phone number: (831) 220-0222
In May 2018 Lejla became the executive director of CRC. She comes to this organization with a wealth of experience in conflict resolution, mediation, and non-profit work. Lejla has initiated and executed programs locally and globally, focusing on “Promoting Peace through Dialogue” and encouraging the use of interest-based negotiation as a preferred method for resolving conflict. She co-founded Global Majority, an organization dedicated to the promotion of nonviolent conflict resolution through education, training, and mediation.
Lejla was a recipient of the prestigious Weinstein International Mediation Fellowship, assisting in complex multiparty mediations at the JAMS San Francisco office, and was part of the “Making Peace Our Business” initiative, focused on mediating violent conflicts over natural resources. Prior to this, she was also an Ariane de Rothschild fellow on social entrepreneurship and cross-cultural dialogue. She specializes in mediation and training and has consulted with United Nations organizations and educational institutions. Although much of her work has been international, Lejla has a strong community focus. She spends much of her time working towards institutionalizing conflict resolution education in our public schools and volunteering at peace focused youth initiatives.
Originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lejla came to the United States as a refugee in 1993. She holds a Master’s degree in International Policy Studies and a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She is an advocate for peace and nonviolence.
Restorative Justice Programs Director
phone number: (831) 475-9733
Alaya manages the Restorative Justice Programs at the CRC. She was trained as a community mediator in 2009 with SEEDS in Berkeley. Prior to her current position, Alaya was a volunteer mediator with the Parent Teen Mediation Program and the Victim Offender Dialogue Program since 2011 and the Family Affordable Mediation Program since 2014. Alaya earned a Master’s Degree in International Policy Studies with a specialization in Conflict Resolution and Negotiation in 2005. As a part of her graduate studies, she spent a month in Cyprus with the International Institute of Mediation and Conflict Resolution studying conflict resolution in the Middle East. In 2008, she interned with Global Majority in Nepal where she co-led workshops on interest -based negotiation and conflict resolution to Nepali youth peace activists. She has since created and led Effective Communication Workshops for corporate and non-profit clients. Alaya furthered her studies of restorative justice at a week-long course on Restorative Circles with Dominic Barter in 2011 and a 4-day course with the International Institute of Restorative Practices in 2015. She continues to design and lead trainings on communication, conflict resolution, and restorative justice for the CRC as well as facilitate mediations and dialogues with youth in the juvenile justice system as part of the Parent Teen Mediation Program and the Victim-Offender Dialogue Program.
Neighborhood Courts Program Coordinator
phone number: (831)220-0221
Danitza coordinates CRC's the Neighborhood Courts Program in collaboration with the Santa Cruz County's District Attorney's Office and Probation. Since receiving an Anthropology degree and Certification for Innovation and Technologies in Agriculture at the University of Concepcion in Chile, Danitza has worked in both the private and public sectors focusing on community work, preventive programs, and cultural development within the southern region of Chile. Her experience includes coordinating social programs addressing impoverished youths, indigenous agricultural communities, people with disabilities, entrepreneurs, and inmates throughout the country. She worked to provide alternative solutions to reduce recidivism for those incarcerated while advocating for changes to the criminal justice system through life skills training and societal reintegration.
Danitza moved to Santa Cruz in 2017 where she looks to promote community safety and a better quality of life for all residents.
Mediation and Training Manager
phone number: (831) 219-8229
Stacy manages the Community and Workplace Mediation programs, Training, and Conflict Consulting program at the CRC. Beginning in 2009 and joining the CRC in 2013, his mediation and training experience includes restorative justice, community, small claims and unlawful detainer courts, parent-teen, divorce, workplace, and coaching. Active mainly in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, Stacy has also been involved in mediation and/or training in Japan, Colombia, and Switzerland. His background includes coordinating large-scale US-Japan grassroots exchange and education programs; two decades, 12 global circumnavigations and 80+ countries with the Japan-based international NGO Peace Boat; and he is a facilitator with the Alternatives to Violence Project which conducts 3-day violence-reduction and community-building workshops mainly inside prisons as well as in communities. After graduating from UCSC, Stacy lived in Japan for over 10 years (and visits frequently) and one year in Switzerland for an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies. Through his work - traveling to places like Russia, Iraq, or the prison down the road - he learned of the inherent commonality among people despite our polarization, and found in mediation a key process for addressing that which divides us. Stacy's love for the ocean and passion for connecting people across conflict lines came together in 2015 on a surf trip to North Korea.
Daniela Solis Salinas
Small Claims Court Coordinator
phone number: (831) 345-2891
Daniela coordinates the Small Claims mediation program at the Superior Court in Watsonville. She is currently working towards a B.A in Legal Studies, Politics, and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Before moving to Santa Cruz Daniela gave 600 hours of community service to her hometown, Salinas, California. Once moving to Santa Cruz in 2017, Daniela aimed to give back to her new community by volunteering at the Conflict Resolution Center. She began as a social media intern and a bilingual Parent-Teen mediator, mediating mainly in Spanish for the families who have an English language barrier. Daniela strengthened her mediation skills further by branching out to different programs at the CRC. Ultimately, she began mediating for the Small Claims program and after one year of volunteering she became the Small Claims Coordinator. In the future, Daniela hopes to attend law school and continue giving back to her community as a family law lawyer.
Training and Curriculum Specialist
phone number: (831)475-6117 ext. 410
Tenzin Chogkyi is a certified teacher of Compassion Cultivation Training and the Cultivating Emotional Balance program. She is passionate about social justice, and has taught in prisons in the US, Colombia, Australia, and New Zealand. She loves interfaith collaboration and is a volunteer for the Interfaith Speakers Bureau of the Islamic Networks Group in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. She is featured on a monthly radio show called “Reflections on Buddhism" on KSQD 90.7 in the Santa Cruz area. She also finds time to create her Unlocking True Happiness podcast which you can check out at unlockingtruehappiness.org where you will also find her current teaching schedule.
Tenzin's connection with the CRC began in the 1990's when she served as a volunteer mediator and trainer. She is excited to be returning to CRC in the role of Training and Curriculum Specialist, as her experience in encouraging empathy and compassion as well as her belief in personal transformation through group process and dialogue is a wonderful fit for this role.
Phone Number: (831)475-6117 ext.413
Celeste Sandoval-Chavez obtained her B.A. in Anthropology in 2020 at San Jose State University. Celeste has worked in Non-profit for over 2 years now. She will be taking over the role of Administrative Assistant with CRC. Celeste will enable CRC’s Executive Director and Program Managers to interact effectively with the community by creating an efficient yet welcoming workplace through administrative planning and tasks. If you have any questions please feel free to contact her via email or telephone, she will be happy to answer any questions in both English and Spanish.
Karen Janneth Pulido
Restorative Justice Programs Assistant
Phone Number: (831)219-82317 ext.404
Karen Pulido is the new Restorative Justice Programs Assistant. She has been involved with CRC since 2017 when she started volunteering as a translator for Parent-Teen Mediations. She was trained and certified as a community mediator in 2021 with CRC. Prior to her current position, she was a Program Associate for a non-profit organization in Napa and an intern for the Napa Probation Office. Karen attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, after graduating from Napa High School, where she graduated with honors and obtained a double major in Legal Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies. During her university journey, she did internships at the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, Santa Cruz Teen Court, and Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos. Even though she currently resides in Suisun, CA., she is delighted and excited to continue being part of CRC and be able to help her community. Her keenness and strong beliefs in justice and real democracy encourage her to work hard in order to be a voice for the unserved population.
Conflict Resolution Center 614 Ocean Street
Santa Cruz CA 95060
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