level, or geography. Therefore, it is a privilege to work for an organization that provides life-changing legal services to Californians in need.

What will you be responsible for at OneJustice?

I will be responsible for managing relationships with our organization’s wonderful and generous supporters. Without the involvement and dedication of this community, our services would not be possible. I look forward to further strengthening OneJustice’s amazing support system, which will allow us to continue funding our vital programs and services.

What did you do before coming to OneJustice?

Prior to OneJustice, I held various development roles, spanning from the Pacific Northwest to San Diego, California. I’ve recently engaged in fundraising for organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs as well as San Diego State University (also where I received my Masters Degree in Communication). I naturally gravitate towards nonprofit environments and have also volunteered as a domestic violence and sexual assault advocate for abused women and children in Portland, Oregon.

And what else should we know about you?

I did not move to the United States from Taiwan until I was 18, I am a food and travel enthusiast, I love watching and playing sports, and I was born two months premature!

One response to “The electric slide, bicycle-powered juice stand, and growing up in Taiwan

  1. Diego Cartagena October 30, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Welcome aboard everyone, so thrilled to have the opportunity to work with you all!

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