MobilizeHer 2019

Speakers.

 
 
Brenda Adams   Brenda Star Adams has dedicated her legal career to representing the most marginalized communities of our society, with an emphasis on providing access to justice for immigrants, members of the LGBT+ community, and low-income communities of color. Joining Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) as a Senior Staff Attorney in 2018, she helps to lead ERA’s impact litigation, oversee the Advice and Counseling program, and engage with partners to end sexual violence at work and in school. Prior to joining ERA, Brenda was the Coordinator of the Domestic Violence Unit at Bay Area Legal Aid, where she directed a team of attorneys, fellows, pro bono counsel, and law students in representing victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in family law and immigration cases. She was also a Litigation Attorney at the Eviction Defense Center. A native of San Francisco and graduate of UC San Diego, she received her law degree from New England Law School.

Brenda Adams

Brenda Star Adams has dedicated her legal career to representing the most marginalized communities of our society, with an emphasis on providing access to justice for immigrants, members of the LGBT+ community, and low-income communities of color. Joining Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) as a Senior Staff Attorney in 2018, she helps to lead ERA’s impact litigation, oversee the Advice and Counseling program, and engage with partners to end sexual violence at work and in school. Prior to joining ERA, Brenda was the Coordinator of the Domestic Violence Unit at Bay Area Legal Aid, where she directed a team of attorneys, fellows, pro bono counsel, and law students in representing victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in family law and immigration cases. She was also a Litigation Attorney at the Eviction Defense Center. A native of San Francisco and graduate of UC San Diego, she received her law degree from New England Law School.

Haleema Bharoocha   Haleema Bharoocha is a changemaker committed to building a world free of gender-based violence. She is a daughter of the South Asian diaspora. Following the teachings of the Quran which says “stand firm in justice even against yourself or your parents,” Haleema speaks truth to power, practices freedom and decolonizes her mind. Haleema is the Advocacy Manager at Alliance for Girls, where she leads legislative advocacy for a #GirlsPolicyAgenda. Outside of this role, she facilitates workshops on bystander intervention, self-defense, Islamophobia, racial and gender justice and has trained over 500 people. Haleema serves on the Board of the Muslim Democrats PAC, Youth Council of SheLectricity, and is a Women’s Policy Institute Fellow. Haleema studied sociology at Seattle University, where she founded the Gender Justice Center, a student-led organization that served gender non-conforming, transgender and female-identifying students. She is featured in The Seattle Times, Teen Vogue, and other media.

Haleema Bharoocha

Haleema Bharoocha is a changemaker committed to building a world free of gender-based violence. She is a daughter of the South Asian diaspora. Following the teachings of the Quran which says “stand firm in justice even against yourself or your parents,” Haleema speaks truth to power, practices freedom and decolonizes her mind. Haleema is the Advocacy Manager at Alliance for Girls, where she leads legislative advocacy for a #GirlsPolicyAgenda. Outside of this role, she facilitates workshops on bystander intervention, self-defense, Islamophobia, racial and gender justice and has trained over 500 people. Haleema serves on the Board of the Muslim Democrats PAC, Youth Council of SheLectricity, and is a Women’s Policy Institute Fellow. Haleema studied sociology at Seattle University, where she founded the Gender Justice Center, a student-led organization that served gender non-conforming, transgender and female-identifying students. She is featured in The Seattle Times, Teen Vogue, and other media.

Demisha Burns   Dr. Demisha Burns, fondly known as Dr. D or Dr. Ase, is the founder of Mak’n Movz,’ a developing organization committed to help transform lives one person, group and organization at a time. She is the author of  Gyrl BYE!!! , her first poetry/motivational book, after her dissertation which takes the reader through 31 days of holistic healing and transformation. She is currently the Policy and Advocacy Manager for Women Organizing to Respond to Life-Threatening Diseases, focusing on assisting others in navigating a life conquering HIV/AIDS and STIs. Dr. D is a domestic violence, rape and molestation survivor. She has traveled extensively nationally and internationally as a scholar, motivational speaker, mentor, life transformer, presenter, poet, author and more. She believes in using her lived experiences to empower others so that they may potentially not have to go through the same.

Demisha Burns

Dr. Demisha Burns, fondly known as Dr. D or Dr. Ase, is the founder of Mak’n Movz,’ a developing organization committed to help transform lives one person, group and organization at a time. She is the author of Gyrl BYE!!!, her first poetry/motivational book, after her dissertation which takes the reader through 31 days of holistic healing and transformation. She is currently the Policy and Advocacy Manager for Women Organizing to Respond to Life-Threatening Diseases, focusing on assisting others in navigating a life conquering HIV/AIDS and STIs. Dr. D is a domestic violence, rape and molestation survivor. She has traveled extensively nationally and internationally as a scholar, motivational speaker, mentor, life transformer, presenter, poet, author and more. She believes in using her lived experiences to empower others so that they may potentially not have to go through the same.

Daijah Conerly   Daijah Conerly is a student activist. She is Associated Student Body Vice President at Berkeley High, a board member on her city’s Youth Commission, and part of Youth and Government where she advocates for minorities of any kind, especially people of color and women.

Daijah Conerly

Daijah Conerly is a student activist. She is Associated Student Body Vice President at Berkeley High, a board member on her city’s Youth Commission, and part of Youth and Government where she advocates for minorities of any kind, especially people of color and women.


 
Andrea Diaz   As the Training and Prevention Manager for Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting & Serving Sexually Exploited Youth, Andrea Diaz advocates and supports youth through education. She loves being in the community and creating safer spaces for youth to navigate by offering outreach, information and collaboration. Andrea is a certified domestic violence counselor and has served as a case manager, SFPD liaison, and education manager in that field. She is passionate about working with women and youth and learning how to best build support for and around them.

Andrea Diaz

As the Training and Prevention Manager for Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting & Serving Sexually Exploited Youth, Andrea Diaz advocates and supports youth through education. She loves being in the community and creating safer spaces for youth to navigate by offering outreach, information and collaboration. Andrea is a certified domestic violence counselor and has served as a case manager, SFPD liaison, and education manager in that field. She is passionate about working with women and youth and learning how to best build support for and around them.

Casey Farmer   Casey Farmer is the Executive Director of the Alameda County Complete Count Committee, where she manages community engagement, grantmaking, communications and Census outreach. Prior to this role, she served as campaign manager for 5 local political campaigns, worked for State Senator Nancy Skinner and Oakland City Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney, and was a teacher for students with learning disabilities in Oakland Unified. She has also worked for the Rogers Family Foundation, was a Girl Scout Troop leader in Fruitvale for 8 years, and currently serves on the board of DreamCatcher Youth Shelter. She lives in North Oakland.

Casey Farmer

Casey Farmer is the Executive Director of the Alameda County Complete Count Committee, where she manages community engagement, grantmaking, communications and Census outreach. Prior to this role, she served as campaign manager for 5 local political campaigns, worked for State Senator Nancy Skinner and Oakland City Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney, and was a teacher for students with learning disabilities in Oakland Unified. She has also worked for the Rogers Family Foundation, was a Girl Scout Troop leader in Fruitvale for 8 years, and currently serves on the board of DreamCatcher Youth Shelter. She lives in North Oakland.

Dyan Ludeña Ferraris   Dyan Ludeña Ferraris is deeply dedicated to social justice inside and outside of the workplace. She currently practices this by working to change the culture in tech and by engaging with her community through volunteering and martial arts. Currently, she is Global Strategy & Planning Program Manager, Diversity & Inclusion at Uber. Dyan's work has been featured in the Academy of Management and the Journal of Neurosurgery. She holds a PhD in social-organizational psychology from Columbia University where she conducted research on intersectionality, bias, stereotyping and their impact on outcomes like hiring, promotion and engagement. Dyan also has a BA in psychology and complex organizations from Mount Holyoke College.

Dyan Ludeña Ferraris

Dyan Ludeña Ferraris is deeply dedicated to social justice inside and outside of the workplace. She currently practices this by working to change the culture in tech and by engaging with her community through volunteering and martial arts. Currently, she is Global Strategy & Planning Program Manager, Diversity & Inclusion at Uber. Dyan's work has been featured in the Academy of Management and the Journal of Neurosurgery. She holds a PhD in social-organizational psychology from Columbia University where she conducted research on intersectionality, bias, stereotyping and their impact on outcomes like hiring, promotion and engagement. Dyan also has a BA in psychology and complex organizations from Mount Holyoke College.

Abril Fonseca   Abril Fonseca is a student activist and artist. She is serving her second year as CEO of Berkeley International High School Leadership, managing the program’s overall flow and implementing new curriculum and initiatives to better the community. She also works with Women’s March Oakland and Latinos Unidos, a club that raises awareness about issues and successes in the Latinx community and empowers students who identify as Latinx. Abril is a daughter of immigrant parents, and most of her artwork revolves around immigrant rights.

Abril Fonseca

Abril Fonseca is a student activist and artist. She is serving her second year as CEO of Berkeley International High School Leadership, managing the program’s overall flow and implementing new curriculum and initiatives to better the community. She also works with Women’s March Oakland and Latinos Unidos, a club that raises awareness about issues and successes in the Latinx community and empowers students who identify as Latinx. Abril is a daughter of immigrant parents, and most of her artwork revolves around immigrant rights.

 
Anita Darden Gardyne   Anita Darden Gardyne is founder and CEO of Onēva. A Richmond native, at age 15 she began attending UC Berkeley, where she realized her mission was to create millions of good-paying, sustainable jobs so people who look like her could survive in the US. Anita earned a BA in economics and economics in the Black community as well as an MBA. From starting as an intern in AT&T’s engineering department to being the only female member of its Executive Training Program in 1988, Anita networked herself into a career as an executive at AT&T, Seagate and other Bay Area firms. Her company’s first product is Onēva Concierge Care, which quickly, easily and safely matches families and trusted caregivers. Onēva has won Best Start-up Silicon Valley 2015 and TechCrunch SF Disrupt Battlefield Runner-Up, and was honored by the City of Richmond for job creation in 2017.

Anita Darden Gardyne

Anita Darden Gardyne is founder and CEO of Onēva. A Richmond native, at age 15 she began attending UC Berkeley, where she realized her mission was to create millions of good-paying, sustainable jobs so people who look like her could survive in the US. Anita earned a BA in economics and economics in the Black community as well as an MBA. From starting as an intern in AT&T’s engineering department to being the only female member of its Executive Training Program in 1988, Anita networked herself into a career as an executive at AT&T, Seagate and other Bay Area firms. Her company’s first product is Onēva Concierge Care, which quickly, easily and safely matches families and trusted caregivers. Onēva has won Best Start-up Silicon Valley 2015 and TechCrunch SF Disrupt Battlefield Runner-Up, and was honored by the City of Richmond for job creation in 2017.

Thandi Harris   Thandi Harris is an avid and passionate HIV activist and spokeswoman of Positive Women’s Network (PWN). A graduate of the first cohort in PWN’s policy program, she used her activism to help change HIV criminalization laws in California. Currently, Thandi conducts community outreach at Women Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Diseases, the only organization in the Bay Area that supports women living with HIV and their families. She is also an active member of the local Ryan White community council and writes a blog about health and wellness while living with HIV.

Thandi Harris

Thandi Harris is an avid and passionate HIV activist and spokeswoman of Positive Women’s Network (PWN). A graduate of the first cohort in PWN’s policy program, she used her activism to help change HIV criminalization laws in California. Currently, Thandi conducts community outreach at Women Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Diseases, the only organization in the Bay Area that supports women living with HIV and their families. She is also an active member of the local Ryan White community council and writes a blog about health and wellness while living with HIV.

Amy Lam   Amy Lam is a healer, artist and activist committed to supporting diverse global communities for healing and transformation. Amy’s writing and art have been featured in literary and academic journals and Bay Area performance and artistic venues. Amy also works with Bay Area immigrant/refugee communities and organizations to design transformative programs. She holds a MA in counseling psychology (UC Santa Barbara), a PhD in cultural psychology (UC Davis) and a postdoctoral fellowship in psychology and medicine (UC San Francisco). She has trained in bioenergy balancing, comprehensive energy psychology and shamanic journeying. She is a member of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology. Amy has also received theater training at American Conservatory Theater’s Summer Training Congress and Back to the Source Educator’s Institute.

Amy Lam

Amy Lam is a healer, artist and activist committed to supporting diverse global communities for healing and transformation. Amy’s writing and art have been featured in literary and academic journals and Bay Area performance and artistic venues. Amy also works with Bay Area immigrant/refugee communities and organizations to design transformative programs. She holds a MA in counseling psychology (UC Santa Barbara), a PhD in cultural psychology (UC Davis) and a postdoctoral fellowship in psychology and medicine (UC San Francisco). She has trained in bioenergy balancing, comprehensive energy psychology and shamanic journeying. She is a member of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology. Amy has also received theater training at American Conservatory Theater’s Summer Training Congress and Back to the Source Educator’s Institute.

Maha Ibrahim   Maha Ibrahim has served as a Staff Attorney at Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) since 2016. She came to ERA with 7 years of professional community organizing and policy-framing experience as an East Bay political staffer. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Maha served as a staff member in the offices of Congresswoman Barbara Lee and former State Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner before entering UCLA Law. A graduate of UCLA’s Epstein Public Interest Law Program and a student in the law school’s critical race studies program, Maha brings her experience in hands-on community relations and training as a public interest lawyer through the lens of critical race theory to her work as a Staff Attorney at ERA. Maha is active in numerous East Bay community organizations and has served as a commissioner on the Alameda County Commission on the Status of Women as well as board member to various Bay Area women’s political groups.

Maha Ibrahim

Maha Ibrahim has served as a Staff Attorney at Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) since 2016. She came to ERA with 7 years of professional community organizing and policy-framing experience as an East Bay political staffer. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Maha served as a staff member in the offices of Congresswoman Barbara Lee and former State Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner before entering UCLA Law. A graduate of UCLA’s Epstein Public Interest Law Program and a student in the law school’s critical race studies program, Maha brings her experience in hands-on community relations and training as a public interest lawyer through the lens of critical race theory to her work as a Staff Attorney at ERA. Maha is active in numerous East Bay community organizations and has served as a commissioner on the Alameda County Commission on the Status of Women as well as board member to various Bay Area women’s political groups.

 
LaNiece Jones   LaNiece Jones is the Executive Director of the Peralta Colleges Foundation. An Oakland native, Jones attended Oakland public schools, and earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration from CSU East Bay and master’s degree in social entrepreneurship and change from Pepperdine University. In 2018, 100 Black Women of the Bay Area honored her with the Madame CJ. Walker Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Jones has served as Executive Director for Black Women Organized for Political Action / Training Institute for Leadership Development (BWOPA/TILE) since 1995, and is the president of BWOPA’s Oakland / Berkeley / Hayward / South County Chapter. She is also a past president of Metropolitan Greater Oakland Democratic Club, an appointed member on the KQED Community Advisory Panel, and a new initiate member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Xi Gamma Omega Chapter (Oakland).

LaNiece Jones

LaNiece Jones is the Executive Director of the Peralta Colleges Foundation. An Oakland native, Jones attended Oakland public schools, and earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration from CSU East Bay and master’s degree in social entrepreneurship and change from Pepperdine University. In 2018, 100 Black Women of the Bay Area honored her with the Madame CJ. Walker Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Jones has served as Executive Director for Black Women Organized for Political Action / Training Institute for Leadership Development (BWOPA/TILE) since 1995, and is the president of BWOPA’s Oakland / Berkeley / Hayward / South County Chapter. She is also a past president of Metropolitan Greater Oakland Democratic Club, an appointed member on the KQED Community Advisory Panel, and a new initiate member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Xi Gamma Omega Chapter (Oakland).

Harjit Kaur   Harjit Kaur comes to Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) with over 7 years of professional community advocacy and organizing experience as a civil rights, human rights, immigration and family law attorney. Harjit has provided extensive pro bono legal services to victims of domestic violence in immigration and family law proceedings. In 2014, Harjit served as co-counsel in an unprecedented criminal defense case in which a Sutter County woman was unanimously acquitted of first-degree murder due to self-defense and the defense of another (her unborn child). This was a highly controversial and novel case that placed evidence of female infanticide, sex-selective abortions, domestic violence, dowry and culture at issue. As ERA’s Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney, Harjit leads the End Sexual Violence in Education Initiative to close the access to justice gap for students facing sexual assault and other forms of gender-based violence in schools and universities.

Harjit Kaur

Harjit Kaur comes to Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) with over 7 years of professional community advocacy and organizing experience as a civil rights, human rights, immigration and family law attorney. Harjit has provided extensive pro bono legal services to victims of domestic violence in immigration and family law proceedings. In 2014, Harjit served as co-counsel in an unprecedented criminal defense case in which a Sutter County woman was unanimously acquitted of first-degree murder due to self-defense and the defense of another (her unborn child). This was a highly controversial and novel case that placed evidence of female infanticide, sex-selective abortions, domestic violence, dowry and culture at issue. As ERA’s Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney, Harjit leads the End Sexual Violence in Education Initiative to close the access to justice gap for students facing sexual assault and other forms of gender-based violence in schools and universities.

Allie Lahey   Allie Lahey is an unapologetic agitator, troublemaker, social media and political nerd, and grassroots organizer at heart. Since 2017 at NARAL Pro-Choice California, she has been organizing NARAL's 200,000 membership into electoral and legislative campaigns. As Senior Organizing Manager, she spearheads the organizing program in California by supporting member-led Action Councils, and mentoring organizers and strategizing to flex the people power of NARAL for campaign victories. Before joining NARAL, she was the Ohio State Organizer with URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, where she kickstarted their first integrated voter engagement program. She started as a feminist campus organizer at Bowling Green State University, where she graduated in 2014 studying human development and family studies, popular culture and sexuality studies. During college, she worked as support staff at a domestic violence shelter and at a STEM camp for girls.

Allie Lahey

Allie Lahey is an unapologetic agitator, troublemaker, social media and political nerd, and grassroots organizer at heart. Since 2017 at NARAL Pro-Choice California, she has been organizing NARAL's 200,000 membership into electoral and legislative campaigns. As Senior Organizing Manager, she spearheads the organizing program in California by supporting member-led Action Councils, and mentoring organizers and strategizing to flex the people power of NARAL for campaign victories. Before joining NARAL, she was the Ohio State Organizer with URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, where she kickstarted their first integrated voter engagement program. She started as a feminist campus organizer at Bowling Green State University, where she graduated in 2014 studying human development and family studies, popular culture and sexuality studies. During college, she worked as support staff at a domestic violence shelter and at a STEM camp for girls.

Wendy Lau-Ozawa   Wendy Lau-Ozawa currently manages the Interpretation Technical Assistance and Resource Center at the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence. She has consulted on language access policies and plans throughout the country. During law school, Wendy interned at the DC Language Access Coalition in Washington DC and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York City. Prior to law school, she was the Program Coordinator at the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, where she managed the Legal Interpreter Project and helped create the nation’s first community interpreter bank. Wendy was awarded the 2009 Asian Pacific American Bar Association Education Fund’s Robert Wone Fellowship. As a current Women’s Policy Institute State Policy Fellow, she has been instrumental in crafting legislation on issues relating to CSEC training and campus sexual assault.

Wendy Lau-Ozawa

Wendy Lau-Ozawa currently manages the Interpretation Technical Assistance and Resource Center at the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence. She has consulted on language access policies and plans throughout the country. During law school, Wendy interned at the DC Language Access Coalition in Washington DC and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York City. Prior to law school, she was the Program Coordinator at the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, where she managed the Legal Interpreter Project and helped create the nation’s first community interpreter bank. Wendy was awarded the 2009 Asian Pacific American Bar Association Education Fund’s Robert Wone Fellowship. As a current Women’s Policy Institute State Policy Fellow, she has been instrumental in crafting legislation on issues relating to CSEC training and campus sexual assault.

 
Kimi Lee   With over 30 years of organizing and alliance building experience, Kimi Lee is the Director of Bay Rising. Kimi was the National Coordinator of the United Workers Congress, a strategic alliance to build power for excluded workers and their national independent worker alliances. She was also a Senior Fellow at the Movement Strategy Center, with a focus on building national strategic alliances and creating intersections for different social movements. She was the founder and Executive Director of the Garment Worker Center in Los Angeles and helped to establish the Multi-ethnic Immigrant Workers Organizing Network. Most recently, she started a preschool cooperative in East Oakland serving families of color who wanted to engage their children in social justice issues, and was President of her children’s public school PTA in East Oakland.

Kimi Lee

With over 30 years of organizing and alliance building experience, Kimi Lee is the Director of Bay Rising. Kimi was the National Coordinator of the United Workers Congress, a strategic alliance to build power for excluded workers and their national independent worker alliances. She was also a Senior Fellow at the Movement Strategy Center, with a focus on building national strategic alliances and creating intersections for different social movements. She was the founder and Executive Director of the Garment Worker Center in Los Angeles and helped to establish the Multi-ethnic Immigrant Workers Organizing Network. Most recently, she started a preschool cooperative in East Oakland serving families of color who wanted to engage their children in social justice issues, and was President of her children’s public school PTA in East Oakland.

Holly Raña Lim   Holly received a BA in political science / law and society from UC Riverside and an MA in Asian American studies from San Francisco State University. Holly's research focused on Asian American women and political leadership, and she began teaching Asian American studies and Filipino American studies in settings such as Pin@y Educational Partnerships and Laney College. Outside of education, Holly has worked as a grassroots organizer, political campaign manager, cultural worker and nonprofit leader for local Bay Area organizations. She was previously the Director of Public Allies, a fellowship program focused on young adult leadership development, where she facilitated a workshop discussion on leadership with fellows and former First Lady Michelle Obama. Holly continues to do leadership coaching and electoral campaign work. She also serves as Board Vice-President for Filipino Advocates for Justice, where she is a leader in the organization's tenants' rights work in Alameda.

Holly Raña Lim

Holly received a BA in political science / law and society from UC Riverside and an MA in Asian American studies from San Francisco State University. Holly's research focused on Asian American women and political leadership, and she began teaching Asian American studies and Filipino American studies in settings such as Pin@y Educational Partnerships and Laney College. Outside of education, Holly has worked as a grassroots organizer, political campaign manager, cultural worker and nonprofit leader for local Bay Area organizations. She was previously the Director of Public Allies, a fellowship program focused on young adult leadership development, where she facilitated a workshop discussion on leadership with fellows and former First Lady Michelle Obama. Holly continues to do leadership coaching and electoral campaign work. She also serves as Board Vice-President for Filipino Advocates for Justice, where she is a leader in the organization's tenants' rights work in Alameda.

Rose Mendelsohn   Rose Mendelsohn found organizing as a college student, by working with dining hall workers and janitors who were fighting for better working conditions on campus. She went on to organize with childcare workers in Alameda County who were building a union to improve the California childcare system for both workers and families. Rose then worked for the California State University faculty union (CFA), supporting college students from across the CSU system as they campaigned for free college and sanctuary campuses. She is excited to be working with Bay Resistance to fight back against attacks on our communities, connect new activists to local grassroots organizations, and advance Bay Area movements in 2020 and beyond. Rose also helps move resources into racial justice work by fundraising with SURJ Bay Area.

Rose Mendelsohn

Rose Mendelsohn found organizing as a college student, by working with dining hall workers and janitors who were fighting for better working conditions on campus. She went on to organize with childcare workers in Alameda County who were building a union to improve the California childcare system for both workers and families. Rose then worked for the California State University faculty union (CFA), supporting college students from across the CSU system as they campaigned for free college and sanctuary campuses. She is excited to be working with Bay Resistance to fight back against attacks on our communities, connect new activists to local grassroots organizations, and advance Bay Area movements in 2020 and beyond. Rose also helps move resources into racial justice work by fundraising with SURJ Bay Area.

Jessica Nowlan   Jessica Nowlan is the Executive Director of the Young Women’s Freedom Center and co-founder of the Sister Warriors Freedom Coalition. She is deeply committed to the liberation and freedom of cis and trans women and girls and gender non-conforming people, propelled by her experience as a young person navigating the juvenile justice system and a single mother dealing with poverty, homelessness and intimate partner violence. A 2019-2021 Leading Edge Fellow, Jessica has spent most of her career developing and implementing programs and strategies based on the principle that those most impacted must be at the forefront of making decisions about their own lives. Prior to her current role, Jessica consulted for organizations working with women and girls and at the intersections of violence, poverty, racial justice, incarceration/re-entry and workforce development. A Bay Area native, she lives in Oakland with her youngest sons.

Jessica Nowlan

Jessica Nowlan is the Executive Director of the Young Women’s Freedom Center and co-founder of the Sister Warriors Freedom Coalition. She is deeply committed to the liberation and freedom of cis and trans women and girls and gender non-conforming people, propelled by her experience as a young person navigating the juvenile justice system and a single mother dealing with poverty, homelessness and intimate partner violence. A 2019-2021 Leading Edge Fellow, Jessica has spent most of her career developing and implementing programs and strategies based on the principle that those most impacted must be at the forefront of making decisions about their own lives. Prior to her current role, Jessica consulted for organizations working with women and girls and at the intersections of violence, poverty, racial justice, incarceration/re-entry and workforce development. A Bay Area native, she lives in Oakland with her youngest sons.

 
Kel O'Hara   As part of their Equal Justice Works Fellowship at Equal Rights Advocates, Kel will expand support for LGBTQ student survivors of gender-based violence and harassment by bridging the gap between Title IX and queer youth justice through direct representation, outreach and education. Kel’s Title IX advocacy started in response to their undergraduate institution mishandling sexual violence investigations. As a queer nonbinary survivor of campus violence and a former crisis counselor, they believe that meaningful, trauma-informed school remedies can empower students who have experienced harm and create an effective alternative to the legal system.

Kel O'Hara

As part of their Equal Justice Works Fellowship at Equal Rights Advocates, Kel will expand support for LGBTQ student survivors of gender-based violence and harassment by bridging the gap between Title IX and queer youth justice through direct representation, outreach and education. Kel’s Title IX advocacy started in response to their undergraduate institution mishandling sexual violence investigations. As a queer nonbinary survivor of campus violence and a former crisis counselor, they believe that meaningful, trauma-informed school remedies can empower students who have experienced harm and create an effective alternative to the legal system.

Xochitl Oseguera   Xochitl Oseguera is a National Director of MomsRising, a million-member grassroots organization advocating for family economic security, child health and ending discrimination against mothers. She heads the organization's Spanish-language initiatives, MamásConPoder, and organizes Latinas to take action on the critical issues that affect their families. Xochitl is also the co-lead of MomsRising’s immigration campaign, collaborating with staff and policy partners to educate the public and mobilize mothers online and on the ground. She has more than 20 years’ experience working with the US Hispanic population in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Born and raised in Mexico, Xochitl has a master’s degree from UW Madison.

Xochitl Oseguera

Xochitl Oseguera is a National Director of MomsRising, a million-member grassroots organization advocating for family economic security, child health and ending discrimination against mothers. She heads the organization's Spanish-language initiatives, MamásConPoder, and organizes Latinas to take action on the critical issues that affect their families. Xochitl is also the co-lead of MomsRising’s immigration campaign, collaborating with staff and policy partners to educate the public and mobilize mothers online and on the ground. She has more than 20 years’ experience working with the US Hispanic population in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Born and raised in Mexico, Xochitl has a master’s degree from UW Madison.

Elisa Camahort Page   Elisa Camahort Page is CEO of the new data analytics and visualization firm Cygnus, a Do Big Things company. Cygnus is purpose-built to help campaigns, causes and corporate social responsibility initiatives use data to drive more impact. Prior to Cygnus, she was co-founder and COO of BlogHer, Inc., which was a groundbreaking digital media company serving women writers and influencers (and was one of the <3% of companies funded by VCs led by an all-female team). Elisa is the co-author of  Road Map for Revolutionaries: Resistance, Activism, and Advocacy for All , a handy guidebook to help people become more effective everyday activists on behalf of the causes they care most about. She is a board member of NanoSTEAM Foundation and the Our Hen House animal rights media organization, as well as an advisor for Astia and SXSW Interactive.

Elisa Camahort Page

Elisa Camahort Page is CEO of the new data analytics and visualization firm Cygnus, a Do Big Things company. Cygnus is purpose-built to help campaigns, causes and corporate social responsibility initiatives use data to drive more impact. Prior to Cygnus, she was co-founder and COO of BlogHer, Inc., which was a groundbreaking digital media company serving women writers and influencers (and was one of the <3% of companies funded by VCs led by an all-female team). Elisa is the co-author of Road Map for Revolutionaries: Resistance, Activism, and Advocacy for All, a handy guidebook to help people become more effective everyday activists on behalf of the causes they care most about. She is a board member of NanoSTEAM Foundation and the Our Hen House animal rights media organization, as well as an advisor for Astia and SXSW Interactive.

Sarah Schecter   Sarah Schecter is a student activist and artist. She currently serves as Fiscal Director for Bay Area Student Activists, managing the organization’s finances as well as planning events. Sarah also works with the California Center for Civic Participation and March for Our Lives California.

Sarah Schecter

Sarah Schecter is a student activist and artist. She currently serves as Fiscal Director for Bay Area Student Activists, managing the organization’s finances as well as planning events. Sarah also works with the California Center for Civic Participation and March for Our Lives California.

 
Tiffany Shumate   Tiffany Shumate is the Senior Director of University Programs at AI4ALL. She defines herself as an educator and is interested in leveraging both business and technology to drive education towards fair and equal access for all students. Prior to joining the AI4ALL team, Tiffany served as the Assistant Director of Admissions and Multicultural Recruitment at Bryn Mawr College. There, she established partnerships that led to increased enrollment and retention of first-generation, low-income, and non-traditional age students. After Bryn Mawr, she continued her work with underrepresented groups in college access in her roles at College Track and Citizen Schools. In her transition to education technology, Tiffany worked as the founding Regional Director at Black Girls CODE where she managed partnership and program development in six U.S. regions. In her time at AI4ALL, Tiffany has led university expansion and doubled the programs' student reach to nearly 550 students, globally. She is a Newark, NJ native and currently lives in Oakland.

Tiffany Shumate

Tiffany Shumate is the Senior Director of University Programs at AI4ALL. She defines herself as an educator and is interested in leveraging both business and technology to drive education towards fair and equal access for all students. Prior to joining the AI4ALL team, Tiffany served as the Assistant Director of Admissions and Multicultural Recruitment at Bryn Mawr College. There, she established partnerships that led to increased enrollment and retention of first-generation, low-income, and non-traditional age students. After Bryn Mawr, she continued her work with underrepresented groups in college access in her roles at College Track and Citizen Schools. In her transition to education technology, Tiffany worked as the founding Regional Director at Black Girls CODE where she managed partnership and program development in six U.S. regions. In her time at AI4ALL, Tiffany has led university expansion and doubled the programs' student reach to nearly 550 students, globally. She is a Newark, NJ native and currently lives in Oakland.

Carla Dillard Smith   Carla Dillard Smith is the Executive Director at Women Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Diseases, bringing 27 years of professional experience in the HIV/AIDS/STI field. She has worked as a research director with university and governmental partners, coordinating over 10 collaborative projects with federal partners and overseeing a team with at least 20 years of combined experience in human and social services. Carla has focused her career on service women and communities of color as well as disadvantaged populations.

Carla Dillard Smith

Carla Dillard Smith is the Executive Director at Women Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Diseases, bringing 27 years of professional experience in the HIV/AIDS/STI field. She has worked as a research director with university and governmental partners, coordinating over 10 collaborative projects with federal partners and overseeing a team with at least 20 years of combined experience in human and social services. Carla has focused her career on service women and communities of color as well as disadvantaged populations.

Lexie Tesch   Lexie Tesch is a senior at Berkeley High School, where she serves as Associated Student Body President. Her spark for civic engagement began in 8th grade when she took a Generation Citizen (GC) class and helped pass a resolution to fund a year-round shelter for homeless youth in Berkeley. It was then that Lexie realized youth have power in this democracy, even if they cannot vote yet. Since then, she has worked with GC on their Student Board and now their National Board. Lexie has participated in the YMCA Youth &amp; Government program to learn about all the different ways she can effect change in our system. One of Lexie’s most passionate issues is homelessness. She is determined to find solutions to this pressing issue not only in Berkeley, but also around the country and the world. In addition to raising awareness, she is working on a system at her school to help provide students with basic necessities. In the future Lexie plans on becoming a member of Congress and educating youth on civic engagement to help build a stronger, more representative nation.

Lexie Tesch

Lexie Tesch is a senior at Berkeley High School, where she serves as Associated Student Body President. Her spark for civic engagement began in 8th grade when she took a Generation Citizen (GC) class and helped pass a resolution to fund a year-round shelter for homeless youth in Berkeley. It was then that Lexie realized youth have power in this democracy, even if they cannot vote yet. Since then, she has worked with GC on their Student Board and now their National Board. Lexie has participated in the YMCA Youth & Government program to learn about all the different ways she can effect change in our system. One of Lexie’s most passionate issues is homelessness. She is determined to find solutions to this pressing issue not only in Berkeley, but also around the country and the world. In addition to raising awareness, she is working on a system at her school to help provide students with basic necessities. In the future Lexie plans on becoming a member of Congress and educating youth on civic engagement to help build a stronger, more representative nation.

Bia Vieira   Bia Vieira brings more than 20 years of leadership experience ranging from the philanthropic to the nonprofit sectors in gender, racial, economic justice and immigrant rights issues with a variety of constituencies. Before joining Women’s Foundation of California in 2018, Bia was the California Director for Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, where she developed and supported coordinated responses to anti-immigrant and refugee policies. Prior to that, Bia was the Vice President of Philanthropic Services for the Philadelphia Foundation. Through her consulting practice, Bia has led projects for organizations including the Horizons Foundation, the Global Philanthropy Project, and AIDS United. Originally from Brazil, she holds a BA in Spanish and anthropology and a MA in literature and linguistics from Temple University. She has also completed the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute at Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Research as well as a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship at Columbia University.

Bia Vieira

Bia Vieira brings more than 20 years of leadership experience ranging from the philanthropic to the nonprofit sectors in gender, racial, economic justice and immigrant rights issues with a variety of constituencies. Before joining Women’s Foundation of California in 2018, Bia was the California Director for Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, where she developed and supported coordinated responses to anti-immigrant and refugee policies. Prior to that, Bia was the Vice President of Philanthropic Services for the Philadelphia Foundation. Through her consulting practice, Bia has led projects for organizations including the Horizons Foundation, the Global Philanthropy Project, and AIDS United. Originally from Brazil, she holds a BA in Spanish and anthropology and a MA in literature and linguistics from Temple University. She has also completed the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute at Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Research as well as a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship at Columbia University.