Dawn Valadez, is a queer, Xicana, filmmaker, social worker, artist, youth development specialist, resource wrangler, and impact strategist. Raised by her Mexican American single mother, she never planned on being a filmmaker. Her award-winning, ITVS funded, feature documentary (with Kristy Guevara-Flanagan), GOING ON 13, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Co-director and producer with Katie Galloway, Dawn is spearheading THE PUSHOUTS impact campaign. The Pushouts engages audiences through a character driven story of Victor Rios, “dropout,” 3-time felon, and now nationally recognized expert on the “school-to-prison” pipeline and beloved professor of Sociology at UC Santa Barbara. Dawn’s media work focuses on race, class, education and coming of age in the 21st Century U.S.
A proud graduate of UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare, Dawn has over 25 years of experience as a social worker, non-profit service, and as a development professional. Her boutique consulting business supports the fundraising efforts of non-profit organizations. She has a strong track record in developing fundraising plans, cultivating donors and sponsors, researching grants and securing foundation funds, and winning successful contracts with government entities—for capital, programmatic, & operational campaigns. Dawn is a bold advocate for underserved populations especially children and youth, students, low-income people, LGBTQi communities, and people of color. She has raised over $50 million in government grants, private foundation, and donor funds. She lives and works in Oakland, California.