Born and raised in Los Angeles, Raul Orellana is a Latinx, Queer social justice activist. He is a junior studying Sociology and Spanish at Santa Clara University. Since an early age, he has fostered a deep interest in social justice advocacy and has served as a volunteer at Homeboy Industries. Through his involvement in co-curricular activities, volunteering, and academic coursework, he has learned about the housing crisis, particularly in the Bay Area, and its effects on marginalized communities.
Raul is an Analyst with The Kelsey and while he works on multiple projects with various staff members, his primary focus are the Inclusive Design Standards. Nonetheless, Raul does research, leads outreach efforts with outside stakeholders, works collaboratively with architects, designers, and housing developers, and assists with ad-hoc tasks, among other things. On his free time, he enjoys exercising, bonding with his roommates, trying new foods, and traveling.
What part of The Kelsey’s mission are you proudest to be part of / support?
I am proudest to support The Kelsey’s focus on opening doors to more affordable, accessible, and inclusive homes for everyone, and that we are a disability-forward organization. It makes me extremely happy to see that we currently have 240+ homes in our housing development pipeline because many people are often left out of stable housing. Here at The Kelsey, we strive to include everyone in our conversations, in our advocacy work, and in building communities that welcome everyone.
Why does inclusion matter?
Inclusion matters because it moves beyond having a checklist. Inclusion is important for access, communication, inclusivity, and opportunities for everyone, not just a select group of individuals. When I think about inclusion, I envision a world where everyone feels listened to and validated because all people have a right to be respected and valued. Together, we can make it happen!