Russell Rawlings

Community Organizing Manager

Headshot of Russell Rawlings smiling with a brick wall in the background.

Russell first developed a passion for disability rights advocacy after serving for seven years as President of DOGFITE (Disability Organizing Group For Initiating Total Equality), a Sacramento-area disability advocacy group established in the early 2000’s at Resources for Independent Living (RIL). While educated in the Independent Living Movement through his nearly 20-year experience as both a leader and facilitator with DOGFITE advocates, Russell was introduced to the transformational power of community organizing as an early participant in Occupy Sacramento and developed a deep commitment to accessible, affordable housing advocacy and intersectional anti-poverty community organizing. 

Russell has previously served as Chair of the Sacramento City Disabilities Advisory Commission, Vice-Chair of the Disability Action Coalition (DAC), and board member of Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness. He is also a graduate of Sierra Health Foundation’s Health Leadership Program (Class XV) and Sacramento’s Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI).  

Russell is honored to serve as CFILC’s Statewide Community Manager, overseeing the Disability Organizing Network (DOnetwork) and providing direction for CFILC’s community organizing strategies across programs. His personal organizing philosophy centers around the promotion and development of Disabled leaders willing to influence power to achieve an equitable, accessible transformational justice for all people. In short, Russell believes Disability community leaders must be at the forefront of a progressive society, because barriers to access are also barriers to progress. 

Russell lives with his fiancée and their ever-present canine companion, Sammie. When not working, he can be found catching a local Sacramento music or comedy show, and occasionally performing improv or karaoke.