Who We Are

Elizabeth Beaumont

Elizabeth Beaumont is Associate Professor of Politics and Director of Legal Studies at UCSC. Her research focuses on constitutionalism and democracy, as well as civic engagement and education. She is particularly interested in problems of unequal citizenship, the relation between citizenship, democracy, and education, and how civic actors seek to shape rights, law, and political power and policy. She teaches and advises students in the areas of public law and legal studies, political theory, and American political and constitutional development.

Leslie Lopez

Leslie Lopez is a full-time instructor at UCSC and is the Director of the Oakes College CARA Program (Community-based Action Research and Advocacy). 

López is an alum of UCSC, and now teaches here with a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of New Mexico. López’s research and teaching interests examine the way people work to expand options for justice by using intentional communication systems. Research projects on community radio, health and welfare systems, immigration justice, housing, and education have been grounded in Santa Cruz, Albuquerque, and Mexico.  

The Oakes CARA Program creates opportunities for undergraduate students to advance their skills and academic careers through action research and professional-service placements in Santa Cruz. Currently, CARA sponsors the Corre la Voz after-school program at Bay View Elementary; co-sponsors the Puentes Immigrant Legal and Community Resources initiative; and collaborates in the “We Belong” Community-based Research for Immigrant Justice project. 

Puentes Fellows

Puentes Fellows are students at the University of California Santa Cruz. Many of whom are associated with the Legal Studies department and are trained to work hands on with immigration cases . They are passionate about using their skills and knowledge to help bridge the social justice gap for immigrants within the Santa Cruz community. To learn more about becoming a Puentes Fellow follow the link: https://puenteslegal.org/become-a-puentes-fellow/

Partners & Community Resources

Watsonville Law Center

The Watsonville Law Center (WLC) provides free legal services to low-income individuals on California’s Central Coast

EL Centro Legal de Watsonville (WLC) provee servicios legales gratuitos a las personas de bajos ingresos que viven en la costa central de California. 

Community Action Board

The Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, Inc. (CAB) operates the Santa Cruz County Immigration Project. Specific legal services include but are not limited to: citizenship applications and interview preparation, Deferred Action (DACA), adjustment of status cases, changes of address, USCIS and consular inquiries, applications for permanent residence, relative visa petitions, replacement/renewal of green cards and work permits, Temporary Protected Status, free income tax assistance (February through April), immigration consumer complaints, Border Patrol abuse monitoring, attorney referrals, workplace discrimination complaints, information on your rights as workers and residents, and more. Click here for more information and hours/locations.

Sanctuary Santa Cruz

Sanctuary Santa Cruz is an assembly of volunteers: individuals of all walks of life and representatives of community organizations, large and small. We work to inform ourselves, our schools, employers, healthcare, social services and legal agencies and our elected leadership of the rights and
responsibilities we all share, and to protect our community through education, advocacy and direct action.

Undocumented Student Services

Under the umbrella of EOP, the Undocumented Student Services (USS) provides a robust set of services and support to ensure the graduation and retention of undocumented students at UC, Santa Cruz.  The services are composed of peer mentors and an academic advisor who provide personal, academic, financial, and legal support to all UCSC undocumented students.


Senderos is a multi-service nonprofit creating pathways to success and building community by sharing Latino culture through cultural arts and by fostering educational opportunities. Senderos, meaning pathways, celebrates Latino culture and history through the artistic expression of dance and music, as well as supporting student academic success and adult basic education. Senderos provides equitable access to the arts by offering free after-school instruction with Centeotl Danza y Baile and Ensamble Musical.

California Rural Legal Assistance

CRLA serves low-income individuals residing in over 22 California counties. CRLA clients include individuals with disabilities, immigrant populations, school children, lesbian/gay/bisexual and transgender populations, seniors and individuals with limited English proficiency.

Community Bridges

Community Bridges has offfered workshops on creating Family Preparedness plans in case of deportation: contact them at info@cbridges.org or call 831-688-8840

Nueva Vista

The Beach Flats Community Center & Familia Center are now known as Nueva Vista Community Resources. Here, compassionate staff build a warm, friendly, safe place for the Santa Cruz community to access resources that offer stability and hope for the future. Nueva Vista Community Resources is part of the Community Bridges family of programs.

Monarch Services

Monarch Services was founded in 1977, when volunteers secured a grant to open the safe shelter, Mariposa House. Monarch operates a 24-Hour Bilingual Crisis line (Línea de crisis disponible 24 horas) 1-888-900-4232

United We Dream

When you’re undocumented, you face a lot of discrimination, and that creates a lot of fear. United We Dream, transforms that fear into finding your voice. This is achieved through immigrant youth-led campaigns at the local, state, and federal level. A local chapter of is forming, contact Beyond Dreams for more information.