Rev. Dr. Alexia Salvatierra is the author with Dr. Peter Heltzel of “Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World” (Intervarsity Press). She is a Lutheran Pastor with over 40 years of experience in congregational (English and Spanish) and community ministry, including church-based service and community development programs, congregational/community organizing and legislative advocacy. She serves as Assistant Professor for the School of Intercultural Studies for Fuller Theological Seminary as well as Coordinator of a Professional Certificate program for Hispanic pastors and church leaders at Fuller’s Centro Latino. She coordinates the Ecumenical Collaboration for Asylum Seekers and serves on the leadership team of Matthew 25/Mateo 25 (a bipartisan Christian network to protect and defend families facing deportation in the name and spirit of Jesus.) She serves as a consultant (training, facilitating, organizing and leading strategic planning) for a variety of national/international organizations, including World Vision, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and the Christian Community Development Association.
She has been a national leader in the areas of working poverty and immigration for over 25 years, including co-founding the national Evangelical Immigration Table in 2011, the 2007 New Sanctuary Movement, the Guardian Angels project for unaccompanied migrant minors in 2014, and Matthew 25/Mateo 25 in 2016.
From 2011-2014, she served as the Director of Justice for the Southwest California Synod of the ELCA under Bishop Nelson. From 2000 to 2011, she was the Executive Director of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice—beginning as the director of CLUE in Los Angeles and then as the first CLUE-CA director. CLUE-CA is a statewide alliance of organizations of religious leaders who come together to respond to the crisis of working poverty by joining low-wage workers in their struggle for a living wage, health insurance, fair working conditions and a voice in the decisions that affect them. Under Alexia’s leadership, CLUE-CA became known for its young leaders’ project, the New Sanctuary Movement and the “Our Children” project in Orange County which engaged immigrant and non-immigrant evangelical congregations in joint ministry to immigrant youth facing deportation.
Before CLUE-CA, Rev. Dr. Salvatierra founded multiple programs and organizations, in the US and overseas. These included a gang prevention program for at-risk immigrant youth, a community computer center and an intergenerational community garden where the elderly taught at-risk youth to grow produce for sale as well as a collaborative of UC students, homeless leaders and congregation members providing emergency services in the streets of Santa Cruz and the migrant farmworker camps in Watsonville. She was founding director of the Berkeley Ecumenical Chaplaincy to the Homeless, a program that integrated social services, community organizing, pastoral care, and economic development for the homeless that was replicated in six US cities. In the Philippines, she trained urban poor women in Manila to serve as chaplains to their neighbors.
She has been awarded the Fuller School of Intercultural Studies 2019 David Allan Hubbard Achievement Award, the Changemaker award from the Liberty Hill Foundation, the Stanton Fellowship from the Durfee Foundation, the Amos Award from Sojourners, the Giants of Justice award from CLUE LA and the Prime Mover fellowship from the Hunt Alternatives Fund.