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About Us

Who is Thrive Inland SoCal?

The Inland Empire Labor Institute and Inland Economic Growth and Opportunity are the Regional Co-conveners, and the Inland Empire Community Foundation serves as the Fiscal Agent, carrying out necessary responsibilities as required by the State. 

Mission

To build an equitable and inclusive region where all residents have a say in shaping our collective economic future and addressing historical inequities.

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Vision

Our collaborative envisions an Inland Region where everyone, regardless of background or circumstance, has access to the resources and opportunities necessary to thrive.

Regional Co-conveners

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​Founded in 2020, the Inland Empire Labor Institute (IELI) is the 501(c)(3) wing of the Inland Empire Labor Council, a regional AFL-CIO affiliate with 290,000 members across Riverside and San Bernardino counties. We partner with economic, social, and environmental organizations to prioritize the needs of workers in uplifting communities and families. We see labor unions as a key force for promoting workers' rights, economic justice, and democratic participation, and support regional development that is socially equitable, ecologically sustainable, and culturally diverse.

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Inland Economic Growth & Opportunity (IEGO) is a regional network of leaders from businesses, nonprofits, higher education, and state and local government working to grow sectors that can create promising jobs for Inland Empire workers and students. IEGO is currently housed within the Inland Empire Community Foundation. Where they work to build strategies for sector-based economic development; in addition to finding targeted industrial sectors of sustainable logistics, green technology, cybersecurity, and advanced manufacturing.​

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The Fiscal Agent

The Inland Empire Community Foundation (IECF) is the oldest and largest community foundation serving the Inland region. Since 1941, IECF has dispensed more than $127 million in grants and scholarships. IECF scholarships have been given to every college and university within the San Bernardino County and Riverside County area, as well as to other institutions of higher learning across the country. IECF’s donor-directed grantmaking funds arts and culture groups, youth and family agencies, environmental, animal, senior, vets and a variety of other causes and needs.

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Thrive Data

Reports and other data published by Thrive Inland SoCal.

California Jobs First, formerly known as the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) was created by the California Legislature to promote a sustainable and equitable recovery from the economic distress from the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting new plans and strategies to diversify local economies and develop sustainable industries that create high-quality, broadly accessible jobs for all Californians. CA Jobs First includes approximately $600M in rolling, competitive grants to be split between the state’s 13 regions from 2022 to 2026. It is a massive investment in regional inclusive economic development with the potential to drastically transform communities that have been historically disadvantaged and underprivileged.

 

As the Inland Empire prepares for a more technological, sustainable, carbon neutral future, it is imperative that we center the most important asset in the region: The People. The Inland Empire High Road Transition Collaborative (IE-HRTC) - now known as Thrive Inland SoCal - was created with CA Jobs First planning funds and is building the partnerships and capacity to make that future a reality.

Thrive Inland SoCal consists of five Committees, six Sub-regional Tables, and an Equity Council, and any resident of the region is welcome to join any (or many!) of these groups.

Equity Council

EQUITY COUNCIL

The Equity Council will focus on a range of topics as they relate to the above responsibilities, including but not limited to youth, Native American tribes or tribal organizations, workers, women, racial and social justice, environmental justice, and justice reform.

The Equity Council meets every other Friday 12-1pm, sometimes on Zoom and sometimes in person (with a hybrid option).See calendar for schedule.

INCLUSIVE PLANNING COUNCIL

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The Inclusive Planning Council (IPC) is responsible for making decisions on behalf of the region and Thrive Inland SoCal. This includes voting on important issues, such as adopting new policies or allocating resources. The IPC provides leadership for the collaborative and is responsible for resolving conflicts that arise within Thrive Inland SoCal. 

The IPC consists of the Equity Council, Committee, and Sub-regional Chairs as well as three Thrive Inland SoCal Co-Chairs. The total size of the IPC is 21 members, and a 2/3 majority vote (14 members) is required to pass any measure brought before it. 

Inclusive Planning Council Members

Stephanie Davis, Governance Chair Projects & Sectors Chair, Affinity Group: Employers, businesses, and business associations

 

Debra Mustain, Chair, Affinity Group: Education and training providers

Gatwiri Mwiti, Data Chair, Affinity Group: Education and training providers

 

Vacant Chair, Business & Community Leaders Outreach Chair, Affinity Group: Employers, businesses, and business associations

 

Noraly Sainz, Community Engagement, Arts & Culture Chair, Affinity Group: Disinvested communities

 

Silvia Paz, Equity Council Lead, Affinity Group: Environmental justice organizations

 

Dina Walker, Equity Council Lead, Affinity Group: Grassroots and community-based organizations, and community organizers

 

Ricardo Cisneros, Equity Council Lead, Affinity Group: Workforce Entities

 

Carolina Sanchez, Equity Council Lead, Affinity Group: Grassroots and community-based organizations, and community organizers

 

Sheheryar Kaoosji, Equity Council Lead, Affinity Group: Worker centers

 

Renay Mehta, Equity Council Lead, Affinity Group: Employers, businesses, and business associations

 

Mary Valdemar, Equity Council Lead, Affinity Group: Education and training providers

 

Karen May, Subregional Table Chair, Affinity Group: Labor organizations

 

Susan Gomez, Subregional Table Chair, Affinity Group: Philanthropic organization

 

Aicheria Bell,  Subregional Table Chair, Affinity Group: Employers, businesses, and business associations

 

Maria Okpara, Subregional Table Chair, Affinity Group: Education and training providers

 

Gabrielle McClanahan, Subregional Table Chair, Affinity Group: Grassroots and community-based organizations, and community organizers

 

Bryan Barrera, Subregional Table Chair, Affinity Group: Employers, businesses, and business associations

 

Jessica Mosher, At-Large Member, Affinity Group: California Native American Tribes

 

Amanda Hernandez,  At-Large Member, Affinity Group: Government agencies

 

Karina Camacho, At-Large Member, Affinity Group: Government agencies

Meet Our Team

Thrive Inland SoCal

Our team works together to ensure the catalyst funding process is as smooth and transparent as possible.

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Director of Special Projects

Esmeralda Vazquez

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Partnership Development Manager

Chris Castorena

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Co-Executive Director

Hillary Jenks

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Co-Executive Director

Matthew Mena

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