Justin grew up in San Diego near the US-Mexico border, which helped to create a strong sense of international solidarity that has become a guiding value of his work. He received a degree in history from the University of California, Irvine and has worked a variety of jobs ranging from fast food and retail to construction labor, from working in teen centers to being a high school social studies teacher.
He and his family moved to Portland in 2009. In February of 2015 Justin co-founded and became the lead organizer of 15 Now PDX, and he was the campaign manager for the Oregonians for 15 ballot measure effort. Before accepting the Solidarity Organizer position at JwJ, he worked as a community organizer for UFCW Local 555. Justin was Solidarity Organizer for 3 years before taking on the role of Development Organizer.