Victor Canales Gamiño
Youth Organizing Director
Victor was born in Guanajuato, Mexico. He grew up in Idaho working in agriculture to augment the family income. In 2013 he was accepted into SAF’s Into the Fields summer internship and was placed with Legal Aid of North Carolina's Farmworker Unit in Raleigh, NC where he served as an outreach intern. Victor is very excited to continue his journey to empower farmworker youth by coordinating SAF's Levante Leadership Institute.
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 helps coordinate Into the Fields.
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.
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.
Ramón recruits, trains, and provides mentorship for ITF interns. He also recruits and trains sponsoring organizations and co-directs the theater project. Ramón joined the SAF staff in 2011 but he has been involved for over 15 years. He participated in SAF’s Levante youth program when he was a senior high school and then the Into the Fields Internship program when he was in college.