We are thrilled to announce our Featured Presenters
Jennifer Siebel Newsom is a filmmaker, CEO, advocate, and thought leader. After graduating with honors from Stanford University and Stanford's Graduate School of Business, she wrote, directed, and produced the 2011 award-winning documentary Miss Representation. As a result of Miss Representation's powerful impact, she launched The Representation Project, a nonprofit organization that uses film and media as a catalyst for cultural transformation. Her second film as a director, The Mask You Live In, had its world premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and explores how America's narrow definition of masculinity is harming boys, men, and society at large. She also executive produced the Emmy Award-Winning and Academy Award-Nominated documentary The Invisible War, and is an executive producer on the Emmy Award winning documentary The Hunting Ground. She is currently in production on her third film, The Great American Lie. She has also served as a Global Advisory Board member of the Dove Self Esteem Project, a co-chair of We Day California, and a commissioner on the Girl Scouts' Healthy Media Commission, and currently serves on the Advisory Council for the Imagine Kids Bus Project as well as the Common Sense Media Gender Initiative. She resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, and their four young children.
Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed spiritual author and lecturer. Marianne has been a popular guest on television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Charlie Rose & Bill Maher. Seven of her twelve published books have been New York Times Best Sellers. Four of these have been #1. The mega best seller A Return to Love is considered a must-read of The New Spirituality. A paragraph from that book, beginning "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure..." is considered an anthem for a contemporary generation of seekers.
Marianne's other books include The Law of Divine Compensation, The Age of Miracles, Everyday Grace, A Woman's Worth, Illuminata, Healing the Soul of America, A Course in Weight Loss, The Gift of Change, Enchanted Love, A Year of Miracles, and her newest book, Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment.
Marianne is a native of Houston, Texas. In 1989, she founded Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program that serves homebound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area. To date, Project Angel Food has served over 10 million meals. And she serves on the Advisory Board of the RESULTS organization, working to end the worst ravages of hunger and poverty throughout the world. Marianne also co-founded the Peace Alliance.
Louis Gossett Jr. is an actor best known for his Academy Award-winning performance in An Officer and a Gentleman.
Though headed for a basketball career with the New York Knicks in the late '50s, Lou decided instead to pursue an acting career, making a huge early splash on Broadway in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun in 1959. In 1983, he won an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his performance in An Officer and a Gentleman. Lou has also had great success on television, earning Emmy and Golden Globe awards.
He founded the Eracism Foundation to address the bigger picture by establishing Shamba Centers. “Shamba” is the Swahili word for “farm.” These centers, located throughout the United States, will be offering instruction in cultural diversity, historical enrichment and anti-violence initiatives for young adults, teens and pre-teens.
The Eracism Foundation wants every person of African descent—as well as other ethnicities—to be exposed to this powerful, holistic wisdom and to use it peacefully in support of humanity everywhere in the world. Visit www.eracismfoundation.org.
On November 8, 2016, Michael Tubbs was elected to serve as the mayor of the City of Stockton, California. Upon taking office in January 2017, Michael Tubbs became both Stockton's youngest mayor and the city's first African-American mayor. Michael Tubbs is also the youngest mayor in the history of the country representing a city with a population of over 100,000 residents. Included in Forbes' 2018 list of the "30 Under 30", Tubbs' leadership paired with an ambitious progressive agenda has received national recognition. In his first year, Mayor Michael Tubbs secured $20,000,000 to launch the Stockton Scholars, a place-based scholarship that aims to triple the number of Stockton students entering and graduating from college. Tubbs also brought Advance Peace to Stockton, a data driven program that works to reduce gun violence in communities. With an innovative public-private partnership supported by a $1,000,000 grant, Tubbs launched the nation's first ever municipal level basic income pilot.
Before becoming mayor, Michael Tubbs served as Stockton's District 6 City Councilmember. Elected at age 22 in 2013, he became one of the youngest City Councilmembers in the country. As a councilmember, Tubbs created the Reinvent South Stockton Coalition, championed the creation of the City's Office of Violence Prevention and was part of the council that led the city out of bankruptcy as Chair of the Audit and Legislative Committee. Mayor Tubbs graduated in 2012 from Stanford University with a Bachelor's and Master's degree with honors. Mayor Tubbs is focused on poverty reduction, public safety, workforce development, community engagement and organizing, and collective impact strategies. Tubbs has been a college course instructor for Aspire Public Schools and a Fellow at the Stanford Institute of Design and the Emerson Collective.
Dr. Manuel Pastor is Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Pastor holds an economics Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is the inaugural holder of the Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change at USC.
Pastor’s research has generally focused on issues of the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities – and the social movements seeking to change those realities.
His current research culminated in the release of his latest book, State of Resistance: What California's Dizzying Descent and Remarkable Resurgence Means for America's Future, which looks at the last several decades of economic, social, and environmental transformations in California–and what they can tell us about the road ahead for the U.S.
Sister Jenna is a spiritual leader, author, radio and TV personality, renowned speaker and founder of the Meditation Museum in Silver Spring, Maryland and McLean, Virginia. She serves as one of the Evolutionary Leaders in service to conscious evolution and was selected by Empower a Billion Women 2020 as one of 100 Most Influential Leaders of 2015. Sister Jenna also served as a principal partner with the Oprah Winfrey Network and Values Partnerships on the Belief Team, a community of individuals from diverse spiritual, cultural and faith backgrounds. Sister Jenna’s voice of influence is particularly needed in the wake of tragedy and increasing violence in our world. She has traveled to over 80 countries where she continues to provide practical life tools and solutions that empower people to foster and build stronger relationships. Her wisdom, peace, and compassion for humanity are expressed through the variety of initiatives she spearheads for youth, women, governments, and communities. She has collaborated with Fortune 500 companies on key issues and her syndicated radio show, America Meditating is a popular global online show. Sister Jenna is the recipient of numerous awards and proclamations including, the President’s Lifetime National Community Service Award, Every Day Hero Award by the Foundation for A Better Life and the Friendship Archway Awards, to name a few.
Andrew Harvey Is Founder Director of the Institute of Sacred Activism, an international organization that invites concerned people to take up the challenge of our contemporary global crises by becoming inspired and effective agents of change. Sacred activism is a form of compassion-in-action that is born of a fusion of deep spiritual passion with wise radical action in the world. The large-scale practice of Sacred Activism can become an essential force for preserving and healing the planet and its inhabitants. Andrew Harvey has taught at Oxford and Cornell University, as well as at various colleges and spiritual centers throughout the world. He has written over 30 books. www.andrewharvey.net
Tim Molina is the Organizing Director for Courage Campaign, a grassroots organization that fights for a more progressive California and country. As Organizing Director, Tim is in charge of mobilizing thousands of Californians on the ground, throughout the state and in Sacramento, to hold Democrats accountable to progressive priorities and the needs of everyday Californians. Before coming to Courage, Tim was at Brave New Films as their Outreach Director where he directed national campaigns around BNF's full-length documentaries and short videos, working on issues ranging from mass incarceration, workers rights, immigration, and U.S. wars. Prior to joining BNF, Tim worked with MoveOn.org as a National Field Organizer, where he oversaw over 1 million MoveOn members in CA, HI, and AK. Tim started his organizing career as a Labor Organizer with SEIU Local 1021 based out of San Francisco. Originally from Los Angeles, Tim is currently based in Sacramento.
Stephen Dinan is the co-founder and CEO of The Shift Network and a member of the Transformational Leadership Council and Evolutionary Leaders. The Shift Network was founded in 2010 and has served over 700,000 people worldwide, with customers in 150 countries. It delivers virtual summits, courses, and trainings featuring over 50 core faculty and 1,000 thought leaders in domains as diverse as spirituality, peace, holistic health, psychology, parenting, enlightened business, shamanism, indigenous wisdom, and sustainability.
Stephen is a graduate of Stanford University (Human Biology) and the California Institute of Integral Studies (East-West Psychology). He helped create and directed the Esalen Institute’s Center for Theory & Research, a think tank for leading scholars, researchers, and teachers to explore human potential frontiers.
As the former director of membership and marketing at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, he was the driving force behind the Shift in Action program and the One Minute Shift media series.He has been a featured speaker at the World Cultural Forum in China, the Alliance for a New Humanity in Costa Rica, Renovemos Mexico in Mexico City, and the University of Cuenca in Ecuador, as well as many US conferences, events, radio programs, and online summits. He is also the author of Sacred America, Sacred World: Fulfilling Our Mission in Service to All and Radical Spirit.
Stephen lives in San Rafael, California, with his beloved wife Devaa.
Cassandra Vieten, PhD, is the President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and a scientist at the Mind-Body Medicine Research Group at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute. Dr. Vieten, a licensed clinical psychologist, has been with IONS since 2001, previously serving as its Executive Director of Research.
Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the State of California, and several private donors and foundations, her research has focused on spirituality and health; development and pilot testing of mindfulness-based approaches to cultivating emotional balance (primarily in the areas of addiction and pregnancy/postpartum well-being); and factors, experiences, and practices involved in psychospiritual transformation to a more meaningful, compassionate, and service-oriented way of life. Her primary interest lies in how psychology, biology, and spirituality interact to affect experience and behavior.
She completed her pre- and post-doctoral research training at The University of California, San Francisco, working primarily on the biological and psychological underpinnings of addiction and alcoholism.
She received her PhD in clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where her clinical training focused on the integration of Eastern philosophy and spirituality into psychotherapy. She has conducted workshops, groups, and individual psychotherapy with victims of trauma, adolescent, adult and pregnant drug addicts, violent offenders, transgendered and HIV+ individuals, and adults seeking personal growth.
She has authored books, chapters, and academic articles, as well as presenting at numerous international scientific conferences, trainings for colleagues and students, and workshops and events for the lay public. She is co-author of Spiritual & Religious Competencies in Clinical Practice Guidelines for Psychotherapists & Mental Health Professionals (New Harbinger Publications 2015), Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life (New Harbinger/Noetic Books 2008), and author of Mindful Motherhood: Practical Tools for Staying Sane During Pregnancy and Your Child's First Year (New Harbinger/Noetic Books 2009).
Zach and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights will be bringing programs, partners and leaders together for community based solutions around Redefining Public Safety. This is an amazing opportunity to learn from a true advocate and leader who has been working to end our nation’s youth incarceration epidemic. During the seven years he led the Books Not Bars campaign, he built California’s first statewide network for families of incarcerated youth, led the effort to close five youth prisons in the state, passed legislation to enable families to stay in contact with their loved ones, and defeated Prop 6—a destructive and ineffective criminal justice ballot measure. As Co-Founder of Restore Oakland, a joint initiative between Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, he oversees a community advocacy and training center that empowers Bay Area community members to transform economic and justice systems and make a safe and secure future possible for themselves and for their families.
Saru Jayaraman is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at UC Berkeley. After 9/11, together with displaced World Trade Center workers, she co-founded ROC, which now has more than 18,000 worker members, 200 employer partners, and several thousand consumer members in a dozen states nationwide. The story of Saru and her co-founder's work founding ROC has been chronicled in the book The Accidental American. Saru is a graduate of Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She was profiled in the New York Times "Public Lives" section in 2005, named one of Crain's "40 Under 40" in 2008, was 1010 Wins' "Newsmaker of the Year" and New York Magazine's "Influentials" of New York City. She was listed in CNN's "Top10 Visionary Women" and recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House in 2014, and a James Beard Foundation Leadership Award in 2015. Saru authored Behind the Kitchen Door(Cornell University Press, 2013), a national bestseller, and has appeared on CNN with Soledad O'Brien, Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, Melissa Harris Perry and UP with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, the Today Show, and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Her most recent book is Forked: A New Standard for American Dining (Oxford University Press, 2016).
Rickie Byars Beckwith is the Music & Arts Director of the Agape International Spiritual Center where for 29 years she has directed the incomparable Agape International Choir. Her transcendent spiritually charged music deeply touches the hearts of all she encounters through her solo concerts, charitable benefit concerts, women’s retreats, workshops, music festivals and speaking appearances. She has produced nine solo albums, has performed in five sessions with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, at GreenFestivals across North America, and at countless Peace Concerts that promote unity and the eradication of the prison industrial complex and slavery in other parts of the world. In being an example of change and possibility, Rickie supports numerous organizations that work tirelessly to improve the lives of others in underserved communities.
A writer, producer, and entrepreneur, Anasa Troutman has dedicated her work to the importance of culture and the power of love. As founder and CEO of Eloveate, Anasa works to build and execute strategies for artists and organizations that are aligned with her vision of a loving world and her belief in creativity as a pathway to personal, community and global transformation. Best know for her work as the long time friend, thought partner and executive producer for India.Arie, Anasa has worked with many artists and organizations to intensify the strategic impact of creative practice on social and political realities. Through this work she has only deepened her belief in the power of transformative artists and cultural organizers. Working locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, Anasa is sought after for her innovative thinking on the transformative role of art, culture and creativity, and infusing Love as a fundamental core value of any transformative work and every interaction. Anasa splits her professional time now between her production company, Eloveate and her new venture, CultureShift Creative, which is home to all projects including SheStories, a storytelling platform for women and Shelectricity, a project to support girls growing into innovative entrepreneurs through technology and then arts.
Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder and chairman of the Public Banking Institute, a Senior Fellow of the Democracy Collaborative, and the author of 12 books and over 300 articles. In the best-selling "Web of Debt," she showed how a private banking cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. In its 2013 sequel "The Public Bank Solution," she traces the evolution of two banking models that have competed historically, public and private; and explores contemporary public banking systems globally. A 13th book titled "Banking on the People: Democratizing Finance in the Digital Age" is due out this fall. Her other books include "Nature's Pharmacy," co-authored with Dr. Lynne Walker, which has sold over 285,000 copies; and "Forbidden Medicine," on the success and tribulations of an alternative cancer healer. She also co-hosts a radio program on PRN.FM called "It's Our Money with Ellen Brown." She has degrees from UC Berkeley and UCLA School of Law. Her blog articles are posted at EllenBrown.com.
Joan Blades is a co-founder of LivingRoomconversations.org an open source effort to rebuild respectful civil discourse across ideological, cultural and party lines while embracing our core-shared values. As a cofounder of MoveOn.org in 1998, Joan has seen the dysfunction of partisan behaviors and believes we must and can do better. She has also seen the good will, intelligence and power of citizens. Living Room Conversations are a small structured conversation format designed to empower citizens to rebuild respectful relationships and identify common ground. Adversarial solutions will not provide the solutions to the big challenges we face this century. We must learn to engage in collaborative problem solving - holding the tension of our differences while working together with respect and an open heart. In this way we can use the creative tension to inspire solutions that are better than any group alone could devise. Mother's Day 2006 Joan co-founded MomsRising.org with Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner to tap the power of online grassroots organizing for mothers and families in the U.S.A. Joan and Kristin co-wrote The Motherhood Manifesto which won the Ernesta Drinker Ballard Book Prize in 2007. Joan is also a software entrepreneur (a co-founder of Berkeley Systems- best known for the flying toaster and game You Don't Know Jack.), nature lover, former attorney/mediator, artist and true believer in the power of citizens and our need to rebuild respectful civil discourse while embracing our core shared values.
John Gable is Co-founder and CEO of AllSides, a media technology company with the mission to free people from filter bubbles so they can better understand the world and each other. He partnered with Joan Blades to have their two organizations, AllSides and Living Room Conversations, jointly launch the non-profit initiative AllSides For Schools. John has over 20 years of technology entrepreneurship, management and executive experience, leading product, marketing and consumer teams and divisions. He was the team PM leader for Netscape Navigator and served on the original teams for Microsoft Office and ZoneAlarm at Check Point Software. He co-founded Kavi Corp (web-based collaboration, sold to Higher Logic) and previously was a professional political campaigner and executive director in the 1980s working for the Republican National Committee as well as for candidates for US President, US Senate, US Congress, Governor and local campaigns. His experience spans consumer technology products, marketing, press, community collaboration and high tech management. His experience demonstrates how technology can be used to shape positive social change.
Ron Beit is the founding partner and CEO of RBH Group, LLC, president of RBH Management, LLC, as well as managing member of RBH-TRB Newark Holdings, LLC. Ron has acquired, developed, rehabilitated, and/or operated over 1 million square feet of commercial and residential real estate in numerous projects throughout the U.S., as well as over 6 million additional square feet in institutional-grade sites throughout downtown Newark, NJ. Ron has been an active participant in helping Newark become New Jersey's business and entertainment capital and a downtown 24 hour, 7-day-a-week attraction. RBH recently completed the groundbreaking Teachers Village project, and is completing the Makers Village Project (home to Aerofarms, the world's largest indoor aeroponic farm) in the Ironbound district of Newark. In addition to developing the Rutgers-Newark Honors Living-Learning Community, RBH is initiating the Four Corners Millennium project in the historic core of the city. RBH is now expanding into a national marketplace, with Teachers Village projects under construction in Hartford, CT and in design in Chicago, as well as in the planning stages in Miami, Kansas City, Atlanta, Boston and other cities across the country.
The Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis is Co-Chair of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival with the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. She is also the Co-Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice and a Founder and the Coordinator of the Poverty Initiative.
Reverend Theoharis has spent the past two decades organizing amongst the poor in the United States, working with and advising grassroots organizations with significant victories including the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the Vermont Workers Center, Domestic Workers United, the National Union of the Homeless and the Kensington Welfare Rights Union. She has led hundreds of trainings, Bible studies, and leadership development workshops; spoken at dozens of conferences and keynote presentations across the US and globally; and published several articles and book chapters sharing her vision that poverty can be ended and that the poor can be agents of social change.
Liz received her BA in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania; her M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in 2004 where she was the first William Sloane Coffin Scholar; and her PhD from Union in New Testament and Christian Origins. She has been published in Time Magazine, The Guardian, Sojourners, The Nation, The Christian Century, and others.
Liz is the author of Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor (Eerdmans, 2017). She is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Daniel Sunshine is the CEO of Responsive Intelligence, a consulting firm that combines mindfulness, emotional intelligence and neuroscience to offer programs and trainings to global organizations. Daniel began his career as an innovator for companies including PBS, National Geographic, and AARP. His innovation experience is coupled with decades of mindfulness experience and bringing it to thousands of individuals within national health care organizations, fortune-100 companies, renowned private schools, and public school districts. He has an MBA from George Washington University and leads workshops and lectures on mindfulness and innovation. His work has been featured on news affiliates including NBC, FOX, CBS and NPR. Daniel envisions a future where mindfulness is woven into the fabric of society. www.responsiveintelligence.com
Felecia Lenee, better know as Fe Love to her fans is the host and creator of the Artist Eclectic pLAygROUND, a “pop-up” event space that supports new as well as established artists and innovative entrepreneurs primarily in the Pasadena and Greater Los Angeles area. She is on the Leadership Team for CompassionateCalifornia.org and co- founder of the Compassionate ARTS IN ACTION. She works as the Youth Program Director and Creative Strategist for the national project, Posts for Peace and Justice. Felecia has a B.F.A. from CALARTS where she trained as an actress. Her goals are to support youth, with a focus on health, public safety and social justice. Felecia's recent public appearences highlighting youth include: March for Our Lives, Los Angeles, CA; Youth Action Summit, Memphis, TN, the U.S. Human Rights Network National Conference, Atlanta, GA. and the 26th Anniversary of the American Disabilities Act, at the White House. Felecia Lenee is a healer and a certified massage therapist with a concentration on energy balancing. She has been in 16 films, has over 25 years of performing live on stage as a host and entertainer, and in several podcasts promoting racial, gender equality and justice.
"J. Manuel Herrera, a Silicon Valley elected official, envisions the transformation of the public square in our communities and an emerging 21st Century politics that is whole, generative, and personally transformative (www.JManuelHerrera.com and www.thepeoplespeak.net).
Manuel is a Trustee for the East Side Union High School District in San Jose, California, first elected in 1990. He has served as Director of Planning for United Way of the Bay Area, Ombudsman for the City of San Jose, and legislative aide on Capitol Hill and in the California State Legislature. He has been a Democratic Party official in Silicon Valley, and has served on the Executive Board of the California State Democratic Party.
Manuel writes and speaks about integrating principles of the spiritual quest with public leadership, politics, and the public process (“The Reconciliation of Love & Power”). Manuel unveils conflict, power, and compromise as alchemical pathways for spiritual evolution and social change. He integrates these political elements into an emerging 21st century consciousness based on a new and higher rationality that expresses as love and power in our personal and public lives."
Creative Director, Urban Healers
Karin Tamerius, MD is the Founder and Executive Director of SMART Politics. Dr. Tamerius is the creator of Radical Civility and the Radical Civility Cycle and an expert in the intersection between psychology and politics.
Kira D. Carrillo Corser is a California based artist who is known for her social and environmental justice projects combining photography, painting, video and installations with community and civic partnerships and documented outcomes. Her work is based in promoting hope, while giving communities a visual voice grounded in grass roots reality: fighting poverty, prejudice, gangs, war and injustice. She has a Masters in Fine Art, and Bachelors degree in Journalism. Her work has been on national broadcasts with President Clinton and President Carter, in the Smithsonian, the National Steinbeck Center, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Carter Center. Her work has won many awards, has 3 books, taught at California State University Monterey Bay for 8 years as a Social Justice and Visual Art Consultant, and co-founded 2 collaborative current projects: "The Posts for Peace and Justice" and "Sea Changes ACT."
"Maura Cunningham is the Founder and Executive Director of Rock The Street, Wall Street, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Maura’s span of 25 years of financial services experience includes her beginnings on Wall Street where she worked at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets in Real Estate Syndication, UIT’s and Mortgage Backed Securities. Maura then headed south and developed a successful financial planning practice on the east coast of Florida then later in Nashville, Tennessee. She developed her private financial planning practice and held the role of Estate Tax and Business Succession Specialist with the clients of major Wall Street firms including, UBS and Morgan Stanley where she constructed and implemented tax advantaged succession strategies for privately held/family-owned companies. Maura stays current with the market by trading index options.
Maura founded Rock The Street, Wall Street in 2013 when she saw the majority of women across all socioeconomic strata bewildered by math and repressed throughout their lives by their poor financial choices. She was moved too, by typically being one of very few women in the room at financial industry conferences, where still today, women are vastly underrepresented. Knowing that most of financial math is nothing more than first year algebra, she aims to lift the veil on personal money management and the financial profession for girls so they too, can be lifted out of a headset of scarcity."
Melanie Porras, is on the Youth Advisory Council for Compassionate California a Youth Leader for High School Student Marches in Santa Monica, California. She is a Youth Town Hall Presenter, at the 2018 United State Of Women, in Los Angeles, representing Pico Youth and Family Center and Compassionate ARTS. Melanie works with Fe Love on projects promoting racial justice and safety in the community and in schools. She is concerned about violence against Trans Girls, and gun violence.
Mizan has worked for over 20 years as a community organizer and youth development professional. Her commitment to social justice has fueled her work as a crisis intervention specialist, health educator, curriculum coach, experiential workshop facilitator, community researcher and School Based Health Center Supervisor. Mizan promotes trauma-informed, healing-centered, strengths-based wellness for educators, parents, and youth as the Co-Founder of Spearitwurx Foundation. Mizan is the creator of Sankofa Sistahs, culturally-based, gender specific Healing Circles for youth and adults and lead organizer for the Black Power Parent and Powerful Parent Conferences. Mizan is a Certified Yoga Teacher of Raja Yoga and incorporates mindful movement into her facilitation. She is a wife, mother of five and artist, and lives in Oakland CA. with here family.
Dr. Roberto Vargas is a community organizer, organization psychologist, leadership coach, and ceremony leader. A community activist for over 50 years, his professional practice as a planning consultant has involved providing consultations on community problem-solving, multicultural team-building and strategic planning throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Sweden. Founding director of several counseling centers and author of Family Activism: Empowering Your Community, Beginning with Family and Friends (Berrett-Koelher, San Francisco), his theory and tools for people empowerment, leadership development, and cultural activism are used by many.
Sizwe is a father, husband and youth organizer that has worked in the Bay Area since 2001. While the foundation of his youth development experience is K-12 academic instruction, Sizwe has worked as Conflict Resolution Coordinator at Skyline High School, a Life Skills Facilitator with youth at Ujamaa Adult and Family Services, (a culturally based mental health agency for people of African descent based in San Jose CA.,) and has been impactful in forwarding the African American Male Achievement Initiative through the Oakland Unified School District as a Manhood Development Program Facilitator and trainer. As the Co-Founder of Spearitwurx Foundation, Sizwe has spearheaded numerous programs, including Bush Camps, Brothers Keeper and Growing Forward- a social emotional wellness class taught through gardening. In collaboration with Mizan, Sizwe is also the lead organizer ans facilitator of the Black Power Parent and Powerful Parent Conferences. Sizwe utilizes his skills as MC and Hip Hop producer to build youth entrepreneurial-ism, critical thinking, and empowerment.