I believe that people and communities have tremendous amounts of untapped beauty and wisdom. The best part of my work is creating space for that beauty and wisdom to unfold in their lives and be unleashed in the world.
Brenda is committed to the role of culture, relationship and community wisdom in strengthening social justice efforts.
Brenda was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and comes from a Nicaraguan family. She credits her parents and ancestors with instilling the cultural and spiritual values that led her to social justice work. She has 12 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, in the areas of youth and community organizing, environmental health and justice, gender justice, and health equity.
Brenda’s work at MSC has included a field scan on youth organizing and engagement for The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities work and providing facilitation, trainings, and planning support for regional and statewide youth convenings. She also works with the Foundation’s Boys and Men of Color Alliance, providing support in strategy development, planning, alliance building, youth and community engagement, and program integration and collaboration.
Brenda supports MSC’s Transformative Movement Building research and writing, focusing on how movement builders are integrating creative, body-centered and contemplative practice into their work. She is interested in the role of indigenous practices in movement building, and enjoys incorporating circle work, culture and ceremony into meeting design. She has provided speeches and trainings on the role of indigenous history, spirituality, and healing on leadership and social justice efforts. She is author of Real World Mindfulness for Beginners: Navigate Daily Life One Practice at a Time.
Prior to joining MSC, Brenda served as the Program Manager at Breast Cancer Action where she was responsible for campaigns, legislative and policy work, writing, and speaking with the media. She has also served as the Associate Director at Literacy for Environmental Justice, a youth organization focused on environmental justice.
Brenda received BA degrees in Biology and Developmental Psychology, and holds a MS degree in Animal Behavior. She has served on the Board of KIDS for the BAY and her local neighborhood association. Prior to her nonprofit work Brenda studied howler monkeys, directed field research, and developed conservation education and community programs in Central America.