Chrissie Castro is a citizen of the Navajo Nation, and a social justice consultant working towards equity for all peoples, with an emphasis on supporting the self-determination of American Indian/Alaska Native communities.
She is the Chairperson of the Los Angeles City-County Native American Indian Commission, which promotes the development of programs and funding resources to serve urban American Indians and American Indian organizations. In that role, she co-led the change to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in the city and county of Los Angeles. She was a co-founder of Indigenous Women Rise, which organized the Indigenous women’s contingent of 1,000 Indigenous Women at the Women’s March in DC. She is the Network Weaver of the Native Voice Network, a national network of more than 35 Native-led organizations that mobilize through indigenous cultural values. She recently launched two projects to address the underlying roots of underrepresentation of Native Americans in the political landscape and build Native community and political power — locally, the California Native Vote Project and nationally, Advance Native Political Leadership.
Castro has more than 15 years of senior management experience in government and nonprofit sectors, and has been consulting for the past 10 years. She has substantive expertise in community organizing, community building, and strategic planning in the fields of violence prevention, economic development, child welfare, mental health, youth development, and with Native American/Alaskan Native populations. Throughout her career, Castro has been a strong advocate in promoting equity both within and outside of the nonprofit sector.
She serves as a senior consultant for the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), a national organization that helps states, cities and neighborhoods increase equity and improve results for all children, youth and families. On behalf of CSSP, she has managed early childhood education initiatives, place-based initiatives and child welfare reform efforts on with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, First 5 Los Angeles, and the Western and Pacific Child Welfare Implementation Center. She also recently facilitated a national Tribal Early Childhood Peer Learning Community, on behalf of CSSP and the National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement, and served a member of the Strengthening Families national team.
Castro received her International Coach Federation certification in 2016, and has since led “Coaching for Equity and Transformation in New Mexico,” a program that increased the capacity of a cohort of WKKF organizational grantees and allies in coaching skills to advance race equity and healing in New Mexico. She is passionate about using coaching as a means of personal, community and systemic transformation.
Castro recently joined the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Results Counts Faculty, which supports professionals in nonprofits, philanthropy and public systems make positive, measurable change for children and families through an equity lens, through a number of frameworks, including Results-Based Accountability and Facilitation; Group Dynamic Theory; Theory of Aligned Contributions; Adaptive Leadership, and more.
Castro currently serves as an advisor and/or board member for the Emergent Fund, a rapid response grant fund hosted by Solidaire Network, Women Donors Network, Threshold Foundation and Democracy Alliance; Groundswell Fund, which supports a stronger, more effective U.S. movement for reproductive justice by mobilizing new funding and capacity building resources to grassroots organizing and policy change efforts led by low income women, women of color and transgender people; and NACA inspired Schools Network, which is building a movement of Native American students, families, and educators to create excellent schools relevant to the communities they serve.