Meet the
Seeding Justice team

Meet our staff

We are only as strong as the diverse voices we represent. Our staff embodies a wide range of identities: We’re trans and cis, queer, straight, and bisexual. We’re Black, Indigenous, Latine, Asian, Asian American, and White. We’re U.S. born and immigrants. We’re in our 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. We are parents of humans, plants, and animals. We’ve got master’s degrees (and massive student debt) and are proud college dropouts. We’re neurodivergent, neurotypical, and live with mental health disabilities. 

We are Seeding Justice.

Meet our staff

We are only as strong as the diverse voices we represent. Our staff embodies a wide range of identities: We’re trans and cis, queer, straight, and bisexual. We’re Black, Indigenous, Latine, Asian, Asian American, and White. We’re U.S. born and immigrants. We’re in our 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. We are parents of humans, plants, and animals. We’ve got master’s degrees (and massive student debt) and are proud college dropouts. We’re neurodivergent, neurotypical, and live with mental health disabilities. 

We are Seeding Justice.

Samantha Bakall | Communications Director

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Samantha Bakall | Communications Director

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Samantha Bakall is a queer, Chinese American former food journalist whose writing has centered diverse communities across the Pacific Northwest. Before joining Seeding Justice, Samantha worked for The Oregonian and was the only staff food writer of color in the state. After leaving the paper, she worked as a freelance writer specializing in issues of diversity in food, particularly about the AAPI diaspora. She mentored historically excluded youth interested in journalism for five years, and in 2019 and 2020, designed and ran Amplify, a summer internship for high school journalists from historically excluded communities in partnership with Metro and Pamplin Media.

When she’s not writing, you can find Samantha baking or cooking intricate meals, hiking or kayaking (oftentimes both) across the West, or heading out on a camping adventure in her home-built camper.

Samantha lives in Portland with her partner, and more plants, kitchen equipment and house projects than she should; she started at Seeding Justice in 2021.

Wendy Cluse | Development Support Manager

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Wendy Cluse | Development Support Manager

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Wendy has spent much of her working life in the conservation realm protecting sea turtles on the North Carolina coast. Though gratifying, she was ready for a new adventure after 12 years in the field. In 2013, she and her wife embarked on a cross-country drive from the rural South to Portland. After some much needed time off, she started volunteering with local nonprofits, learning that her strengths were in playing a supportive role. Wendy has since worked at a veterinary surgical center and for an engineering firm.

Wendy now volunteers as a data squad leader for UU the Vote, a national voter engagement initiative, and is on the ground floor of the organization’s expansion into mobilizing faith communities to fight for climate justice, LGBTQ+ rights, gender justice, and decriminalization. She’s excited to bring her organizational skills, love of spreadsheets, and desire to disrupt to Seeding Justice.

She lives with her wife and their very fluffy and social cat Alice, and enjoys smelling the forest, admiring mountains, soaking in pools of water, and eating all the food.

Wendy joined Seeding Justice in August 2021.

Se-ah-dom Edmo | Executive Director

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Se-ah-dom Edmo | Executive Director

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Se-ah-dom (Shoshone-Bannock, Nez Perce and Yakama) brings deep experience in community organizing for racial and social justice work across the nation. Prior to joining Seeding Justice, Se-ah-dom served as the Sovereignty Program Director at Western States Center where she was the coalition convener of Tribal History: Shared History (Senate Bill 13, 2017) in Oregon, which established and funded the teaching of Indian History and Sovereignty in K – 12 schools across the state. Se-ah-dom is also the co-editor of the Tribal Equity Toolkit 3.0: Tribal Resolutions and Codes for Two Spirit and LGBT Justice in Indian Country and American Indian Identity: Citizenship, Membership & Blood. A hallmark of her career has been fostering relationships and collaborations between tribes and organizations doing social, racial, environmental, and economic justice work across the region. She is an ALF Senior Fellow and a member of the Steering Committee of Oregon Recovers and the chair of the board of Oregon Consumer Justice.

Se-ah-dom’s ancestors are from Celilo, a fishing village along the Columbia River and one of the oldest known settlements in the West. She lives in Gresham with her husband James and their children Siale, Imasees and Miyosiwin, as well as her parents, Ed and Carol Edmo.

Se-ah-dom joined Seeding Justice in December 2018.

Sandee Huang | Finance and Operations Director

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Sandee Huang | Finance and Operations Director

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Sandee is a financial professional passionate about dedicating her skills and knowledge to the nonprofit world. Sandee grew up in mainland China and joined KPMG, a “Big Four” accounting firm, as a financial auditor after finishing her master’s degree. Though she loved auditing, she found she wanted to do more to help those in need. Sandee came to the U.S. in 2012 and received her master’s degree in public policy at the University of Kentucky while working on the finance team at Save the Children Foundation. She later took over as Director of Finance and Operations for the International Center at the University of Kentucky from 2015-2021. As a queer, Chinese, and first-generation immigrant, Sandee finds Seeding Justice as her happy start in Portland where she can put her love of Excel and data analytics together while working for a just and joyful world.

Kentucky life has heavily influenced Sandee’s life —she likes woodworking, carpentry, BBQ, eating fried chicken, and drinking bourbon with bourbon chocolate, to name a few. She also enjoys taking walks with her partner, learning guitar, drawing silly cartoon characters, reading art and architecture history, learning foreign languages, and talking to her cat.

Sandee joined Seeding Justice in July 2021.

Angelie Kebede | Programs Coordinator

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Angelie Kebede | Programs Coordinator

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Angelie grew up in Portland, Oregon and has been active in the local nonprofit scene for 10 years. Originally interested in children’s therapy, she ended up finding a good fit in disability supports back in 2013. She has provided consultations related to accessibility and racial equity in the workplace, and has dabbled in general social services — finding early on that she much preferred work that wasn’t systems-focused, and sought out positions where she could connect with people on a human level without having to uphold systemic inequities for those seeking support. Much of her work has been community and relationship centered.

Approaching her work from a relationship-based, person-centered point of view, Angelie has always found it important to take people’s identities & experiences into account — why might people think or communicate in certain ways? Which life experiences have led us to the beliefs that we hold now? How can we adjust our language so that certain concepts or ideas are more accessible to a wider variety of people?

Throughout her working journey, she has found the best fit in places that recognize some of these universal needs: to see and be seen, and to know and be known. In her free time you can find her listening to music, working on an art project, playing Switch games, or finding a nice patch of grass to relax in.

Angelie joined Seeding Justice in June 2023.

Jody Marshall | Co-Director of Programs

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Jody Marshall | Co-Director of Programs

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Jody Marshall spent time in Michigan, Ohio, Idaho and Florida before arriving in the Pacific Northwest after college. Struck by the area’s natural beauty, she decided to make Portland her home in 2003.

After stints in the advertising and retail industries, Jody found her way to philanthropy. At Meyer Memorial Trust while working on the program team, she focused on the Housing and Building Community portfolios and gained deep knowledge and understanding of grantmaking policy and practice. She also supported Meyer’s Justice Oregon initiative and served as the director of grantmaking liaison through the organization’s strategic redesign. 

Jody serves on a number of national planning committee workgroups at PEAK Grantmaking and in an advisory capacity for the Portland Business Development Group (PBDG).

In her free time, Jody enjoys cuddling with her two kitties, Safari and Huarache, laughing with her partner, Aaron, and traveling with friends.

Jody joined Seeding Justice in January 2023.

Violeta Rubiani | Co-Director of Programs

Pronouns: She / Her / Ella

Violeta Rubiani | Co-Director of Programs

Pronouns: She / Her / Ella

A passionate advocate for social justice and a proud immigrant from Paraguay, Violeta has more than 15 years of experience improving access to opportunities, services and programs for excluded communities. Before joining Seeding Justice, Violeta worked in various fields including private philanthropy, labor and immigrant rights, community economic development, financial education, and state government.

Outside of work, she is serves on the board of the Northwest Workers’ Justice Project.

Violeta lives in SE Portland with her partner and their cat, Lola. She loves growing food in her community garden plot, feeding birds and squirrels in her backyard, and traveling around the world to spend time with loved ones.

She joined the crew in February 2019.

Kathleen Saelor | Programs Coordinator

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Kathleen Saelor | Programs Coordinator

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Kathleen (Kathy for short) is a queer, Sino Cambodian, child of refugees, born and raised in Los Angeles. Prior to joining Seeding Justice, she spent the majority of her adult and professional life in the Bay Area working in higher education as a media + resource coordinator and as a community organizer challenging displacement and gentrification through coalition building, tenant rights education and community advocacy.

Kathleen moved to Portland with her partner and their dog in 2021. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, spending quality time with her little family, solving jigsaw puzzles, and searching for desserts to satisfy her sweet tooth.

She joined Seeding Justice in June 2023.

Ray Seed | Executive Assistant + Board Liaison

Pronouns: He / Him / His

Ray Seed | Executive Assistant + Board Liaison

Pronouns: He / Him / His

Ray is the son of a Rwandese mother and an American father from Long Beach, California. He spent most of his formative years in eastern and southern Africa, came to Portland, Oregon in 2013 for college and has remained ever since. Having grown up in diverse communities as a result of the international schools he attended, Ray found a passion for student activism in college which informed his later career choices.

The majority of his adult and professional life have been spent as administrative support for city and federal government. Ray interned at both the City of Portland’s Office of Equity and Human rights and the City of Portland’s Office of the Mayor, supporting efforts to bring awareness to issues like juvenile incarceration and its disproportionate impact on the black community. This inspired a transition into government where Ray worked as a Staff Assistant/Constituent Services Representative for Mayor Charlie Hales and then Congresswoman Bonamici (OR-01), where he developed an intricate perspective into what matters most to Oregonians.

With a passion for community, Ray enjoys Portland for its vibrant music and food scene. Always open to try new things, on the weekends you can find him at a live show or cooking/BBQing with friends and family. As someone who grew up in a warmer climate and close to the coast, you can find him floating on the Clackamas river in the summer and by a fire in the winter.

Ray joined Seeding Justice in June 2023.

Ramón Valdez | Director of Strategic Initiatives

Pronouns: He / Him / His

Ramón Valdez | Director of Strategic Initiatives

Pronouns: He / Him / His

Ramón Valdez grew up in Los Angeles in a mixed-status family from Mexico and El Salvador. He is an advocate, communicator, and full-stack developer who is passionate about community self-determination, storytelling, and closing the digital divide. 

Prior to joining Seeding Justice, Ramón worked as Director of Strategic Initiatives at Innovation Law Lab and as a freelancer on a range of nonprofit and business needs; including project management, front-end software development, and strategic communications. 

Through his work as an immigrant rights advocate, Ramón helped to design, launch, and manage some of the largest and most forward-thinking humanitarian, pro bono legal representation, and disaster relief initiatives along the US-Mexico border, in the Midwest, and Pacific Northwest. 

Outside of work, you can find Ramón listening to and creating music, watching documentaries, and spending time with his wife, dog, and two cats. He is also proud to serve as a board member of Pueblo Unido PDX and the ACLU of Oregon. Ramón started at Seeding Justice in 2022.

Amanda Whalen | Interim Chief of Staff

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Amanda Whalen | Interim Chief of Staff

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Hailing from the South Side of Chicago, Amanda moved to Portland two decades ago. After finishing law school, she served briefly as a juvenile defender before abandoning the formal practice of law to focus on education. She spent 15 years working in school districts, including as the Chief of Staff at the Portland Public Schools where she provided leadership and strategic support for key district policy initiatives.

Amanda entered the world of philanthropy as the Chief Impact Officer at the United Way of the Columbia Willamette, where she led programming and strategic community investment in culturally specific and culturally responsive organizations through grant making, convening, policy work and volunteerism.

Prior to joining Seeding Justice, Amanda was a consultant and supported a number of Seeding Justice’s community funds.

Amanda is an avid reader, runner and makes homemade ice cream. She and her husband Jim live with their three children, Jed, Willa and Levi and two dogs in Southeast Portland where they enjoy all things soccer. She started at Seeding Justice in 2023.

Dena Zaldúa | Development Director & Chief Astrology Officer

Pronouns: She / Her / Ella

Dena Zaldúa | Development Director & Chief Astrology Officer

Pronouns: She / Her / Ella

As a bilingual, bisexual, Jewish, Latina daughter of an immigrant, Dena Zaldúa’s passion for social justice is very personal and the driving force behind her 20-year career working in philanthropy and with non-profits and educational institutions. Before joining Seeding Justice, Dena was the Operations Manager for the Center for the Study of Women in Society at the University of Oregon, Development Director at Parenting Now and the Associate Director of Development at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Dena also works as a consultant to help individuals, groups, and organizations check their race, class, gender, and other privileges and learn how to truly walk the talk of equity and justice. Dena is a member of Hispanics in Philanthropy and the Williams College Latinx, and Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Alumni Associations.

Dena is a certified 21/64 advisor and lives in Eugene.

She started at Seeding Justice in March 2019.

Rochelle Zirdum | HR & Operations Manager

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Rochelle Zirdum | HR & Operations Manager

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Rochelle (Tlingit, Haida, and European descendent) was born and raised on her Mother’s ancestral lands in rural Alaska. It’s been nearly two decades since she was drawn to Portland to complete her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. With a rich professional history spanning 17 years, Rochelle has made meaningful contributions to non-profit sectors in the fields of mental health and higher education. Prior to her role at Seeding Justice, Rochelle was involved in delivering outpatient drug and alcohol treatment, offering essential mental health support to homeless youth, coordinating care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and cultivating connections and developing pathways for facilitating field learning experiences for aspiring educators and therapists. Rochelle’s approach to her work is characterized by her genuine passion for both systems and people.

Joys outside of work include time spent outdoors, taking art classes, and the goodness of time together with friends & family.

Rochelle joined Seeding Justice in July 2023.