Human Resources Manager
Human Resources Manager
Jaqueline Leal (she/her) is 21 years old and was born in Oakland CA. She identifies as a Chicana woman, both her parents are from the motherland, Jalisco Mexico. Jacquline’s family migrated here in 1999. She is a 1st generation Mexican-American, a graduate from Richmond High and the youngest in the family. Jackie is one of the Free Farm Stand coordinators and also helps with Farm to Table CSA pack and deliveries. She helps distribute free healthy food to local residents who don’t have access to it and she loves what she does because of the impact and the mission.
Christian Parra is our new Communication Associate. He says that working at Urban Tilth has been one of the most rewarding experiences he’s ever gotten to be a part of. He is grateful to be part of a place that truly cares for the health and wellbeing of the community it is in. As a resident of Richmond, Christian believes the work that Urban Tilth is doing is essential for the future of this city.
Executive Director and Board Member
Doria is a 3rd generation resident of Richmond, California and the Executive Director of Urban Tilth since 2007, a community based organization rooted in Richmond dedicated to cultivating a more sustainable, healthy, and just food system. Urban Tilth hires and trains residents to cultivate agriculture in west Contra Costa County to help our community build a more sustainable, healthy, and just food system.
Doria has served as Executive Director since 2007. Raised in a strong church community where her grandfather was the minister, Doria spent weekends and summers on the church’s 350 acre ranch in Fairfield California. It was on the Apostolic Temple of Truth Ranch where she was taught her first strong lessons on the power of cooperative economics by her grandfather Elder Vernon V. Robinson. Doria has also worked on organic farms in Western Massachusetts where she attended Hampshire College, at Veritable Vegetable, a women owned organic produce distribution company, Real Food Company and Mixed Nuts Food Co-op.
Doria is a Certified Permaculture Designer, Bay Friendly Gardener, Nutrition Educator and Yoga Instructor. She is the co-founder of the Richmond Food Policy Council, former co-chair of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance Western Region and member of the Climate Justice Alliance, Food Sovereignty Working Group.
Andrew grew up in Richmond and have lived there for most of his life. Andrew lived a very active lifestyle growing up, playing hockey and other sports. He joined the Urban Tilth’s Summer Youth Apprentice Program when he was in my senior year of high school and instantly loved the organization. Andrew has always been a person who loves to see communities grow and thrive, and working with Urban Tilth has given him a direct link to be able to help that cause in Richmond.
CSA Coordinator / Driver
Kenneth de la Cruz was born in San Francisco and raised in San Pablo, California his whole life. He first started in Urban Tilth as an apprentice in the Summer Apprentice Program and now is working for the Farm to Table CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Currently, his job consists of packing and delivering boxes of vegetables and fruits to the community. Kenny also loves collecting house plants.
Theresa Dixon joined Urban Tilth in 2020. Starting in the pandemic, Theresa delivered the many new boxes added to our CSA, and now works with our partner farms curating what is in the box each week. She comes from a background in project management; mostly in the event world and community engagement. She studied permaculture in Costa Rica, and is excited about how these systems play into creating a sustainable CSA here at Urban Tilth. Her family taught her from a young age about herbalism and compost, keeping the magic of nature close to her heart. Outside of work, you can find her dancing, doing yoga, or playing with horses.
Member Engagement Manager
Jonathan Leal was born in Oakland California and moved around the bay throughout his childhood and finally settled in Richmond during his teenage years. They’ve been working with Urban Tilth for about four years now and says it’s probably their favorite job. Johnny’s responsibilities at Urban Tilth include helping run the CSA Free Farm Stand and Chicken Coop care. Johnny did the Summer Apprentice Program in 2017 and then was hired as staff in 2018. Since then, they’ve worked at different sites and gained a lot of knowledge from the land and the people around him. Johnny loves supporting and sharing info about local businesses, events, and wellness gatherings. By supporting local businesses, whether that be buying items or sharing info, it helps build connections and in a way builds support systems. Throughout their 4 years working in UT, building support systems and connections has been one of the best things Jonny loves about Urban Tilth.
Ebonay was born in San Diego, California and raised in Richmond, California. She has worked at Urban Tilth for two years and enjoys it so much. As a CSA Coordinator she helps harvest, pack and deliver the produce, free box program, and free farm stand. Before she applied to Urban Tilth she worked as an apprentice at Pie Ranch in Pescadero, California for their CSA program. After this program, she attempted to look for a similar space closer to home and found Urban Tilth. She was recently able to tough it out and graduate from John F. Kennedy even while the Covid-19 Pandemic devastated all the schools and student life. During her time at urban tilth she has assisted in mending the greenway, and helped reactivate the Free Farm Stand Program.
Farm Stands and Added Value Products Manager
Isabella is the Farm to Table CSA Added Value Product Manager. If you know Isabella, you know she’s always standing up for clean air, water, and soil for everyone and the generations beyond, using non-violent direct actions and teach-ins. At Idle No More SF Bay, she’s taking on more of a leadership role, since this group used to be led by indigenous grandmothers, and is now passing it onto the younger generation, along with their intergeneration wisdom. Isabella is also a signatory on the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending Mother Earth Treaty. Isabella loves finding ways to “cross-pollinate” with organizers, especially those pushing back against the destruction and harm committed by refineries and oil industries across the globe.
Urban Tilth’s mission compliments everything she’s been pushing out, especially with things like sustainability, food sovereignty, environmental justice…it was the perfect fit and she’s been a great addition to Urban Tilth’s work as well. With a space like this, she finds it easier to connect with the younger generation who share similar values and are interested in the path that she’s been following. It also allows for more local connections, and informing one another about issues (like Chevron flaring nearby), actions, etc. Isabella was nominated for Contra Costa County 2017 Commuter of the year and received the 2015 Proclamation Letter in the City of Richmond, in honor of Native American Heritage Month.
Food is Medicine Project Manager
Marco Lemus is a first-generation, Central-American and has lived in South Richmond all his life. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a major in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Marco joined the Urban Tilth Farm to Table CSA team in 2019, where he learned how to grow, clean, and distribute healthy locally grown food to local residents. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Marco helped expand the capacity of the paid CSA from 80 to 250 residents, and also helped establish the New Farmers to Families FREE Box Program which gives 190 Richmond families
Roderick, or Rod as we know him, is a Greenway Garden coordinator and has worked for Urban Tilth for over 5 years. He enjoys all work he does, from maintaining the Edible Forest, to putting on community events for the neighbors of the Greenway. He loves the fact that the healthy food he helps grow and care for goes right back to the local community. Rod loves seeing all the smiles and joy that comes through the Greenway Gardens.
Elysiana Ayroso-Lunamcgee started working for Urban Tilth in 2021 and has been impactful in the growth at the North Richmond Farm. Born and raised in Richmond, however, she went to school in Pinole. She wanted to reclaim her roots and become a real member of our amazing city. Urban Tilth has been a great match for her because she also wanted to combat food insecurity for the people living in poverty.
Greenway Community Organizer
I was born and raised in Salinas, CA and I fell in love with Richmond after moving to the Bay Area in 2008 because it reminds me so much of home. I started working with UT in March 2021 as the Operation & Facilities Manager after following along for years via social media. I thrive on sharing the experience of delicious and nourishing food with other folks. Having access to locally and intentionally grown, sustainably sourced foods has drastically changed my life for the better. We all deserve that! Food is medicine.
Director of Farm and Gardens
Marcos “Chito” Floriano began his journey in social justice at the RYSE Youth Center in Richmond, CA. At RYSE, Chito also gained skills in photo and video production where he was able to teach classes and help other young people tell their stories using a camera. These skills have allowed Chito to land big opportunities with local musicians where he was able to tour the country, travel to Australia, and even help with getting a grant for Urban Tilth to begin what is now known as the North Richmond Farm. Chito has worked the corn fields in Pajacuarán, Michoacán where his father is from. This was Chito’s first experience working the land and caring for crops. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chito began to realize the importance of being able to help the community directly through providing food. Chito’s passion for living a healthy lifestyle, influencing others, and ending generational disease in his community, is his burning desire that wakes him up everyday. Chito spends a lot of time at the North Richmond Farm working alongside the crew to make sure crops are taken care of, is also an apprentice through the program with the Center for Land Based Learning, loves to make music, and stay active. Chito hopes to continue growing with Urban Tilth for the years to come while positively impacting the community through their amazing work.
Farm Collective Member
Maria Hernandez was born on a ranch in a small town in Oaxaca, Mexico. She came to the United States with her family in the year 2000. Maria has known about farming, ranches, growing food, and harvesting just to name a few things since she was a little girl. She has learned these things by working alongside her parents and grandparents, all of whom tended to the land. She remembers growing and harvesting corn, squash, and beans throughout the majority of her childhood. She started working at Urban Tilth in 2013 with the help of Tania Pulido, who she is so thankful for because this job is what she loves to do most. Knowing a single seed can grow and feed many others makes the job so rewarding.
Tania started when she was 18 at Adams Crest Farm in 2016, when the Farm to Table CSA consisted of 50 recipients. Her father was involved with the first construction projects at the North Richmond Farm and it was through him how she heard about Urban Tilth. She helps with everything here, from leading SAP projects to helping put on community events like the annual Martin Luther King Day of Action. Tania’s love and appreciation for nature came from her early childhood years living next to the Oaxacan beach and rainforest. Coming to Richmond, she noticed the relationship to the environment was much different. She has a lot of respect for nature, and gets upset when people litter because she sees it as if you were disrespecting your own mother. She notices that in recent years, there are much more youth taking an interest in defending and protecting the future of the planet and hopes to help in any way she can to set the next generations up for success.
Luis Jacobo has been with Urban Tilth since 2017, where he started first as a recurring volunteer with his girlfriend Tania for a few weeks and then was asked if he would like to join the Urban Tilth team. This was during a difficult time in his life when his brother had just passed away. He also wanted a change from his demolition job at the time. He stayed at home with depression for 2 months, but coming to the farm helped him see the beauty of growing compared to destroying buildings. Luis was incremental in the early years of the Farm to Table CSA. He has also helped lead SAP programs, also tours, ran the farm for a bit with partner Tania, holding it down in people’s absence. Used to be a litterer and now has trash from 2 weeks ago because he held on to it to throw it in a trash can. This is just one of the many ways Luis has changed since being at Urban Tilth. He used to think seeds just needed water to grow but has learned it takes much more than that, like having patience and consistency.
Farm Collective Member
Laura Navarro, born in San Pablo California, but was raised in Michoacan Mexico as a child , and then moved back to the San pablo/Richmond area at age 9. Laura has worked at Urban Tilth for about 9 years now, She first started as an apprentice and now she is a garden educator at Richmond High school and Verde Elementary. Laura studied sociology and Latin American and Latino studies at UC Santa Cruz, and also took a year long apprenticeship at the CASFS. She also completed a permaculture design certification at the Soul Flower Farm. Laura is passionate about making change in her community and fighting for people and Earth’s rights, as well as providing people with healthy and chemical free food. In addition, while in Santa Cruz, she volunteered at the Western Workers Association, and has also worked with ACCE Action and fought for fair renter’s rights.
In a nutshell, I have a love of creating beautiful natural spaces, learning new information that completely changes the trajectory of things for the better. Lively things are what connect me to a nicer world. I love the comfort of culture, aesthetically pleasing everything, bold colors, rich, pastel, print or pattern. To name a few. All that aside, I have a strong passion for growing food.
My name is Jacob. I live in Richmond, CA and this job is the first time I’m doing something like this. I have had some experience working in this field because I helped my dad and uncles build their own garden and grow their own vegetables. I enjoy the job I have because it combines many things I have wanted to learn about. Some things for example are how to grow multiple things and what can be planted with what and if they benefit from it and grow better together.
I am Peter Golzales Learning about, cooking and growing wild food and herbs brings me joy. Being here at the Rudy Lozito Fellowship has been a wonderful invigorating experience so far. We’ve had many opportunities to grow and taste a variety of plants and fruits. Also to learn about various native plants, invasive plants, pollinators, flowers, and the relationships amongst all the life here at the North Richmond Farm. I am also an avid musician and enjoy playing various flutes, whistles and woodwinds.
Being born and raised in a rapidly changing San Francisco, I’ve learned to value and rely on community to feel rooted, supported, and taken care of. Holding these values deep in my heart has guided me to Urban Tilth’s North Richmond farm where I hope to embody more of what it means to love on and tend to your community (& not just the people, but the plants and animals too!) Outside of farming I enjoy playing guitar, hanging out with my cat, cooking food with loved ones, and sharing conversations with friends.
Hello! My name is Yesenia Madriz, I am 22 years old and this is my first time doing anything farm related. I never knew we had a farm so close to my community so having the opportunity to step into that space and learn from it is so beautiful. One thing I’ve noticed is that the community is so grounded and giving which is not surprising but definitely comforting. There’s so much to learn and every time you think you know something there’s something else that ties into it which can be overwhelming at times but here at the Rudy Lozito Fellowship, we have each other to rely on and to help. There’s always so much knowledge being passed around. We’ve discussed intercropping, indigenous practices used to tend land, permaculture, and much more! We still have 6 months to go and I can’t imagine all that we are going to learn! I’m excited because at first I didn’t think I was worthy of stepping into a position I knew mainly nothing about but now I’m expanding my knowledge with people that care for the earth the same way and it’s magnificent!
I’m Sierra Salome, an artist who has been inwardly cultivating through art and eagerly learning to tangibly cultivate with the earth. Prior to this fellowship I’ve spent some eye-and-mind-opening time during the summers volunteering in gardens, and only a month into the program I feel more tapped in with the land than I imagined possible. I’m infinitely grateful for the lessons and connections that are abundant in this work as I reconnect with nature, remembering that I am nature.
Rudy Lozito Fellowship Program Manager
My name is Daniela, I joined Urban Tilth this year, as the Rudy Lozito Fellowship manager where we teach 6 adults of mixed ages and experience Land based skills. My journey reconnecting back with the land began through herbalism, and wanting to preserve the inter-generational wisdom that surrounded plant medicine and my lineage. My passion lies in bridging the access to resources to my community, be it knowledge, space or opportunity, I strongly believe that our Black and Brown communities should be at the forefront of access to these things. I love how Urban Tilth centers so much of their work around community engagement and truly feel like I’ve gotten a step closer to my purposeful work with working at UT. Aside from being a lover of the land, I also find my creative expression through painting, writing and dancing. Overall I love creating room for joy and child-like excitement in everything I do.
Urban Agriculture Program Manager & Deputy Director
Adam manages our programs and sites where we grow and distribute food, teach, and provide youth development and outdoor education and has worked with us for over 10 years. After seeing the Richmond Greenway and meeting Doria Robinson, Adam fell in love with the mission of growing healthy change within the community. He started working part-time for Urban Tilth at one of our first gardens called Berryland along the Richmond Greenway. Over the past 10 years Adam has made his home in Richmond and now trains Urban Tilth staff, and teaches a course at Richmond High School on Urban Agriculture. Adam has a degree in Environmental Biology from UC Berkeley, a permaculture certification from Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, and a grey water level 1 certification from Grey water Action. His prior experience includes Environmental Scientist / Staff Biologist / Assistant Project Manager working with CEQA / Technical Reports / Permitting.
Alejandro Castro, or Ale as he likes to be called, is fairly new to Urban Tilth, working as a Greenway Garden Coordinator since March 2021. He first heard about UT from his friends who are already employed there. He was born in Vallejo, California and raised in Richmond, California. Alejandro’s work includes overseeing and maintaining the vegetable garden on the Greenway. One aspect of Alejandro’s work which he enjoys the most is the community engagement. Having the opportunity to speak with new people each from the community is very rewarding and exciting! Hobbies include daydreaming, listening to music, embroidery, gardening, and… trying different mozzarella sticks.
Food Justice Fellow
Diana Leal was born in Tepatitlan De Morelos, Jalisco, Mexico and has lived in Richmond since the age of 6. She joined Urban Tilth in March 2017 as a staff apprentice at Adams Crest Farm, slowly building up her skills and supporting all types of Urban Tilth projects like the Farm to Table CSA, the North Richmond Farm expansion, & the Education programs. Diana currently co-teaches the urban agriculture classes at Richmond High School and helps care for the school garden, while also working on the CSA added value products like herbal salves, floral bouquets, jam, and more.
Diana has completed the permaculture course at Soul Flower Farm and is currently enrolled at Ancestral Apothecary School, taking a 9 month herbal training course called Cecemmana. She has packed and distributed medicine for the Community Care Herbal Response Project as well. Diana started the Healing Movement after-school club at Richmond High in 2019, which taught healing using herbs and exposed young students tpo healthier alternatives for medicine, whether that be with exercises, food, aromatherapy, horticulture therapy, etc. She is passionate about decolonizing our medicine, learning how to be in community with plants, building a more sustainable world, creating spaces for people to heal/reflect on the trauma of our people who have faced centuries of colonization. And loves to roller skate!
Education Program Manager
Lu was born in Yahualica, Jalisco and raised in Richmond, CA. Lu is Queer and Non-Binary. They attended WCCUSD schools. They pursued an A.A. in Social & Behavioral Sciences at Contra Costa College and a B.A. in International Studies: Global Environment at CSU East Bay. Their passion for environmental justice led them to work in the solar, education and government relations industries. Lu joined Urban Tilth’s Education Team, because they are committed to empowering youth to work with the land and develop program curriculum around social justice.
Verde Garden Co-Manager
Bienvenida Meza has been working for close to 20 years at the Verde Elementary School garden, planting, harvesting, as well as teaching the youth firsthand on the fundamentals of urban gardening. Ms. Meza is known for her love for nature and her storytelling, both through conversation and through her endless of albums of photographs and videos. Aside from teaching, Bienvenida Meza is very active in the North Richmond community, giving away food, seeds, and plants whenever she can. She is a North Richmond Historian.
Education Program Manager
Nathalie Rivera recently joined Urban Tilth as a Greenway Garden Coordinator in 2021. They are very passionate about native plants, especially the wildlife that each one supports and the ethnobotanical uses of them. They studied Critical Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies with a Pathway Emphasis in Ethnic Studies at Humboldt State University. Nathalie is also interested in food sovereignty and community empowerment. They hope to share their knowledge and learn more from the rest of the UT team and community in Richmond.
Solwazi was born and raised in Oakland, California. He is a Berkeley Community Fund Scholar and has an Environmental Studies degree from UC Santa Cruz…a Proud Banana Slug! Solwazi joined Urban Tilth as an apprentice through the Watersheds Basins of Relations Program in the Fall of 2019 and then later joined the Watersheds crew after completing the program, and became a Crew Manager in September 2020. As a crew manager, he plans out the workday, strategizes with contacts for numerous work contracts, schedules out equipment/tools, and completes managerial reports. He’s also an avid fisherman and environmental steward, passionate sports fan, food lover, and a loving brother and son.
Nathan designs curriculum for and leads Urban Tilth’s Watershed Restoration Training Program. Nathan is an ecologist and educator who has worked in the North Richmond community since his graduation from UC Berkeley in 2013. At UCB, Nathan studied Conservation and Resource Studies, with a focus on Ecological Restoration and Education, and upon his graduation he received a Stronach Prize to plan and build a creek-side community garden in North Richmond (still under harvest as Urban Tilth’s 1st St. Garden). Prior to working at Urban Tilth, Nathan served as Lead Restoration Coordinator for the Strawberry Creek Restoration Program in Berkeley. Nathan has worked as an educator for over half of his life, in a diverse array of settings. Nathan’s pedagogy revolves around empowering young people to see their own potential- to build upon the knowledge they have already and start to make connections between the familiar and the unfamiliar in such a way that deepens their understanding of the world around them. He aims to work for justice in all aspects of his teaching and life, guided by the belief that all life is valuable and deserves to be cared for, conserved, and given a space in which it can reach its highest potential.
Marlow started on the Watershed’s Team as a Basin’s of Relations Apprentice in 2017. Since then he has become a leader and anchor of our watershed technician team.
Community Engagement / CSA Coordinator
Paola has been a part of the Urban Tilth team for over a year now. She was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and was raised in Richmond, California. She loves animals and being able to work with the community. “Catch me at the North Richmond Farm taking care of the chickens, harvesting, or washing boxes!”
Jonah Landor-Yamagata grew up in Berkeley and Oakland. He has worked at Urban Tilth with the Basins of Relations Watersheds Program since 2018. Currently, he manages UT’s Native Plant Nursery to help make sure there are plenty of plants available for the sites that we steward and restore. Jonah has worked as an AmeriCorps volunteer at César Chávez Elementary School in Richmond, in school gardens in Berkeley and as environmental educator bringing hands-on stewardship programs to many schools in the East Bay. Before joining Urban Tilth, Jonah lived in Germany for five years, where he completed a master’s degree in Urban Ecosystem Sciences at the Technische Universität Berlin.