Joshua Acosta-Duque Outreach Director

Joshua was born and raised in San Dimas, California by first-generation immigrant parents from Central America. He grew up working and volunteering within various children services organization where his parents worked, which led to his passion for social justice work. After graduating from the University of La Verne with bachelor's degrees in psychology and speech communication, Joshua started his career as a case manager for foster youth and unaccompanied minors (UC). Within his case management role, he observed many of the problematic elements of the system were due to the disconnect between the clients served and the people in power within social service operations. He wanted to do more, so he attended Columbia School of Social Work in New York City, where he began his work as a street organizer and social worker in the Bronx. During his schooling, he observed a contradiction between the social-justice views of academia and the how they affected the surrounding communities, and in particular, how institutions push out long-term residents of working-class communities from their homes and business through seizure of community spaces. From that moment forward, Joshua worked alongside Black Lives Matter, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and various community leaders to resist white supremacy and gentrification in Harlem, the Bronx, and in Brooklyn.

After graduation, he wanted to take his organizing into the professional sphere. Joshua then joined E4E as an outreach director with the purpose of working alongside teachers to proliferate and uplift the voices of the most marginalized students and educators so they are at the center of conversations. Though he had negative experiences with teachers in public school, he believes that teachers are the most powerful vector in actualizing meaningful change in the lives of their students.

"I am here because we need to do better for our Black, Brown, and Indigenous students. Silence is not an option."