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  • Kelsey Hernandez

Spotlight Series on Rise Together Members

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

By Kelsey Hernandez

In 2020, Rise Together was founded by 17 leaders of color and a team from Community Foundation Santa Cruz County who are working to achieve racial equity and improve well-being for local People of Color. Each leader has worked in a broad range of fields including education, social work, public service, and politics. You may know some of the stories behind these leaders reading their bios on the Rise Together website, but there is much more to highlight. That’s why we started the leader spotlight campaign on social media.

A Collection of Stories

From this collection of stories, you’ll see that not only are each of these leaders working to improve the lives of the people they serve, but challenging themselves to incorporate new ways of thinking and taking action. They are more than the organizations they represent; they are walking with us every step of the way to make our communities thrive. From providing youth resources for creative expression to ensuring members of surrounding communities embrace diverse backgrounds, these leaders are committed to helping in any way they can. At the same time, they are trying to find a balance between the struggles and accomplishments in the midst of a pandemic and issues resulting from these hard times. Still, having fought barriers countless times before, their resilience continues to shine through their work and ambition.

Helping the Next Generation of Leaders Bloom

Often, we think of leaders as the sun and water to our plants, but really, they are the ones planting the seeds in the garden, helping prepare the next generation of leaders to bloom. Rise Together leaders are continuing to strive towards the goals they set for themselves in 2022 while expanding the space for next years to come. There is much work to be done and these leaders are up to the challenge.

Spotlight Series

In case you missed the spotlight stories on social media, here they are again as a collection. View them on your preferred social media channel and help spread the word about the amazing work they are doing in our community.

Brenda Griffin - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn
Carmin Powell, M.D. - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn
Consuelo Alba - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn
DeAndre’ James - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn
Erica Padilla-Chavez - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn
Fe Silva Robles - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn
Gina Castañeda - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn
Jacob Martinez - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn
Justin Cummings - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn
Keisha Browder - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn
MariaElena De La Garza - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn
Nereida Robles, Ed.D. - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn

About the author: Kelsey Hernandez, a student at University of California, Santa Cruz studying Psychology. As the Rise Together intern, she’s exploring her passion for helping diverse communities through nonprofit service.

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