API Summit 2023 Speakers
Executive Director, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities
Estella is the first-generation of her family born on Tongva Land (for now known as Los Angeles). While identifying as an Angeleno, deeply connected to the lands that raised her, Estella’s roots burrow deep beyond the asphalt of South Central L.A.. Her maternal grandparents are from the villages of Satufia of Savai’i and Saleilua of Upolu, Samoa; her paternal grandparents are from Calabar, Cross River, Nigeria. She transitions into the role of Executive Director at Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC) post nearly two decades of service as an educator. Estella was the first Samoan to be named a finalist for the Global Teacher Prize in 2018 and awarded California Theatre Teacher of 2020. As a Black-Pacific Islander (PI), mother to a Black-PI child, and eldest sister of two Black-PI young men, she holds dear her responsibility to serve generations of past, present, and future. So long as she is capable, Estella will advocate for all those who look like her, step up as co-conspirator for others in the margins, and forge clear paths for young people where there once were none.