Juan Sebastian Arias is a research assistant to Julie Nelson and the Government Alliance on Race & Equity (GARE). Juan Sebastian was born in Chicago to a family of Ecuadorian immigrants and obtained his bachelor’s degree in Social Studies from Harvard College. Currently, he is a Master of City Planning student at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design. Juan Sebastian returned to grad school to study the ways regional systems of housing, transportation and land use reify and exacerbate structural racial inequalities.
Prior to Berkeley, he worked at Living Cities where he supported cross-sector partnerships using the ‘collective impact’ framework to advance systems change to improve the lives of low-income people of color. He has also worked at WHEDco, a community development corporation in the South Bronx, on community revitalization efforts and at Enterprise Community Partners, a national affordable housing intermediary, on various housing policy, community partner support, and weatherization initiatives.