Walter Barrientos, special projects manager, joined GCIR in October 2012 after working as a consultant on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). He was a program officer at the North Star Fund from January 2011 to July 2012, where he managed grantmaking programs and coordinated technical assistance and training for grassroots groups leading the movement for workers' and immigrants' rights, economic justice, and environmental justice in New York City.
He is a co-founder of the United We Dream Network, the largest coalition of immigrant youth led organizations in the country and recently joined the board of Resource Generation, an organization that works with young people with wealth to leverage resources for social change. Walter received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Baruch College and is currently working on a master’s in Public Administration at Baruch. As a graduate assistant Walter worked on a study that focused on the impact of youth programs on the integration of immigrant youth. He was born in Guatemala and immigrated with his family to the United States at the age of 11, settling in Long Island, New York. Walter lives in Queens, New York and on his spare time he enjoys photography, hosting dinners for family and friends, and exploring the great outdoors.
Felecia Bartow, associate director, has over 18 years of experience in the immigrant rights field. Prior to joining the organization as a staff member, Felecia served as a longtime consultant to GCIR. During her career, she has held leadership positions with groups including the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago, the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia, and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies in San Francisco.
Felecia holds a Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a B.A. from Macalester College. In 2000, Felecia served as consultant to COMAL, an alternative community marketing network in Honduras. She was an associate producer of “Rights on the Line” (2005), a video project documenting the rise of vigilantism along the U.S.-Mexico border, and she co-authored Catalysts for Change: How California Nonprofits Can Deliver Direct Services and Transform Communities (2010), a study conducted for The California Endowment. Outside of her work with GCIR, Felecia enjoys spending time with her family and exploring California’s natural environment—preferably at the same time.
Vanessa G. Cedeño, program coordinator, joined GCIR in April 2009 and was our summer intern in 2008. She received a BA in International Studies from the University of Chicago. While an undergraduate, Vanessa worked at the University of Chicago Survey Lab on a study that examined the relationship between Latino, Hispanic and Asian parents and schools in immigrant neighborhoods around the United States. She also worked at the University of Chicago Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy. Her work at GCIR focuses on programs, membership, and information resources. She enjoys volunteering with a number of organizations, spending time with her friends and family, and brainstorming the location of her next vacation.
Joellen Luttrell, membership and operations manager, joined GCIR as administrative assistant in October 2011. She has worked for non-profits in various capacities for more than 25 years. While at Canine Companions for Independence, Jo served as an instructor/teacher and program manager. At The Children's Village of Sonoma County, she served as executive assistant to the director and was the special events coordinator supporting all fundraising efforts. Jo volunteers with various community groups that provide outreach, social, and health services to children and women. She attended Santa Rosa Junior College, where she has taken numerous professional development courses. She enjoys spending time with the family, loves training hearing dogs in her spare time (as a certified trainer), volunteering in the community and gardening.
Daranee Petsod, executive director of Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), has worked on social and economic justice issues for the past 22 years. Prior to joining GCIR in December 1998, Daranee was a consultant working with foundations and nonprofits on program planning and communications. She previously served as interim executive director and development director for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and was a program officer for the Sophia Fund and the Field Foundation of Illinois, Inc. She has also worked as a policy analyst for the United Way, a social worker at a child-welfare agency, and an outreach worker for a refugee women's services program.
Daranee's areas of expertise include immigrant integration, immigrant and refugee grantmaking, and building the capacity of immigrant-based organizations. Daranee has authored and co-authored a number of publications, most recently Investing in Our Communities: Strategies for Immigrant Integration in 2006. Other publications include: Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian Communities in the San Francisco Bay Area: An Introduction for Grantmakers (2004), Newcomers in the American Workplace: Improving Employment Outcomes for Low-Wage Immigrants and Refugees (2003), and Moving from Welfare to Work: The Experiences of Refugee Women in Illinois (1999). Daranee holds a MA in Social Policy from the University of Chicago. She enjoys the great outdoors, savoring gourmet meals, and traveling the world with her family.
Camellia Rodriguez-SackByrne joined GCIR as research and communications manager in May 2012. Prior to that, she worked on a state demographics project with the Stanford Center on Longevity, served as a development and communications manager at the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, and was a research analyst with the Sandler Foundation. She also has worked for the special counsel to the president at the Open Society Institute and served as a program officer with Parliamentarians for Global Action. Camellia has conducted research for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (now UN Women), the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, the Foundation for International Dignity based in Sierra Leone, and the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She holds an MLA in Human Rights Studies from Columbia University and a BA in History and Feminist Studies with honors from Stanford University. She enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, enjoying live classical music, and playing the flute at hospitals and church services in the Bay Area.
Emma Schurman, membership and administrative assistant, joined GCIR in November 2012. She graduated from Bard College in 2010 with a BA in History and Africana Studies. Her undergraduate work focused primarily on early modern Caribbean history and cultural retention and resistance among enslaved peoples in the Americas. She is a lifelong San Francisco Giants fan and enjoys reading, knitting, and cooking.