Director of Communications and Narrative Strategy, San Francisco Foundation
Rachel Benditt is Director of Communications and Narrative Strategy at San Francisco Foundation (SFF), one of the largest community foundations in the country. At SFF, Benditt advances the foundation’s mission of advancing racial equity and economic inclusion through her work in strategic communications, narrative shift, and internal capacity building.
Throughout her career, Benditt has brought her academic background studying behavior change and pyscholinguistics to equity and social justice causes. Before joining SFF, Benditt worked in communications and marketing for Renew Financial, a financial startup democratizing access to clean energy, as well as NatureBridge and Camp Fire Minnesota, both outdoor education nonprofits.
Benditt holds a master’s in Journalism and Mass Communication from University of Wisconsin – Madison and a BA from Carleton College. She lives, cooks, gardens, and explores nature in San Francisco.
Director of Communications, NEO Philanthropy
Robert Bray is a communicator of conscience whose career spans more than three decades in the field of strategic communications and social justice. He is a nationally recognized senior communications strategist, media movement builder, trainer, philanthropy advisor and communications professional. His work focuses on the convergence of communications, organizing, movement building, leadership development, policy advocacy and philanthropy to create positive social change. He has created enduring resources that grow the capacity of public interest organizations to articulate their values and messages and give voice to those most affected or disenfranchised. Bray’s work on behalf of foundations and nonprofit advocacy groups has enhanced the ability to shape public opinion, inform the debate on the issues of our times, and strengthen democracy.
Bray is director of communications for NEO Philanthropy, a leading philanthropic intermediary. There he has overseen the organization’s communications around diversity, equity and inclusivity; strategic planning; mission, vision and values; and programmatic work of NEO’s collaborative funds including the State Infrastructure Fund (SIF) which focuses on democracy and elections integrity; Four Freedoms Fund (FFF) and Anti-Trafficking Fund (ATF). He was program officer of the FFF Communications Initiative, housed at NEO, starting in 2007. FFF focuses on supporting organizations championing comprehensive immigration rights, reform and integration.
Prior to NEO, Bray was director of communications for the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, a private family foundation based in San Francisco. In 1997, Bray founded the SPIN Project, a media training, coaching and strategizing nonprofit for social change organizations. Because of his leadership at SPIN, Bray was invited by the Ford Foundation to be a senior advisor on the creation of the first-ever nonprofit communications capacity building organization in Israel, called AGENDA. During numerous trips to the Middle East, Bray advised and trained Jewish and Palestinian advocates working for social justice and peace.
In the late 80’s and 90’s Bray played a central role in increasing the media visibility of LGBTQ people after coming out as gay himself in the national media. He was the first director of communications for the Human Rights Campaign Fund, and subsequently directed communications for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. In that capacity he developed and implemented media strategies and tactics for some of the most controversial and pathfinding legislation affecting the rights of queer Americans, including Hate Crimes, AIDS and HIV, gays in the military and marriage equality.
Bray is the author of several publications on communications, including the media guidebook “SPIN Works;” “Winning Wages,” a toolkit for using communications to achieve living wages and economic justice; and was a contributing author to “Lightning in a Bottle: Building Lasting Growth From Viral Moments,” a 2021 primer on communications and fundraising produced in conjunction with the Haas Leadership Initiatives. Prior to starting his social justice career, Bray was a public relations executive for the IBM Corporation
Jung Hee Choi
Deputy Director, Power California
Jung Hee is a plotter, schemer and a dreamer for social justice. For over 20 years, she has been designing and leading strategies that help organizations win campaigns, change narratives and lift community voices. From 2006-2014, Jung Hee was the communications director and chief architect of the communications program and strategies at Community Coalition in South Los Angeles. In her time at the Coalition she worked on numerous policy campaigns that resulted in millions of dollars for schools, community-driven public safety policies and greater resources for communities and families. Prior to joining Power California, Jung Hee was a consultant working with some of Southern California's top social justice organizations to develop smart, high impact communications, media and narrative strategies. She joined Power California's team in 2018 as the senior communications director. In 2019 she became the Associate Director, Communications & Policy Strategies. In her current role, she oversees strategies and campaigns to build power of young people, shift narrative and advance policies that will transform California to a more just and equitable state for all. Jung Hee is also a founding mentor, former senior advisor and current advisory board member of Reframe, a national organization building narrative power to win.
Borrowing a saying from her daughter, she "thanks the goddesses" for being able to work for social change the last two decades while raising a family. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children, whom she hopes will help lead the next generation of social justice schemers and dreamers.
Vice President of Communications, PolicyLink
Vanice Dunn is the Vice President of Communications at PolicyLink. She guides the evolution of the PolicyLink brand identity and communications strategy. She leads the organization into its critical responsibility and power as framers; framing issues expansively enough to illustrate the possibilities of a future where we all belong and thrive. True to the PolicyLink approach, Vanice brings a different type of sensibility to her communications work. An admirer of visionary fiction, illustration, and the types of creative that inspire dreams, she believes in the power of story to lift up what works. Leading a team of brilliant strategists, Vanice is honored to collaborate with the many assets of the organization — from platforms to partners — to craft strategies and campaigns that pave the way for a new narrative that dismantles the dominant narrative of the status quo. A new world is possible and Vanice is confident PolicyLink and its partners will lead the way. Vanice is in constant pursuit of joy, whether it’s in a new pair of kicks or a remix of a favorite song.
Chief Marketing Officer, San Francisco Foundation
Valerie Goode is the Chief Marketing Officer at the San Francisco Foundation (SFF), one of the largest community foundations in the country. Goode joined SFF in April 2020 to support the foundation’s mission of advancing racial equity and economic inclusion in the Bay Area. She is a tested communications professional with over 20 years of experience helping local and national organizations design and implement successful communication strategies. Goode brings an infectious, fun, and energetic personality to her work.
Goode is known for counseling organizations and leaders on utilizing the media and building strong local partnerships. She is on a lifelong journey of advancing racial equity, narrative shift, and strategies for changing behaviors and attitudes. She has been fortunate to work in many fields including journalism, public health, education and now philanthropy. Each experience has provided unique looks at the intersectionality of race, class, and gender within our society.
Prior to joining SFF, Goode was the Deputy Chief of Communications and Public Affairs for the Oakland Unified School District in California. She also served as the first Director of Marketing for Broward County Public Schools in Florida, the sixth largest school district in the US. Before that, she dedicated herself to over a decade in health communications with the Gallup Organization and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Early in her career, she covered crime for the local newspaper in Syracuse, New York.
Goode holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Public Relations from Northeastern University. In her spare time, she works with youth and helps community organizations access resources and information. She lives in the East Bay with her husband and two daughters.
Poet, Cultural Organizer, Social Justice Activist
Sonia Guiñansaca is an international award winning queer migrant poet, cultural organizer and social justice activist. They emerged as a national leader in the migrant artistic and political communities where they coordinated and participated in groundbreaking civil disobedience actions. Guiñansaca helped build some of the largest undocumented organizations in the US, including co-founding some of the first artistic projects by and for undocumented writers and artists. Sonia has worked for over a decade in both policy and cultural efforts building equitable infrastructures for migrant artists.
Sonia self-published their debut chapbook, Nostalgia and Borders, and contributed to the new edition of the ColonizeThis! Anthology and This is Not a Gun. They are the co-editor of the recent migrant anthology Somewhere We Are Human (Harpervia June 2022). They also launched House of Alegria, a multi-fold project supporting and investing in emerging (un)documented Queer, Trans, Non-Binary artists through an Artist in Residenc Program, in-house publishing press, community workshops, and consultations. They have been awarded residencies and fellowships from Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation, Poetry Foundation, British Council, Creative Time, and the Hemispheric Institute for Performance & Politics. Guiñansaca has performed at the Met, the NYC Public Theater, Lehmann Maupin Gallery and has been featured on PEN American, Interview Magazine, Ms.Magazine, Teen Vogue, Diva Magazine UK, CNN, NBC, and PBS to name a few. Their migration and cultural equity work has also taken them to London and Mexico City to advise on migrant policy and arts programming. Consults for national social justice organizations, cultural institutions, and foundations on artists convening, cultural activations, and civic engagement. Past clients include: Fwd.us, Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, National Employment Law Project and The Rasmuson Foundation. For more information SoniaGuinansaca.com IG/Twitter: @theSoniaG