Celebrating Black Female Grassroots Leadership in San Francisco

Two long-time community mobilizers are giving us much to celebrate this Women’s History Month – Alicia Garza (at left in photo) and Neva Walker. Alicia and Neva have extensive experience advocating and organizing on behalf of low-income communities of color. Both have recently taken on Executive Director posts at their respective organizations, POWER and Coleman Advocates, and will continue to work for economic, racial, and environmental justice in San Francisco’s Bayview, Sunnydale, Excelsior, and Mission neighborhoods.

Alicia Garza joined POWER’s staff in 2005 and was instrumental in launching the Bayview Hunters Point Organizing Project. In 2008, she was named a “Local Hero” by the San Francisco Bay Guardian for her work to combat gentrification and environmental racism. She was appointed to co-lead POWER in 2009 and was named Executive Director last year, succeeding Steve Williams in the position.

Hailing from Minneapolis, Neva Walker has a rich history of community organizing and political leadership work, particularly around securing affordable housing and opportunities for low-income youth and families of color. Neva was the first African American woman elected to the Minnesota Legislature in the state’s history, running a precedent-setting grassroots campaign. Serving eight years as a legislator, Neva stepped down to return to her organizing roots and moved to the Bay Area, where she became involved with Coleman Advocates, succeeding NTanya Lee at the helm.

We would like to congratulate these two exceptional women and wish them much luck in their new leadership positions!

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