Francis Calpotura

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Francis Calpotura

Francis Calpotura is an Oakland activist. Calpotura has spent the past twenty years as a community organizer, trainer, administrator, and writer. He worked at the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO) from 1984 to 1999, serving as Co-Director from 1990-1999. In his work at CTWO, Francis was the key liaison to other community organizing networks including Grassroots Leadership, ACORN, Industrial Areas Foundation, National People’s Action, SNEEJ, and the Midwest Academy. He is a founding member of numerous organizing initiatives including the National Organizers’ Alliance (NOA), Californians for Justice, and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network. In 2003, Francis completed a Ford Foundation funded study entitled “Bi- National Research Project on Social Change Initiatives in the Philippines and the United States”.

Francis Calpotura is a native of the Philippines, and immigrated to the US in 1977. He has received numerous recognitions for his work, including the Bannerman Fellowship, Gerbode Foundation Fellowship, Fellow at the California Wellness Foundation, and a Koshland Fellowship from the San Francisco Foundation. Currently, Francis directs the Transnational Institute for Grassroots Research and Action (TIGRA) which works to develop a model of global organizing based on the experiences of immigrants in the United States.[1]

"Back to Basics"


Speakers at the October 1998 Back to Basics Conference in Chicago included;

Public Plenary Session, Sen. Paul Wellstone, Rep. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Cynthia McKinney, Quentin Young, Barbara Dudley, Master of Ceremonies: Jim Hightower

16 Working Panels;

Center for Third World Organizing

Francis Calpotura is a member of the Board of Directors at the Center for Third World Organizing.[4]

Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program

Francis Calpotura is an alumni of the Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program.[5]


Founding the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, 1993. Peggy Saika was the executive director of the Asian Law Caucus at that time.

Now she's the former executive director of APEN, followed by Joselito Laudencia, our new E.D. But her role was tremendous.

And there were other people, from campus actually, that were students, just graduated. Pamela Chiang, who was a student here at UC, and then Pam Tau Lee, Jack Chin, who was with the San Francisco Foundation. And Eric Saito, Martha Matsuoka, and Francis Calpotura.

According to Pam Tau Lee, "we met for about two years and looked at the needs and what we would want to do, and worked with the San Francisco Foundation, which helped us develop the bylaws and those structures to get one of those C3-kind of tax status."

And then we got the funding and hired Peggy Saika and a woman named Yin Ling Leung to be our first staff.

The first thing that we wanted to do was a needs assessment, to be able to talk to various organizations-Asian organizations-about the issues of environmental justice, and to see how these issues reflected in their work and their experiences. That took a couple of years. Then looking at the data, we also did some demographics. We also participated in other research like seafood consumption and other things that were going on, toxic lead-as a way to investigate the situation. We then met with some folks in Richmond, California, the Laotian community there, and started talking about the need to be able to develop our organization from the grass roots. We focused then on Richmond, California. [6]

Kopkind Colony

The Kopkind Colony Program Advisory Committee, as of 2015;[7] The Kopkind Colony Honorary Board, as of 2015;[8] Angela Ards, Fred Azcarate, Jennifer Berkshire, Pamela Bridgewater, Francis Calpotura, Margaret Cerullo, Tim Costello, Kim Diehl, Heidi Dorow, Scott Douglas, Theo Emery, Laura Flanders, Ku‘umeaaloha Gomes, Joe Grabarz, Jennifer Gordon, Pronita Gupta, Muna Hamzeh, Amber Hollibaugh, Mary Howell, Janine Jackson, Si Kahn, Robin D. G. Kelley, KipuKai Kuali‘i, Brad Lander, Eric Mann, Nikki Morse, Scot Nakagawa, Debbie Nathan, Amy Newell, Rev. James Orange, Robert Pollin, Verandah Porche, Luis Rodriguez, Deb Schwartz, Barbara Smith, Makani Themba-Nixon, Jerry Tucker

External links


  1. [
  2. Issue #1 1998 • Democratic Left • page 16
  3. [Democratic Left Issue 3 1998, page 22]
  4. Board
  5. Center for Third World Organizing website: Alumni Network (accessed on Aug. 16, 2010)
  6. [Full text of "Community and union organizing, and environmental justice in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1967-2000 : oral history transcript / 2003"]
  7. Kopkind board, 2015
  8. Kopkind board, 2015