Tessa Rouverol Callejo
Senior Program Officer, Power
Why do you do what you do?
Raised by teachers, activists, and social workers, I was formed by the social movements of the 60s and 70s. My mother and her family were immigrants from Cuba, Puerto Rico and Ireland, and their resilience and struggle for inclusion and economic opportunity influenced my worldview and led me to make a lifelong commitment to immigrant rights, racial equity, and movement building.
What drew you to the foundation?
I came to the foundation in 1996, to play a lead role in the FAITHS Program having worked as a community organizer and nonprofit executive director for close to 20 years. Since then, I’ve seen the foundation’s tremendous and unique capacity to bring people together across many different sectors and identities to strategically tackle issues of economic and racial inequity impacting low-income communities of color.
How would you describe your role?
I make grants that support community organizing and civic engagement, and work with grantees to build the voice and power of people who have been shut out of the political process. I also work with our donor team to advise donors on investments that promote immigrant rights, leadership and civic engagement, not just in the Bay Area, but across the state.
Are you involved in any volunteer activities?
I co-chair the Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees’ California Immigrant Immigration Initiative and the California Census 2020 Funders Initiative’s Power and Movement Building Subcommittee. I also belong to the Latino Community Foundation’s SF Latina Giving Circle.