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Finding Common Ground

  • YWCA Berkeley/Oakland 2600 Bancroft Way Berkeley, CA 94704 United States (map)

“We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.”
— Maya Angelou

Join Women’s March Oakland for a mini-conference on building coalitions and empathy across differences. This event will include a training session and panel discussion on combating antisemitism and other kinds of hate as well as how people with divergent views can come together for a shared goal.

If you need special accommodations (ADA accessibility, interpretation, etc.), please email by November 25.


Cat Zavis, J.D., mediator, conflict resolution trainer, is Executive Director of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, working to bridge spirituality and politics to build a loving and just world. She leads trainings in Spiritual Activism – Prophetic Empathy and Radical Love. She also is a rabbinic candidate in the Aleph: Jewish Renewal Ordination Program.

Danielle Diuguid is a volunteer leader with the racial justice team at Bend the Arc, which works to make the Jewish community a more inclusive space while elevating the stories and experiences of Jews of Color. She shared her own story on life as a mixed-race Jewish woman at Women's March Oakland 2017. She also manages resources, data and strategy at Rockwood Leadership Institute, a national nonprofit that builds networks of social change leaders through transformative leadership programs, practices and resources. She believes in the power of words and loves that she writes about leadership each day.

Jodie Geddes received her master's degree in conflict transformation from Eastern Mennonite University. She presently serves as Community Organizing Coordinator at Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth and leads the organization’s national truth-telling, racial healing and reparations project. Additionally, she is a trainer and facilitator of restorative processes for schools, in the justice system, and communities. A public speaker nationally on the subject of restorative justice, truth processes and reparation, Jodie is also a published poet and writer, with her work featured on the online platform For Harriet and Blavity.

Sonya Shah initiated the Ahimsa Collective in January 2016. She has 20 years' experience in social justice education and 10 years' experience in restorative justice. She is an associate professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She has trained hundreds of facilitators in trauma healing and restorative justice practices across the US. She’s worked closely with survivors of violent crimes, people who have committed violence, families impacted by violence, and law enforcement. Central to her core values are creating belonging and beloved community in every aspect of her work and life, and balancing her relationship to self, others, the community and nature. She is a survivor of sexual abuse and a first-generation immigrant from the northwestern part of India. She speaks at national conferences, colleges and on the radio, and occasionally writes short articles on Huffington Post.

Sameena Usman serves as Government Relations Coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco Bay Area office, where she works with elected officials in advocating for impactful legislation, connects them with their constituents, and provides information about the Bay Area Muslim community and their concerns, including civil rights issues. Through her work, she actively builds bridges with various communities and conducts interfaith dialogue. Sameena has been interviewed by numerous media outlets to highlight issues for the American Muslim community. Sameena was awarded the API Heritage Leadership award by Congressman Ro Khanna and the Community Hero award by Assemblyman Kansen Chu.

This meeting is not sponsored by the YWCA.