As the son of a local activist and union organizer, Esteban Nuñez was first introduced to civic engagement and activism at an early age. This foundation forged a pathway to public service, yet as a product of a California upbringing and working-class parents, he experienced an array of losses and family issues that led him to seek support and guidance from misguided friends and “at-risk” environments. Esteban served six years of confinement in the California Department of Corrections. Nevertheless, during the six years of imprisonment, he took the time to think deeply, explore his past, and pursue a direction of greater purpose. Having thought long and hard about the ways in which his actions had impacted others, Esteban chose to advance himself by pursuing a deepened spiritual life, higher education, and a life of service to others.
Upon release, Esteban helped open the Anti-Recidivism Coalition’s (ARC) Sacramento office, where he was first employed as an intern. After his time as an intern mentoring youth in the Sacramento Juvenile hall and Department of Juvenile Justice, he was hired by ARC as a Life Coach and Development Assistant. As his passion to inflict systematic change intensified, Esteban sought to change the misconceptions and negative stigmas associated with criminality and became ARC’s Policy Coordinator.
He continues this work to change the narrative of what it means to be formerly incarcerated now as the State Policy Director for #cut50. Esteban has found his greatest purpose and joy in life in the service of others, helping to deepen peoples’ understanding of the human condition, and in compassion, forgiveness, and redemption.