Dancing Hearts Consulting, LLC
Esperanza Tervalon-Garrett has spent the last 16 years building political power for working class, immigrant, and communities of color in Oakland, around the state of California and across the country. Esperanza’s unique role and work at the intersection of progressive politics and the social justice movement has earned her dozens of awards including: The 2010 Redford Center Art of Activism Award (with a video to share her work and story), the Oakland League of Women Voters’ Democracy Award 2014, and the Alameda Labor Council’s Community Organization of the Year 2015. Esperanza launched Dancing Hearts Consulting, LLC. in July of 2017 to support progressive donors, foundations, and organizations design and implement strategic programs and campaigns that build power for those most impacted by systemic oppression. Prior to becoming a consultant, she served as the Chief Strategy Officer of the Groundswell Fund where she led a multi-million dollar Capacity Building Department, designed a state-based funding model for the Ecosystem initiative and served as a spokesperson for the organization.
Prior to working in philanthropy, she served as the first executive director of Oakland Rising, a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic social justice collaboration that educates and mobilizes low-income, immigrant, and voters of color in East and West Oakland. She was the first woman of color to lead a collaborative civic engagement formation of this kind in the United States, and built a solid reputation as a savvy electoral strategist, a seasoned political organizer, and a civic engagement innovator. During her tenure, Oakland Rising identified 25 percent of Oakland’s entire electorate in support of progressive policies, issues, and campaigns. Before coming to Oakland Rising, Esperanza served as the national political director for Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CD-9), regional field director for Northern California for Barack Obama during the 2008 CA primary, a community organizer in post-Katrina Louisiana, and a Labor Organizer with SEIU 1000 (Los Angeles, CA).
Esperanza is a self-identified queer, Afro-Puerto Rican woman, native daughter of Oakland, and a graduate of Mills College with a B.A. in English Literature. Esperanza is married to wife Christine and her proudest accomplishment is her brilliant and tenacious son, Santiago. They live at Dancing Hearts Ranch, a 16-acre ranch in the Cascade Mountains of Southern Oregon where they grow hops and ride horses.