Board of Directors

Meet our board

Salvador David Mateo Escobar

Officer, President
Co-Director + Leadership Council
Pronouns: he/him

Sal was first introduced to Planting Justice during his senior year art class at Fremont High School in East Oakland, California, where he grew up. PJ’s education team established a garden of 8 raised beds at the school in 2010, and it was in this garden, that Sal first planted seeds, saw food grow naturally, and tasted his first fresh snap pea! Instantly grasping the importance of others having that same experience, Read More

Haleh Zandi

Initiative Officer
Fast Action on Super Pollutants Today

Haleh is an initiative officer at the Pisces Foundation, focusing on the Fast Action on Super Pollutants Today (FAST) Initiative in partnership with ClimateWorks Foundation. FAST is a field-wide effort to catalyze the full potential of super-pollutant mitigation while centering equity, health, and social justice. 

Prior to joining Pisces, Haleh worked at the intersection of environmental, economic, and racial justice movements. In 2009, Haleh co-founded Planting Justice where Read More

Gavin Raders

Co-Founder + Co-Director
Officer, Vice President

Gavin Raders is a co-founder and co-director of Planting Justice, a father to two amazing daughters, a social justice activist, and a permaculture demonstrator/teacher. For the past 17 years, he has dedicated his life to peoples’ movements for peace and social/economic/racial/environmental justice. Prior to Planting Justice, he studied the history, failures, and successes of social movements as a cultural anthropology student at UC Berkeley, and organized on a range of anti-war, anti-nuclear, Read More

Lynn Vidal

Officer, Chair
Operations Director + Leadership Council
Pronouns: She/Him/They/Them
City: Berkeley, CA

Lynn has been on the Admin Team since April 1st 2022. We’ll find out if it’s just an April Fool’s joke. She heard about Planting Justice 11-12 years ago when she first worked for Causa Justa (then called Just Cause Oakland). Lynn’s favorite part of working at PJ is discovering its current stability impacts and gearing up to slipping foundations underneath the programs. Read More

Andrew Chahrour

Sustainable Infrastructure Director + Leadership Council

Andrew grew up in Ohio, received an Environmental Studies degree from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, and has worked within several sectors of the food & water world. Working with the Bureau of Land Management in Wyoming he documented the recession of Aspen stands, researched the impacts of livestock management practices, and was introduced to the top-down approach of improving management practices. Read More

Luis Ortega

Nursery Field Team Technician
Pronouns: he/him
City: Oakland, CA

Luis Ortega joined Planting Justice in August 2017. He was introduced to the organization by his own curiosity when he approached the nursery when it first opened. Luis enjoys working with plants and has been working in gardening since he arrived in the US. In his free time, he enjoys focusing on his family. Luis believes in Planting Justice because, just as he was able to get a job with a livable wage, other people in the community could also have the same opportunity.

Amy Butler

Officer, Secretary

Amy Butler is a Berkeley resident, mother of two, gardener, aspiring permaculture designer, and a client of the Planting Justice Transform Your Yard program. Professionally, Amy leads program management with the web team at Adobe Systems, where she facilitates inclusive, collaborative teams to design and build web experiences that inspire creativity. Read More

Joy Moore

Farm Fresh Choice, Berkeley Food Policy Council

A long-time local food activist, Joy Moore played a key role in community efforts to reform school lunch in the Berkeley Unified School District, co-founded Farm Fresh Choice, and is a member of the Berkeley Food Policy Council. She has lived and worked in Berkeley since 1969 having migrated from New York city. Retired from the City of Berkeley Chronic Disease Prevention Program in 2007, she attended UC Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Read More

DeWayne Hendrix
Author and CEO of A New Daylight

DeWayne Hendrix is a believer, husband, and father. DeWayne was born in Oakland, CA and raised in Sobrante Park, where he developed the principles of Diligence, Valiance, and Resilience (D.V.R.). Professionally, DeWayne is an author, adjunct professor, and a retired executive leader in government. Read More

Kelly Curry

Author, Artist, Activist and Founder of The Electric Smoothie Lab Apothecary, TESLA

Kelly Curry is an author, publisher, relationship builder and social justice activist. She utilizes her love of writing, storytelling and sharing healthy, living foods to create powerful, on the ground shifts with lower income, communities of color. Kelly began her career by editing and publishing Freedom Rag in Chicago, Illinois. Read More

Marcelo Garzo Montalvo

Musician, Dancer, PhD Candidate UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies

Marcelo Garzo Montalvo (Mapuche, Chilenx) is an award-winning scholar-activist, classically-trained experimental musician, Aztec ceremonial dancer and PhD Candidate in Comparative Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. He previously served on the Board of Directors for Planting Justice from 2010-2014 and worked on staff as part of the Education team during the same period. Read More

Cora Lee Garcia

Nipple Nectar Farm

Cora Lee was born and raised in Oakland’s Laurel and Fruitvale districts, among the city’s large urban Indian community. She also has roots in North Carolina, her tribal territory and ancestral homeland. Cora Lee has a professional background in organizing, nonprofit development, education, and medicine. She is passionate about sovereignty, animal husbandry, and homemaking. Read More

Alexis Stavropoulos

Property Manager, Hospitality Services

Alexis Stavropoulos received her M.A. in Geography at California State University, Fullerton. Her research focused on local food production, famers’ markets, and home gardens in Irvine, CA. During this time she worked at Orange County Produce, which led her through a world of conventional and organic agriculture. Read More

Võ Hải (Hai Vo)

Author, Artist, Activist and Founder of The Electric Smoothie Lab Apothecary, TESLA

Hải Võ là người Mỹ gốc Việt, a queer-identified diasporic who grew up in California with roots and ancestors from Việt Nam. Hải is passionate about traditional food(ways), self- and group-liberation, popular education, and having a healing and deepening relationship to land, food, plant medicine, and community.Read More

Jennifer Jacobs

Software Professional, Social Entrepreneur

Jennifer brings 25 years experience in high tech and non-profits to the board at Planting Justice, along with a passion for permaculture and the vision of creating a just, thriving, and sustainable world for everyone. Over the years she has landed at many rapidly growing organizations including Apple, Cisco Systems,, and a handful of non-profits, collaborating and managing a diverse array of multi-national programs, people and software implementations.Read More

Paul Sheldon

Founder of

Paul Sheldon serves on the Planting Justice board of directors, in part because of his extensive connections within the “Sustainable Corrections” movement, nationally and internationally. An internationally-recognized authority on sustainable food planning, natural capitalism, and local community organizing, Paul is well-known in the fields of “greening corrections”; neighborhood planning; energy, water, and Read More

Veronica Ramirez

PLACE for Sustainable Living

Born to immigrant parents from Chile, Veronica grew up on Ramaytush Territory (Redwood City, CA). She is the co-founder of PLACE (People Linking Art, Community & Ecology) located on Ohlone Territory (Oakland, CA). Since its inception in 2010/11, she has worn numerous hats, some of which include: community organizer, organizational development, education, placemaking initiatives, partnerships and Read More

Chris Boas

Co-Founder and CEO of Zeptoo

Chris Boas is the co-founder and CEO of Zeptoo, a company which creates innovative solutions for reaching the unbanked and underbanked in emerging market countries. He also co-founded Airbanq, set up to change the payday lending and check cashing industries in the US, and Sourcetrace, focused on tracing fair trade and sustainability practices in coffee and other agricultural supply chains. Read More

Erica Meta Smith

Professional Forester and Certified Ecologist at Terra Global Capital

Erica Meta Smith is a native to rural Northern California, and is dedicated to sustainable systems of design. She works in Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use (AFOLU) carbon development – linking communities to carbon markets through carbon off-set creation. Read More

Marcelo Garzo Montalvo

Dr. Marcelo Garzo Montalvo (he/they) is a musician, dancer, and Ethnic Studies scholar-activist. They currently serve as Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at California State University San Marcos. He is a first-generation Chilean-Canadian-American of Mapuche and Spanish descent. They hold a B.A., M.A. and PhD in Comparative Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley, Read More

Nicole Wires

Officer, Treasurer

Nicole Wires was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, where she made a promise to the mountains she loves to swim in every mountain stream, creak, river or lake that she comes across.  While her paid work does not define her, she loves working with the Transform Your Yard Team at Planting Justice as a permaculture designer, designing sustainable, California native, and edible landscapes for clients all over the Bay Area.  Read More