Esperanza Pallana

Organization: Food and Farm Communications Fund

Location: Bay Area, CA

In her words...

 "I am super excited to see my organization root itself so deeply in their original intention around economic and racial equity, and most especially to extend that work into the food sector. Finally, we have reached a stage in which the conversation of how to finance a food system is at a whole new level."

What gives her hope...

Emerging now is a whole world of tools that not all investors and funders realize exist - working together, I am truly hopeful that we can create and tap into some incredible tools to lift communities out of the cycle of poverty. What would this look like? Greater land ownership for farmers of color throughout Central Valley; farm workers becoming farm owners; farm owners becoming an actual voice in the food system, equitable housing and labor practices…this is the time we can make this happen.

Esperanza's Story:

Esperanza is a culture change leader working with people, data, strategy, capital and storytelling. Her passions are community centered economic development, equitable and sustainable food systems and racial justice. She has worked with nonprofits for over 20 years with an emphasis in leadership, systemic change, and policy advocacy. She has led several successful campaigns that resulted in institutional change and innovative policy as well as capital/grantmaking programs advancing economic and racial equity. For the past ten years, she has worked to support social justice entrepreneurs and movement leaders in removing policy barriers, consolidating resources and accessing grant and lending capital for their nonprofits and small businesses.

In her most recent roles as Director of Strategic Initiatives within a community development financial institution, and as former Executive Director of a municipal food policy council, she managed cross-functional teams for strategic program development and implementation, led place-based initiatives to raise the organization’s profile and visibility; and served as a key influencer on a state and national platform while building strategic relationships with agencies and private sector organizations. Additionally, she has led fundraising operations and program development, cultivated political leadership in food policy, and fostered partnerships among a broad network of individuals, organizations, and businesses in both the public and private sectors.

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