Luisa Santos joined the Design Trust team as the Equitable Public Space Fellow working to assess the impacts of projects, to advance implementation of project recommendations, and to develop infrastructure for sharing lessons learned. Luisa has lived the immigrant experience and has a background in organizing for social justice, particularly in the environmental, anti-displacement, and labor movements. Having come from robust public programs, Luisa champions the public realm as space that can be reclaimed by subaltern social groups for self-determining collective subjectivities, reasserting cultural knowledge, and building community wealth.
Luisa has worked as a union organizer with the Communications Workers of America on Staten Island, as a policy research assistant at the progressive Institute for Policy Studies in D.C., and as a coordinator of environmental and civic engagement programs for community college students in Miami. Through this work, she has developed skills in coalition-building, leadership development, organizational strategy, and advocacy, among others. She is interested in urban design from a social perspective and is passionate about community-driven development and the solidarity economy. Luisa earned a B.A. in Anthropology from Amherst College.