FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 13, 2017
Madison—Common Wealth is excited to announce that Justice Castañeda will be its next Executive Director. Justice brings a blend of qualifications, experience, and a life story that embodies Commons Wealth’s goals.
Growing up in the City of Madison with a volatile childhood, Justice personally encountered many social justice organizations in our community. Upon graduation from Madison’s East High School, Justice enlisted in the Marine Corps where he served two four-year terms before an honorable discharge as Staff Sergeant. Returning to Madison a veteran, but without a college degree, between terms Justice experienced several barriers in our community including a difficult job placement environment. Determined to overcome the obstacles in his way, Justice enrolled in college after his honorable discharge.
Justice holds a Master’s degree in Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies from Stanford University, a Master’s degree in City Planning with a concentration on Housing, Community and Economic Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California – San Diego.
In his professional career, Justice has served in multiple roles in government, non-profit, and educational settings, and has held several leadership and management roles in organizations and initiatives in cities and communities throughout the United States. His work has explored the intersections of housing policy, economic development and children and family health, looking at the role these intersections play in creating connected thriving communities. Justice’s professional experience has encompassed a host of issues including equitable community and economic development practices, land use planning, innovation in affordable housing development, business development, and curriculum construction in youth and adult learning settings.
Justice’s breadth of experience aligns with the breadth of programming by Common Wealth. Founded in 1979, Common Wealth is uniquely diverse in its mission to build a connected community for all in Dane County through affordable housing, youth and adult job support and training, business incubation and engagement. Common Wealth’s programming includes affordable housing for people with limited incomes, employment and financial education for low-income and at-risk youth, operating the Madison Enterprise Center business incubator, and Common Wealth owns and operates the Main Street Industries business incubator.
With over a decade of professional experience, Justice is excited to bring his talents home to Madison and start a new chapter in life by leading a new chapter for Common Wealth. The social justice initiatives of Madison non-profits buoyed a difficult childhood for Justice. He is now humbled and grateful for the opportunity to give back to our community through his leadership as Common Wealth’s new Executive Director.
Justice takes over for longtime Common Wealth Executive Director Marianne Morton, who is retiring after over 35 years with the organization. Justice has already begun transitioning into the new role, will begin full time with Common Wealth later this month, and will take over as Executive Director effective February 1, 2017.
Contact: Connor A. Sabatino, Board President, Common Wealth