Michelle Mascarenhas (she/they) is a Senior Fellow of Movement Alignment at Taproot Earth. Michelle has worked for the last 25 years building movement vehicles for frontline communities to move a shared vision and strategy. They recently transitioned out of their position as National Director of Campaigns at the Sierra Club after serving on the Movement Generation (MG) staff collective from 2008-2021.
As an MG collective member, Michelle played critical roles in MG’s Just Transition curriculum development and training, strategic planning and organizational development, and funder engagement. In that capacity, she has conducted workshops and retreats for thousands of people internationally including grassroots leaders, people in the philanthropic sector including people with wealth, government officials, students, and more. She was a founding co-chair of the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) and helped to launch Reinvest in Our Power which works to reinvest stolen wealth into community controlled economic transition. On behalf of MG, they also worked closely with the New Economy Coalition and CJA to co-found the Reclaim Our Power Utility Justice Campaign to demand a safe, reliable, community-and-worker-owned energy system that benefits all Californians, especially the people most harmed by PG&E. She has also served as a strategic advisor and trainer to EDGE Funders Alliance and Justice Funders.
In the 1990s, Michelle helped cultivate the farm-to-school movement and was instrumental in setting up some of the first farm-to-school programs in the country, including the launch of the National Farm to School Initiative with seven capacity building centers. Michelle is a Kellogg Food Policy Fellow and Ashoka Fellow Alum. They served as Co-Director of the School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL) from 2005-2008 before joining MG.
With ancestry in Goa, India, Michelle was born and raised in Tongva territory/Southern California, Michelle has nurtured a growing family in Huichin/Chochenyo Ohlone territory in the Bay Area for the last 20 years. She is on the board of Movement Generation and the New Economy Coalition, in the teacher training program of generative somatics, and a strategic advisor to Nuns and Nones.