Vanessa Martinez Soltero is the immigration narrative and power-building organizer at Sojourners and an experienced leader in faith-rooted advocacy, an organizing model that enables people of faith to contribute the unique gifts and resources to the broader movement for justice.
She has been involved in advocacy work since 2008, when she participated in Bread for the World’s Hunger Justice Leaders Program, which engaged clergy and lay leaders to advocate for foreign and domestic aid. From 2009 to 2014 she worked for Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice Orange County, advancing from intern to organizer to interim executive director. She guided congregations in education, advocacy, and migrant accompaniment as program director with Matthew 25 SoCal from 2017 to 2022. Vanessa is cofounder of Puentes Collective, an organization for and by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) that supports and sustains healing practices for spiritual and justice-minded activists.
She was born and raised in Mexico, where she lived until the age of 12 when she finally reunited with her family in Orange County, Calif. She graduated from Vanguard University of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in psychology.