Founded in 2020, the Inland Empire Labor Institute (IELI) is the 501(c)(3) wing of the Inland Empire Labor Council, a regional AFL-CIO affiliate with 290,000 members across Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
The IELI partners with economic, social, and environmental organizations to prioritize the needs of workers in uplifting communities and families.
We see labor unions as a key force for promoting workers' rights, economic justice, and democratic participation, and support regional development that is socially equitable, ecologically sustainable, and culturally diverse.
Dr. Michael Chávez
Dr. Chávez is a professor of sociology at Riverside City College and received his PhD from UC Riverside in 2012. He founded the IELI in 2020.
Dr. Hillary Jenks
Dr. Jenks came to the IELI in 2023 after working at UC Riverside and serving as the inaugural director of the Center for Social Justice and Civil Liberties. She received her PhD in American Studies and Ethnicity from the University of Southern California in 2008.
CERF Program Manager
Previously a Senior District Representative with Assemblymember Eloise Reyes, Esmeralda Vazquez is a lifelong resident of the Inland Empire. She received her MA from Georgetown in Policy Management last year.