At The Greenlining Institute, we don’t just talk about diversity, we practice it every day. Our talented staff and Academy participants come from a wide variety of backgrounds and bring a diverse range of life experiences to the work of advancing justice and equity for all of America’s communities.

Orson Aguilar | Executive Director
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Orson Aguilar is the Executive Director of the Greenlining Institute, one of the nation’s largest and most successful multi-ethnic, advocacy and leadership development nonprofits.  Greenlining envisions a nation where race is never a barrier to economic opportunity and communities of color thrive.  Because people of color will be the majority of our nation’s population by 2040, Greenlining believes that America will prosper only if communities of color prosper.

Under Orson’s leadership, Greenlining has become a leading voice in the movement to fight redlining by advocating for greenlining policies, particularly in the areas of the economy, the environment, health, energy, voting, and telecommunications.

Preeti Vissa | Chief Operating Officer
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Preeti Vissa is The Greenlining Institute’s Chief Operating Officer, responsible for enhancing the internal organization processes and infrastructure that will allow Greenlining to continue to grow and fulfill its mission.

Previously, as director of the Economic Equity team, Preeti led Greenlining’s efforts to ensure that the country’s largest financial institutions serve the needs of diverse communities. In this capacity, she regularly led delegations of community leaders in meetings with the nation’s leading financial regulators and CEOs. Preeti has published reports on issues of homeownership, small business entrepreneurship, supplier diversity and regulatory reform. She has presented and testified in numerous panels and hearings before the Federal Reserve and other official bodies. She is a graduate of Greenlining’s Leadership Academy.

Stephanie Chen | Energy & Telecommunications Policy Director
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Stephanie Chen directs Greenlining’s advocacy in energy and telecommunications policy. She oversees Greenlining’s legal counsel at the California Public Utilities Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, who advocate on a wide range of issues impacting underserved consumers and small businesses. Stephanie has litigated several high-profile cases impacting billions of dollars in utility rates, winning broad statewide protections for communities of color, low income ratepayers and small business owners.

Janine Macbeth | Development Director
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As Development Director, Janine makes sure Greenlining has the resources it needs to advance its mission. In her tenure at Greenlining, she has played a key role in increasing the organization’s budget by 20 percent, and independent philanthropic grants by 80 percent. Her shining accomplishment has been building the organization’s development systems from the ground up. When Janine was asked about her favorite part of the job, she answered, “Taking a mess of information and analysis, identifying key themes, and boiling it all down to a simple and compelling idea.”

Rosa Martinez | Office Director
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Rosa María Martinez is The Greenlining Institute’s Office Director, overseeing the management of our office and building. Previously, she worked with the Bridges to Health Team managing Greenlining’s Diversity in the Health Workforce initiative, looking at current representation of people of color at all levels within the health field. She also worked on ensuring that information about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was reaching limited-English communities throughout California, conducting presentations across the state. Rosa María co-authored an issue brief designed to help ethnic small businesses understand key elements of the ACA affecting them.

Bruce Mirken | Media Relations Director
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Bruce Mirken brings two decades of journalism and communications experience as well as a long history of activism to his position as Media Relations Director. An award-winning writer who serves as Greenlining’s resident editor and all-purpose wordsmith, Bruce’s work has appeared in wide range of publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Men’s Health, and The Advocate. From 2001 through 2009, he served as Director of Communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. In that capacity, he appeared frequently on radio and television, including ABC World News, Anderson Cooper 360, and The Rachel Maddow Show, and was quoted in newspapers and magazines worldwide. His activist career began in the LGBT community (starting just out of college with the campaign against Proposition 6, which would have fired gay or lesbian schoolteachers in California) and quickly branched out to a wide array of social justice issues.

Braelan Murray | Communications Director
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Braelan Murray, a Bay Area native, is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he received his B.F.A. in Film and Video Production. An award-winning filmmaker with over a decade of experience using media as a tool for advancing social change, his portfolio includes work for local unions, progressive nonprofits and cutting-edge media design firms —notably as editor and videographer on Annie Leonard’s world-renowned animated short, The Story of Stuff. As Communications Director at The Greenlining Institute, Braelan has expanded and transformed Greenlining’s use of all forms of media to tell the stories of the issues and communities we advocate for, greatly expanding the organization’s presence in all forms of new media.

Claudia Paredes | Academy Director
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Claudia Paredes is Leadership Academy director for The Greenlining Institute. A formerly undocumented immigrant from Peru, Claudia holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Public Policy from Pepperdine University. Claudia is a perpetual student of leadership and believes in the power of personal development and empowerment as a means to greater social change. She is a proud of alumna of Rockwood Leadership Institute and the Hispanas Organized for Policy Equality (HOPE) Leadership Institute, both focusing on individual leadership growth and practice. Together with a dedicated team, she leads five core leadership programs that engage young leaders of color in various stages of their educational and professional trajectory.

Michelle Romero | Claiming Our Democracy Director
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As the Claiming Our Democracy Director at The Greenlining Institute, Michelle works to strengthen democracy by ensuring that communities of color have a voice. In 2010-11, Michelle led a statewide campaign to involve an unprecedented number of people of color in California’s process of redrawing the state’s legislative and congressional districts – the first time districts were drawn by a citizen commission. As a co-founding member of the Future of California Elections Collaborative, she also partnered with county election officials, civil rights and good government groups to improve the state’s voting materials and identify what’s working and what’s not for communities of color. Michelle also wrote and lobbied for legislation to extend language access to the initiative process and voting rights to former felons.

Vien Truong | Environmental Equity Director
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Vien Truong leads our Environmental Equity team, working to create solutions for poverty and pollution at the state legislature, California Public Utilities Commission, and in localities around the state. She has created state programs and policies around the country to direct billions of dollars in funding and resources to the communities most vulnerable to climate change. In 2012, Vien helped pass SB 535 (de Leon) which directs a quarter of CA’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to disadvantaged communities. In 2014, she co-led the Charge Ahead Initiative (SB 1275, de Leon) – California’s million electric cars campaign which created clean transportation choices for low income and working families.

Sasha Werblin | Economic Equity Director
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Sasha Werblin is an Oakland native who brings extensive nonprofit, public sector and campaign experience to the Economic Equity team. As Economic Equity Director, she works to build wealth, assets, and financial sustainability in communities of color. Her policy experience began as Greenlining’s Sustainable Development Fellow, successfully lobbying AB 624 (Coto), the Foundation Diversity and Transparency Act, through the state Assembly and organizing communities of color across the state to ensure that large California foundations equitably support minority-led nonprofits.

Zainab Badi | Claiming Our Democracy Fellow
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Zainab is from San Diego and recently graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in International Studies with a focus in Political Science and History. Her first exposure to public policy was through her internship with Students for Economic Justice at the Center on Policy Initiatives (CPI) in San Diego. This experience sparked her interest in further pursuing public policy.

Danielle Beavers | Economic Equity Program Manager
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As the Economic Equity Program Manager, Danielle advocates for a financial sector that looks more like America. This includes leading Greenlining’s work with the federal Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion and serving on the California Department of Insurance’s Diversity Task Force. For Danielle, every issue is an economic issue; utilizing the lived experiences and knowledge of communities of color in corporate America is essential to economic recovery and prosperity for the entire nation. To this effect, she regularly advises banks and their regulators on metrics to best measure workforce and supplier diversity. She received her B.A. from Stanford University in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity with Honors.

Patrick Brown | Sr. Academy Program Manager
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Patrick Brown joined Greenlining’s team in 2012 as the Manager of the Leadership Academy. Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, he comes from a lineage of community and labor organizers. While completing his B.A. at DePaul University in Political Science with a minor in Environmental Science, he served as training coordinator for DePaul’s Labor Education Program.

Alheli Cuenca | Health Equity Fellow
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Alheli Cuenca was born and raised in sunny Fresno, California. She graduated this year from Mills College with a B.A. in Political, Legal, & Economic Analysis with an emphasis in Legal Studies and a minor in Sociology. Alheli is passionate about education and is a powerful advocate. As a peer educator with the Mills College Diversity and Social Justice Resource Center, her passion grew and she focused her advocacy skills.

JC De Vera | Communications Manager
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JC De Vera is a Bay Area native who grew up in San Jose. Believing that education would help lift his family out of the working-class struggle, he overcame the obstacles he faced in a violent, under-resourced high school and made it to his dream college, UCLA, where he graduated magna cum laude in 2011 with a B.A. in Sociology and Asian American Studies.

Joel Espino | Environmental Equity Fellow
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Joel was born in Gallup, New Mexico and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona where his family currently resides. He graduated magna cum laude from Arizona State University with a B.A. in Philosophy, a minor in Justice Studies, and a certificate in Ethics. Joel recently graduated from UC Hastings College of the Law where he served as the Academic Chair of the La Raza Law Students Association and Acquisitions Editor of the Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal.

Francisco Espinoza | Health Equity Fellow
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Francisco Espinoza is the oldest of four sons of two immigrant parents. Living as an undocumented youth provided plenty of challenges, and Francisco worked hard in school to make his family and community proud. After high school Francisco attended Citrus College, completed undergrad at the University of California Riverside, and most recently received his Masters of Public Health degree from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

Jessica Fuentes | Health Equity Fellow
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Jessica Fuentes immigrated to the Bay Area from Puebla, Mexico at the age of four with her mother and younger sister. She is a proud product of the Hayward Unified School District and a first generation college graduate from UC Berkeley. The barriers she and her family faced in accessing health and higher education opportunities based solely on immigration status shaped Jessica into an immigrant rights leader.

Anthony Galace | Bridges to Health Fellow
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Anthony Galace is a native of Chula Vista, California, and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Integrative Biology, with a focus in Human Biology and Health Sciences. As the child of Filipino immigrants, Anthony’s desire to advocate for underserved communities was shaped by his exposure to the struggles his family members and other immigrants faced while coming to the United States.

Paul Goodman | Legal Counsel
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Paul Goodman’s work is grounded in the belief that all telecommunications policy has racial equity impacts. He serves as Greenlining’s legal counsel at the California Public Utilities Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, advocating for underserved communities’ access to affordable and reliable telephone, video, and Internet services.  While at Greenlining, Paul has successfully opposed the highly anti-consumer proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, fought to preserve critical consumer protections for telephone service, and helped shape the evolution of state and federal Universal Service Programs.  He is a regular contributor to Greenlining’s blog, where he writes about telecommunications and competition policy.

Sekita Grant | Environmental Equity Program Manager
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Sekita is part of our Environmental Equity team, where she works to make energy and climate policies in California equitable and beneficial to communities of color. She comes to Greenlining from Business for Social Rresponsibility, a California nonprofit where she worked as a climate and energy sustainability consultant to large corporations. Prior to that, Sekita worked as a policy advisor at the California Energy Commission in Sacramento. There she served as lead advisor to the chair on climate, transportation, and legal matters.

Rachel Lu | Development Coordinator
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Rachel cut her professional teeth as a bootstrapping AmeriCorps member, working with the San Francisco-based Mission Economic Development Agency to spearhead strategy and planning for the SparkPoint Initiative. In that capacity, she worked with coalition partners in order to bring wealth-building services to low-income families. After completing her AmeriCorps service, Rachel began her current position as Greenlining’s Development Coordinator, supporting fundraising efforts and managing the organization’s Salesforce database in order to increase Greenlining’s fundraising capacity.

Stacy Maldonado | Casa Joaquin House Manager
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Stacy Maldonado is the House Manager at Casa Joaquin, Greenlining’s multi-ethnic residential leadership program for low-income, first generation UC Berkeley students. She was raised in South Central Los Angeles and holds a B.A. in American Studies with an emphasis in Consumer Society and Globalism from the UC Berkeley. Prior to joining The Greenlining Institute, Stacy worked as the Programs and Policy Associate with Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), where she helped manage the HOPE Leadership Institute – an intensive statewide leadership program designed for professional women in California. She is passionate about the arts, access to higher education, and the professional and leadership development of young adults.

Hector Marin | Grants Associate
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Hector joined our Development team in the summer of 2013 as Grants Associate, providing much-needed writing support and coordination of materials for existing grants, including grant reports and renewals. He has followed a proudly non-traditional life path, having danced and raised hell everywhere from Hawai’i to Colombia.

Tariq Meyers | Economic Equity Fellow
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Tariq is from Boston, Massachusetts and a recent graduate from Ithaca College with a B.A. in Politics and a Minor in Black Studies. Amidst a number of campus and citywide involvements, Tariq’s leadership experience capstoned with his tenure on the Ithaca College Board of Trustees as the sole student member. There he was able to advocate for underrepresented populations as well as lobby for much needed policy changes that would benefit all students, not just some.

Carmelita Miller | Legal Counsel
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Carmelita Miller was born in the Philippines and grew up in South San Francisco, California.  She graduated from Sacramento State University where she became a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and earned a B.A. in History with a minor in Greek studies.  After a graduating from UC Hastings College of the Law, she became a Greenlining Legal Fellow in 2013-14, focusing on telecommunications policy.

Zachary Murray | Academy Program Coordinator
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Zach Murray joined The Greenlining Institute as the Leadership Academy coordinator in January 2015. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Zach brings several years of experience in leadership development, public policy, and advocacy with a focus on low-income communities and boys and men of color. Most recently, Zach was the coordinator of policy advocacy and knowledge leadership for Larkin Street Youth Services, a leading provider of services for homeless youth in San Francisco.

Yurida Ramos | Events Coordinator
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Yurida Ramos is Greenlining’s Events Coordinator. She oversees the production of Greenlining’s special events throughout the year. Most recently, she coordinated Greenlining’s 20th Anniversary Economic Summit and the 2013 Supplier Diversity Report Card event in San Francisco. A passionate advocate for high quality education, Yurida previously coordinated multi-subject curriculum for an after-school program within the Berkeley Unified School District.

Juan Reynoso | Health Equity Fellow
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Juan Reynoso is from Escondido, California and received a B.A. in Human Biology with a concentration in the Social Determinants of Health from Stanford University. Motivated by his immigrant family upbringing and the xenophobic political atmosphere of his hometown, Juan became passionate about addressing issues of social and economic equity, especially in how they relate to public health. He is one of the Health Equity Fellows at The California Endowment office in Los Angeles.

Alvaro S. Sanchez | Environmental Equity Program Manager
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Alvaro S. Sanchez is an urban planner with extensive experience crafting, implementing, and evaluating strategies that leverage private and public investments to deliver community benefits to impacted communities. Alvaro leads our work on SB 535 (de León) which directs at least one quarter of California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to disadvantaged communities. He also leads our neighborhood-scale sustainability initiative, a comprehensive and scalable approach to greenhouse gas reduction that leverages private and public investment while improving underserved communities throughout California.

Ozi Uduma | Health Equity Fellow
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Ozi Uduma is a graduate of the University of Michigan Ann Arbor; double majoring in Anthropology and Afroamerican and African Studies (graduating with Distinction). She was born and raised in Detroit, by way of Nigerian parentage. She is the former Co-chair for the Coalition for Queer People of Color and a former executive member for the Black Student Union.

Pang Vang | Health Equity Fellow
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Pang Vang was born in Thailand and raised in Sacramento. As the eldest in the family, she held many responsibilities and quickly learned to be a self-advocator. Believing that education was the key to success, she overcame her obstacles and made it to her dream college, UC Berkeley. In 2013, she graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Integrative Biology and a minor in South and Southeast Asian Studies.

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