Pierre Ivan Arreola (aka Pierre Boogie) is an artist and activist of Mexican, Salvadorean and Mesoamerican heritage from Pacoima, CA. His early life was filled with music that drew from his parents’ experience as migrants–his father who sought musical dreams as a member of a Mexican rock band and his mother who used her voice to express her tumultuous escape from the Salvadorean Civil War. Pierre’s organizing journey dates back to high school when he and his friends co-founded "The GR818ERS" (‘great-one-eighters’), a grassroots collective mobilizing Hip Hop culture to uplift the San Fernando Valley. As a member of the collective, Pierre served as an arts educator and community organizer using dance as a medium for learning, transformation and healing.
As a first-generation college student, Pierre went on to Brown University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and was awarded several fellowships to build the capacity of The GR818ERS as a force for social change. After college, Pierre continued organizing young people, all the while working as a legal advocate to improve access to healthcare at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County. Pierre was recognized as the City of Los Angeles Impact Maker to Watch in 2016 followed by the ACTIVATE arts advocacy fellowship which he leveraged to establish AWOKE, a nonprofit organization inspired by the transformational work of The GR818ERS. After a decade of building the movement, they opened the UNITE Cultural Center in 2019 - a San Fernando Valley-based hub for youth and community development through creative transformation, civic engagement, and collective healing. As the Executive Director of AWOKE, Pierre manages development efforts, administers funding contracts and oversees a team of 15 cultural ambassadors.
Pierre’s expertise lies in developing and implementing creative collaborative strategies for advancing equity, trauma prevention, and violence interruption. Currently, Pierre manages the Transformative Justice Initiative of the LA County Commission on Human Relations and helps produce the annual LA County Hate Crime Report. Through this role, Pierre provides technical support and assistance to agencies across the county as they heed calls to reimagine public safety. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, he was appointed to the City of Los Angeles’ Executive Task Force on Youth Development to help craft the blueprint for the City of Los Angeles’ inaugural Youth Development Department. Pierre also serves as a board member of two academic centers at Cal State University, Northridge: the Center for Southern California Studies and the Center for the Interdisciplinary Pursuit of Hip Hop Elevation & Research. In 2022, Pierre received the Mentorship Award from the San Fernando Valley Young Democrats and was awarded the Mentor of the Year as part of Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel’s San Fernando Valley Community Leadership Awards.
As an LA City Human Relations Commissioner, Pierre aims to leverage his lived experience, cultural capital, and expertise to continue to uplift vulnerable communities, spread hope, and advocate for justice.