Meena Srinivasan is an educator, writer and innovator who's been teaching and leading in the fields of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and Mindful Awareness Practices (MAP) for over 15 years. Her book, Teach, Breathe, Learn: Mindfulness In and Out of the Classroom (Parallax Press, 2014) was featured on Edutopia and Meena is in her sixth year of working in partnership with the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) to implement SEL system-wide in the Oakland Unified School District. She is author of the forthcoming, SEL Everyday: Integrating Social and Emotional Learning with Instruction in Secondary Classrooms (Norton, 2019) which is part of the upcoming SELSolutions Series, served on the Board of Directors of the Mindfulness in Education Network, is core faculty for Transformative Educational Leadership and is a recipient of the 2014 Hemera Foundation Contemplative Education Fellowship. Learn more at www.meenasrinivasan.com
In his job as a demo engineer with Intel Corporation, Dan Nainan toured the world with the company's senior executives, demonstrating the latest technology for audiences numbering into the thousands. Confident in his technical abilities but terrified of public speaking, Dan took a comedy class to get over the fear. His third performance ever was in front of 2500 Intel employees at a sales conference.
After leaving Intel to pursue comedy full time, Dan has toured with Robert Schimmel and Russell Peters and was also requested to perform by Bob Saget and Brad Garrett. He has appeared on network television including LAST COMIC STANDING, as well as in feature films and in commercials, including a ""Get a Mac"" commercial for APPLE and six commercials for VMWare. Dan also appeared on BILLIONS with his Tesla Model S. He also does voiceovers, including most recently for the Fox animated series FAMILY GUY, and has done prank calls on radio stations nationwide as various characters including Bill Clinton.
An early riser, Dan does not smoke, drink or do drugs. He speaks multiple languages and plays six musical instruments and has toured in bands playing both keyboards and guitar. He also enjoys extreme sports such as bungee jumping, skydiving, scuba diving on shipwrecks and rollerblading backwards down stairs.
Dan has performed for President Obama, President Trump, Hillary Clinton, Rudolph Giuliani, Bill de Blasio, Michael Bloomberg, Arianna Huffington and his favorite, Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak. He has performed in 28 countries on five continents including TED India, and he has visited 58 countries. He is also an angel investor, investing in tech companies, and performed at the Bitcoin Foundation conference in 2013, where he introduced Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. He was paid in Bitcoin.
Bryan directs TOOLBOX implementation and partnerships with districts, schools, and Community Based Organizations. He has over 15 years experience as a TOOLBOX teacher, and K-8 TOOLBOX principal.
He currently is an ACE Interface Presenter with the County of Sonoma. He is an active member of Sonoma ACEs Connection and has worked with 4CA (California Campaign Childhood Adversity) on policy education in Sacramento. He is also a former Marin First 5 Commissioner.
In his personal life, Bryan finds joy in spending time with his wife, three children, and dog. He enjoys nature, physical activity, and reading.
While not at her day job as a graphic designer, Susan is fulfilling her purpose of cultivating peace through a diverse array of organizations.
Susan joined the Rotary Club of Oakhurst Sierra in 2002 and has served in various board positions including Club President as well as Assistant District Governor for the area. Her Rotary experience has allowed her to participate on humanitarian trips, such as delivering wheelchairs in Peru, and building a cafeteria in Mexico.
In 2010, following a chance encounter in a Miami taxi, Susan and her husband Tim founded the non-profit Be the Power of One to promote education in developing communities whether in the U.S. or abroad. Through this organization, they traveled to Haiti a few months following the devastating earthquake and saw the destruction first hand. They continue to return to Haiti each year.
Susan also organized Oakhurst Area for Peace, a grassroots community organization that began in November, 2016. The group is addressing certain community issues and is currently working to help the area homeless community.
The First Annual Yosemite Peace Symposium is Susan’s latest project. This two day event is being held on October 26 and 27, 2018 at the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, just two miles from the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park. More information on the Symposium can be found at www.YosemitePeace.com.
Elaine Abelaye-Mateo is the Founder and Principal Consultant for Everyday Impact Consulting, a consulting firm designed to support clients and communities in re-imagining systems and developing innovative strategies to solve complex community challenges. Under her leadership, Everyday Impact Consulting recently expanded its services statewide with offices in Sacramento and Fresno. She is also the former Executive Director of Asian Resources, Inc., a Sacramento-based workforce development nonprofit, and a founding member of the APIs RISE Giving Circle, which has cultivated and awarded over $100,000 in donor contributions to Asian and Pacific Islander, community-based organizations. Elaine has received multiple recognitions Including the 2018 Inaugural Woman In Influence Award from OCA Sacramento, 2017 Exceptional Woman of Color Award from Sac Cultural Hub, the 2017 May O. Lee Founder’s Award from Asian Resources, Inc. and the Community Reinvestment Act Panther Award In 2008 awarded by the California Reinvestment Coalition. She has served as a Board member of several nonprofit organizations such as the Philippine National Day Association and the Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera, and is currently serving on the Sacramento Region Community Foundation Community Impact Committee. Elaine has a BA in Communication from Saint Mary’s College of California, an MA in Global Workforce Management with a specialization in Leadership and is currently pursuing a PhD in Managing Organizational Systems from Saybrook University. She is a proud wife and mother and enjoys spending leisure time with family and friends.
Herb is a co-founder and the Treasurer of Democracy Earth Foundation.
For the past 25 years, Herb has been a serial software entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, mostly building systems where power purposefully shifts to the user through technology. Since learning of blockchain technology in 2012 and considering it ""the best invention since the Internet itself"", Herb dedicated the rest of his career to social entrepreneurism.
Herb was COO & CFO of Intershop (world’s first online catalogue technology, IPO 1998), Founder and CEO of Outcome (web service management company), and Founder & CEO of Nuehealth (a Salesforce.com global healthcare partner/ISV). Prior to software, Herb held corporate finance and global systems roles at General Motors, NCR Corporation, IBM, GE and GE Capital.
Born in Flint, Michigan, Herb is the second of eight children in a household where both parents were small-business entrepreneurs, and in his worn words ""has worn a tool belt since he could walk!"" Herb studied math and computer science at University of Michigan and earned a bachelors degree in Financial Administration at Michigan State University. He has travelled, lived and worked all over the world (45 countries, and counting). When not hacking for Democracy.Earth, Herb is an avid back country alpine heli-skier, snowboarder and mountain biker. Most recently, Herb presented on the intersection of blockchains, democracy and artificial intelligence at Taiwan's Connect AI and attended the Bancor-led consortium at Bretton Woods. Check out Herb's appearance on World Affairs; keep up with Herb on Twitter @HerbStephens.
Jocelyn "Jyoti" Kay Levy is a dedicated musician, yogi and social innovator who has been performing music and teaching transformational workshops for over 15 years – creating fun, thoughtful, effective learning environments where music, movement, and healing unite the mind, body, and soul.
Jyoti is the founder of Wee Yogis Organization whose mission is to bring yoga and mindfulness to children through teacher trainings, classes, and transformational media. She currently has three albums: "Wee Yogis Play" focuses on yoga poses and games, "Wee Yogis Connect" teaches mindfulness and relaxation, and "Wee Yogis Grow" to expand on positive values and Kirtan for kids. Her original music and, first ever yoga musical, "Wee Yogis Play” is performed nationwide.
Jyoti's passion for stewarding joyful heartfelt learning spaces has led her to develop yoga and wellness programs for clients such as the Social Venture Network, Bioneers, Opportunity Collaboration, YogaWorks, Hilton Hotels, Fairwind Retirement Communities, and many more. She has been featured in Marie Claire Magazine, Shape Magazine, The Shift Network, EmPOWERme.tv, and others for her inspiring, effective and lighthearted approach to healing people of all ages.
Dr. Kristee Haggins is community healer, African centered psychologist and psychology professor who takes a holistic approach to healing mind, body, spirit and community. She is one of the founding members of Safe Black Space and is committed to promoting heath and wellness particularly in the Black community.
Dr. Haggins holds a B.A. from the University of Southern California, and a M.A. and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in Counseling Psychology. She teaches at Alliant International University/California School of Professional Psychology-Sacramento and at California Northstate University.
Dr. Haggins is a speaker and consultant who provides tailored “experiences” meant to educate, empower and uplift. She is an engaging, interactive public speaker - presenting to audiences small and large, conveying information in a way that people can hear, understand and apply. Dr. Haggins provides consultation services, trainings, workshops, and lectures on a variety of topics, including: racial trauma and healing; mental health and wellness; mindfulness and meditation; spirituality and mental health; among others.
Aimee Allison is a thought leader, public speaker, writer, and expert on women of color in politics. She is president of Democracy in Color, a national organization focused on race, politics, and the New American Majority. Aimee is the founder of She the People, a multiplatform initiative to crystallize and amplify the political voice of women of color. As host of the acclaimed “Democracy in Color” podcast, Aimee explores critical issues at the intersection of race and politics. Ellen McGirt, editor of Fortune magazine’s raceAhead, calls it: "The smartest podcast on race I've found in ages. Listen and grow."
In 2016, Aimee organized and moderated “Women of Color: Uniting the Party, Leading the Country,” the first DNC Chair Forum highlighting the central role of women of color in the future of the Democratic Party. In 2017, Aimee launched “Get in Formation,” a national call for Black women to support Stacey Abrams to become the first Black woman governor in U.S. history.
Aimee has been an on-camera host for numerous outlets, including LinkTV and Comcast Newsmakers on CNN Headline News. She contributed political commentary for KQED, Pacifica, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and MIC. She has been a panelist and keynote speaker at Netroots Nation, the Women's March Convention, and the Democratic Summit Oregon; and her writings have appeared in has written for The New York Times, ESSENCE Magazine, Teen Vogue, The Hill, and Huffington Post.
Aimee is the and founder of the premier initiative on women of color and politics, She the People. She serves on the boards of Energy Future Project, Courage Campaign, and the YMCA of the East Bay. Aimee lives in Oakland, California. You can follow her on Twitter: @AimeeAllison
Jordan Brooks is the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the United State of Women, a non-profit dedicated to being the megaphone for gender equality, and organizing women around the country. Prior to that role, Jordan spent nearly 8 years in the Obama White House in various capacities from the Office of the Vice President to the Office of the First Lady and the Office of Public Engagement, with her final position being the Deputy Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls. In this position she oversaw the Obama Administration's policy and outreach work on a large variety of issues as they related to the lives of women and girls across the country and around the world.
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Part of the fabric of Los Angeles’ hip-hop / jazz / soul avant-garde since 2005, Georgia Anne Muldrow has built a mightily impressive discography and a reputation to match during her career as a vocalist, songwriter, producer and musician. It is fitting that in 2018 she should sign to Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder imprint - a record label deeply embedded in LA, with a ton of shared history and a united vision of the future - to release her stunning new album.
She first lit up the scene with her debut album “Olesi: Fragments Of An Earth” (2006) on cult LA imprint Stones Throw. It was there that Georgia met, befriended and collaborated with the likes of Madlib, Oh No, MED (fka Medaphor), Wildchild, DJ Romes and her future partner Dudley Perkins aka Declaime. She co-founded the SomeOthaShip Connect record label with Dudley in 2008, the platform and spring board for many of her musical travels that have expanded and extended down myriad pathways under numerous monikers including Ms. One, Pattie Blingh & The Akebulan 5, an electro fusion collaboration with DJ Romes called Blackhouse and astral jazz outings as Jyoti - a project that earned her the “Jazz Album Of The Year” honours at Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards in 2011 for her album “Ocotea”.
It’s Georgia’s rich musical heritage and the sheer weight of her catalogue that has earned her the respect of peers such as Mos Def (“She’s incredible. She’s like [Roberta] Flack, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, she’s something else.”), Erykah Badu (with whom she collaborated on “New Amerykah Part Two” in 2010), Bilal and Robert Glasper who invited Georgia to perform on his “Miles Ahead” OST in 2016.
Laura Hansen is Board President and Co-Founder, Chill Sacramento, an organization dedicated to building healthy, safe communities where all residents feel they belong. Chill's most recent project is Compassionate Sacramento, a partnership with the City of Sacramento and many community organizations to raise the awareness of compassionate policy and decision-making in everyday life. She is an advisor to Compassionate California, a best-selling author, strategic business advisor, community organizer and volunteer.
National poet Terry Moore aka T-Mo has featured with and opened for some of the world's top entertainers. He has won eight Best Spoken Word Poet awards, one Best Live Performer award, and one BMA Image award, appeared on the world famous Showtime at the Apollo and BET, won multiple competitions, hosted numerous events and appeared in movies. He is most known for his captivating crowd-pleasing style that awes audiences. This multi-published, multi-talented poet is nationally recognized. He has dominated the English language through his masterful organization of words that sets him in a class of distinguished spoken word artists and scholars. Has Shared the Stage with: The Temptations, Maya Angelou, Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, Dr. Cornel West, Freddie Jackson, Lalah Hathaway, Zapp, WAR, Marvin Sapp, Bilal, Howard Hewitt, Gerald Albright, Raphael Saadiq, Raheem DeVaughn, Iyanla Vanzant, Norman Brown, Rick Braun, Jonathan Butler and many more! He has hosted concerts featuring Anthony Hamilton, Eric Benet, Ledisi, Faith Evans, Blackstreet f/ Teddy Riley and more!
Daughter of immigrants from Oaxaca and Guanajuato, Crisantema was born in South Central Los Angeles and has now lived most of her life in California’s heartland, the Central Valley. Crissy loves and considers Merced her home. The youngest of three children, she was the first in her family to attend college. Crisantema graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies with a concentration on Culture and Identity. Living in the Bay Area, she engaged in on and off campus activities that helped develop her consciousness and passion for social justice. Seeing her parents struggle as campesinos, motivated her to return to Merced and continue organizing for racial justice and immigrant rights. Crisantema believes that all youth are the promise of transforming communities, which is why she is part of establishing 99Rootz. In her spare time Crissy enjoys listening to the latest hip hop mixtapes, learning about birth charts, and spending time with her 7 year old nephew.
Adam Schomer is a documentary TV/Film director and producer and heads up i2i Productions, which is known for going to extreme places and lengths to follow heroic stories that bring insights into important issues and ourselves. Our award winning film THE HIGHEST PASS (2012) was theatrically released and took a deep look at fear and death amidst an epic Himalayan motorcycle adventure. THE POLYGON (2014) explored the villages most affected by forty years of Soviet nuclear testing. ONE LITTLE PILL (2015) reveals a startlingly simple new method to treat alcoholism that has been held back for too long. We returned to the Himalayas to produce and direct a follow up to The Highest Pass titled THE ROAD TO DHARMA (2018), which is an 10 episode Docu-Series for television that is currently in post production and takes us on an inquiry into what it means to be truly free. Recently, Adam Schomer produced and released the feature documentary HEAL (2017) that looks at the science and journey behind changing one’s beliefs, thoughts, emotions and perceptions in order to cure disease. HEAL is a #1 Best-Selling Documentary on iTunes and features the likes of Dr. Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Gregg Braden, Dr. Bruce Lipton, Dr. Joan Borysenko, Anita Moorjani and many more esteemed consciousness experts. RED DRESS WHITE BUFFALO (2019) is a feature documentary diving into the missing and murdered indigenous women of the Lakota Tribe and the spirit of those women that can no longer go unheard; currently in post production. i2i Productions is located in Santa Monica, California.
Our mission is to Unite Through Wisdom and Entertainment
Joan Marie is the owner of Compassion Central in Carmichael and co-founder of Compassionate Capital Region. She is also an Ambassador and co-Director for the Charter for Compassion Women and Girls, and steward of the Red Tent here in the Sacramento area. Joan is also the producer of the V2020 webinar series, a Conscious Touch Educator, and VP of Healing Hands Healing Hearts, having founded their Alfred J Goularte Veterans Care Program in honor of her father. Her work with A Therapeutic Alternative includes Healing Yourself Naturally and their Compassion Program. Joan was a coordinator of the United Nations International Day of Peace from 2011 - 2015 and coordinated the launch of InterDependence Day Event in 2017. Joan is also an artist, mother, and grandmother, in private practice as a massage practitioner since 1990.
Joe Justin founded The Justin Company as a sole proprietorship political consulting and advertising firm located in Sacramento. Mr. Justin has over 32 years in professional political experience. He advises New Way California gratis and sleeps very well knowing he's working toward positive change in California.
Linda Sarsour is an award winning racial justice and civil rights activist, community organizer, every Islamophobe's worst nightmare and mother of three. She is a Palestinian-Muslim-American born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She is the former Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York and the co-founder of the first Muslim online organizing platform, MPower Change. She is a member of the Justice League NYC, a leading force of activists, artists, youth and formerly incarcerated individuals committed to criminal justice reform through direct action and policy advocacy. Most recently, she was one of the national co-chairs of the largest single day protest in US history, the Women’s March on Washington. She has been named amongst 500 of the most influential Muslims in the world. She has won numerous awards including Champion of Change from the Obama Administration. She was recognized as one of Fortune’s 50 Greatest Leaders and featured as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2017. She is a frequent media commentator on issues impacting Muslim communities, Middle East affairs and criminal justice reform and most recognized for her transformative intersectional organizing work and movement building.
CEO-Chief Empowerment Officer and Speaker at Women Rise Up and Oneness Productions, producing consciousness media that promotes the awakening of our Oneness through interfaith, intercultural, peace,and spiritual education. Partnered with Renee’ Marie, owner and founder of Peace Poles for Schools.
Pat Chandler, is the CEO of Creative Visions and brings more than 25 years of business, marketing and media management expertise to the organization. Creative Visions supports and produces social impact entertainment media that raises awareness and drives action around critical issues. A nonprofit and United Nations NGO, Creative Visions is an incubator and accelerator for impact media makers, it also produces media and teaches youth to use all forms of media and the arts to become change makers and global communicators.
Chandler comes to Creative Visions from Points of Light where she served on the executive team for eight years holding positions as SVP of Marketing and Corporate Partnerships, Chief External Affairs Officer and Senior Advisor to the CEO. Points of Light is the world’s largest volunteer management organization. Its mission is to inspire, equip and mobilize people to take action that changes the world. Prior to her tenure with Points of Light, she was Chief Operating Officer of SWI Consulting, Inc., a company that specialized in managing and activating the philanthropy and social influence of athletes and entertainers. Chandler was President of The Home Depot Foundation and on the leadership team for Community Affairs for Home Depot for five years. There, she managed and designed the company’s corporate social responsibility, civic engagement and philanthropy programs.
She served as President and CEO of Chandler Communications, a full service marketing and public relations firm headquartered in Seattle, for nearly 10 years and was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Washington, Bastyr University and Seattle Community College’s Center for Business Development where she taught marketing and public relations courses. Early in her career she also worked in the media as a television producer and print journalist. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington and holds degrees in Political Science and Urban Planning.
Philip M. Hellmich
Philip M. Hellmich is a thought leader in creating a new narrative of peace, from inner peace to international peacebuilding. As the Director of Peace at The ShiftNetwork, Philip is the chief architect of the Summer of Peace, Yoga DaySummit and WorldPeace Library - online global forums that seek to inspire, inform and involve people in the many ways that peace is emerging around the world. He also is the co-lead faculty of the PeaceAmbassador Training. These peace programs provide skills training, inspirational stories, and powerful solutions from the world’s top peacebuilders, social change leaders, scientists, Indigenous elders and spiritual mentors. Philip has dedicated most of his life to global and local peacebuilding initiatives, including 14 years with Search for Common Ground. He also served for four years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone where he lived and worked in small remote bush villages. A published writer, Philip is author of God and Conflict: A Search for Peace in a Time of Crisis with a Foreword by Lama Surya Das.
Philip serves as a board member of the Rasur Foundation International and adviser to The Global Peace Initiative of Women, The Gaiafield Project, American Museum of Peace and The Oracle Institute. Philip is a member of the Evolutionary Leaders Circle, a project of The Source of Synergy Foundation. He is a member of the Rotary eClub of World Peace. He is also long-time meditation practitioner and enjoys studying and teaching about the parallels between inner and outer peace.
Reign Morton is a singer, actor, and writer who currently resides in Los Angeles where he has landed a number of television and film roles in shows like Reno 911, Workaholics, and Clean House. Reign recently took on the role in the Lifetime tv movie about the life of Whitney Houston playing the role of Eddie Murphy directed by Whitney Houston. Most notable for his role as Cashius Kibideaux on the long-running Daytime drama General Hospital where along with the cast he was awarded a Daytime Emmy for Best Drama.
Reign is a Storyteller, Singer-songwriter and Live performer, having traveled around the world making his mark internationally as a musician in Paris, Japan, and Canada. His song “Speed dating” made the top of the charts in Paris. Reign travels to spaces around the country sharing stories from his personal experiences in his one-man show, a tribute to his father “ICONversations”. Continuing those conversations, he engages his audiences to explore “Moving from a Fear-Based Reality and into a Soul Connection” with self and others.
Rocky J. Chavez
Assemblymember Rocky J. Chávez began his public service career immediately after graduation from California State University, Chico when he joined the United States Marine Corps. He spent more than 28 years as a Marine, rising to the rank of Colonel.
Upon retiring from the Marine Corps, Rocky continued his legacy of public service by founding the School of Business and Technology, serving on the Oceanside City Council, and later appointed by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve as Undersecretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs.
Assemblymember Rocky J. Chávez began representing the 76th Assembly District on November 6, 2012. Rocky serves as a Member of the Assembly Committees on Budget, Budget Subcommittee #2 on Education Finance, Veterans Affairs and the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management. Rocky also Chairs the Governor's Military Council and serves as a member of the State Allocation Board.
Shirley Gore lives in Los Angeles, Ca. She has worked for Disney as a mainstage performer and has traveled all over the world sharing her gift and now seeks to empower and support our communities about getting the black and brown votes out. She has partnered with Color of Change to educate the community about the importance of voting. Shirley is now serving as Director of Outreach and Ambassador for Compassionate ARTS. She is also the CEO/Founder of Go Back and Get Your Sisters which empowers women to speak their truth. She knows the power of a woman’s voice. Her passion lies in Bringing the Arts back into the school system and allowing our young men and women to see their true potential.
Shirley Gore’s aim is to uplift, empower, support, and celebrate women and our communities. It's time to build lives, build women, and build sisterhood all while building the community.
Brenda Astara Gustin, Ph.D., has focused her life upon peace and freedom. As co-founder and President of a Sudbury School, children, including her own, were provided opportunity to create from their innate desire to learn. Trust allowed them to grow into responsible citizens. At the Radiant Health Center, she and her colleagues assist adults in doing the same. As a Global Anchor within BraveHeart Women, a smooth transition as the Co-Director for The Charter for Compassion Women & Girls Sector emerged. A Board position for Chill of Sacramento was the next best step to consciously continue the work of Mercey Springs Foundation through a broader platform locally. The continuous thread in Brenda’s life is the joyful opportunity to actively highlight the work of like-hearted people dedicated to improving life through collaborations locally and worldwide.
Danielle Lawrence is currently a Director of Mutual Assistance Network. In her role there she oversees a team of people whose focus is to prevent child abuse and strengthen the social and economic infrastructure of neighborhoods. Danielle's passions are centered around increasing equity and opportunity for historically oppressed people and decreasing disparities in the African American population. She currently is focusing efforts on the Black Child Legacy Campaign in Sacramento County. She has a passion for educational equity, organizational and systems change and believes that true change cannot be sustained without a parallel process where work at the institutional systemic policy level occurs. She also has recently joined policy efforts at the school district level for Elk Grove Unified.
Kindra F. Montgomery-Block has an extensive history as a senior philanthropy community leader. She is an advocate, trainer, and organizer that partners with vulnerable communities of color across the nation for system and policy transformation. She has a widespread background in social justice youth development, health equity policy, community violence prevention, and civic engagement.
For over eighteen years Kindra has worked with community-based organizations to strengthen their capacity to support young leaders, engage boards of directors, develop and implement strategic plans, design and implement effective leadership, and provide training in staff development, program evaluation and planning. Kindra has served on numerous advisory boards and executive board of directors, and has been involved in the implementation of many “new-start-up” youth development initiatives. Kindra is the current chair of Sacramento County Mental Health Board and recently received recognition as a young emerging leader from Comstock’s Magazine.
Kindra is a Senior Program Officer with the Sierra Health Foundation Center. She is the lead staff member to the Steering Committee on the Reduction of African American Child Deaths, Black Child Legacy Campaign and The Build.Black Coalition, in this role Kindra oversees the funding and impact strategy for the initiatives. Kindra is motivated by civic duty and a constant need to improve the lives of underserved youth and families through health and education.
“I define my life's work by a strong link between spirituality and social activism, I strive to advance equity that is transformational in vulnerable communities.”
Kindra has a B.A. in Political Science and a Master’s in Public Administration.
Maria De La Luz Garcia
Census 2020 Director, Mayors Office, City of Los Angeles
A native California girl, Sonia has lived in both northern and southern California but Oakland is where her foundation is rooted and feels the most like home. She is the oldest of 2 daughters to Raymond and Rita Williams. Her father is a country boy from Texas, a Vietnam vet, a former police officer with the Richmond Police Department and a Baptist minister. Her mother hails from the mid-west, grew up in the projects of Chicago, was a community activist, associate of the Black Panther Party, and social worker. It was this dichotomy, on opposite ends of the spectrum that she bore witness at a very young age to the two starkly different Americas.
It was in the 2nd grade at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School where Sonia remembers consciously engaging in her first intentional rebellion; a silent protest, she refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Mrs. Billiue, her 2nd-grade teacher was very unhappy with this unpatriotic expression and there were consequences for this choice in action. At that moment, she began to understand the need for freedom of expression, as well as the difference between being a leader and a follower. Soon after, Sonia began to question the glaring differences in the living of Black people compared to everyone else.
Engaging with her family and community propelled her interest and love for history, current events and social justice activism. After graduating high school, she successfully attended and earned a dual BA degree in History and Psychology from Spelman College of Atlanta, GA. Returning to California, she pursued and earned a secondary teaching credential and Master's degree in Education from San Francisco State University.
After 18 years of teaching, in 2008, Sonia was a victim of school cutbacks and program downsizing. Instead of moving to a new school site to build yet another program, Sonia decided to take a major gamble and start a business. She co-founded ASCRIBE Educational Consulting, where they help families with transitional plans for life after high school. Based on her experience in the field of education and community organizing, she was often asked to speak on educational advocacy and parenting. Speaking engagements led to the birth of EDIFY the Soul Motivational Speaking and Writing, where her motto is ""Every Day I Fight for Youth....E.D.I.F.Y."" Currently Sonia is a chapter lead with Black Lives Matter Sacramento and she is deeply passionate about marrying education and activism.
Her fight for Black Liberation is at the center of everything. It is out of America's denial of the reality of 2 very different Americas existing; which keeps the crisis of racism, implicit bias, and oppression anchored in the storm of historical disenfranchisement. The most vulnerable and marginalized are always people of color, thus the importance of speaking life into the movement to abolish systems that perpetuate State Sanctioned Violence and is replaced with community-centered oversight and power.
On a more personal note, Sonia has been married for nearly 20 years, birthed 6 beautiful black boys into this cruel world, helped raise 4 older bonus children, and cares for 2 granddaughters. Over the years she has found time to participate with community organizing, pen hundreds of pieces of poetry and is working to become a published author. She has often said, ""I cannot look my boys in the face if I ignored Trayvon Martin's murder; I could not stand beside my husband if I didn't acknowledge Eric Gardner's murder, and I would not be who I am if failed to honor Sandra Bland's murder."" Hence her commitment to and work with BLM Sacramento. Wife, mother, educator, writer, speaker and community activist, Sonia Lewis is our city's call to action because the time to stand for Equity and Liberation is now.
Dr. Valencia Porter is a leader in Integrative, Preventive, and Environmental Medicine, combining ancient wisdom traditions such as Ayurvedic Medicine with modern science. For the last decade, she has worked with Dr. Deepak Chopra at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, providing integrative medical consultations and teaching health professionals and the community how to achieve total mind, body, spirit health. She passionately advocates for real solutions to the global problems of climate change and pollution, knowing that personal and planetary health are intricately linked, shares her extensive knowledge through her recent book, “Resilient Health: How to Thrive in Our Toxic World,” a handbook for the toxic age based on her research, clinical experience guiding patients through the Chopra Center’s signature detox program, and personal healing journey. Her unique approach not only addresses physical toxicity, but also mental, emotional and societal toxicity that affects our health and wellbeing.