Los Angeles Collaborative Organizing for Racial Equity

A member of the Jesuits West CORE

Mission Statement

We are a group of leaders and organizers across Jesuit affiliated institutions in Los Angeles who are committed to CORE (Collaborative Organizing for Racial Equity). Motivated by our faith, we come together to share information, listen, discern, build relationship, challenge and advocate with the purpose of growing and leveraging our collective power to respond to systemic injustice. We are rooted in values of love, compassion, community, kinship, equity and human dignity.

Programs and Initiatives

Community Meetings & Listening Sessions

Since 2020 we have gathered online and in-person to build community, listen, and discern together how to act collectively.

LA CORE participates in LA VOICE's faith-based community organizing efforts. We help promote engagement collectively and through our individual congregations and institutions.

In 2020-2021 we offered a year-long online version of the Spiritual Exercises focused on issues related to Racial Equity. An adapted form of these materials was used again in Jesuit high schools during Lent 2022. These resources can be found at Spiritual Exercises for Our Times.

Advocacy Days & Youth Cohort

Meet the Team

Fr. Brendan Busse, SJ

Brendan Busse, S.J., is associate pastor of Dolores Mission in Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, CA, serves as a clergy leader for LA Voice, an inter-faith community organizing network, and helps coordinate the Los Angeles regional CORE team (Collaborative Organizing for Racial Equity) for the Jesuits West Province. Brendan is a board member of the Loyola Institute of Spirituality and local superior of the Casa Luis Espinal Jesuit Community which serves Dolores Mission, Proyecto Pastoral, and Homeboy Industries.

Joshua Mayfield

Originally from Southern California, Josh earned his B.B.A. in Business Administration and Marketing from LMU in 2016. During his time as a student, he was involved in many of Campus Ministry’s programs. Upon graduation, Josh served as a post-grad volunteer in Juneau, Alaska with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest (JVC NW). During that year, he served as a mentor providing ongoing support and outreach service for high school-aged youth. He also served as a teacher for the Reconnecting Youth (RY) program at Juneau Douglass High School. After his year of service, Josh went on to earn his MA in Theology and Ministry from Boston College while also serving as an Admissions Graduate Assistant.

Angel Mortel

Angel Mortel is an organizer with LA Voice. She spent over 15 years in Brazil, serving most of those years with Maryknoll Lay Missioners. Her ministry involved organizing community health volunteers, coordinating an income generation project for women and fundraising for the national prison ministry of the Brazilian Catholic Church. Her passion for social justice grew out of her experiences in Brazil, but also from living and teaching in inner city Washington, DC and working with Bread for the World and Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. Most recently, she managed the faith community outreach program at Brave New Films. Angel has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Third World Studies from Oberlin College and a Master of Arts in International Development from American University.

Jeanne Ortiz

Jeanne Ortiz, Ph.D., spent over 40 years in higher education as a professor and administrator. Retired from Loyola Marymount University, Jeanne currently serves as the representative from Ignatians West to LA CORE. In that role, she helps to plan and support LA CORE initiatives and works to engage Ignatian's West members in engaging in actions in support of LA VOICE.

Alyssa Perez

Alyssa Perez, a Bay Area native, currently works as the assistant director of alternative breaks and advocacy in the Pam Rector Center for Service and Action. She completed her bachelor's degree in political science and theological studies, and her master's degree in nonprofit administration at the University of San Francisco. Perez is also an instructor for the Ignatian Leadership Institute and LMU CARES program here on campus. Having been involved in Jesuit education for the past 10 years, she is deeply committed to Ignatian spirituality and has a strong passion for social justice. Perez is a former Jesuit volunteer in Belize City and enjoys travel where she can immerse herself in and learn from different cultures. As an alumna and now employee of LMU, Perez is proud of the strong culture "with and for others" that is fostered here at LMU. She lives out a faith that promotes justice and wants to help students combine their passions with the world's greatest needs.

Jesse Rodriguez

Dr. Jesus (Jesse) Rodriguez, Ed.D. has spent over twenty years in Catholic Secondary Education school as teacher and administrator. He is currently the Director of Center for Service & Justice at Loyola High School.

Teaching Philosophy: My teaching philosophy reflects a desire of working in a collaborative environment that leads to fostering co-partnerships in teaching and learning between students and faculty within a school, across disciplines, and among educational communities including local communities and public industry partnerships outside of an institution. It is a philosophy of teaching (and learning) that is guided by a “personal concern for the whole life of each student” and one that, I believe, reflects the fundamental principles of inclusion, social justice, and the valuing of every human being.

Robert Stephan

Bob Stephan is the Director of Ignatian Formation and Adult Spirituality at Loyola High School in Los Angeles. Since 2005, Bob has served as a spiritual director or facilitator of the Spiritual Exercises in various contexts in Chicago, Boston, Orange County, CA, and Seattle. He completed his first spiritual direction training program at Loyola Chicago with additional formation at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley and the Jesuit Retreat Center in Los Altos. Bob holds degrees in theology and spirituality from Loyola University Chicago and Boston College and is committed to applying the transformative wisdom of St. Ignatius to our 21st Century context.