Staff board

Haleh Zandi

Co-Founder + Co-Director +  Leadership Council + Peace Council

Haleh Zandi is a mother, land-based activist, co-founder and director at Planting Justice. For the past 10 years, she has been organizing across prison walls to support people impacted by mass incarceration as they return home to community. Haleh’s approach towards food sovereignty particularly draws critical connections between the United States’ dependence upon fossil fuels within the modern colonial food system and the unjust U.S. militarization of the Middle East. Prior to founding Planting Justice, Haleh worked for Peace Action West in Berkeley and with the Women of Color Resource Center in Oakland. Read More

Staff Planting Justice TYY Team Salvador

Salvador Mateo Escobar

Assistant to Co-Directors + Infrastructure Team + Leadership Council

My position at PJ requires me to be outside a lot. I’m a site manager for most jobs, and we’re just building gardens, just getting stuff done. The crew that I work with consists of men who have transitioned from prison to the outside, and we provide a job with a living wage of $17.50/hr. Growing up I didn’t have much access to healthy food. My mom worked two jobs, didn’t have much time to spend with me and my two sisters. She would give us $20 and tell us to get something eat. The fridge was full of food, but we didn’t know how Read More

Staff Gavin Raders

Gavin Raders

Co-Founder + Co-Director + Leadership Council

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, environmental and human rights issues both on campus and off. He has knocked on nearly 30,000 doors in California, Read More


Staff Planting Justice Educator Diane

Diane Williams

Educator + Case Manager 

Diane Williams brings to Planting Justice decades of experience as a social worker and public health educator. She is Native Alaskan and has been a resident of the Fruitvale district in Oakland since the 70’s. She previously brought her experience and energy to the Native American Health Center, Children’s Hospital, Alameda County Prison Health Services, and the Peralta Historical Hacienda and Museum. Diane was fundamental in saving and continuing to maintain the Fruitvale community garden, which had been an empty lot for over 35 years. Diane has a BA from Indiana University and a Master’s in Public Health from UC Berkeley.

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Victor Brazelton

Director of Operations + Leadership Council

Victor Brazelton comes to Planting Justice with a background of 10 years as an educator at Los Rios Community College focused on policy analysis and social justice advocacy.  Victor works with various groups working towards abolition and housing as a human right. Victor is a strong believer in harm-reduction strategies and believe that It is up to us to create the spaces we want to live in.  

Indigenous Africans were trafficked and marooned on Turtle Island and it is our duty to fight for our freedom.  Victor has worked as an educator as well as a re-entry facilitator.   Victor’s current role at planting Justice is Director of Operation where they work on facilitating meeting the operational needs of planting Justice

Victor also sits on Planting Justice Leadership Council as well as Planting Justice Board of Directors

Staff Planting Justice Vendor Bilal C

Bilal Coleman


Bilal Coleman was born in Berkeley and raised in Oakland, CA. He is a parent of two and he enjoys spending time with both his children. He has a passion for health and personal fitness and giving back to the youth by sharing his personal experiences with the criminal justice system. He appreciates the way everyone at Planting Justice treats each other like family and has supported and accepted him as part of the family. Bilal was sentenced to 20 years in prison at the age of 17. After serving his full sentence, Bilal was released in November of 2015 and is chronicling his first year of freedom through his video diary project, The Freedom Chronicles.

Transform Your Yard

Staff Planting Justice TYY Team Nicole

Nicole Wires

TYY Permaculture Designer

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.  Her unpaid work includes organizing with the White Noise Collective, exploring the intersection of white privilege and gender oppression in the struggle for racial justice, and working to dismantle the prison industrial complex with the #DefundOPD working group of the Anti Police-Terror Project.  She also loves to garden, read, dance, climb, hike, play guitar, drum, and explore.

Rahul Patel

TYY Ecological Landscaper and Project Manager

Rahul is an ecology and food justice educator for Planting Justice. He brings a lifelong experience exploring the natural beauty of different California ecologies into work with young humans reconnecting with the lessons that nature and its elegant systems can teach us. He spent many years working in locavore restaurants as a cook and can bring the best out of any vegetable. Rahul speaks and listens to plants and is an advocate for Natural solutions to human-made problems (after all, humans are a part of nature). As a constant student of Permaculture, he observes the elegant and sustainable solutions nature has developed over millenia and hopes to integrate them into cities. His hope for the young people is that they may steward and love the Earth in exchange for its knowledge and bounty.


Staff Planting Justice Nursery Technician Yennifer 2

Yennifer Flores

Nursery Team + Leadership Council +               Peace Council

Bio coming soon!

Staff Planting Justice Nursery Team Joe

Joseph Urias

Nursery Team

Bio coming soon!

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Cesar Fragoso

Nursery Team

Bio coming soon!

Staff Planting Justice Nursery Team Otis 2

Otis Spikes

Nursery Team

Otis grew up in Sobrante Park and has lived here in the neighborhood for the past 37 years. After hearing about the Planting Justice Nursery & Aquaponics Farm Incubation Center, he came to apply for a job, and was quickly hired for his experience and expertise in irrigation construction, a skill he honed working for the City of Oakland’s Parks & Recreation Department. He’s excited to be a part of something BIG that will benefit the community of Sobrante Park.

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Luis Ortega

Nursery Team + Leadership Council

Bio coming soon!

Staff Planting Justice Nursery Team Adela 2

Adela Flores

Nursery Team + Peace Council

Bio coming soon!

Staff Planting Justice Nursery Team Jose 2

Jose Isordia

Nursery Team + Peace Council

Bio coming soon!

Staff Planting Justice Nursery Team Luis Jr 2

Luis Ortega Jr.

Nursery Team

Bio coming soon!

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Julio Madrigal

Nursery Team

Julio Madrigal grew up in Oakland, he has witnessed the struggles people have around food along with the health issues of malnutrition. Julio has had the opportunity to learn from people in his community and this has rooted his love for the Planting Justice community. Julio enjoys teaching people ways to better their gardening techniques or simply learn to use plants as medicine.This has made Julio realize that change is possible and just like plants it takes time to grow.

Rogelio Rizo

Nursery Team

Bio coming soon!


Gordon Limbrick

Nursery Team

Bio coming soon!


Leroy Ray

Nursery Team

Bio coming soon!

Food Forest + Farm

Staff Planting Justice Farm Team Andrew

Andrew Chahrour

El Sobrante Farm Manager + Infrastructure Team +          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. Uninspired by top-down change, Andrew moved to Boston where he co-founded a wiki-based website devoted to ethical consumerism by providing product life-cycle information to everyday consumers. Read More

Grassroots Organizing

Staff Alisia 2 c

Alisia Brown

Grassroots Organizer

Alisia Brown was born and raised in Oakland and formerly worked with Planting Justice from 2012-2017. She loves working with children and supporting the organization in bringing this work to more people through street canvassing. She has been a member of the Planting Justice Board of Directors since 2016.

Skye McIntyre

Grassroots Organizer

Bio coming soon!


Laurel Schweidel

Grassroots Organizer

Bio coming soon

Transportation Services +
Administrative Support

Staff Stu Millard

Stu Millard

Vehicle Maintenance

Bio coming soon!

Staff Planting Justice Accountant Jie Wang c

Jie Wang


Jie Wang is a Certified Public Accountant who specializes in non-profit billing for mental health, foster care, adoption, Title IV and more. Jie supports the Planting Justice Financial Committee with financial reporting, reconciliation, audit preparation, and annual tax preparation.


Lesbhia Morones

Spanish Interpretation

Bio coming soon

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