About Moving Forward Network

Transforming global trade for healthy communities

The Moving Forward Network is a national network of over 50 member organizations that centers grassroots, frontline-community knowledge, expertise, and engagement from communities across the US that bear the negative impacts of the global freight transportation system. MFN builds partnerships between these community leaders, academia, labor, big green organizations and others to protect communities from the impacts of freight. Its diverse membership facilitates an integrated and geographically dispersed advocacy strategy that incorporates organizing, communications, research, legal and technical assistance, leadership development, and movement building. This strategy respects multiple forms of expertise and builds collective power.



Communities across the nation negatively impacted by the global trade system can become healthy, sustainable places, including healthy workplaces, communities and environments, by reducing and ultimately eliminating those negative impacts.


To transform the global trade system by supporting the organizing, advocacy, education and research efforts of partners around the United States toward improving public health, quality of life, environmental integrity, labor conditions and environmental justice.


The Moving Forward Network builds the capacity of network participants working to improve the freight transportation system in the areas of environmental justice, public health, quality of life, the environment and labor. The Network does this through communications to facilitate information sharing, sharing advocacy tools, funding research on emerging issues, peer to peer training, and facilitating regional and national workshops to unite network participants and attract new allies. The Network also seeks to create national campaigns and educational initiatives on policies, undertaking outreach to new partners, and developing international links.

MFN Staff

The National Office of the Moving Forward Network is housed
in the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

Angelo Logan

Campaign Director

Angelo Logan grew up in the City of Commerce, California and lives in Long Beach.  He is the co-founder of East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ), and has worked with a wide variety of coalitions to achieve health protective policies, particularly regarding goods movement and Green Zones. Angelo currently serves on several organizations working to protect community health, including the South Coast Air Quality Management District Environmental Justice Advisory Group, I-710 Corridor Advisory Committees, Southern California Association of Governments Goods Movement Task Force and the City of Commerce’s Environmental Justice Task Force and Green Zones-Policy Working Group

Jessica Tovar

Project Director

Prior to her position at Occidental College, Jessica was Project Manager for the Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma (LBACA).  LBACA works on improving children’s health through a socio-ecological model that includes direct in-home services, community/school/clinic trainings, community engagement and environmental health policy work. Jessica holds a B.A. in Sociology and Political Science from the UC, Irvine and a Master’s in Social Work from UCLA.

Martha Matsuoka

Executive Director of the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute

Martha Matsuoka  focuses her teaching and research on environmental justice, community-based regionalism, sustainable community development, and social movements.  Her current research focuses on policy, planning, organizing, and advocacy related to ports and goods movement. She is co-author with Manuel Pastor, Jr. and Chris Benner of “This Could Be The Start Of Something Big: Regional Equity Organizing And The Future Of Metropolitan America” published by Cornell University. She currently serves on the Board of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation (currently serving as Chair) and the Human Impact Partners and is a member of the Switzer Foundation’s Fellowship Network. Martha received her Ph.D. in Urban Planning from UCLA, a Masters in City Planning from UC Berkeley, and an A.B. from Occidental College.

Iris Verduzco

Project Coordinator

Iris Verduzco is the Project Coordinator for the Moving Forward Network (MFN) located at the Urban Environmental Policy Institute (UEPI) at Occidental College. As Project Coordinator, Iris will support the program staff with the Moving Forward Network campaigns, movement building, building power for a stronger Network and general support for the environmental justice work of MFN’s members. Iris is presently a board member with East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice and has been involved as a community member since 2012. She holds her B.A. from the University of Southern California in Law, History, and Culture and a minor in Environmental Health.


Spruce Bohen


Spruce Bohen is a third-year Urban and Environmental Policy major at Occidental College. Originally from Woodstock Vermont, the environment is close to her heart. She intends to focus her senior comprehensive project on Just Transition in the California context. She will support the MFN team for the 2019-20 academic year.