Counting California’s Breadbasket: 2020 Census & the Central Valley

Thursday, August 30, 2018 -
1:00pm to 3:00pm PDT
Northern California Grantmakers
160 Spear Street Suite 360 | San Francisco, CA 94105
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Which California region has gained more than one million new residents in the past 10 years and is expected to be home to almost 12 million people by 2040?  Known as the state’s agriculture hub, the Central Valley is also one of the fastest growing regions in California and critical to the state’s 2020 census efforts.

With an ethnically diverse population, vast rural landscape, and numerous historically hard-to-count communities, the Central Valley presents a unique challenge to an unconventional census which includes a new online response option and the pending inclusion of the citizenship question. To help us understand what’s at stake and what efforts are underway to ensure a complete and accurate census count, join us for a panel discussion on all things Census in the Central Valley.  We’ll hear from philanthropic and nonprofit leaders about the resources, networks, and strategies in formation and discuss emerging opportunities for philanthropy’s involvement in the Central Valley region.

This program will be hosted simultaneously in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  While in person attendance is strongly recommended, if you are unable to join in person and are interested in participating remotely, please contact Cecilia Chen at or Karla Mercado at


Jesus Martinez, Executive Director, Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative & Member, California Complete Count Census Committee

Jesus Martinez is Executive Director of the Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative (CVIIC), a regional network of immigrant serving organizations created in Fresno in 2014. As a coordinator of regional efforts, CVIIC and partner organizations serve immigrants in the Central California region encompassed by Kern County in the south and San Joaquin County in the north. Before heading CVIIC, he was Coordinator of the Central Valley DACA Project for the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (2012-2015) and, previously, worked as a consultant (2008-2013) in a variety of projects commissioned by nonprofit and federal government agencies. Martinez served in the Michoacan (Mexico) State Congress from 2005-2007 before being appointed Director General at the Institute for Michoacanos Abroad, the state immigration affairs agency. In the academic world he taught Political Science at Santa Clara University (1991-1998), completed a postdoctoral stay at the Instituto de Investigaciones Dr. Jose Maria Luis Mora in Mexico City (1999-2000) and taught Latin American and Chicano Studies at CSU Fresno (2000-2004). He obtained a B.S. in Political Science at Santa Clara University, an M.A. in Latin American Studies and a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkley. His areas of expertise include international migration, U.S.-Mexican relations and public policy.

Ellen Braff-Guajardo, Senior Program Officer, Sierra Health Foundation

Ellen Braff-Guajardo is a Senior Program Officer with Sierra Health Foundation and The Center, supporting social justice and racial equity work to combat disparities in California’s San Joaquin Valley and across the state, with a focus on efforts through The Center’s San Joaquin Valley Health Fund.

Ellen brings extensive local, state and national philanthropic, policy and nonprofit experience as she works to expand and increase Sierra Health Foundation’s and The Center’s work for children and families experiencing some of the worst health outcomes in the state.  She brings a deep commitment to community engagement and mobilization as critical pathways to achieve health and equity.

Prior to joining Sierra Health Foundation in January 2018, Ellen served as a national program officer for W.K. Kellogg Foundation on the Healthy Kids Team, where she developed and led a national strategic grantmaking portfolio in support of healthy community and health equity with a focus on policy and systems change.  Previously, she served as a senior nutrition policy advocate with California Food Policy Advocates, was a program officer with The California Endowment in the San Joaquin Valley, and was the statewide Agricultural Worker Health Project director and attorney with California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.

Ellen has a master’s degree in education and a juris doctorate from University of California, Los Angeles, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Ed Kissam, Trustee, WKF Giving Fund

Ed Kissam is a trustee of the WKF Fund which supports a broad range of pro-immigrant integration initiatives. He is also part of the Funders’ Census Initiative (FCI) working group, a national network of funders working toward a fair and accurate census. 

The WKF Fund in partnership with the Sierra Health Foundation, the Grove Foundation, and other funders, is supporting fast-track research in support of advocacy against inclusion of a citizenship question on Census 2020.

Ed has led research on farmworker and immigrant life for many years. After extensive post-IRCA research on farmworkers for the Department of Labor, he directed the USDA-funded “New Pluralism” study of immigrant settlement in rural U.S. communities. He has published studies of migrant/seasonal farmworker undercount in the 1990, 2000, and 2010 censuses and, more recently (2017) a broader analysis of the causes of undercount of Mexican immigrants in past decennial censuses.

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