Nane Alejandrez

Founder and Executive Director of Barrios Unidos

In 1977 Daniel Nane Alejandrez started The California Coalition of Barrios Unidos which began as a community based peace movement in the violent streets of urban California. Incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1993, the national office of Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos established the mission to prevent and curtail violence amongst youth within Santa Cruz County by providing them with life enhancing alternatives. Over the past forty years Barrios Unidos has developed a model that seeks to reclaim and restore the lives of struggling youth while promoting unity amongst families and neighbors through community building efforts. Barrios Unidos is an innovative, multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary nonprofit organization dedicated to working collaboratively to build community capacity for youth violence prevention in California and across the nation. 

Daniel Nane Alejandrez has been recognized for his inspiring efforts and is the recipient of numerous awards including the National Fellowship of Reconciliation Martin Luther King Jr. Award, the Sankofa Lifetime Achievement Award and a fellowship for the California Wellness Foundation. As well, Barrios Unidos has received the Leteher-Moffitt Memorial Human Rights Award from the Institute for Policy Studies. Alejandrez has been featured on Talk Shows including “Christina” and “Santa Cruz Community Network.” He has also been featured on A. & E. Biography Series, Danny Glover’s T.V. Program, “Courage” and on many cover feature magazines including Y.E.S. Magazine, Sojourners, ColorLines, El Andar, Low Rider Magazine, and Metro Active.

The National Coalition of Barrios Unidos continues its dedication to connecting communities through peace by introducing infrastructure and economic development to prevent gang violence. In addition, Barrios Unidos works with Inmates within the Adult and Juvenile California State and Federal Correctional Institutions. The focus is Peace through a Transcommunal approach and strengthening foundations of culture and spirituality.