Maria Lopez Gonzalez
Maria was born in Mexico City but immigrated as a baby with her parents to North Carolina. She first was involved with SAF and the farmworker movement as an Into the Fields intern. That summer she spent the summer lobbying with New Frame following anti-union bills and advocating for tuition equity. She has also previously been a Solidaridad intern, Operations Manager, and currently directs the ITF program.
As a child, Victoria passed corn, tobacco, and wheat fields riding from her hometown of Florence, SC to her mother's jobs in Hartsville, Timmonsville, and Johnsonville. Still, she was a newcomer to the farmworker movement as an ITF Intern in 2018. Victoria returns to SAF as a Grassroots Organizer. After multiple international experiences, she is now dedicated to unveiling the injustices occurring in her own corner of the world.
Sandra is from Costa Rica, where she started her nonprofit work. She first came to the U.S. to study environmental science and moved to North Carolina in 1998. She’s passionate about environmental protection, access to education for Latinx students, and farmworker justice. Sandra worked for Triangle Community Foundation for ten years, connecting organizations with funding opportunities. As Assistant Director, she focuses on the organization’s finances and policies, fundraising, and communications.
Dannette grew up in Ohio and moved to North Carolina in 1992 to attend Duke University. She has worked as a labor organizer, on U.S. policy in Central and South America, and on Black land tenure. Dannette lives in Durham, North Carolina with her husband and two children. She studies Black intellectual history in graduate school. She also loves yoga, baking bread, gardening, and nurturing her children’s passions and talents.
Librado Mendoza Sosa
Librado was born in Veracruz, Mexico and moved to Siler City, NC at a young age. He graduated from Guilford College in 2020 and obtained a certification from Duke in non-profit management in 2021. During his time at Guilford, Librado was an intern and program assistant with SAF’s Into the Fields program. Librado is excited to continue to learn and fight for farmworker justice through coordinating the ITF program.
Communications Arts Director
Joanna Welborn was born and raised in western North Carolina. While studying studying Sociology and Spanish at Appalachian State University, she first got involved with the farmworker movement through the SAF Into the Fields Internship. She went on to study documentary photography at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Maine and the Duke Center for Documentary Studies. As Communications Arts Director, Joanna coordinates SAF's communications, alumni, and documentary work.
Melinda Wiggins is the granddaughter of sharecroppers from the Mississippi Delta. After she completed her Masters of Theological Studies at Duke in 1994, she served as a SAF intern, program director and then executive director. She helped create the Adelante Education Coalition & Farmworker Advocacy Network; coedited The Human Cost of Food: Farmworkers’ Lives, Labor and Advocacy; and was awarded the “Cesar Chavez Champion of Change” award by President Obama.
Youth Organizing Director
Ramón is from a small farming town in Jalisco, Mexico. His family has worked in the fields, food processing, and manufacturing plants in California and North Carolina. Ramón participated in SAF’s Levante program in High School and the Into the Fields program in college. Ramón joined the SAF staff in 2011 and has directed various programs and projects. He is a co-director of the Hacia los campos summer theater group.