Alicia Garza Alicia Garza is an Oakland-based organizer, writer, public speaker and freedom dreamer who is currently the Special Projects Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States. Garza, along with Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors, also co-founded the Black Lives Matter network, a globally recognized organizing project that focuses on combating anti-Black state-sanctioned violence and the oppression of all Black people.
Dr. Manuel Pastor Dr. Manuel Pastor is Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California (USC) where he directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII). He is the Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change, and holds an economics Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He writes and speaks widely on issues including demographic change, economic inequality, and community empowerment. Pastor’s current research culminates in his latest book, State of Resistance: What California's Dizzying Descent and Remarkable Resurgence Means for America's Future.
Judy Belk As president and CEO, Judy Belk leads The California Wellness Foundation as it pursues its mission to improve the health of the people of California. Belk is a seasoned leader with more than 25 years of senior management experience in the philanthropic, government, nonprofit and corporate sectors. She is a frequent writer and speaker on organizational ethics, race and social change, and is a strong advocate of diversity, equity and inclusion both within and outside of the philanthropic sector. She currently serves on the boards of the Surdna Foundation and Hedgebrook, a women’s writing retreat promoting women’s voices and social change.
Cynthia Buiza Cynthia Buiza is the Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC). She has over two decades of experience in nonprofit management and human rights advocacy. She worked on international refugee, migration, human rights and civil rights issues in Southeast Asia before working with ACLU as Policy Director for its San Diego regional affiliate. She was also Policy and Advocacy Director at CHIRLA in Los Angeles from 2007-2010. Before working with CIPC, she worked as a senior consultant with various immigrant rights andsocial justice organizations in California and the U.S. Most recently, she managed a statewide capacity building project involving nine regional coalitions in California, helping to strengthen these coalitions through a combination of highly customized training and leadership coaching.
Susan Burton Following the tragic death of her five-year-old son, Susan Burton’s world collapsed. Without proper support, she turned to drugs and alcohol which led to nearly 20 years revolving through cycles of incarceration. Drawing on her personal experiences, she founded A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project (ANWOL) in 1998, dedicating her life to helping others break the cycle of incarceration. ANWOL provides resources including housing, employment and legal services, leadership development and community organizing. Susan has earned numerous awards and honors for her work, including a 2018 NAACP Image Award for her memoir, Becoming Ms. Burton.
Norma Chávez-Peterson Norma Chávez-Peterson is a vital member of San Diego’s civil rights community, with two decades of visionary leadership and civic engagement experience. She joined the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties as its organizing director in 2012 and became executive director in 2013. She was instrumental in creating an integrated advocacy model to advance the ACLU’s criminal justice reform, police accountability and immigrant rights work. Under her leadership, staff size has doubled to 40 professionals. Most recently, the affiliate opened an office in El Centro. Norma holds a BA in Political Science and Chicano/a Studies from SDSU.
Caroline Farrell Caroline Farrell is the Executive Director of the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment (CRPE) and is based in Delano, CA. Since 1999, Caroline has worked with low income communities and communities of color throughout the country, but particularly in California’s San Joaquin Valley, to protect their health and build community power. Caroline has represented communities on issues related to dairy development, hazardous waste facilities, and long-range community planning. Caroline graduated from Golden Gate University School of Law in 1999 with Highest Honors. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.
Rachel Humphrey Rachel leads Justice Funders’ leadership development, coaching and consulting work, including the Harmony Initiative, a program that equips grantmakers with the community, skills, and practices to make philanthropy a true force for equity and justice. Through coaching and consulting, she guides philanthropic institutions in reimagining how their organizations can operate as a justice funder. Rachel has trained extensively in participatory facilitation methods and is a Professional Certified Coach. She holds a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco and an A.B. in Anthropology and Asian Studies from Bowdoin College. Rachel is a founding board member of Sacred Mountain Sangha, a Buddhist organization with the guiding ethos of the bodhisattva ideal and an integrated spiritual life in service of the welfare of all.
Joe Kim Joe Kim has been with the Community Health Department (CHD) at RYSE Center since 2012. As the Community Health Director, he is responsible for ensuring that the CHD provides healing-centered programs, case management, and counseling services for young people in West Contra Costa. He works closely with the CHD team to ensure that young people have a range of options to heal, be vulnerable, take risks, and be seen. Joe is passionate about fostering communities that support young people in resisting systemic oppression and violence while envisioning and creating sustainable alternatives. Joe holds a BA in Psychology from UC Santa Cruz.
Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi serves as president of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities for people with disabilities. RespectAbility offers nonprofit organizations free training and tools so they can welcome, include and empower the 1-in-5 people who have a physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health or other disability. Mizrahi has published hundreds of articles on public policy, met 1-1 with 46 of America’s governors and is especially passionate about people of color and English language learners with disabilities who face double discrimination. Dyslexic herself, she also knows what it means to parent a child with multiple disabilities.
Joseph Tomás Mckellar Joseph Tomás Mckellar is the Co-Director of PICO California, the largest faith-based community organization in the state. He leads efforts to grow grassroots organizing capacity for racial, economic, health, and environmental equity. In 2017, Joseph led PICO California’s organizing efforts to win SB 54, The California Values Act, which became the country’s strongest sanctuary legislation protecting immigrant families from deportations and opening new pathways to rehabilitation for ex-offenders. Prior to joining PICO California, Joseph was the Founding Director of Faith in New York and a Community Organizer at the San Diego Organizing Project and the Orange County Congregation Community Organization.
Gloria Medina As Deputy Director, Gloria Medina oversees the daily organizational operations and provides programmatic strategic direction. She previously played an integral role in the growth of SCOPE's external training efforts as Training Director. She strengthened the development of key curriculum, including landscape analysis, community organizing, and integrated voter engagement. She has provided training and technical assistance to a number of coalitions through the implementation of innovative tools and methods designed to increase social justice impact. She has supported a number of local and national equity initiatives as an adviser, trainer, and facilitator to help develop strategies for long-term systemic change.
Miriam Mesa Miriam was born in Cuba and graduated with an Engineering degree in Havana. She came to California in 1999 and joined the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) in year 2000. Herself an immigrant, Miriam knows the difficulties of living in a foreign country with different languages and cultures. She began at CHIRLA as Information Specialist focusing on the Hotline; today she is the Director of Community Education. She has received specialized training in different issues, including mental health. She is bilingual, has completed an extensive paralegal training on Immigration issues, and has received her Department of Justice Accreditation.
Kimi Mojica As experienced trainer, facilitator and mediator, Kimi has worked in higher education and philanthropy for over 15 years with an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion, communication, leadership and team development. Before joining Justice Funders, Kimi was Director of Programs at UC Berkeley’s International House, and National Membership Services Manager at Asian Americans Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP). Kimi holds a Master’s degree in Conflict Dispute Resolution from the University of Oregon School of Law and is a trainer and mediator for SEEDS Community Mediation Center in Berkeley, CA. A practitioner of Vipassana meditation since 2003, her pedagogy is grounded in Buddhist principles of compassion, mindfulness and liberation. Kimi’s work in peace studies includes restorative justice/circle practices at the East Bay Meditation Center and teaching self-defense as a radical embodiment practice.
Maricela Morales Maricela began with CAUSE as a volunteer with the Ventura County Living Wage Coalition. Since 2001, Morales has worked on a variety of issues ranging from living wage, health coverage for the uninsured, women’s economic justice, green economy and local hire projects. Grateful to her Mexican immigrant parents, Maricela was raised in Ventura County, attended Fillmore public schools and went on to earn a BA in Human Biology at Stanford University and an MA in Counseling (Depth) Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute.Responding to the need for public officials that prioritize social, economic and environmental justice, Maricela worked with the community to be the first Latina elected to the Port Hueneme City Council in 2002. By 2007 she became the city’s first Latina Mayor.
Her commitment to work collaboratively on issues of local, regional and state concern has been recognized by the California Association of Leadership Programs, National Women’s Political Caucus of Ventura County, Pacific Coast Business Times 40 Under 40, Soroptomist Club of Oxnard, and the Ventura County Leadership Academy.
Felicia T. Perez Felicia T. Perez is the Innovation Director at the Center for Story-based Strategy. Her previous organizing experience includes work for United Workers Congress, GetEqual, the ACLU of Southern California, No on Proposition 21 campaign, and Californians for Justice. Felicia holds a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction. She is a published author and co-author of social studies curriculum and in anthologies on teaching and performance. Prior to her work in strategic communications, she taught social studies for twelve years in Los Angeles and was a union chapter chair for UTLA.
Lupe Poblano Lupe Poblano is CompassPoint's Co-Director. In the context of shared leadership across our practice, the Co-Director role takes on the highest level accountability in ensuring that CompassPoint is values-driven, sustainable, and ultimately impactful in supporting leaders, organizations, and movements committed to social justice realize their full power. Lupe also develops content, trains, and consults in the areas of individual and organizational leadership with a structural analysis of race, gender, power, and privilege. He is a certified coach with a focus on working with leaders of color who are hungry to find their voice and authentically live into their values.
Luis Antonio Sanchez Over the last 25 years, Luis has dedicated himself to building a movement for educational, social and economic justice in California. Prior to joining Power California, Luis was a Senior Fellow at the Movement Strategy Center. In that capacity, he led the Boys and Men of Color work and the Building Healthy Communities Statewide Youth Engagement Initiative with the California Endowment. Through his consulting practice, EC Strategy, Luis has served as a strategic planning, organizational development, and media and political consultant for foundations, political candidates, and campaigns, non-profit organizations, elected officials and labor unions. He was also the founding Executive Director of InnerCity Struggle, an organization that works to improve education and the quality of life in East Los Angeles. Luis is a graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in English and holds a Masters in Public Administration from Cal State Northridge. He resides in the El Sereno section of Los Angeles with his spouse and two children.
Bernice Julie Shaw Bernice Julie Shaw was born and raised in Los Angeles and transitioned to working for the Center for Story-based Strategy (CSS) following on her prior work building & scaling small businesses. She brings over 8 years of organizational management experience to CSS, and is deeply dedicated to the importance of culture-shift in creating social change. Bernice holds a political commitment to anti-oppression and liberation via the arts. In her free time, she enjoys playing
Alex T. Tom Alex is Executive Director of the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) in San Francisco. With nearly 20 years of experience organizing for social and economic justice, Alex has played a leadership role in building CPA’s service, organizing, and civic engagement programs. Previously, Alex served as the Campaign Coordinator where he built CPA’s Tenant and Worker Center, and organized worker campaigns, winning millions of dollars in back wages. Alex is also the ED of CPA Action Fund and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Common Counsel Foundation and Board of Directors of the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE).
Anthony Wright Anthony E. Wright has served as Executive Director for Health Access, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition since 2002. Health Access has led state and national efforts to win consumer protections, fight budget cuts and invest in our safety-net, encourage prevention, and advance coverage expansions and comprehensive health reform. Wright led California’s coalition effort to help pass the Affordable Care Act and state laws to implement and improve it, and campaigns to successfully pass first-in-the-nation laws to ensure timely access to care, and to stop hospital overcharging of the uninsured.