Constance L. Rice
In her legal work, Connie has led multi-racial coalitions of lawyers and clients to win more than $10 billion in damages and policy changes, through traditional class action civil rights cases redressing police misconduct, race and sex discrimination and unfair public policy in transportation, probation and public housing.
Molly Munger is a co-founder and director of the Advancement Project, a public policy change organization rooted in the civil rights movement. Founded in 1999, Advancement Project engineers large-scale systems change to remedy inequality, expand opportunity and open paths to upward mobility. Molly brings an extensive background of legal expertise to the Advancement Project, including twenty years as a federal prosecutor and business litigator.
Stephen R. English
Before co-founding Advancement Project, Steve English was a partner in the Los Angeles office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius for twelve years, helping to manage a 20-lawyer litigation department. Together with Co-Directors Connie Rice and Molly Munger, Steve launched a coalition lawsuit, Godinez v. Davis, that won approximately $1 billion for new school construction in Los Angeles and other urban areas - money previously slated for less crowded, more affluent suburban school districts.
John Kim currently serves as Co-Director of Advancement Project's California office. John works closely with the other Co-Directors on the development of new policy research/advocacy initiatives, partnership building, and strategic organizational development efforts.
Matthew Agustin received his Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of California, Irvine and B.S. in Applied Mathematics from the University of California, Riverside. While receiving his Master's degree, Matt served as president of the Urban Planning Student Association and concentrated on pedestrian planning, social justice and public art. Prior to joining Advancement Project, Matt interned with the Orange County Transportation Authority. Matt was born and raised in Lakewood, California.
Khydeeja Alam Javid
Khydeeja Alam Javid is a Legislative Advocate in our Sacramento office. Khydeeja works on legislative and budget issues related to K-12 Education, foster youth, early childcare and education, public school facilities, juvenile justice, and violence prevention/intervention policy. Khydeeja is involved in local politics and various youth empowerment programs. She has been elected District Delegate for Assembly District 13 for the California Democratic Party; she will serve as a delegate until 2014. Khydeeja is a founding board member of Muslim Americans in Public Service (MAPS), a non-profit organization that promotes involvement in public policy and serves as a professional development and support network for youth. Prior to the Advancement Project, Khydeeja worked for Assembly Member Anna Caballero as her district representative, where she was a liaison between the citizens, state government and community leaders. She attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she received her Bachelor’s in Sociology and was recognized on the Dean’s Honor List for her educational achievement. During her time at Cal, Khydeeja was a scholar intern at the University of California Center in Sacramento (UCCS) and worked at Birdsall & Associates as an assistant legislative coordinator, an advocacy firm dedicated to K-12 education policy, representing various school districts and education related clients.
As Grant Writer, Jennifer Arceneaux proactivelyresearches traditional and innovative funding opportunities to support and growAdvancement Project’s $14 million budget. Her expertise in grant writing benefits from the five years prior she spent reviewing proposals as Program Officer in Education & Youth Development at United Way of Greater Los Angeles, where she managed a portfolio of grants totaling $2 million dollars to organizations working to improve high school graduation rates in Los Angeles County. Motivated by her joint passions for education work as well as performing and visual arts, she has worked in grant writing, grassroots fundraising, program development, executive support, and membership for diverse nonprofit educational justice and arts organizations and museums. Jennifer is a native of Los Angeles and attended local public and private schools. She graduated from Duke University with a degree in Literature and Media Studies and minor in Spanish.
Mike started volunteering as a mentor with At- Risk youth and gang members in the late 1990’s in the East Los Angeles area, and moved on to working as a Gang Intervention Worker. Working across the city and county of Los Angeles for the last fifteen years he has provided substance abuse services, coordinated and directed afterschool and Gang Intervention Programs from the San Fernando Valley to Lennox. Mike’s position prior to coming to AP was the Program Director of a non-profit organization providing substance abuse and violence intervention services to students at Lennox Middle School where he had an office on campus for the four years preceding his employment with AP. In addition to doing Hospital Based Intervention while coordinating a program at Robert F. Kennedy Medical Center he graduated from the first class in the collaboration of Cal State L.A., The School of Criminal Justice and the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute’s Gang Intervention Training and the first Accelerated Intervention Course offered through the Urban Peace Academy. He also obtained a certificate as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor through the C.A.D.C... Currently at The Advancement Project Mike’s title is Urban Peace Program Associate in which a good deal of his role consists of being a member of the Urban Peace Organizational Management Team where he aids in the organizing, oversight and facilitation of the Urban Peace Academy’s 140 hour entry level training. He is also involved in the Urban Peace Expansion Training Team; traveling throughout the state and country supporting other cities in their efforts to bringing awareness and reducing violence by assisting in needs assessments and aiding in the creation and implementation of tailored trainings.
Executive Assistant to John Kim
Taisha attended Whittier College where she focused on in Religious Studies, Gender and Literature with a focus in post structuralism within biblical studies. She continued on to graduate school in New Jersey where she received her Master's Degree in Theological Studies with a focus on cultural studies. While in graduate school Taisha worked for United Way, a local and national organization which seeks to support and strengthen communities by focusing on three core issues: Income, Education and Health. As a graduate student, Taisha was a member of TERRA (Transforming Ecological and Religious Resources into Action), Latin@ Caucus, and was the Orientation Coordinator for the Class of 2008. She is a member of academic honor societies, a recipient of community leadership scholarships, has performed in three productions of the Vagina Monologues and continues to be a community volunteer.
Research Analyst / Community Research Lab Manager
Janice serves in dual capacities as a Research Analyst and Manager of the Community Research Lab program. In her role as a Research Analyst, she supports the strategies of community-based organizations with GIS mapping and analysis. As Manager of the Community Research Lab, she coordinates the development and implementation of capacity-building, community-based research tools and workshops that involve Healthy City’s free, online mapping technology. She has provided mapping research and technical assistance on projects that have informed the policy, organizing, and advocacy strategies of organizations throughout Southern California and has facilitated participatory mapping activities with organizations such as Community Coalition, the Los Angeles Urban League, Alliance for a Better Community, and First 5 Los Angeles. She applies her teaching skills as a healthycity.org website trainer and Community Research Lab workshop facilitator. She holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from UCLA and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Black Studies from UC Santa Barbara.
Erin Coleman joins Advancement Project as Data Coordinator for Healthy City. Erin earned her Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles and her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Iowa. As a graduate student, Erin focused her efforts on research projects and interactive mapping tools promoting affordable housing and equitable Transit Oriented Development. She conducted her client project for the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing on the relationship between rail development and gentrification in Los Angeles. In fulfillment of her internship requirements, Erin served as a research associate on a comparative analysis of two housing microfinance programs for the Center for Environmental Planning and Technologyin Ahmedabad, India. Erin also served as a teaching assistant for a web-based GIS course, and a research assistant on analyses of the Mortgage Interest Deduction and Backyard Housing.
Deanna Y. Cooke
Director of Organizational Learning and Development
Deanna Cooke is a community-psychologist who has focused her career on conducting and supporting community-based collaborative research. She joined the Advancement Project after directing the community-based research programs for Georgetown University's Center for Social Justice for 8 1/2 years. In her role at Georgetown she worked with students, faculty and community members to utilize research to improve public schools, develop affordable housing and alleviate poverty. Deanna also represented Georgetown on The Research University's Civic Engagement Network comprised of civic engagement leaders at research universities nationally and on a number of university committees including, as co-chair of the Diversity Action Council and Vice Chair of the Institutional Review Board for ethical research. Further, she served as co-director of the regional Community Research and Learning Network. Deanna has published on issues of community-based research and on African American racial identity and racial discrimination. She recently co-authored a handbook on developing community-based research programs for undergraduates. Deanna has been active in community organizations, serving as a board member for the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Educational Development Corporation and the Community Equity LLC. She received a BA from UC Santa Cruz, MA from the University of Virginia, and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Deanna is an extensive traveler and has lived in several states, and in both Ghana and South Africa, but she has returned home to Compton, CA to join the Advancement Project Team.
Coalition Organizer / Policy Analyst
As coalition organizer Antonio is responsible for the operations of the Urban Peace Academy’s gang intervention entry level training funded by the city’s GRYD office. This includes the development of curriculum and building the capacity of instructors and staff in the Academy through leadership development. Antonio joined the Advancement Project after working for Occidental College as program manager of violence prevention services at Hathaway-Sycamores Family Resource Center. He received a B.S. in Kinesiology from San Francisco State University and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Kinesiology at California State University Long Beach. Antonio is interested in teaching sports studies and sociology at the University level. Antonio also has experience serving as interim director and Pat Brown Institute's Youth Enrichment Project, a school based violence prevention program, and has coached high school basketball in the Oakland Bay Area.
Born and raised in Los Angeles California, Carmen has an AA degree in Business Administration and Fashion Designing. She has worked as an administrative assistant in a variety of administrative offices in the field of Operations, Production, Telecommunications, and has 17 years with Los Angeles County working in the Departments of Public Social Services, Hall of Records, and Mental Health. Carmen has been an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary for 26 years, she volunteers for hospitals, Martin Luther King Day Parades, visits V.A. Vets, and coordinates the Annual Auxiliary Fashion Show at the Legion. She joins our team with prior experience assisting and working with CEO’s, Presidents, Directors, Clients and Customers and has a background for caring, being compassionate and sensitive to assist and support others.
Sharon Scott Dow
Director Of Governmental Relations
Scott Dow brings an extensive background in legislative and practical teacher, school, school district, and education policy experience to the Advancement Project. Before coming to AP, she was a legislative advocate and worked in candidate and initiative campaigns for the California Teachers Association. Sharon served on California First Lady Sharon Davis' California Creativity Forum, a blue ribbon committee established to promote the arts in K-12 education. She also served as a CTA Training and Bargaining Specialist in Los Angeles County for over 50 CTA urban teacher associations, conducting training, negotiations, and consulting work in the areas of school finance and school district budget analysis, school reform, teacher professional issues, teacher compensation, organizing, and negotiations. For many years Sharon was an instructor at CTA's School Finance and Negotiations Institute and also served as CTA professional staff in the Anaheim and West Los Angeles areas. Sharon was a teacher of History, Foreign Language, Reading, and Art in the public schools of Klamath Falls, Oregon and served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Oregon Education Association. She holds BS and MS degrees from Southern Oregon University.
Senior Policy Analyst
Sandy Escobedo is currently a Senior Policy Analyst for the Advancement Project, a next generation, multi-racial civil rights organization that engineers large-scale systems change to remedy inequality, expand opportunity, and open paths to upward mobility. Ms. Escobedo is working to build support for “Our Children, Our Future 2012” that seeks to restore funding for our public schools and early childhood education. Over the past 10 years, Ms. Escobedo’s professional experience spans across school districts in New York City through Teach for America and Philadelphia as a data analyst. Ms. Escobedo also worked for the California Community Foundation, a premier philanthropic institution in Los Angeles. She serves as a Vice Chair for the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce and is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Fordham University, and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively. Ms. Escobedo is the first in her family to graduate from college and graduate school. She is a proud product of LAUSD schools and is fluent in Spanish and French.
Caitlin graduated from UC Davis with a bachelor's degree in Design and a minor in Religious Studies. As an AmeriCorps Vista and member of the Digital Arts Service Corps, Caitlin's goal is to build the capacity of Healthy City and foster information accessibility through design. Her previous user-centered design work spans from tampon packaging to solar fruit driers and she is excited to see how the design process translates to the digital realm with HealthyCity.org.
Leila Forouzan earned her M.P.A. in Public Policy from Baruch College, City University of New York and B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. As a graduate student, Leila served as a GIS research assistant on demographic and climate change studies. Prior to joining the Advancement Project, Leila was part of the Census 2010 Greater Hollywood area management team which mainly covered Hard-to-Count tracts. While living in Chicago she was the Technology and Administration Coordinator at (what is now) J Street, a pro-peace grassroots organization educating and advocating for a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Her volunteer work includes serving as a Board Member for the Hollywood Studio District Neighborhood Council and as a Deployment Site Coordinator for the 2011 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count. Leila is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and New Orleans, LA.
Caneel C. Fraser
Senior Policy Analyst
Caneel Fraser’s work within the Urban Peace team focuses on juvenile justice, criminal justice, and reentry issues. Prior to joining the Advancement Project, Caneel maintained her own practice representing indigent criminal defendants in state and federal courts. In addition to her trial and appellate work, she provided pro bono legal services to children in immigration proceedings and legal support to organizations working with at-risk youth. Her previous experience includes serving as a Deputy Public Defender in both Los Angeles and Alameda Counties, representing public housing tenants as an attorney with Bay Area Legal Aid, and working on workforce and equal opportunity issues at the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in Sociology from Stanford University and is a graduate of Harvard Law School.
Gino Garcia works on electronic communication, print publications, assists with media relations and event planning. He is a graduate of UCLA with a B.A. in Anthropology and Linguistics, specializing in cultural communication. As a student Gino was involved in cultural and issue-awareness groups at UCLA, some of which include Samahang Pilipino, Nikkei Student Union, the LGBT Resource Center, and the Center for Intercultural Performance. He was also a recipient of the UCLA Alumni Scholars Award, a scholarship program rewarding academic excellence and demonstrated leadership towards positive change. He is pursuing his M.A. in Strategic Public Relations at USC's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, specializing in public policy and political communication.
Coalition Organizer/Policy Analyst
Prior to his work with the Advancement Project, Eric Lam was a Senior Human Relations Specialist with the Orange County Human Relations Council. He has experience working in low-income housing and in diverse communities throughout CA and NY developing and implementing social and educational services and change. Eric has a background in community services, empowerment and engagement with an emphasis in leadership development and youth organizing holding positions with South Park Youth Center in San Diego, Project Access in Westminster, and the NYU Metropolitan Center for Urban Education in New York City. Eric is Vietnamese and has also been involved with the Asian Pacific Islander Youth Collaborative in Orange County. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Urban Studies & Planning from University of California, San Diego as well as a Master of Arts degree in Sociology of Education, Education Policy from New York University.
Erica Lawless graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. Before joining the Advancement Project, she worked for the Disability Support Services Office at LMU, assisting students with physical, psychological, learning disabilities, and ADD/ADHD. As a student, Erica served as an active member of Isang Bansa (the Filipino and Filipino-American student organization), helping to promote cultural awareness and diversity through campus involvement, community outreach, and cultural dance performances. Erica has also volunteered for the Pasadena Humane Society, as well as the Teen Outreach Program at Haven House Emergency Woman's Shelter and participated in workshops on teen dating violence and healthy relationships.
National Director of Urban Peace
Susan K. Lee currently serves as the Director of Urban Peace at the Advancement Project California. In that capacity, she oversees the implementation of an Urban Peace agenda that includes working with the government, philanthropy, law enforcement, school districts and a variety of stakeholders in the community to achieve a collaborative and comprehensive solution to violence and gangs. The Urban Peace team is deeply engaged in more than 10 communities throughout the State of California to implement a holistic strategy to achieve community safety and to expand opportunity for children and youth.
Lee has over 19 years of experience in non-profit management, strategic planning, fundraising, facility development, staff training & development and community engagement as well as research and expertise in immigration history and law. Her work in San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, has primarily focused on empowering and serving low income immigrant communities of color. Before joining the Advancement Project, as the Director of Children & Family Services at Koreatown Youth & Community Center, she expanded mental health, youth and family support services and also successfully oversaw the implementation of a $5 million dollar Early Childhood Initiative resulting in two new facilities providing high quality child care for 105 infants, toddlers and preschool aged children. She brings program expertise in early childhood education & development, youth development, school readiness and success for K-12 students, outpatient mental health, and violence prevention.
Susan Lee holds a BS in Economics from University of California Berkeley as well as a JD from Boalt Hall, School of Law, UC Berkeley and is currently on leave from the Ph.D. program in Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. In addition to being a member of the California State Bar, she has more than 6 years of experience teaching undergraduate courses in Asian American history and community issues at UC Berkeley, and has published on issues of immigration, citizenship and immigrant rights. Her scholarship has been recognized through numerous fellowships and awards, including the Jurisprudence Award from Boalt Hall School of Law in 1995. She is active in supporting other community based organizations and schools and was the Chair of the Larchmont Charter School Board of Directors, a start-up charter elementary school. Susan lives in Los Angeles with her husband Bobby, daughter Zoe and son Francis.
Adilene López Valenzuela
Adilene López Valenzuela was born and raised in the southeast cities of L.A. County. She joined Advancement Project from Berkeley, where she received her B.A. in Ethnic Studies, focusing on women of color feminist thought and discourse. While a student, Adilene was selected as a Bonner Leader, a national program supporting students active in social justice movement building. In conjunction with her Bonner commitments, Adilene served as Finance Director for Alternative Breaks, a service-learning program within the university's Cal Corps Public Service Center. In this capacity, she managed operations and fundraising for ten student-led groups traveling across California, Arizona, Oregon, New Orleans, and Mexico. Adilene was also active in multiple organizations on and off campus, including the Raza Recruitment and Retention Center, Mujeres Unidas y Activas in Oakland, the Berkeley Student Cooperative, among others.
Maidel Luevano is a Project Coordinator for Healthy City. She received her masters degree in Urban Planning from UCLA and bachelors degree in Sociology and Ethnic Studies from UC Santa Barbara. Her graduate work focused primarily on the intersections of art & culture with city planning. Prior to joining Advancement Project, Maidel worked as the Cultural Development Manager at LA Commons, where she managed the Neighborhood Docent program, as well as, Project Willowbrook: Cultivating a Healthy Community through Arts and Culture; A Cultural Asset Mapping Report; in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. She received a Fulbright grant to conduct a year-long arts education research project in Cusco, Peru, where she taught animation classes at a local after school program and researched the state of art education in Peru. Before that, Maidel worked in the Los Angeles non-profit sector with various organizations on topics ranging from youth development, arts education and higher education/college access. Maidel is originally from Long Beach and looks forward to continuing to support positive change in communities throughout Los Angeles, as part of the Advancement Project team.
Policy Advocate and Outreach Coordinator
Kathleen Manis received her Master's of Public Policy from the University of California, Los Angeles and her Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and mass communications from the University of California, Berkeley. Before joining The Advancement Project's education team, Kathleen worked as a research analyst for K to College, a Bay Area education nonprofit committed to equal access to educational opportunity for low-income students, and continues to serve on their board of directors. While in graduate school, Kathleen worked for an international child welfare nonprofit in a policy research capacity, focusing on early childhood issues in orphanages in the developing world. Kathleen is committed to effective education and child welfare policy initiatives and reform.
As a Policy Manager, Ms. Marshall works in a variety of research, coordination, and advocacy roles to manage issues around violence reduction and urban policy. Jamecca came to the Advancement Project from Team SAFE-T: A California Partnership for Safety and Preparedness where, as director of programs and development, she managed organization grants and donors and guided policy direction, school outreach and grassroots efforts to improve school safety and emergency readiness in California. From 2004-2006, Jamecca worked at the Alliance for Education as a Policy Analyst focusing on middle grade education reform. Jamecca received her AB in American Studies with Specialization in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University and Masters of Public Policy and History from The George Washington University. Jamecca is also a graduate of the Stanford in Washington Public Policy program and in 2004?2005 was fellow at the American Historical Society's National History Center. She is active in the community serving as an advisor and volunteer for several local organizations related to education, local history preservation, and mentoring.
Urban Peace Coordinator/ Senior Policy Analyst
Maribel Meza received her bachelor's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles with a major in Political Science concentrating in American Politics and two minors in Public Policy and Chicana/o Studies. Prior to joining the Urban Peace team with Advancement Project, she worked for UCLA BruinCorps, a community service project and for EdBoost Education as a SOURCE advisor. She has also participated in a number of internships at the city, state, and federal levels. While interning at the Washington Office on Latin America she worked with two gang experts that guided her research on the issue of youth gangs. Maribel is interested in helping youth and local leaders address the issues that push many kids and teens into a life of gangs. She also plans to obtain a masters in Public Policy.
Major Gifts Consultant
Alison Morgan joins Advancement Project after most recently serving as Development Director of the Western Center on Law and Poverty. A long time fundraiser for progressive political candidates in California, Alison has helped numbers of politicians become financially competitive and ultimately win their elections. Based in Los Angeles, Morgan & Associates clients have included Senator Barbara Boxer, Attorney General Bill Lockyer, Los Angeles Mayor (and Speaker Emeritus) Antonio Villaraigosa, former and current State Senators Sheila Kuehl and Fran Pavley, Assembly members Karen Bass and Michael Feuer former LA City Council members, Ruth Galanter, and (now former Assembly member) Jackie Goldberg, and former State Superintendent Delaine Eastin. Alison is on the Board of LA social justice foundation Liberty Hill, and still leads fundraising workshops. Married to campaign strategist Parke Skelton, their worlds have been blissfully upended by navigating the lives of now 9 year old Zora, and 13 year old Jasper.
Patricia Neri received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine and a Master’s of Public Policy from the University of Southern California. She has worked in various public sectors from non-profit organizations to policy think-tanks. Patricia has worked at the Center for Governmental Studies as their community development intern focusing on a community-wide healthy-access initiative. While in graduate school, she worked at Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP), a non-profit organization, in their Public Affairs department researching early childhood education (ECE) legislation, and working on various ECE initiatives such as parent involvement, cross-sector collaborations, corporate engagement, and event planning. Prior to joining the Advancement Project, she was a Fellow at the USC Institute for Global Health, providing research and operational support in various education-led projects from the Ugandan Health Initiative to a week-long Global Health Awareness series which culminated with community Health Fair in the San Pedro/Harbor area. Patricia has been involved in various academic organizations such as the Latino Association for Policy, Planning, and Development and continues to be an official UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) member and volunteer. Patricia is a native of Los Angeles, California.
Manager of Collaborative Initiatives
Jonathan Nomachi received his undergraduate degree in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley and his Master's in Public Policy at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute. Jonathan spent the last eight years at Community Health Councils (a health advocacy organization in South Los Angeles) serving most recently as the Research/Data Manager where he coordinated and advanced the research and data needs for the agency. Jonathan has extensive experience in Community Participatory Research approaches as well as data collection and evaluation techniques. Jonathan is a native of Los Angeles and hopes to continue to empower underrepresented communities at HealthyCity.
Kim Pattillo Brownson
Director of Educational Equity
Kim Pattillo Brownson is a civil rights lawyer with litigation and advocacy experience in education and constitutional law. Kim currently oversees the day-to-day management of Advancement Project's Education team, and focuses on early education, school facilities and overcrowding, and school finance. Prior to joining the Advancement Project, Kim was an attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, where she focused upon ensuring that the State of California provided school children with the basic necessities of a decent education. She also worked as a litigation associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Kim began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Dolores Sloviter on the Third Circuit Court of Appeal, and the Honorable Louis H. Pollak in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Kim holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College. Prior to law school, Kim worked at the Boston Consulting Group, where she provided financial and strategic planning services to Fortune 500 companies.
Silvia Paz received a B.A. in Sociology with a concentration in Medical Sociology from the California State University of Long Beach (CSULB). Before joining Advancement Project’s Healthy City Project, Silvia worked as a Program Coordinator for AccessOC, an Orange County based program focusing on improving the health of vulnerable people who are uninsured by providing access to no-cost outpatient surgeries. Silvia also worked for the NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training, as a Project/Evaluation Coordinator, where she coordinated health-related projects targeting the Latino community and worked closely with the National Council of La Raza’s Institute for Hispanic Health staff as project support around data and evaluation. The projects she worked on ranged from a focus on the HIV/AIDS epidemic within the Latino community; to education around maternal and infant health; as well as behavioral health. Silvia also worked with CSULB faculty to assess the environmental pollution concerns of a community near the Port of Long Beach. Silvia has always been interested in improving the health and wellbeing of underrepresented communities and working for Healthy City provides the opportunity to engage these communities.
Program and Evaluation Associate
Melissa Reardon graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.A. in Political Science, concentrating on International Relations and a minor in Labor & Workplace Studies. While a student, Melissa was actively involved in student government and other campus organizations where she worked on various social justice and public-interest related issues. She also volunteered with the American Cancer Society and was on the planning committee for Relay for Life at UCLA. In 2007, Melissa interned in the Los Angeles Mayor's Office, focusing on Legislative and Intergovernmental Relations. Originally from San Diego, Melissa plans to attend graduate school to study International Relations and Public Policy.
Urban Peace Academy Manager
Fernando Rejón manages the overall operation of the training Academy for gang intervention workers, through coordination and facilitation of practitioner-led tables including the professional standards committee and regional training team. In addition, he manages the Advanced Law Enforcement Training which provides an overview of the particular role of intervention practitioners in effective violence reduction and community policing strategies. He has over 10 years of experience working in non-profits including 14 years of community organizing and program development experience. He began organizing as a university student fighting for the successful establishment of an Ethnic Studies program and working on preventing impending gentrification efforts in San Diego. While in college, he worked as a counselor for youth on probation re-entering the community from juvenile hall and camps. Later, he worked on issues of environmental justice in Pacoima where he co-developed and managed training institutes for community members, both youth and adults, focused on environmental health including the development of community-based curriculum to empower residents to seek social justice. He has also worked with indigenous communities organizing for alternatives to free trade agreements and to establish dialogues between U.S. people of color and indigenous peoples in México and beyond. He holds a B.A. in Sociology and Communication Studies from the University of San Diego and a M.A. in Chican@ Studies from California State University, Northridge.
Chris Ringewald came to Healthy City after working for the National Park Service's Inventory & Monitoring Program in South Florida. Chris graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a Masters degree in Regional Planning. While in college, Chris was active in public service initiatives, intramural sports, and social organizations. After graduation, he served as an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Cornell Public Service Center. Originally from San Diego, Chris is excited to return to Southern California.
Director of Policy and Programs, Healthy City
Caroline Rivas joins Healthy City after serving as Policy Director for Expansion and Quality of Healthcare Coverage at Community Health Councils (CHC) in Los Angeles. Caroline has led national, state, and local coalitions to develop and implement creative initiatives to increase access to health insurance for children and adults. While at CHC, she advocated for systemic change to maximize and expand healthcare coverage and improve the quality of care provided to children and families. Caroline's previous work experience includes, Children's Institute International and Big Sisters of Los Angeles. Caroline holds a Master of Social Work from Boston University with a specialization in Human Service Management.
Director of Foundation Relations & Communications
Amy Sausser has more than 18 years of experience with nonprofits, with a specialization in communications. She believes that nonprofits make an important contribution to our communities and, all too often, their stories go unheard. Even worse, the needs of their clients and constituents go unnoticed - communications can help change that. Her communication services include production of publications - annual reports, newsletters, websites, brochures, informational reports, fundraising letters - as well as communications planning and grant proposal and report writing. She has taught communications seminars and workshops at the Center for Nonprofit Management, the Long Beach Nonprofit Partnership and the California Association of Nonprofits' annual conference. Previously, Ms. Sausser served as Director of Communications at Southern California Grantmakers and Deputy Director of Development at the Liberty Hill Foundation. Committed to social change in Los Angeles, the Liberty Hill Foundation relied heavily on communications to both raise funds for grantmaking programs and to shape public opinion on issues as diverse as environmental justice and education reform. Ms. Sausser has also served as the Managing Editor of the California Association of Nonprofits' Alert newsletter, providing cutting-edge information and resources for nonprofit managers statewide. In 1994, she started the employment newsletter Opportunity NOCs (now known as Nonprofit Directions) and went on to become the Manager of Communications at the Center for Nonprofit Management. A native of Southern California, Ms. Sausser received her MA from UCLA in Critical Studies in Film & Television in 1991 and her BA from CSU Northridge in Film and Television.
Bookkeeper / Human Resources Associate
Timothy L. Shugrue has more than 15 years experience as an accounting and human resources professional. He joined The Advancement Project in September 2010 with significant prior experience working for non-profit and for profit companies and law firms in accounts management and financial reporting, most recently for the Police Assessment Resource Center (PARC), a non-profit organization providing oversight and counsel to city and county officials, police leaders, jail administrators and community and civil rights groups with respect to accountability, risk management and recommended practices, where he had served as Accounting Manager and Human Resources Manager for over 7 years. Timothy is originally from Boston, Massachusetts.
Manager, Online and Digital Initiatives
Lori Thompson manages the technical aspects of Healthy City's community research, mapping, and outreach projects. She has extensive experience managing complex, multi-dimensional GIS mapping projects for a range of clients including Community-Based Organizations, Governmental Entities, and Philanthropic Institutions. Lori’s first exposure to GIS Mapping was at Tufts University where she received her bachelor's degree with double major in Environmental Studies and Japanese. Upon graduation, Lori worked in Kobe, Japan for two and a half years as a project manager at an English Conversation Academy. Before joining the Advancement Project, she worked at ERDT/Share!, a global non-profit educational foundation.
Angela Vazquez recently obtained her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Southern California where she was one of five students at the School of Social Work to be recognized with the Dean’s Award for Excellence and Innovation. Angela concentrated her graduate studies in Community Organization, Policy, and Administration and is deeply committed to working with and advocating on behalf of at-risk youth. As an MSW Intern, Angela provided case-management and internal advocacy at a residential treatment facility for teenage girls in foster care, and has also lead teams of young adults with mental illness at the Painted Brain to promote self-advocacy skills and organize opportunities to eradicate the stigma of mental illness in communities throughout Southern California. After a summer internship at the Southern California Leadership Network, Angela enhanced her commitment to social justice by facilitating coalitions between business, government, and nonprofit leaders. Angela is also a cum laude graduate from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor’s in dual studies of Psychology and Religious Studies where she built a passion for social science research and issue analysis. She is excited to be part of a team expanding educational opportunities for underserved children and youth through research and mobilizing coalitions.
Juhyun received her Master of Public Affairs degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin. Specializing in Urban and Regional Affairs, she participated in various research projects on urban housing and social policy with her GIS mapping and quantitative analysis skills. Before joining the Healthy City team, she worked as a GIS/data analysis consultant for Southwest Key Programs, a nonprofit organization located in Austin, TX providing educational and rehabilitation service for low-income neighborhoods, to support writing a proposal for Promise Neighborhoods Planning Grant. Previously, she has worked as a research intern for the City of Austin Neighborhood Housing and Community Development to create geographic dispersion map of public housing projects and update their annual housing market studies. Juhyun is originally from Seoul, South Korea and received a bachelors degree in Urban Administration from the University of Seoul.