Executive Director, Friends of San Quentin News, Pollen Initiative
Jesse Vasquez serves as Executive Director for the Friends of San Quentin News and Pollen Initiative, nonprofit organizations advancing transformational, incarcerated-run multimedia programs such as San Quentin News and ForwardThis Productions.
At the height of Covid, he worked at the Alameda County Community Food Bank distributing resources to thousands of families. Before that he worked with Arsola’s Distribution Center to coordinate housing for formerly incarcerated individuals. He also helped organize one of the first reentry resource centers with the Department of Adult Parole Office in East Oakland, CA.
He was incarcerated as a juvenile and spent almost 19 years in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation until former Governor Jerry Brown commuted his sentence. Since his release in 2019, he has volunteered in various high schools to help teens understand their options and opportunities in spite of their environmental surroundings.