Lorena Melgarejo

Executive Director

Lorena Melgarejo has served as the the Executive Director of Faith in Action since 2017. With over 20 years in community organizing experience, Lorena started her career as a union organizer for Justice for Janitors and later worked as a faith-based organizer for Faith in Action National. In 2005, she became Lead Organizer for San Francisco Organizing Project. Before she stepped into her Executive Director position with Faith in Action Bay Area, Lorena coordinated parish organizing and immigrant solidarity for Faith in Action and the San Francisco Catholic Archdiocese’s Office of Human Integrity.

Lorena is a longtime resident of the Mission District in San Francisco.

Abby Taylor

Community Organizer

Abby Taylor joined Faith in Action Bay Area as a community organizer in February 2021.

She was first introduced to our organization in February 2020, when she took part in a community-engaged learning course in college. Abby accompanied our leaders in canvassing door-to-door low-income voters of color in Redwood City. Later that year she became a summer fellow, first calling community members who had been impacted by COVID-19 and then calling voters during the fall election season.

Abby is inspired by the love that Faith in Action Bay Area leaders have for their community and by the high value we place on relationships as the foundation for our work. In this work, Abby finds her faith intersecting with justice in community.

She looks forward to moving towards true communal justice, especially as our communities heal from the crises brought on by COVID-19 and rebuilding our world in a way that furthers economic justice and upholds the dignity of all people.

Adriana Guzman

Lead Community Organizer, San Mateo County

Adriana Guzman is Faith in Action’s lead community organizer for South San Mateo County, having joined the staff in 2015. She works with clergy and lay leaders in both English-speaking and Latino congregations. In recent years, these leaders have made important strides in securing housing and immigration justice for their communities.

Adriana first became a leader with Faith in Action in 2014, when she worked as a phone banker and canvasser for Campaign for Citizenship. Later that year, she volunteered to answer an early version of the Rapid Response hotline, fielding calls from community members who had encountered ICE and connecting them to legal help.

For Adriana, faith is central to organizing. Faith shapes her values and guides her actions as an organizer; and she constantly turns to faith as a source hope, connection, and strength as she serves her community in its fight for justice.

Carolina Parrales

Director of Finance and Operations

Carolina Parrales Faith in Action Bay Area’s Director of Finance and Operations. She joined Faith in Action Bay Area as a community organizer in 2018.

Carolina was born and raised in El Salvador. She has a degree in architecture from Universidad Centro Americana, a Jesuit university in her home country. As an architecture student, Carolina had the opportunity to work with refugees in the rural community of Teosinte, helping to build a bridge that connected Teosinte to a nearby city for the facilitation of commerce. Carolina’s experience in Teosinte ignited her passion for organizing and justice work.

Before joining Faith in Action Bay Area, Carolina worked for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. She lives in the East Bay with her husband, Javier, and their son Abel.

Cynthia Hinestroza

Operations Manager

Cynthia Hinestroza has served as the Operations Manager of Faith in Action Bay Area since the merger of San Francisco Organizing Project and Peninsula Interfaith Action in 2014.

Lisa Marie Wong

Data Organizer

Lisa Marie Wong was introduced to Faith in Action Bay Area in early 2017, when she attended a Rapid Response training. She quickly became hooked on the organization’s mission, ethos, and people. She joined the Faith in Action Bay staff as a Communications and Data organizer later that year.

Matt Alexander

Communications Director, Lead Community Organizer

Matt was a Faith in Action Bay Area leader for nearly 20 years, before he finally joined the organization as a community organizer in 2018. He was a teacher and principal in the San Francisco public schools for over two decades, and he now serves as an elected member of the San Francisco Board of Education.

Matt learned about the power of organizing in the early 2000s, when he and other teachers, parents, and youth came together across race, class, and language to create a vision for a more effective, community based high school. After many months of attempts, they could not get a meeting with the district superintendent. But when they announced that they were hosting a public event with 250 people and three school board members to discuss the proposed school, suddenly they had three meetings with the superintendent in two weeks. Two years later, the group opened June Jordan School for Equity, which became a nationally recognized innovative small high school. Matt knows through this experience and others like it that when people come together around common values, we can create the power necessary for real change.

Marc Adams

Integrated Voter Engagement Organizer

Marc joined Faith in Action Bay Area in 2021. Prior to joining the organization, Marc served as a campus minister in San Diego, worked for various nonprofits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and worked as both a reporter and producer in broadcast journalism in Washington D.C. As an extrovert who has always loved connecting with others and building relationships and bridges across difference, people are his passion and community is where he finds his home.

Among his many roles over the years, his most cherished is that of a husband to his partner of 11 years and father to his two young children, both of whom inspire him create a world with new urgency where everyone truly belongs. Marc was born and raised in Orange, California.

Nani Friedman

Research, Policy, and Communications Organizer

Nani Friedman joined the Faith in Action Bay Area staff in 2020. Nani was first introduced to Faith in Action Bay Area in 2017, when she supported the organizing work of our leaders in Redwood City and North Fair Oaks as part of a summer fellowship in college. She has experience in housing organizing and policy.

Nani grew up in Belmont in San Mateo County and is deeply invested in organizing for a more equitable and inclusive home. She is inspired by Faith in Action’s vision to change how power works in the county, led by members of our community that are most impacted by racial, economic and social injustice.

Tom Jackson

Integrated Voter Engagement Director

Tom joined Faith in Action Bay Area in 2021. He has over 22 years experience in arts and culture work, labor organizing, community organizing, and government work. His skills include listening, dialoguing, teaching, organizing adults and youth, and recruiting and developing leadership. He has deep experience organizing in schools, neighborhoods and workplaces. Tom has dedicated all of his professional life to empower communities to better themselves and their future.

Violeta Roman

Lead Community Organizer, San Francisco

Violeta joined Faith in Action Bay Area as a community organizer in 2016. Under her guidance, Violeta’s leaders do powerful work in affordable housing, eviction prevention, voter engagement in San Francisco.

Violeta found her calling as a community organizer when a close family member experienced deportation. The accompaniment that the faith community offered her during that time affected her deeply and inspired her to help others in a similar way.

Violeta is a longtime parishioner at St. Peter’s Parish in the Mission District of San Francisco.

Veronica Martinez

Community Organizer

Veronica Martinez is a community organizer with Faith in Action Bay Area since 2022. She organizes in San Mateo County and has been a leader with the organization since 2020.