Co-CEO (as of March 2021)
Michelle Vilchez is Co-CEO of Innovate Public Schools. Before taking the helm at Innovate in 2021, she was executive director of the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center (PCRC) for more than a decade, where she brought together community members, faith-based groups, schools and local government to address society’s most complex issues.
Michelle has built deep partnerships with schools and districts to implement restorative justice practices, has worked with youth in the juvenile justice system and co-founded the Fatherhood Collaborative in San Mateo county. She was named 2016 Woman of the Year by the California State Assembly and is creator and designer for the Silicon Valley Multicultural Awards Program, a multi-year fellowship to support nonprofit executive directors of color.
In 2019, Michelle was selected for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation fellowship, which supports leaders across the U.S. to connect, grow and lead transformational change toward a more equitable society.
Michelle was born and raised in Southern California in a family of farm-workers and faith leaders deeply rooted in service to others, and has called the Bay Area home for the past 20 years. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Cross Cultural Education. Get to know Michelle more through this recent profile.
…sparked my passion for educational equity and social justice.
Being a child of immigrant farm workers who gave all to others – supporting families, youth and children because I stand on the shoulders of so many generations who gave and fought for me to be where I am today …
What I love most about our work is …
…the impact and change brought about by parent leaders, where the movement not the moment is the catalyst for that change to occur.
“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” – Maya Angelou