Wednesday, January 4, 2012

(From HERITAGE NEWS) In September, San Francisco Architectural Heritage welcomed Desiree Smith as its new Preservation Project Manager. In this position, Desiree will focus on preservation advocacy while expanding on Heritage's outreach work in culturally diverse and underrepresented communities.

Desiree brings a diverse educational background to Heritage, including an M.S. in Planning from the University of Arizona and an A.B. in Sociology and Women's Studies from the University of Georgia. As a graduate student, she prepared a Historic Structures Report, completed a National Register nomination, and worked with a team to write a preservation plan.

Desiree's extensive community organizing experience will enable Heritage to build on its past outreach efforts in Japantown and South of Market. In college, she co-founded Students for Latino Empowerment, an organization that promotes higher education among Latino youth. She led the organization's efforts to increase diversity on campus and organized programs including the ¡Sí Se Puede! Annual Youth Leadership Conference and a mentor program for Latino freshmen students. Desiree later served as an AmeriCorps member with Hands On Georgia, where she focused on building the capacity of local nonprofits and helped coordinate projects such as the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC) Southeast Regional Arts Training Workshop and a housing rehabilitation project in the Mississippi Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina.