Justin was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. After early days as a student organizer, performance poet, Wells Fargo employee, and service worker, he moved to Washington, DC. There he was swept into the burgeoning Occupy DC protests fighting the corruption of lobbying & big money in politics.
Occupy DC taught him to plan direct actions, and inspired years of activity, including hosting left-wing talk radio, organizing neighborhood eviction defense, and organizing retail and call center workers. Developing along with the Momentum community of social movement practitioners, he planned and led mass civil disobedience on voting rights, money in politics, and health care reform. He was also one of the many people on the Left who stumbled into what’s now called distributed organizing: building online infrastructure and coaching volunteers to organize distributed direct actions. With his help there were actions at Congressional field offices, campaign events, the halls of Congress, and at all 50 state capitols in a single day. During this period he lived for eight years, and served on the board of, the Love + Solidarity Collective.
Present interests include the study of perseverance & burnout mitigation in social movements, and disasters as opportunities to explore new forms of life. He hopes all of his movement families can benefit from his work at IPS.