Staff Spotlight: Marisol Morales, Senior Fundraising Communications Manager
Marisol joined Washington Farmland Trust’s fundraising team in 2021, bringing over a decade of experience in digital communications, fundraising, and community outreach to her role. Prior to joining WFT, Marisol worked as Digital Communications and Outreach Manager at EarthCorps, where she led efforts to develop equity-focused communications and outreach strategies to engage diverse audiences, and at the Latino Community Fund of Washington, where she gained a deeper understanding of philanthropy grounded in racial equity, social justice, and community engagement. Marisol earned a bachelor’s degree in Digital Technology and Cultures from Seattle University and recently graduated from the University of Washington with a Master of Communication in Communities & Networks.
Tell us about yourself.
I identify as Chicana, and am a proud daughter of farmworkers. Thanks to the values instilled in me by my parents, I care deeply about community, conservation, and social justice. In my spare time, I love cooking, traveling, and serving on the board of EchoX, a diverse and inter-generational initiative leveraging the power of the internet and social media to amplify the voices of ethnic communities in our region.
Tell us why you care about local food and farming issues.
My parent’s emigrated from Mexico to California in the late 1940s/early 1950s, my father’s family from Durango during the Bracero program and my mother’s family from Jalisco. They were both social justice activists and very involved in the Chicano movement around farmworker rights. Inspired by their work and advocacy, I also care deeply about local food and farming issues.
My father passed away last year, and was a big influence in my life. He worked as a migrant farmworker from the ages of 8 to 18 years old, picking fruits and vegetables in Gilroy. He transcended the hardships of working as a migrant child. Often, his family was exposed to harsh working conditions, including lack of access to restrooms and clean water, poor housing, low-wages, and exposure to toxic pesticides. These experiences motivated my father to become an advocate and community organizer for farmworker rights, where he worked for a nonprofit that focused on these issues for more than 42 years. The work of my parents has guided me in my pursuit of justice, and motivates me to welcome more communities of color into the conservation movement.
What are you most excited about working on at the organization?
I’m really excited about joining the fundraising team as we work to build a philanthropic model grounded in racial equity, social justice, and community. I’m excited to see the Trust support landowners from more diverse backgrounds. I’m also excited to visit some farms one day soon!
What is your hope for the future of farming in Washington?
My hope for the future of farming is that more diverse communities will have access to land and the ability to support their own communities through food sovereignty. Having worked with the Black Farmers Collective during my time at EarthCorps, I feel strongly that communities of color should have more support in their pursuit of farming. I’m a member of Viva Farms’ CSA program, and I feel good knowing that these programs exist. Local, organic food is important to me, as is supporting farmers and knowing that farmworkers are protected. I hope the future has all of these things.
Do you have a food or farming hero?
Dolores Huerta is a labor leader, environmentalist, and civil rights activist. Her work with the United Farm Workers (UFW) and the Dolores Huerta Foundation has really inspired me throughout my life. She coined the slogan “¡Sí, se puede!” or “Yes, you can!,” which is a motivating message for me as I try to embody her commitments to social justice.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
There are many ways to get involved and support local farmers. Donate, volunteer, organize, connect with local farms, sign up for a CSA program, and advocate for legislation that supports farmworkers’ rights.
Pictured above: Marisol hiking at Annette Lake along Snoqualmie Pass.