Grace Villafuerte’s parents immigrated from Cebu to the US in 1973, and she was born and raised in Santa Rosa. Her parents were early and active participants at the Filipino American Community Center of Sonoma County, Inc, where her mother taught traditional folk dancing, and where she spent most of her childhood. She joined the Board of FACSCI as an adult many years later, and is currently a Board Member of the Filipino American National Historical Society of Sonoma County. She has participated in and spoken at numerous local events and panels, intended to strengthen the relationships of generations of local Fil-Am residents, as well as educate the public about the lengthy history of Filipino Americans in Sonoma County.
Grace has received the Press Democrat’s “North Bay Spirit Award,” and the North Bay Business Journal “Pride Business Leadership Award” for her community work, which currently includes serving as Vice President and Volunteer Coordinator for Sonoma County Pride, and serving on the Santa Rosa Merit Award Committee. She volunteers with many non-profits, particularly those serving the Filipino American Community, the LGBTQI+ Community, the Asian American community, and the Widowed Community. She recently participated in the AppleTV+ Documentary “Gutsy,” where she spoke with Hillary and Chelsea Clinton about widowhood and marriage equality.
Grace works for the County as a Social Worker, runs daily in Annadel / Spring Lake, is passionate about organizing and participating in events that create space for communities to connect, loves mezcal and dancing, and is learning to accept being called “Ate” by the younger generations of Fil-Ams.