“Like a lot of children raised by immigrant working class parents, I witnessed the daily, sometimes nasty, sometimes dangerous injustices my parents tolerated to get food on the table and maintain a roof over our heads. This in combination with watching César Chávez and Dolores Huerta and other ‘60’s activists on TV and then participating in anti-war and reproductive justice activities awoke in me a life-long need to address the inequalities faced by so many people in the world.”
Belma González supports leaders in the nonprofit sector, especially working with social justice activists committed to equity and inclusion. Her clients are diverse and courageous movement organizers, who transform themselves in service to changing the world. She utilizes the assets of race, class, and culture to expand awareness of the impact of power and privilege. Belma believes coaching skills should be accessible to anyone interested in making a difference in the world – whether as a certified coach or as a change agent. Besides facilitating Coaching for Transformation courses, Belma also leads Coaching for Community Transformation, a Leadership that Works program that builds connections, mobilizes groups, and supports social equity for all.
Belma has been selected to coach participants in sixteen leadership development programs including several UCSF Center for the Health Professions’ leadership development programs, New Generation Leaders of Color (through CompassPoint Nonprofit Services), Horizons Foundation’s Rickey Williams Leader Fellowships, Rockwood Leadership Institute Fellows and Haas Jr. Fund’s Flexible Leadership Awardees.
Belma has over twenty-five years of experience working in the nonprofit sector. She worked with the Center for Collaborative Planning’s Women’s Health Leadership, a leadership development program with over 350 grassroots, primarily women of color, participants. Prior to WHL, Belma worked at Women’s Needs Center, a free clinic serving low-income, uninsured women in San Francisco. She began at WNC as a volunteer and remained nineteen years serving in various staff capacities, including Executive Director. Raised in San José, California, Belma is a bicultural/somewhat bilingual Chicana. She now lives in Oakland, California.
Belma Gonzalez has been providing assets-based, culturally aware coaching to nonprofit and social justice activists since 2004. She works with diverse, multi-generational clients throughout the United States on leadership enhancement, change management, work/life transitions, balance and fulfillment.
As one of the first faculty members of the Bay Area cohort, Belma has been instrumental in recruiting faculty and growing the Leadership that Works programs on the West Coast. “I love that Leadership that Works is committed to social justice, including cultural awareness, and to bringing coaching to all people who can benefit from coaching services and skills.”
Belma is a member of RoadMAP, an alliance of consultants who work collaboratively with members of social justice organizations. Prior to becoming a coach, Belma worked in nonprofits for twenty-six years. She is a Professional Certified Coach and holds a Bachelor of Arts fromSan Francisco State University in Social Sciences.
Belma loves music and participates in sessions playing old time country music. She loves to hear all kinds of live music in clubs, concert halls and homes as well as buskers on the street. Belma lives in North Oakland, California with her husband, Mike Waters, who is a jazz musician and web developer, and their beloved dog and cat, Huckleberry and Mays. Her six godkids, Oni, Marya, Olivia, Xochi, Avery and Diego serve as her daily inspiration.