MELISSA DAAR CARVAJAL – Founder
What is your craft?
I offer big think strategy and creativity for social causes. I also help leaders drive thought leadership in health, education, voting rights, justice reform, and California policy, among others. I oversee projects and campaigns on larger efforts.
Tell us about a favorite project.
Developing brand identities and communications strategies for two start-ups led by awesome women.
For a pair of powerful, young literacy champions in Oakland, California, we supported their coalition's move from a Rogers Foundation initiative to an independent organization. We worked with these two rising leaders to shape their community strategy and forge a new independent identity as a catalyst and literacy champion.
For The Early Learning Lab, we collaborated with two more amazing women, a rising communications leader and early childhood thought leader and dynamo. We are worked with their team to bring a social innovation approach to a challenged field grappling with how to help our country's youngest children learn.
What is your secret power?
Not trying to be the smartest person in the room. Instead, facilitating the client-consultant collaboration to surface our joint expertise and creativity.
Describe a mentor of yours.
I can think of two.
My first boss in communications, Elaine Elinson, at the ACLU of Northern California. Elaine is an amazing person, super media pro and a great writer. She coached me in the fine arts of pitching and writing. A true professional.
My dance teacher, Librada Quesada. She was an amazing dancer, powerful, expressive and beautiful. She pushed me to move beyond my own self-consciousness, to become the spirit of the dance. During my time studying with her, she became sick facing cancer. Her spirit and resolve still inspires me to look deeper and be more authentic.