OUR TEAM 

 FRAN RODRIGUEZ | FOUNDER AND LEAD FACILITATOR 

A community strategist who excels at leadership coaching, organizational assessment, and program management. As a solutions-oriented leader, I excel at active listening and working in partnership to better inform and influence. Civic engagement and community organizing have played a major part in my career and personal life.

In 2005, I secured funding for Lancaster County's first qualitative study addressing the socioeconomic and educational status of Latinos in Lancaster County. The 2007 publication, "Latinos in Lancaster County: Voices, Perspectives, Myths and Realities," served as a valuable resource for organizations seeking to enhance services, create jobs and foster better relationships with the fastest growing minority population. My track record of connecting institutions with the people they serve, has continued to build consensus for action and impact. This success has earned me a broad and diverse network of colleagues sharing my commitment to social equity.

The greatest community achievement for me was in creating the Latino Empowerment Project (LEP) in 2009. LEP is a 10-week personal leadership program held each spring in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The Project has graduated more than 100 Latinos, and continues to be the premiere training for emerging Latino leaders. LEP inspires members to embrace their identity in developing habits of leadership so they can go forth in creating a platform for social change by engaging the broader community.

The Adelante Lancaster Education Committee is another accomplishment I co-created in 2008. Adelante seeks to serve as a catalyst for students, parents, educators and members of the regional community by proactively addressing and supporting innovative educational ideas.

SALINA ALMANZAR | CO-FACILITATOR 

Salina Almanzar (sah-lee-nah ahll-mun-czar)(she/her) is a Puerto Rican and Dominican artist, educator, writer, social justice advocate. Her art and scholarship examine the intersections of Latinidad, feminism, decolonial practice, and Taino spirituality. She is specifically interested in what it means to be ni de aqui y ni de alla, meaning being part of a diaspora that is between spaces and between cultures. She is from Lancaster, Pennsylvania and graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in 2013 with a double major in Studio Art and English Literature. She spent about two years working in galleries and museums in Philadelphia and Lancaster City before deciding to pursue a Master's in Arts Administration in 2015. She completed the Arts Administration and Museum Leadership Graduate Program at Drexel University in June of 2017. There, she completed a thesis examining Creative Placemaking in the Lancaster Latinx community. She has since continued her research through continued data gathering via story sharing as well as serving as co-facilitator of the Latino Empowerment Project. Salina was elected to School District of Lancaster School Board and is the youngest and first Puerto Rican elected to the board. Salina also serves as a teaching artist in Lancaster City parks through Lancaster Public Art.

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