Based in Oakland, CA, Leo has designed immigrant integration programs for newly arrived Filipinos, and developed ethical financial tools with TIGRA. He has also advocated for ethical standards within credit unions & regional banks towards becoming immigrant-friendly. Currently, he is combining financial education and leadership development with an innovative web-based app – The Economic Citizenship Score. The score measures the individual impact of immigrant spending power in the local economy, modeled like a traditional credit score – to capture community impact in everyday decisions.
Leo has spent a decade in immigrant rights and community development, starting with rebuilding Gulf Coast Vietnamese American communities after Hurricane Katrina, where he helped develop the first Vietnamese American community development corporation in the region. Leo graduated with a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Michigan.
Francis has spent the past 30 years working as a community organizer, trainer, administrator, and writer. He worked at the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO) from 1984 to 1999, and currently serves as Chair of the Board. He is also a founding member of the National Organizers’ Alliance (NOA), Californians for Justice, and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network. He has received numerous recognitions for his work, including the Bannerman Senior Fellowship, Gerbode Foundation Fellowship, Fellow at the California Wellness Foundation, a Koshland Fellow from the San Francisco Foundation, an “Effective Social Changer” by the Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center, and as a “Leading Innovator” by ColorLines Magazine.
Ethel Castro, Outreach Coordinator at the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar, Metro Manila