Meet the Long Beach Forward team
James Suazo (he/him/his) became the Executive Director for Long Beach Forward in 2021 after serving as Associate Director for three years. In that role, he served as the connector of multiple initiatives, campaigns, and collaborative efforts, driving our organizational strategy to build community knowledge, leadership, and power. James is an avid reader, writer, artist, organizer, and abolitionist, who identifies as queer, Latinx, and Native American (Jicarilla Apache).
James’ passion for social change began growing up in Santa Ana, California where he started organizing low-income bus riders throughout Orange County in 2008. Since then, he has worked for elected officials; managed political campaigns; and organized with students, community-based groups, and labor unions throughout Orange County, LA County, and Long Beach. James started with Long Beach Forward as the Hub Coordinator for Building Healthy Communities: Long Beach in 2014 and has played a key role in helping sustain and grow multiple collaboratives, develop the undergraduate internship program, and build up the strategic communications arm of the organization.
Living in Long Beach for the past decade, James also organizes locally with the Long Beach chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. Engaging in organizing as liberation work, he enjoys working on narrative strategies and teaching others organizing as a way to build movements and move hearts and minds. James graduated from California State University, Long Beach in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Education with an emphasis in Language and Linguistics and a minor in Comparative World Literature.