Meet Our Team

Lisa María Castellanos

Grassroots Organizing Institute Coach


Lisa María Castellanos is a Xikana born and raised in California by way of México and the Arizona Sonora desert. Lisa has over 25 years of organizing, membership, leadership development, political education, policy work, grant writing, and movement-building experience as an independent consultant, coach, and advisor with local, national, and international organizations.

Lisa is a graduate of the Center for Third World Organizing’s Minority Activist Apprenticeship Program. Since her time as a single mother during the welfare deform years of the mid-1990’s, Lisa has worked with communities on various issues including immigrant rights, food stamp access, welfare rights, education justice, anti-prison work, affordable housing, transportation, food justice, transnational economies, and environmental justice, as well as gender and reproductive justice, including family rights of incarcerated loved ones.

Lisa currently serves on the Leadership Circle of Mijente, a national network for Latinx/Chicanx changemakers, and sits on the Advisory Committee for the Transnational Villages Network, a human rights network of Mexican indigenous communities and their diasporas in the U.S. As a member of Essie Justice Project, an organization for women with incarcerated loved ones, she has facilitated the Healing to Advocacy Series and sits on the research committee.

Lisa graduated magna cum laude and received her B.A. in Feminist Studies with an emphasis on Social Movements and the Law from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Lisa finds great joy (and challenge) in helping to build leaderful organizations and is especially interested in membership models that can scale up and build political homes for frontline communities through organizing, campaigns, and cultural work. In her spare time, she runs with her dog, swims in the SF Bay with her partner during warmer months, and screenprints in her home studio.