Rev. Dr. Alexia Salvatierra is the author with Dr. Peter Heltzel of “Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World” (Intervarsity Press) and the founder of the Faith-Rooted Organizing UnNetwork. She is a Lutheran Pastor with over 40 years of experience in congregational (English and Spanish) and community ministry, including church-based service and community development programs, congregational/community organizing and legislative advocacy. She has served as adjunct faculty for a number of other colleges and seminaries in the US and overseas. She has been a national leader in the areas of working poverty and immigration for over 20 years, including co-founding the national Evangelical Immigration Table, the 2007 New Sanctuary Movement, the Guardian Angels project, and Matthew 25 (a bipartisan Christian network to protect and defend the vulnerable in the name of Jesus). From 2011-2014, she served as the Director of Justice for the Southwest California Synod of the ELCA under Bishop Nelson. From 2000 to 2011, she was the Executive Director of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice—beginning as the director of CLUE in Los Angeles and then as the first CLUE-CA director. Under Alexia’s leadership, CLUE-CA became known for its young leaders’ project, the New Sanctuary Movement and the “Our Children” project in Orange County which engages immigrant and non-immigrant evangelical congregations in joint ministry to immigrant youth facing deportation.
Before CLUE-CA, Rev. Dr. Salvatierra founded multiple programs and organizations, in the US and overseas. These included a gang prevention program for at-risk immigrant youth, a community computer center and an intergenerational community garden where the elderly taught at-risk youth to grow produce for sale as well as a collaborative of UC students, homeless leaders and congregation members providing emergency services in the streets of Santa Cruz and the migrant farmworker camps in Watsonville. She was founding director of the Berkeley Ecumenical Chaplaincy to the Homeless, a program that integrated social services, community organizing, pastoral care, and economic development for the homeless that was replicated in six US cities. In the Philippines, she trained urban poor women in Manila to serve as chaplains to their neighbors. She has been awarded the Changemaker award from the Liberty Hill Foundation, the Stanton Fellowship from the Durfee Foundation, the Amos Award from Sojourners, the Giants of Justice award from CLUE LA and the Prime Mover fellowship from the Hunt Alternatives Fund.