NAMI California Advocacy Department

Below find information on NAMI California's advocacy team.
For information on all NAMI California staff, please click here.


Marcel Harris, Advocacy manager

Marcel Rodriguez-Harris received his Bachelor of Science from San Francisco State University and studied health education with an emphasis in community-based public health. He is a first year student at the University of San Francisco MPH Health Leadership Graduate Program, based in Sacramento. Marcel has been an honor student and has great interest in using policy and leadership to improve health.

He gained valuable hands on experience around community organizing with his work through the Youth Leadership Institute in San Francisco. He led coordination of Students for Healthy Neighborhoods (SHN) and Community Transformative Initiative (CTI) programming with high school aged youth. He implemented food justice curriculum across two school sites in the Bayview and Mission districts. Marcel created social marketing campaigns around access to healthy foods, promoting and increasing access to safe environments to support active living. He also conducted community participatory research and applied research to local store merchants to carry heathier food options.

Today, Marcel is the Advocacy Manager for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) California. Since 2015, he has worked with County Behavioral Health Departments in California to support individuals living with serious mental illness. Marcel has produced a detailed Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funded Programs Report in 2016 and 2018 collaborating with local behavioral health departments. Marcel has trained numerous families, individuals, and peers on how to use lived experience to influence mental health related policies. He has developed policy recommendations and supported various legislative advocacy activities.   

Marcel has led numerous amounts of legislative visits in Sacramento around mental health, criminal justice and education. Marcel has provided guided opportunities for individuals to share lived experience to influence policy at the state and local levels.

He believes in compassion, commitment and empowerment for disadvantaged communities.

Marcel has worked on various projects to address health inequities. He has extensive experience working with nonprofit organizations to establish a platform for communities to create positive change.