Mariana Villafaña

Born in Mexico and raised in Los Angeles, Mariana’s lived experience as an undocumented immigrant inspires her devotion for empowering Black and Brown communities. Mariana has dedicated the majority of her educational and professional career to serving immigrant youth and working families to live without fear, without shame, and without being criminalized. While attending Santa Monica College, Mariana co-founded an organization for undocumented students to advocate for greater access to resources in higher education.
Mariana then transferred to UCLA’s School of Art and Architecture to pursue her passion for art. While at UCLA, she scaled up her advocacy work—lobbying at the local and state level to garner support for tuition equity and institutional aid (now known as the California DREAM Act), and mobilizing for the creation of DACA. Recognizing the power of storytelling, Mariana connects community centered dialogue to reshape conversations on the experiences of underserved communities to enact change. Mariana joined the team in 2019 and currently serves as Community Coalition’s Special Projects Manager leading key initiatives out of the Office of the President, including the current community-based campaign to establish an Office of Racial Equity in the City of LA.