Multicultural Fellowship Officer
Farzana Serang is a collaborative leader who has focused her career on advancing racial equity. She brings more than fifteen years of experience in leadership development, coalition-building, public policy, economic development, and community engagement. She brings particular expertise on building the efficacy of low-income people and communities of color to build community wealth. As the Multicultural Fellowship Officer, Farzana works closely on the development, recruitment, and alignment of the Multicultural Fellowship Program to the Foundation’s racial and economic equity strategy.
Prior to her arrival at the Foundation, Farzana was Executive Director of the Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFED), a national nonprofit that supports college campuses to start and strengthen cooperatively-run food businesses, in order to increase access to healthy food and build vibrant, thriving, and equitable local economies. While there, she managed a fellowship designed to increase diversity in the food cooperative movement, with a focus on increasing the priority for racial and economic equity in the sector. As a Program Associate at PolicyLink, Farzana coordinated a Civic Engagement Learning Year for the W.K.Kellogg Foundation that assembled national leaders to strengthen their organizing, policy, and strategic planning acumen. While there, she developed and managed a grants program targeted at building their capacity for equity advocacy. She has also spent turns working Berkeley City College and MIT’s Co-Lab.
Most recently, Farzana served as the Great Communities Collaborative (GCC) Initiative Officer for The San Francisco Foundation, lending her extensive experience in strategic planning and network management to helping the collaborative sharpen its alignment with regional equity and foster thriving, healthy, climate-smart, transit rich neighborhoods. While with GCC, she collaborated with regional leaders to support equitable transit-oriented development for the Bay Area, and together with Six Wins for Social Equity and the Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative, Farzana successfully secured national funding to launch Bay Area For All, a project that will result in more than $1 million for housing preservation in Oakland and affordable housing development across the Bay Area as part of the SPARCC Initiative.
Farzana holds a Masters in City and Urban Planning from M.I.T. and a Bachelor of Arts in political science and anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley. She is currently a member of the Oakland Food Policy Council and serves on the board of The Sustainable Economies Law Center. She is an alumni of LeaderSpring, Uptima Business Bootcamp, and Democracy at Work Institute’s fellowship programs. She is born and raised in the Bay Area and is inspired by the Foundation’s commitment to securing racial equity for the region’s diverse populations.