Robin is a Planner and Urban Designer at the San Francisco Planning Department. His current and past work has focused largely on public space design, management, and policy. He currently manages the Central Waterfront-Dogpatch Public Realm Plan and serves as a core staff with SF Pavement to Parks, helping to test community-generated public space ideas and stewardship models in neighborhoods across San Francisco. He is the Lead Policy Planner or Places for People, a legislative package that creates a framework for amplified tactical urbanism activity in San Francisco’s streets and open lots.
Megan Abell is the Director of Advocacy and Organizing at TechEquity Collaborative. Megan brings extensive experience in building novel organizing programs from the ground up. Previously, Megan was an early employee of Airbnb’s Public Policy team where she co-founded their first organizing and mobilization program. A unique initiative to deploy traditional grassroots organizing tactics within a tech company, her initial organizing model in San Francisco has now been replicated by Airbnb in markets globally. That work builds on her years of experience as an organizer and campaign operative for unions, issue advocacy campaigns, non-profits, and candidates.
Geetika Agrawal first started hosting dinner parties when she was four years old. The main ingredient was play dough. As she graduated to using more edible ingredients, Geetika developed a passion for turning creative ideas into great businesses. With a Computer Science degree from Stanford, Geetika started and ran a software incubator at IBM. Launching new products got her hooked on entrepreneurship. At NYU Stern, Geetika focused her MBA on Social Impact & Innovation, while working with investors and entrepreneurs around the globe. At Acumen Fund, she managed the agriculture portfolio, defining investment strategies to help small holding farmers in India. In London, Geetika worked with community development organization Bootstrap to bring in new revenue and expand community impact, including co-launching the New York Times notable Dalston Roof Park. She helped start Kitchenette, a London incubator inspired by La Cocina. As the Program Director at La Cocina, Geetika loves working alongside the incredible La Cocina entrepreneurs to support their businesses, leading growth initiatives for the organization, and of course, and sharing delicious food.
Valentin is originally from Logan Heights, San Diego—he moved to the Bay Area for college in 1986 and found a vibrant gay Latino community mobilizing against AIDS. In the early 1990s, he joined the staff at Mission Neighborhood Health Center’s Clinica Esperanza and, later, Community United in Response to AIDS/SIDA (CURAS). In 1992, he appeared in Augie Robles’ Cholo Joto video; they both made Viva 16! in 1994 to mark the loss and struggles of the queer Latinx community in San Francisco. Later, he worked with Queer Latino/a Artists Coalition (QueLACO), the Institute for MultiRacial Justice, and Tenth Muse Productions to produce art festivals, a movie festival, and an opera on Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz , respectively. Valentin is also a poet and has worked as a journalist. Valentin holds a BA in Communication from Stanford University, works at the Shanti Project as their Institutional Giving Manager, and serves as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors for the GLBT Historical Society.
Marie Alarcón is a multi-medium artist with a focus on experimental non-fiction filmmaking and performance. Alarcon has worked as a community media educator and producer in Philadelphia since 2009. Their experimental documentary WITNESS was an official selection at Blackstar Film Festival and has been shown across Philadelphia as part of multiple public screening programs meant to bring local films to local communities. Alarcon performs and exhibits work both as a solo artist and in collaboration with various artists at institutions including the ICA Philadelphia, Asian Arts Initiative, Icebox Project Space, The Print Center Philadelphia, Franz Josephs Kai 3, Vienna, and the In>Time Performance Festival, Chicago. Alarcon is a 2018 CFEVA Fellow, 2010 Flaherty Film Seminar Fellow, 2009 and 2018 Leeway Art and Change Grant recipient, and has participated in numerous artist-in-residence programs internationally.
Reyna Amaya is a comedian, actress, and voiceover artist from Oakland, CA. She has rocked stages from the San Francisco Punchline to the Nokia Theater in LA for BET Weekend with Cedric the Entertainer. Reyna has performed and appeared on Bounce TV network’s Brkdwn, Magic Johnson’s AspireTV’s WE GOT NEXT, and Russell Simmons’ All Def Digital series Professor White.
Jeremy is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker of Impossible Light, his feature-length debut about the monumental task of transforming the San Francisco Bay Bridge into a light sculpture that we now almost take for granted as always been a part of the city but did not exist until 2013. While keeping his roots in production, he spent over 15 years editing everything from television commercials and corporate videos to television programming, short films and eventually feature-length projects.
Francisco (Pancho) Argüelles Paz y Puente was born in Mexico City and has lived in the U.S. since 1997. For more than thirty five years he has worked on human rights issues in Mexico, Central America, and the United States: as a rural teacher in Chiapas, supporting Guatemalan refugees, co-founding Universidad Campesina in Nicaragua, and with rural cooperatives in Central Mexico. In Houston, he co-founded Fe y Justicia Worker Center, a community organization for low-wage immigrant workers. Pancho served on the board of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights where he co-authored the popular education curriculum, BRIDGE: Building a Race and Immigration Dialogue on the Global Economy. He lives in Houston, TX, and for the past ten years has served as executive director of Living Hope Wheelchair Association, a community-based organization of migrants with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities working together to survive, promote their rights and build a world where all people can live with dignity. Since 2003 through PazyPuente LLC he provides training and consulting services to social and racial justice organizations across the country. He also serves on the board of the Highlander Research and Education Center and holds a BA on Education from UNAM and a Masters on Multicultural Education from UHCL.
Allison Arieff is SPUR’s editorial director. A contributing columnist to The New York Times since 2006, Allison writes about architecture, design and cities for numerous publications including California Sunday, the MIT Technology Review, Dialogue and CityLab. She is a former editor-at-large for GOOD and Sunset magazines and from 2006–2008 was senior content lead for the global design and innovation firm IDEO. She was editor-in-chief of Dwell (and was the magazine’s founding senior editor) until 2006; Dwell won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2005 under her tenure. Allison is the author of the books Prefab and Trailer Travel: A Visual History of Mobile America and has contributed to and/or edited numerous books on architecture, design and sustainability including Airstream: The History of the Land Yacht, Hatch Show Print: History of a Great American Poster Shop, Block by Block: Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York and Urban Farms. She has a BA in history, an MA in art history and completed her PhD coursework in American studies at New York University.
Reem Assil is a Palestinian-Syrian chef based in Oakland, CA and owner of Reem’s California, a nationally acclaimed restaurant, inspired by Arab street corner bakeries and the vibrant communities that surround them. Before dedicating herself to a culinary career, Reem spent over a decade as a community and labor organizer, building leadership in workers and residents to fight for living wages, affordable housing, and a voice in their jobs and their neighborhoods. Reem sits at the intersection of her three passions: food, community, and social justice, and she uses food to invoke the central virtue of her Arab culture — hospitality — to build strong, resilient, and connected community.
Tina Bartolome was born and raised in San Francisco, the queer daughter of working-class immigrants from the Philippines and Switzerland. Somewhere between unlearning the lie of Columbus discovering America, facing eviction, writing on walls, and fighting racist propositions, she joined the movement and never looked back. She is a writer, filmmaker, and popular educator, striving to continue the legacies of June Jordan and Paulo Freire.
Keith Battle is a born storyteller. Whether through lyric verse and music, film/video, or at the gaming table in an epic D&D session, Keith’s thirst and enthusiasm for stories is on display. This love of sharing stories informs his passion for teaching. Keith finds deep joy in helping students find their way to “Aha!” moments. Keith also has a knack for putting creative people together. He sees and then seizes upon connections and opportunities for collaboration. Keith’s current dream project is a sci-fi psychedelic martial arts feature film that spans several thousand years… or does it?
Tiffanie Beatty As Program Director of Arts, Culture, and Public Policy at National Public Housing Museum (NPHM), Tiffanie Beatty oversees the Museum’s oral history programs and Entrepreneurship Hub and is a Chicago United for Equity (CUE) Senior Fellow for Narrative Design.
I am anita “needa bee” de asis miralle – a mother, chef, business woman, community activist and organizer, artist, event producer, educator, and currently unhoused. I am the founder and interium executive director of feed the village in oakland, a grassroots organization that provides direct services to oakland curbside communities and advocacy. The village in oakland asserts that housing is a basic human right and that homelessness is not a crime. I’m also a founding member of the homeless advocacy working group (HAWG), the landless peoples alliance, and OAXXANDA.
Jonathan (@c1typlann3r) is an urban planner in Los Angeles County with over 12 years of experience in zoning enforcement. He researches, writes and speaks about informal housing, unorthodox community outreach, and South Central Los Angeles history from his unique, embedded planning perspective. A product of the California public school system from kindergarten to graduate school, Jonathan holds an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and an MLIS from SJSU iSchool.
Gloria Berry, born and raised in San Francisco, CA, Gloria has been committed to a life of public service since childhood. In 2015, she transitioned from being a Black Lives Matter activist protesting social injustice to a political candidate driving change in San Francisco’s public policies. Gloria was elected to the SF Democratic County Central Committee in 2020, where she is Chair of the Endorsement Committee and has already passed four resolutions calling for amends to the Black community in San Francisco. She is also the founder of Berry Powerful Ladies, a mentorship program that takes girls from less fortunate circumstances and exposes them to opportunities and experiences in higher education, various career paths, and the arts. Gloria believes that when we empower a girl, it empowers the community.
Originally from the Netherlands, Ynze (pronounced “IN-za”) moved to California in the late nineteen eighties to pursue a career in film production. After freelancing for a decade and a half in various positions in the world of independent feature film and commercial production he worked his way up to Producer and started his own shop. As the founder of Axe Digital, a San Francisco based media production company, he has produced and directed hundreds of TV and Internet spots for political campaigns on the local, state, and national stage and won dozens of awards. He has worked on high profile campaigns for candidates like Kamala Harris for President and Gavin Newsom for Governor, as well as countless statewide ballot measures, such as No on 21, No on 6 and No on 53. Additionally, he co-founded commercial production company Criminal, through which he produces traditional TV spots for ad agencies and branded content films for the major tech companies.
Russell Blanchard is an independent filmmaker who believes film has the power to inspire change. His award winning narrative short, THE LOT, has inspired a movement to build a new park for the children of New Orleans. His experience on larger productions allowed him the opportunity to learn from Academy Award winners such as Adam McKay, Ari Sandel and Nicole Kidman. In development on his first feature film MONUMENT, which speaks to social injustice and economic inequality. BFA from University of Hawai’i-Mānoa’s Academy for Creative Media. A California native who resides in Los Angeles but is never far in spirit from New Orleans. If not home, he’s probably at the movies.
Ron is executive producer, producer, and creator of Saving the City. He created and produced the acclaimed PBS series Saving the Bay about the history of San Francisco Bay. Ron previously worked in real estate development and finance in his native San Francisco and on Wall Street in New York, as well as serving as Director of Business Development in the San Francisco mayor’s office in the early 1990s. He earned an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School and a concurrent Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a BA in Architecture from UC Berkeley.
Chesa Boudin is the recently elected District Attorney of San Francisco. Personally impacted by parental incarceration and the failings of the criminal justice system, DA Boudin was inspired to become a public defender, and now, decarceral prosecutor. He is focused on reforming the criminal justice system and making our communities safer by developing data-driven policies to expand alternatives to incarceration and treat the root causes of crime. In his first few months in office, DA Boudin ended the office’s practice of asking for cash bail, eliminated status enhancements, implemented California’s first diversion program for primary caregivers, and ended the prosecution of charges resulting from racist pre-textual traffic stops. He has also implemented numerous police reforms, started an innovative Economic Crimes Against Workers Unit to protect workers from exploitation, and has succeeded in reducing the jail population in San Francisco even as crime rates declined. He remains committed to additional reforms that promote justice and protect public safety.
Rachel Brahinsky serves as Faculty Director of the Graduate Programs in Urban Affairs and Public Affairs. She also teaches in the undergraduate Urban Studies program. She earned her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research and teaching center around the challenges of race and inequality in the context of rapidly changing American cities. Her current projects are focused on the San Francisco Bay Area.
For over twenty years, since the mid-1990s, Peter has worked to restore nature and biodiversity in San Francisco. He founded Nature in the City in 2005, the first and only organization wholly dedicated to restoration and stewardship of the Franciscan bioregion and to connecting people and nature where they live. Since 2012, he has been Senior Biodiversity Coordinator for the City of San Francisco, working at the Department of Environment to propagate local biodiversity-friendly operations and programs throughout the city. Previously he worked for ten years for the National Park Service at the Presidio of San Francisco, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, restoring dunes, wetlands and coastal grasslands for rare plants and wildlife, and as the Ecological Stewardship Coordinator for Crissy Field. Peter holds a graduate degree in geography from UCLA.
Peter Bratt was born and raised in San Francisco by a strong, indigenous, single mother from Peru, his family was part of the American Indian Occupation of Alcatraz, the Wounded Knee stand-off and the Farm Workers Movement. Peter has worked with the International Indian Treaty Council, Amazon Watch, Friendship House Association of American Indians, H.O.M.I.E.S., and Instituto Familiar De La Raza. Peter Bratt is a Rockefeller Fellow, a Peabody Award winner, an Emmy nominated film producer, writer, director, and social justice activist.
In 2007, Peter and his brother Benjamin Bratt and their partner Alpita Patel started 5 Stick Films– a high impact media pop-culture media company dedicated to shifting culture and economy. In 2009, Peter produced La MISSION which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. More recently, Peter wrote, produced and directed DOLORES, which debuted at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Peter’s film FOLLOW ME HOME premiered at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival and won the Best Feature Film Audience Award the same year at the SF International Film Festival and was hailed by black, brown and indigenous social critics, and is slated for a re-re-release in the fall of 2020.
Michelle Brega is the California Regional Manager, Community Development and CRA (Community Reinvestment Act), for U.S. Bank. She is responsible for a team of community development managers in U.S. Bank’s California footprint who partner with external stakeholders to achieve the bank’s CRA goals. Michelle is based in San Francisco, and currently serves on the advisory boards of the Asian Pacific Fund, GreenLight Fund and Enterprise Community Partners Northern California. Michelle lives in the East Bay with her husband and three sons.
Mr. Brown leads the Home Matters® movement, which was launched in 2013 by a group of visionary housing professionals and leaders that identified a gap in public discourse. Fundamental social challenges in our nation – from health to education, to public safety, the economy and individual success – all have a common denominator: their connection to Home. Home Matters’ mission is to raise awareness of the need for affordable homes and better communities across the nation. The movement has a coalition of over 340 partner organizations.
Dania is a sports activist and educator. She designs and facilitates learning experiences using critical thinking, self-reflection, empathy, and practiced persistence by integrating her expertise in sports with liberatory design and systems design. She draws on ten years as an educator in Oakland Unified School District, 20 years as a sports coach, a former professional athlete and academic.
José is the Manager of Planning and Design Review at the San Francisco Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, aka the Successor Agency to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency. In his current role, he oversees design review, environmental review and planning for redevelopment project areas in San Francisco. José was the Planning Division Manager at the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, Director of Citywide Planning at the San Francisco Planning Department, and Secretary General of the Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports. He holds a BA in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California at San Diego and, as a National Urban Fellow, a Master in Public Administration from Baruch College, City University of New York.
Carlsson co-director of the “history from below” project Shaping San Francisco, is a writer, publisher, editor, and frequent public speaker. He was one of the founders in 1981 of the seminal and infamous underground San Francisco magazine Processed World. In 1992 Carlsson was one of the co-founders of Critical Mass in San Francisco, which not only led to the boom in bicycling locally but spread across the planet and has been the incubator for transformative urban movements in hundreds of cities, large and small, worldwide. Since its inception in 1995, Shaping San Francisco has grown into a multi-faceted project consisting of an incomparable archive of San Francisco history at Foundsf.org, award-winning bicycle and walking tours, and more than a decade of Public Talks covering history, politics, ecology, art, and more (see shapingsf.org).
James Castañeda, AICP is a planner with 13 years of government experience working with the public. He is currently a planner with the San Mateo County in the San Francisco Bay Area, whose projects and responsibilities have allowed him a variety of opportunities to engage with community members and officials on complex community issues. In addition to his current planning duties at San Mateo County, he’s the Program Coordinator for the San Francisco International Airport/Community Roundtable, a group of elected city officials and airport administrators tasked with addressing noise impacts in communities near the airport. James is Director Elect for the Northern California section of the American Planning Associations’ California Chapter. With a passionate interest in the art of storytelling as well as technology, James is an advocate of leveraging new tools to build stronger relationships between citizens and their government, and promote meaningful and productive civic participation.
Gregg Castro (t’rowt’raahl Salinan/rumsien-ramaytush Ohlone), has worked to preserve his Ohlone and Salinan heritage for three decades. Gregg is the Society for California Archaeology’s Native American Programs Committee Chairperson. Gregg is a Facilitator for the annual California Indian Conference, a 30+ year annual gathering about California Indigenous culture. He is a Founder/Advisor to the California Indian History Curriculum Coalition, based at CSU-Sacramento. He is “Principal Cultural Consultant” to the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone, advising within their San Francisco Peninsula homelands. Gregg is a writer-activist within the California indigenous community.
“It is vital to the spiritual well being of everyone now inhabiting this place: of the newcomers that came to colonize our homelands, the later native relatives that have found this place to be their new “home”, as well as the Ramaytush survivors of colonization in our homeland area, that we be a respectful and integral part of the revitalization of Indigenous culture here in ‘Yelamu’, San Francisco. This is in the fulfillment of our sacred obligation, given to us at our coming into the world by Creator and in accordance with the wishes and sacrifices of our ancestors, to continue in our ‘original instructions’ as caretakers of this place of our birth.”
Ann Cheng is the creator and director of the GreenTRIP program which over the last 7 years has included developing the GreenTRIP Certification program, supporting over 23 cities around the Bay Area and Oakland in particular with smarter parking and TDM policies, and creating free online tools like the GreenTRIP Parking Database and now GreenTRIP Connect. To this role Ann brings over 15 years of professional planning experience and perspective as a councilmember and former Mayor of El Cerrito, in 2008-2012.
David Chiu As a member of the California State Legislature, Assemblymember David Chiu represents the 17th Assembly District, which encompasses a half million constituents who live in eastern San Francisco. During his first 5 years in the Legislature, Chiu has authored 59 new laws addressing a wide spectrum of issues, including housing, homelessness, transportation, education, environment, health, public safety, and civil rights. As Chair of the Assembly Housing & Community Development Committee, he authored the Tenant Protection Act of 2019, described as the strongest statewide renter protections in the country; in addition to championing record increases to state affordable housing funding, he also authored laws to promote housing development around BART stations and to bring a regional Bay Area approach to affordable housing; he also serves as Chair of the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus. Before public office, Chiu served as Democratic Counsel to the US Senate Constitution Subcommittee, a criminal prosecutor, and a civil rights attorney.
Pedro Lange Churión is an Associate Professor, received his PhD at the University of Cincinnati, specializing in Latin American Contemporary Narrative and Critical Theory. His academic areas of specialization include Latin American Literature and Culture, Film Studies, Urban Studies, Comparative Literature and Critical Theory; particularly Psychoanalytic theory. Professor Lange Churión has written and directed various films, most recently Budapest: Identity of Facades, a series of documentaries that explore Budapest’s cityscapes and architecture, informed by urban space theory and Benjaminian cultural archeology.
Amy is Director of Neighborhood Business Development at the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, where she oversees the Mayor’s Central Market/Tenderloin initiative and various commercial corridor revitalization programs. As the City’s lead for Central Market, Amy oversees grants and programs for the neighborhood as well as inter-agency collaboration and public-private partnerships responsible for implementing a robust neighborhood revitalization strategy.
Helen S. Cohen is an award-winning filmmaker and painter based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work as a documentary filmmaker follows draws on is a long and diverse history of activism and professional work with cultural,educational and community development organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Hampshire College and a master’s degree in urban planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Helen’s producing credits include the first three films in the “Respect for All series: It’s Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School (1996); That’s a Family!” (2000); and “Let’s Get Real” (2003). With Mark Lipman, she recently produced and directed the award – winning feature documentary “States of Grace” (2014). Helen has also directed, produced and/or executive produced documentaries for public interest organizations, including “Homes & Hands: Community Land Trusts in Action”, (1998) and “Streets of Dreams: Development Without Displacement in Communities of Color” (2013).
As Senior Executive Producer at Wondros, Priscilla has created award-winning content that is both socially responsible and visually compelling, bringing an authentic and compassionate voice to each new project. In 2008 she worked alongside Wondros Founder Jesse Dylan to produce the “Yes We Can” video on behalf of then-candidate Barack Obama. Together they have partnered with some of the world’s most innovative individuals and organizations to craft film campaigns that spark passion, incite action, and catalyze change. She graduated from Vassar College and resides in Santa Monica with her husband, son, and dog, Blaze.
Jason Cohn is a writer, producer and director who has worked in print, radio, television and film. He is the Peabody Award-winning director of EAMES: The Architect and the Painter and The First Angry Man, which traces the roots of the American Tax Revolt to a California ballot initiative. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and Rolling Stone Magazine.
Kathleen Coll is a political anthropologist whose research and teaching focuses on immigration politics and policies, cultural citizenship, and grassroots community organizing in the US, and in particular, San Francisco. Her books include Remaking Citizenship: Latina Immigrants and New American Politics (Stanford University Press, 2010), Disputing Citizenship (with Clarke, Dagnino & Neveu, Policy Press, 2014) and Gendered Citizenships (with Caldwell, Fisher, Ramirez & Siu, Palgrave Press, 2009). Prior to joining USF’s Department of Politics in Fall 2014, she lectured at Stanford, Harvard and CCSF, and received fellowships from Radcliffe Institute, Social Science Research Council, and Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme.
Cheyenne Concepcion (b. 1991, Los Angeles) a multi-disciplinary artist and designer based in San Francisco. She creates work that investigates the politics of public space using installation, speculation, social practice and sculpture. Drawing on her interest and training in urban planning, and utilizing her toolkit as a designer, Concepcion’s work is site-specific and focuses on land development, cultural memory, migration and often has a public component.
When the Tenderloin Museum opened its doors in July 2015, Katie served as its Program Director, with a dynamic vision for neighborhood-centric, diverse programs that bring people together from all walks of life. Katie has also held positions at the California Academy of Sciences, the Exploratorium, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. In 2012, she helped fundraise to save Mission neighborhood gem Adobe Books, created its events department, supported the gallery’s transition to nonprofit status, and served on the Board of Directors for three years. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology and American Studies from the University of California at Berkeley.
Conversations with the Courageous (CwC) was formed in San Francisco in August 2019 to raise awareness of and garner international support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. CwC’s organizers and volunteers frequent public spaces in San Francisco to start conversations about with locals about Hong Kong. Our hope is to use personal interactions to shed light on the humanity, resilience and courage of freedom fighters in Hong Kong, provide a safe space for international audiences to ask questions and share ideas, as well as provide immediate ways for international audiences to show support for and stand with Hong Kong. Our team has been facilitating conversations in a variety of ways in public spaces, including leafleting, distributing stickers and pins, guerilla projections, information booths and an online game based on true events during the pro-democracy movement.
Ian Cordova Morales is a lifelong resident of the East Bay, growing up in and around Albany CA. He began his outreach work volunteering with groups such as Berkeley Copwatch and Berkeley Needle Exchange. During the recession in 2008, Ian was living unhoused in Berkeley. He is now housed and living in Oakland. He is the lead advocate and president of nonprofit organization Where Do We Go Berkeley?
Cathy Cormier moved to San Francisco in January 1986 and thankfully lives here ever since. Cathy is a librarian with the City of San Francisco Public Library and the program manager of The Mixt at SFPL, a digital media learning lab designed by and for teens where they can freely access tools, technology, and people to build skills toward successful adult futures.
Todd Darling recently directed the documentary feature, “Occupy The Farm”. His other films include: “Black Rock Horse” (2011), a 30-minute documentary about an audacious and nearly disastrous art project at Burning Man; “A Snow Mobile for George” (2009), a trip across America to tell stories about loosening environmental regulations and the impact on salmon fishermen, cowboys, firemen, and the snowmobile industry; and the MTV reality show “Laguna Beach: The Real OC” (2004 – 2006). He and his wife Linda live in Berkeley and have two children.
Ben is Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Illuminate the Arts and the creator of “The Bay Lights” project. For more than 25 years, Ben has led communications on civic mega-projects cutting his teeth working as the manager of public information on the $4 billion Boston Harbor Cleanup project. A recipient of two international Webby Awards for best website in government, Ben has helped name and brand infrastructure projects including the Transbay Transit Center and the Presidio Parkway.
JK is a staff reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle, focusing on development and urban planning.
Vivian Doumpa is an Athens-based urban planner and geographer, with a specialization in (creative & inclusive) placemaking. She has international experience on placemaking and citizens’ inclusion and participation in urban planning, especially on matters of public space and neighbourhood revitalization. Throughout her work she integrates aspects of socio- cultural management, non-formal education, community building and systemic change. She is an associate partner for STIPO, a netherlands-based team for urban development, in Greece and board member of Placemaking Europe network. She enjoys working on various scales, from neighbourhood level to strategic and international one, while experimenting with different topics, varying from creative and cultural economy to urban mobility and circular economy. Her heart compass is defined by two aspects, music and people, which – when followed – lead her to unexpected paths and projects related to music performance and communities in the urban scene.
Theo is a San Francisco native and resident of the Bayview Neighborhood. Theo earned a mayoral appointment to serve as Commissioner for the San Francisco Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, where he lead the creation of 1,042 homes, including 242 for formerly homeless families. Theo also served on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, where he defended anti-discrimination policies and protected the city’s most vulnerable populations. Then, as the Director of Public Affairs for the Golden State Warriors, Theo worked to create over 3,000 good paying jobs and help lead the organization philanthropy efforts in San Francisco. In addition e spearheaded public policy initiatives around transportation, workforce development, and quality of life. He obtained his Masters in Urban Affairs from the University of San Francisco.
LisaRuth Elliott co-directs Shaping San Francisco—a participatory public history project administering the digital archive at Foundsf.org. Actively preserving community memory through public programming and archival work, she also produced San Francisco History Days at the Old U.S. Mint. She is an editor, researcher, writer, and educator. LisaRuth is also an urban farmer, visual and textile artist, everyday bicyclist, and bread-u-cator. She has worked, studied, and done disaster recovery internationally.
Michael Epstein is a screenwriter, journalist, and expert in immersive storytelling. Michael’s audio production career began when he was 10 years old as co-anchor of radio station K-R-A-P broadcast on a dual-tape-deck boombox in his friend’s attic. Michael’s next gig was with NPR’s “Morning Edition” filing stories about digital culture in Silicon Valley. Michael’s writing has appeared in Wired and Filmmaker Magazine focusing on interactive and participatory media.
Michael has a degree in Comparative Media Studies from M.I.T. where he developed several interactive documentary projects about human connection in the digital age. In 2006, Michael founded Walking Cinema, a digital storytelling studio comprised of filmmakers, developers, and designers specializing in travel and history productions. Walking Cinema’s stories connect compelling characters to places around the world and have been distributed by the Venice Biennale, Detour, PBS, and MTV. For Audible, they have developed and produced Pen and Place, The Curious Case of the Pheromonophone and The Ralph Steadman Interactive Experience. Michael’s work has been honored by The American Alliance of Museums, The Boston International Film Festival, and The National Endowment for the Humanities.
Heather Escandon is our guide for the virtual reality experience Real Refuge. She was born in Michigan and just celebrated her 30th birthday. Heather lives at the City Hope Home and works at a nearby Panera Bread. She is in recovery and on a journey to reunite with her daughter.
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. He has been the managing editor of Mission Local since summer of 2018. Previously, he was a writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015, and a senior editor at San Francisco Magazine from 2015 to 2017. You may also have read his work in the Guardian (U.S. and U.K.); San Francisco Public Press; San Francisco Chronicle; San Francisco Examiner; Marin Magazine; and elsewhere. In 2019, the Northern California branch of the Society of Professional Journalists named Eskenazi the Journalist of the Year.
Azalina Eusope a fifth-generation street food vendor, moved to San Francisco a decade ago. The only thing that could comfort her in the early days settling in and learning English was the food she grew up eating, so the pasty-trained chef cooked for herself, family and friends often. Word got out about her home-cooked meals and in 2009 Bon Apetit magazine named Eusope one of “10 Top Upcoming Chefs” for 2010. The next year she turned her hobby into a business. She has also been honored by Women’s Initiative for Self Improvement for being an “Enterprising Woman on the Rise” in 2012. She’s even catered food for President Obama!
Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is a Black / Iranian visual artist and Oklahoma City native. She is a painter whose work ranges from the gallery to the streets, using visual art to address the daily oppressive experiences of marginalized people through beautifully drawn and painted portraits. Her street art series, “Stop Telling Women to Smile,” addressing sexual harassment in public spaces, can be found on walls across the globe. For the past 8 years, Tatyana has worked as a socially engaged artist. She creates work that tells the experiences of women and Black folk in the public space. Working with individuals and groups, community engagement is the crucial part of her work to share the stories and experiences of marginalized people. In 2019, she was the inaugural Public Artist in Residence for the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Fazlalizadeh has been profiled by the New York Times, NPR, MSNBC, the New Yorker, Time Magazine. Fazlalizadeh’s work can be seen on Spike Lee’s Netflix series, She’s Gotta Have It, for which she also served as the show’s art consultant. In 2020, Tatyana’s debut book Stop Telling Women to Smile: Stories of Street Harassment and How We’re Taking Back Our Power released from Seal Press. She is based in Brooklyn, NY.
Tyra Fennell is founding director of Imprint.City, an organization seeking to activate industrial, underutilized spaces with art projects, encouraging community and economic development. Imprint.City produces BayviewLIVE, an annual art and music festival created to highlight the beauty of performing and visual arts that reflects the cultural landscape of the Bayview Hunters Point. Imprint.City also produces two subsequent Bayview-based festivals including the Burning Man inspired Bayview SPARC Festival in collaboration with the Flaming Lotus Girls and Bayview Harvest. Prior to launching Imprint.City, Tyra Fennell spent over five years developing and implementing programs for the San Francisco Arts Commission and is also credited for starting then SF49ers Vernon Davis’ Visual Arts Scholarship Fund, now the Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts and 3rd on Third, an activation which continues to occur every third Friday in Bayview. Tyra currently serves on the board of the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) and Bayview Community Legal. She is also a resident of the Bayview Hunters Point and a Howard University graduate.
Ken Fisher is an Emmy nominated social justice documentary filmmaker. He is the founder and chief creative at Truth Be Told Creative. His most recent film, “The BIG Experience” premiered at BIG Sky documentary festival and was used by presidential candidate Andrew Yang to build the grassroots movement for a Universal Basic Income.
Lisa Fisher leads the Sustainable City Program at the San Francisco Planning Department, which includes neighborhood-scale policies and tools for new and redeveloping areas, inter-agency work on biodiversity, and complete streets that align the co-benefits of greening and flood resilience, with sustainable mobility. Previously, as an Associate Principal with AECOM (EDAW) for ten years, she served as Project Manager and Urban/Sustainability Planner on complex urban regeneration plans in Latin and North America, such as 45-blocks in central São Paulo, San Francisco’s Pier 70 project, and a 350-acre mixed-use waterfront vision for North Vancouver. Lisa holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University and serves on the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, San Francisco’s largest advocacy organization. She and her husband Greg are raising their 4-year old son in Bernal Heights to love biking and connect with nature every day.
Tenoch Flores is a strategic communications consultant with two decades of experience in advocacy and campaign communications. He has advised clients and directed communication campaigns at the federal and state level. Most recently, he directed communications for a campaign that ran digital ads using poll-tested, pro-immigrant messages aimed at persuadable voters in Wisconsin, Arizona and North Carolina. Tenoch previously served as Communications Director for the California Democratic Party and began his career as a Senate aide on Capitol Hill. He has also taught courses in communications strategy and campaign communications at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of San Francisco.
Jamon Franklin is currently finishing a dual Master of City Planning and Master of Public Health at UC Berkeley, with a focus on community-led solutions to spatial and racial health inequities. They come to this work with experience in nonprofit fiscal management, social and racial justice activism, particularly around transportation and the climate, and a deep love of maps and backpacking. Originally from Cleveland, OH, they have a BA in feminist studies and cultural anthropology from UC Santa Cruz.
With over 18 years of experience in green infrastructure, innovative biological and mechanical water treatment systems, high-end residential and commercial landscape architecture, and biology-based work experience spanning North America, Raphael Garcia brings a unique set of skills and experience to his position as Project Manager at SFPUC. He is currently managing several innovative green infrastructure projects in San Francisco as part of the City’s $6.9 Billion Sewer System Improvement Program.
Samuel Getachew is an 18-year-old poet and writer from Oakland, California. He is the 2019 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate, a 2020 Finalist for National Youth Poet Laureate, and a 4-time YoungArts Winner. His writing has been published in Teen Vogue, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and more. He will attend Yale University in the fall of 2021.
Jane Gillooly grew up in Ferguson Missouri. She is a non-ﬁction video artist committed to the art of narrative, how it is constructed, and how complex and often hidden histories can be made accessible. Her work ranges from the impressionistic Where the Pavement Ends (2019), to the experiential in Today the Hawk Takes One Chick (2009), to a love story which was reconstructed from audiotape discovered in a suitcase purchased on eBay in Suitcase of Love and Shame (2013). Her award-winning work has screened internationally at museums and festivals. Gillooly is a Guggenheim Fellow and currently chairs the Media Arts Department at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University.
The Honorable Ron W. Goode is the Tribal Chairman of the North Fork Mono Tribe. He is a Veteran of the United States Army; a Life Member of the Sierra Mono Museum and of the United States Judo Federation. Ron holds a 6th degree Black Belt in Judo and still enjoys teaching. He is also a retired Community College Prof. in Ethnic Studies. Ron was inducted in the Clovis Hall of Fame for his work in Education and Community Service in 2002. In 2006 he was selected as CA Indian Education Teacher of the Year and in 2006 and 2007 Mr. Goode was nominated for the Who’s Who of America’s Teachers.
Mr. Goode is a published author, an ethnobotany book on native plants and resources: Cultural Traditions Endangered, 1992. In 2017-2018 Ron was the Coordinating Lead Author for the Tribal Indigenous Communities Climate Change Assessment as a new report of the California 4th Climate Change Assessment.
Mr. Goode and his tribal and ecological team, have been conducting Cultural Burns with Sequoia Park, Bass Lake Ranger District – Sierra National Forest, Cold Springs Rancheria, Private and Tribal Lands in Mariposa with the Mariposa Miwok Tribe. Ron then takes their practical work and presents it at Universities, Colleges, Seminars, Webinars, via Zoom and other Internet venues. Ron’s Journal writings and Webinar presentations have garnered worldwide attention.
Cynthia Gómez is a Senior Research Analyst with Unite Here Local 2, the union of hospitality workers. She taught elementary school for five years before moving to the field of union research. She has lived in the Bay Area for more than 35 years, and currently lives in the East Bay, where she writes scary stories in her spare time.
Ben is Public Realm and Urban Design Program Manager at SPUR. He has developed exhibitions on a range of urban issues, including “Agents of Change,” a historical survey of San Francisco urbanism for the opening of the SPUR Urban Center. Since 2006, he has been a lecturer and studio instructor in the graduate program in Urban and Regional Planning at San Jose State University and has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute.
Justin Gray is an affordable housing specialist with the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) located in San Francisco, CA. Prior to HUD, Justin worked as a Community Planner with the U.S. Coast Guard based in Oakland, CA. Previous experience includes community development positions with City government, community serving nonprofits as well as work as a legislative assistant on Capitol Hill, where he had the opportunity to work directly on smart growth, transportation and sustainability initiatives. Current interests include connecting public policy and social history with visual storytelling.
Nato Green is a San Francisco-based comedian, writer, and union organizer. He writes a column in the San Francisco Examiner, hosts FSFSF on KALW public radio, and co-hosts monthly comedy shows Verdi Wild Things Are at the Verdi Club and Riffer’s Delight at the Alamo Drafthouse. He’s been named best comedian by SF Weekly, CBS, Huffington Post, and SFist.
Twilight Greenaway is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in the New York Times, The Salt (NPR’s food blog), the Guardian, Food & Wine, Mother Jones, Gastronomica, Modern Farmer, and on Grist, where she was the food editor in 2011 and 2012. She is currently the managing editor of CivilEats.com.
Sharon has more than a decade of experience in environmental and land use planning at a local and state level fostering wise land use decisions to conserve agricultural land and mineral resources. Currently, she is a long-range planner for Alameda County and is serving as the Northern Section Director.
Dr. Oscar Guerra is an Emmy® award-winning director, researcher, and educator. He is currently a tenure-track assistant professor at San Francisco State University. His career spans the spectrum of television environments, music, multimedia production, documentaries for social change, promotional video, 360° video production, and vast international experience.
Kristen Hall is an urban designer and planner who specializes in complex urban infill projects. She has led the urban design of several high profile projects in San Francisco, including Mission Rock and Central Subway Chinatown Station. Through her experience both locally and internationally she has worked across many different scales and contexts to design masterplans, write guidelines, coordinate public outreach, and create implementation strategies. Kristen’s core area of expertise is delivering projects that require innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and stakeholder engagement.
Josh Healey is an award-winning writer, performer, filmmaker, and creative activist. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, and on his 13-year-old cousin Brian Silverstein’s Youtube page — where it has almost 27 ‘likes.’ A regular performer on NPR’s Snap Judgment, he currently directs the Culture Shift program for Movement Generation. Born and raised in DC, Healey lives in Oakland, CA.
Judith Helfand is best known for her ability to use her quirky sense of humor and irony, first-person storytelling chops and the power of transparency to tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time — from reproductive technology, corporate malfeasance, and toxic chemical exposure to the climate crisis, the “politics of disaster” and grief. Three of her films have premiered at Sundance and were nationally broadcast on PBS, HBO, and The Sundance Channel. Helfand is a field-builder who helped reshape the documentary landscape by co-founding two critical organizations, Working Films and Chicken & Egg Pictures. In 2018 she completed and launched COOKED: Survival By Zip Code, an award-winning feature documentary about extreme heat, the politics of disaster, and survival by zip code, for which she was awarded the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival’s 2019 Freedom of Expression Award. The film was nationally broadcast on PBS Independent Lens in February 2020 and was rebroadcast in July to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Chicago heat wave and give historical context to the scourge of COVID. It is currently being used virtually with community organizations, policymakers, public health experts, activists, and educational institutions across the U.S. and Europe to frame/reframe the current COVID-19 crisis with a long view on how and why acute disparity exists in the United States.
Hamilton is a filmmaker who lives in San Francisco with his wife. He doesn’t have kids or pets, but he hopes you will find him relatable anyway. His work can be found at hamiltonhenson.com.
Berta Hernández, born and raised in Mexico City, came to the US in 1987 as an undocumented immigrant and has worked as a champion for human rights in Bay Area community struggles ever since. Her long history of service has a special focus on comprehensive community health, including AIDs advocacy and services, suicide prevention, and arts-based interventions for youth. As Director of Family Services for Instituto Familiar de Raza, Berta advocates for and delivers services to Latinx families in the SF Mission District. Berta is currently on a temporary assignment with the SF Department of Public Health supporting the COVID massive vaccination efforts in the city.
Chelsea Hernandez is a Mexican-American filmmaker based in Austin, Texas, recently named as one of Texas Monthly Magazine’s “10 Filmmakers on the Rise.” She is an 8-time Emmy winning director, producer and editor in the Texas region. Chelsea started her career in media at the ripe age of nine, hosting and co-producing a local children’s educational TV program with her mother (think Martha Stewart show but for kids!). Chelsea received a B.S. from the University of Texas, the first in her Latino family to achieve a college degree. She began her documentary career right out of college, as Associate Producer and Assistant Editor on PBS national broadcast special, Fixing the Future, hosted by David Brancaccio of NPR’s Marketplace, directed by Ellen Spiro (Body of War, Troop 1500) and national 6-part series Ancient Roads from Christ to Constantine directed by Hector Galan (Children of Giant, Chicano). From 2013 to 2016 Chelsea was the primary editor and co-producer of Arts In Context, a documentary series produced at KLRU-TV, Austin PBS and distributed by NETA. Chelsea has directed and produced various documentary films including See the Dirt (Austin Film Festival Short Documentary Winner) and most recently, An Uncertain Future (SXSW Texas Jury Winner, AspenShorts Youth Jury Winner, CineFestival Short Winner). Chelsea is a NALIP Latino Media Market fellow, Firelight Media Doc Lab Fellow, Tribeca Storylab Fellow, Tribeca All Access Recipient and BAVC National Mediamaker Fellow.
Peter Hirshberg has served as an innovation advisor to cities and companies. He has created two centers of urban innovation from scratch: Maker City Project and Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. Most recently, he served as an advisor to TransLOC in its sale to Ford Motor Company. He has served as CEO of Elemental Software (sold to Adobe), Gloss.com (Estee Lauder). During a nine-year tenure at Apple Computer, Hirshberg headed Enterprise Marketing, where he grew Apple’s large business and government revenue to $1 billion annually. His board and advisor positions have included Active Video Networks, Technorati, Build Public, The Computer History Museum, & Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. He is a Senior Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy and a Henry Crown fellow of the Aspen Institute.
Professor Hou is the University of Washington Landscape Architecture Department Chair at the University of Washington and has taught at the department since 2001. In a career that spans across the Pacific, Professor Hou has worked with indigenous tribes, farmers, and fishers in Taiwan, neighborhood residents in Japan, villagers in China, and inner-city immigrant youths and elders in North America. He has edited, co-edited and co-authored books including “Insurgent Public Space: Guerrilla Urbanism and the Remaking of Contemporary Cities” (2010), “Messy Urbanism: Understanding the “Other” Cities of Asia” (2016) and “City Unsilenced: Urban Resistance and Public Space in the Age of Shrinking Democracy” (2017).
Lailan Sandra Huen is a 6th generation Bay Area native working to build people power through leadership development, civic engagement, and grassroots coalition-building. Her family first came to San Francisco Chinatown during the 1850s Gold Rush, and moved to Oakland Chinatown after the 1906 earthquake. She is a member of the Oakland Chinatown Coalition, leading campaigns to secure Community Benefits Agreements with developers, advocating for city-wide policies to ensure equitable development, and preserving Chinatown’s culture, community and history. She authored the “Our Neighborhoods” report which documented best practices and policies from across the country to protect cultural districts for the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development. When working for the California State Assembly, Lailan helped save homes from foreclosure and advocated for education justice. She currently works for the Oakland Unified School District Office of Equity serving Asian, Pacific Islander and Middle Eastern students and advancing racial justice and ethnic studies in Oakland’s public schools. Lailan holds a Bachelors in Asian American and Urban Studies from Columbia University and a Masters in Media Studies from The New School. She loves to dance, hike, explore, design, facilitate, do tai chi, and uplift wellness practices and healing for communities of color.
Malo André Hutson is an academic scholar and practitioner in the areas of community development and urban sustainability/equity; racial and ethnic inequalities and urban policy (metropolitan fragmentation, segregation and health); built environment and health. He is currently an Associate Professor and the Chancellor’s Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California at Berkeley and Associate Director of the Institute of Urban and Regional Development (IURD) within the College of Environmental Design.
Tim Iglesias is a Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco School of Law. Prior to teaching, he was Deputy Director of the Non Profit Housing Association of Northern California. Governor Brown and appointed him to serve on California’s Fair Employment and Housing Council implementing California’s antidiscrimination laws. Governor Newsom reappointed him in 2019. He is currently working on a book applying social constructionism to housing law and policy. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University (magna cum laude), a bachelor’s degree and an honorary master’s from Oxford University, and his J.D. from Stanford Law School with distinction.
Anthony B. Iton, M.D., J.D., MPH, as Senior Vice President of Healthy Communities, joined The Endowment in October 2009. Prior to his appointment at The Endowment, Iton served since 2003 as both the director and County Health Officer for the Alameda County Public Health Department. In that role, he oversaw the creation of an innovative public health practice designed to eliminate health disparities by tackling the root causes of poor health that limit quality of life and lifespan in many of California’s low-income communities.
Iton also served for three years as director of Health and Human Services and School Medical Advisor for the City of Stamford, Connecticut. Concurrent to that, he also served as a physician in internal medicine for Stamford Hospital’s HIV Clinic. In addition, Iton served for five years as a primary care physician for the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Iton’s varied career also includes past service as a staff attorney and Health Policy analyst for the West Coast regional office of Consumer’s Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports magazine.
Iton, who has been published in numerous public health and medical publications, is a regular public health lecturer and keynote speaker at conferences across the nation. He earned his B.S. in Neurophysiology, with honors, from McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec, his J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, and his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Mason J. is an Artist, Activist, & recovering A-hole. Inspired by life as a AfroLatinx SF Native, 2nd Generation Punk, Grandson of Immigrants, & Genderqueer Person of Color their work blends an unlikely pairing of tenderness and arrogant flippancy with influences that range from listening to “Wind Beneath My Wings” in the frozen food aisle to Tamuzi poetry. Their musings on Gender, Pop Culture, Ableism, Race & Fashion have been published in many a zine, all around the internet & in print for Archer, Vice, Dude!, Veuxdo & Bitch Magazines. As a 13 year fixture in the Bay Area Lit Scene they have performed, lectured, and workshopped at Vona Voices!, SFSU, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Radar Productions, National Queer Arts Festival, CellSpace, 826 Valencia and YouthSpeaks
Melinda James is a queer, Black and Thai cinematographer whose work encompasses documentaries, narratives, installations, commercials, and music videos. Centering her work on women, QTBIPOC, and underrepresented communities, Melinda is drawn to the process of unearthing the nuances of people’s everyday lives. She believes a good image is the starting point for communication, but it’s in the space between images where dialogue happens.
Tonika Johnson is a visual artist and photographer from Chicago’s South Side Englewood neighborhood. In 2010, she helped co-found Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.) and is the lead co-founder of Englewood Arts Collective established in 2017. Also in 2017, she was featured in Chicago Magazine as a Chicagoan of the Year. Within her artistic practice, Tonika often explores urban segregation and documents the nuance and richness of the black community. Her work has been featured at Rootwork Gallery in Pilsen, the Chicago Cultural Center, Harold Washington Library Center and featured in the Chicago Reader. Her multi-media project titled “Folded Map” that illustrates Chicago’s residential segregation while bringing residents together to have a conversation was exhibited at Loyola University’s Museum of Art in 2018. Since then she has transformed this project into an advocacy and policy-influencing tool that invites audiences to open a dialogue and question how we are all socially impacted by racial and institutional conditions that segregate the city. An excerpt of Folded Map is currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the exhibition titled “The Long Dream.” In 2019, she was named one of Field Foundation’s Leaders for a New Chicago and most recently, she was appointed as a member of the Cultural Advisory Council of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events by the Chicago City Council.
TJ Johnston is a San Francisco-based journalist and longtime contributor to Street Sheet. He has submitted to publications such as the San Francisco Public Press, 48 Hills and Street Spirit, among others. His coverage on homelessness has focused on it as public policy, human interest and civil rights issues.
Cleve Jones is a human rights activist, lecturer, and author of “When We Rise: My Life in the Movement,” which partly inspired the ABC miniseries of the same name. Mentored by LGBTQ pioneer Harvey Milk, Cleve co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, conceived and founded The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, led the 2009 National March for Equality in Washington D.C., and served on the Advisory Board of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which challenged California’s Proposition 8 in the U.S. Supreme Court. Today he works as an organizer for the hospitality workers’ union UNITE HERE.
Bryan Lee Jr. is an Architect, educator, writer, and Design Justice Advocate. He is the founder/Design Director of Colloqate Design a nonprofit multidisciplinary design practice, in New Orleans, Louisiana, dedicated to expanding community access to design and creating spaces of racial, social, and cultural equity. He has led two award-winning youth design programs nationwide and is the founding co-organizer of the DAP (Design As Protest) Collective. He was most recently noted as one of the 2018 Fast Company Most Creative People in Business, a USC Annenberg MacArthur Civic Media Fellow, and the youngest design firm to win the Architectural League’s Emerging Voices award in 2019.
Juliet Kahne, Ph.D. is Director of Events at Project for Public Spaces in NYC, where she organizes major conferences, webinars and trainings that bring together public space practitioners and advocates from around the world. She is also an urban geographer with an academic background in gentrification research specifically and still spends time trying to make sense of its constant evolution in changing urban centers. From Los Angeles originally, Juliet currently lives in Brooklyn where she has a passion for all things design, fashion, music, film, and street photography, and in her spare time explores the intersection between art and urbanism in her creative musings.
Athena Kalkopoulou is a San Francisco-based producer and consultant with over fifteen years of experience in film production and film festivals in the Bay Area and Europe. Until recently, she oversaw the San Francisco Film Society’s fiscal sponsorship & documentary grants program, where she worked with hundreds of filmmakers nationwide, actively helping them fundraise, produce and carry out outreach efforts for their projects. She has been a reviewer in grant review panels and has participated in panels, pitching forums, juries and industry meetings in festivals such as SXSW, Sundance, Camden International Film Festival and Ashland Film Festival.
Gary is the Executive Editor of San Francisco Magazine and the author of the book “Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco” Gary was the senior editor of the San Francisco Examiner’s Sunday magazine “Image” as well as the paper’s culture critic and book editor. He was a co-founder and longtime executive editor of the pioneering web site Salon.com, where he wrote about politics, international affairs, art, literature, music and sports. His work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Sports Illustrated, ArtForum, Mother Jones and many other publications.
Sarah Karlinsky is an expert in housing and land use policy. She has led the publication of numerous SPUR policy reports, including What Will it Really Take to Create an Affordable Bay Area, Room for More, Affordable By Design, Safe Enough to Stay, On Solid Ground, Taking Down a Freeway to Reconnect a Neighborhood and Historic Preservation in San Francisco: Making the Preservation Process Work for Everyone. She has held many leadership roles at SPUR, including serving as the organization’s Deputy Director from 2008-2014.
Prior to joining SPUR, Sarah developed affordable housing throughout the Bay Area with MidPen Housing, one of the largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing in the Bay Area. She began her career teaching urban planning to middle school students as a Teach for America corps member in Baltimore, Maryland. Sarah received her Master’s degree in public policy and urban planning from Harvard Kennedy School and a BA in history from Columbia University.
Jung-In Kimis a practicing architect and professor at Soongsil University, Seoul Korea. He has focused upon the interplay between the built environment and changing constructions of urban consciousness in Asia. His work and theoretical explorations are organized around a series of dominant urban projects in Asia. He examines the social and political consequences of these projects through close analysis of the popular contestations and how these struggles contributed to debates about urban rights and new forms of citizenship.
His critical frameworks, informed by the emerging field of transnational cultural studies, appeared in Architectural Research Quarterly published by the Cambridge University Press, the Journal of Architecture by the Royal Institute of British Architects, Planning Perspectives by the International Planning History Society, and Architectural Research by the Architectural Institute of Korea.
Sibella Kraus has long called upon cities to embrace the farms at their borders and in their regions and on regional agriculture to link its vitality to healthy cities. She is founding president of SAGE (Sustainable Agriculture Education), a nonprofit organization founded in 2001 to revitalize agricultural places near cities where farming and local food culture can thrive and be celebrated. She founded and directed from 1991-2000, the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) and created its signature program, the acclaimed San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market.
Zoey Kroll is an artist, designer and urban gardener. She was a core organizer at Hayes Valley Farm, an interim-use demonstration project on 2.2 acres in the heart of San Francisco (hayesvalleyfarm.org). She is currently working on a series of art seed packets (bit.ly/seedsongs), and makes “web things” at the San Francisco Department of the Environment (sfrecycles.org).
Kyung Lee is an emerging filmmaker, experienced film editor, and cameraperson currently based in the United States. She was an editor and post-production manager for Link TV, a national television network. Her wide-ranging talents include work on documentary films including “Big Joy: The Adventure of James Broughton” (SXSW, Tribeca), “The Illness and the Odyssey” (Mill Valley, Guam Int’l), “After Winter, Spring” (Mill Valley, Hamptons Int’l), “Atomic Mom” (Sarasota) as well as multi-media projects and commercial productions.
Ben is a serial tech entrepreneur currently working on ScreenMeet.com Previously, he started and sold the world’s largest VoIP audio conferencing service to Citrix Online, the owners of GoToMeeting. He then worked as the GM, Audio for GoToMeeting for 2+ years. He grew up in Reston, VA on Lake Anne and his grandmother Anne was married to Robert E. Simon, the founder of Reston for 10+ years. He and Bob were close friends until Bob’s death last year.
Jane Lin, AIA, is a founding partner at Urban Field Studio, an urban design firm in San Francisco. Jane has over ten years of experience working as an urban designer combining her skills in architecture and background in city planning. Jane’s work focuses on ways to physically revitalize mixed-use districts, from downtowns to transit-oriented developments. Jane consults on projects that involve public-private-partnerships in both Northern and Southern California. Jane also is an artist-in-residence with LEAP Arts in Education and teaches architecture to K-12 students. It is important to Jane that large groups of non-designers become empowered with creative communication skills because they are the key to making our communities better. More recently, Jane has been testing the use of video as a visual communication tool for engaging the public in her projects. She holds a BA in Architecture, MS in Architecture, and a Masters in City Planning all from UC Berkeley and a member of the AIAEB, SPUR, and ULI.
Mark Lipman has worked as a documentary filmmaker for over thirty years,
exploring a wide range of subjects from domestic violence to human sexuality to affordable housing and community organizing. His films have been broadcast nationally on public television and won numerous awards. His producing credits include “To Have and To Hold” (1981), the first documentary to look at domestic violence through the experiences of men; “Holding Ground: The Rebirth of Dudley Street” (1996), a film about the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative’s successful efforts to revitalize a Boston neighborhood devastated by redlining, arson and illegal dumping; “Father’s Day” (2003), an experimental documentary about the death of Mark’s father; and “Gaining Ground”(2013), a sequel to “Holding Ground” that explores DSNI’s success in preventing foreclosures and fostering youth leadership. Mark has an MFA in filmmaking from the Massachusetts College of Art and a BA in psychology from Harvard University.
As a 3D interactive engineer and a new media artist, Yang Liu is exploring the paradigm and possibilities of immersive interactions in VR, AR and future video games. He previously worked at Oculus, and is currently using his talents at thatgamecompany. His past work includes tools to plan drone trajectory in VR/AR, immersive experience of walking in a city, and photography and sound recording tools.
After working as a Cinematographer at the advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, creator of the famous campaign “GotMilk?” and named Agency of the Decade by Adweek Magazine, Juli is a full time Co-Founder, Cinematographer and Producer at Free Range Puppies where with all the Puppies are working on a bunch of unleashed ideas for a better world. He holds an undergraduate degree in Business and three Master’s Degrees, in International Business, Culinary Arts and Cinematography.
Kristina Loring is sound-oriented storyteller, writer, and content strategist. She’s produced stories that explore identity, urban landscapes, and technology’s influence on culture for Good Magazine, Fortune Money, Gawker, NPR’s WCAI, KALW, PRX’s Public Radio Remix, and Warink.org. In a past life, she was the editor of Jonathan Harris’s Cowbird.com and editor for frog design’s multimedia platform, “design mind.”
As a public health nurse and clinical educator, Erin works with underserved communities disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, homelessness and substance use. This film project is a return to her creative and artistic roots and an exploration into her interests in gender equality and representation.
Divali Magnus is the Director of Housing Development and Policy for Young Community Developers, Inc (YCD) overseeing affordable housing development, anti-displacement policy and advocacy work throughout San Francisco with a focus on District 10 and 11. Before joining YCD, she worked at the County of San Mateo Department of Housing as a Housing Specialist. She graduated with a B.A in Political Science from the University of California Los Angeles and obtained a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California Berkeley.
Activist, drag queen, superstar. San Francisco native Honey Mahogany does it all. Honey rose to international fame as the first (and as of yet only) San Francisco drag queen to appear on the reality tv series RuPaul’s Drag Race, but more recently, Honey Mahogany has honed in on making a difference in her hometown. Honey is a founding member of the Stud Collective, a co-op of Stud regulars, performers, and nightlife aficionados who recently saved the Stud from closing and made it the nation’s first co-operatively owned nightclub. Honey also played a key role in establishing the newly recognized Compton’s Transgender Cultural District in the Tenderloin of San Francisco, creating the first district of it’s kind in the country. Honey has many production and hosting credits including the MainStage of Castro Street Fair, San Francisco Pride, Topsy Turvey Queer Circus, and more. Currently, you can catch her hosting SF’s hottest new variety showcase and dance party: Black Fridays every 4th Friday at the Stud!
Vero Majano is a queer Latina artist born and raised in San Francisco’s Mission District. Her works are steeped in film, performance, visual culture, and storytelling. She works to archive, curate, reinterpret, and re-historicize Latino culture in San Francisco’s Mission District for broad audiences to stake out complex stories of the Mission in the City’s memory and history. She is part of The Caca Colectiva, and is cofounder of Mission Media Archives, which collects and preserves audio and films shot in San Francisco’s Mission district during the 1970s and ’80s. The full-length version of her latest work, “Remember Los Siete,” premiered in 2019.
Colin Marshall is a writer, broadcaster, and video essayist on cities. His series The City in Cinema explores our urban world, especially that unfathomable corner of it known as Los Angeles, as represented in movies of every kind. He’s also at work the book A Los Angeles Primer and the crowdfunded journalism project “Where Is the City of the Future?”
April McGill M.P.A. (Yuki, Wappo, Little Lake Pomo, Wailaki) is the Director of Community Partnerships & Projects for the California Consortium for Urban Indian Health (CCUIH) leading the violence against women Red Woman Rising Project (RWR) the Traditions of Health Project and currently the Getting Real About Stigma Reduction (GRASP) HCV prevention grant.
April is also the Executive Director for the American Indian Cultural Center. In her activism and community work pushing for the City to give the Native community a cultural arts and wellness center she became a Co-founder of the American Indian Cultural District. She graduated from San Francisco State University in 2009 with a BA degree (Honors) in American Indian Studies. April moved to the Northwest in 2010 to work as a Research Assistant at Portland State University Regional Research Institute on the System of Care “Nak-Nu-Wit Project” for Native families receiving mental health services. While living in the Northwest, April attended Evergreen State College where she pursued her Master’s Degree in Public Administration, Tribal Governance in 2012.
Myrna Melgar is the Executive Director of the Jamestown Community Center, a Mission District based nonprofit serving low income and at-risk children, youth and their families. Myrna is the President of the San Francisco City Planning Commission, appointed by Mayor London N. Breed. Prior to her work at Jamestown, Myrna served as the Deputy Director of the Mission Economic Development Agency, and previous to that position, was Director of Homeownership Programs at the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing during the Newsom administration. Myrna immigrated to the Mission District as a teenager with her family during the 1980’s from El Salvador, during that country’s civil war. She attended San Francisco State University, and then obtained a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning with a concentration in housing development from Columbia University in the City of New York. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and three daughters.
Stylish Spokes is my directorial debut. It unites my passions for filmmaking and cycling, as well as my desire to create media that educates, inspires, and moves people to action. I’ve been making a living on set since 2006, as a location sound mixer and producer, working on commercial projects and documentaries. This freelance work continues, as does my search for more meaningful collaborations (like Stylish Spokes!) on topics related to social justice and sustainability.
Paige serves as Communications Officer at the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. She is dedicated to engaging the public around environmental issues, and previously worked in communications roles at NextGen America, Sanford, and the San Francisco Department of the Environment. Paige keeps involved with her local community and previously served as Chair of the GoGeary transportation advocacy group and as a board member with the San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Environmental Network. A proud banana slug, Paige holds a degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz.
Deana Mitchell is a filmmaker, photographer and video journalist currently covering tech news for Voice of America’s Silicon Valley Bureau. She earned her Master in Journalism with a concentration on documentary from UC-Berkeley. Before that she worked for ABC News in New York. She loves to travel and learn about new cultures.
Mark Molnar began volunteering at Shanti in 1994. In 2000, he was hired by Shanti as the HIV Peer Advocate for St. Mary’s Medical Center, and during his 20 years with the agency has held a range of positions. He is also a former co-chair for the San Francisco HIV Planning Council and currently oversees administrative and needs assessment support for that council.
John Moody is a creative director and urban designer focused on strengthening connections between people and place, particularly through processes that put people’s lived experiences and collective storytelling at the heart of any sort of change. From community storytelling for downtown revitalization in Las Vegas to adaptation strategies for climate resiliency in South Florida, he has played a pivotal role in helping designers, organizations, and cities to find hidden power in their work and to catalyze progressive transformations in the built environment. He is co-founder and creative director of Invisible Cities Studio, a collaborative design practice that helps people create inclusive cities and urban spaces using artistic media. He has won an ASLA Honor Award and directed the award-winning films Redemption Square and the cerebral city. He currently lives in Los Angeles.
John Moon leads outreach/engagement and oversees the regional managers for community development as the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s District Manager. He has extensive social change experience in the public and private sectors including work at Living Cities, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, U.S Treasury’s CDFI Fund, Municipal Government, Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle, and Fleetbank.
Dimitri Moore (aka the Hugger-In-Chief) has spent his many years on earth producing everything he can get his hands on from a youth leadership seminar in Chicago to a documentary about Bayview/Hunter’s Point that screened at Cannes. He likes long walks with a production team on the beach or anywhere there is a war to be fought. During peace time he can be seen wrestling with his one year old (and losing), rewatching episodes of 24, Lie To Me and the The West Wing with his loving and equally geeky wife and brooding like Bruce Wayne over his next project. He believes in truth, beauty, freedom and above all, love.
Teresa Moore is an associate professor of media studies at the University of San Francisco. A former San Francisco Chronicle reporter, Moore specializes in journalism, civic media and Black cinema.
Lorraine is a healer, spiritual director, and musician from Los Angeles. At the age of 30 she was gainfully employed and busy raising four children, but a toxic marriage forced her into eight years of homelessness on the streets of downtown L.A. On October 6, 1994, a nun from Good Shepherd Center refused to let Lorraine spend one more night outside and sent her on a path toward sobriety, self-sufficiency, and a happy marriage to the late photographer Chris Morland. Lorraine never passes up a chance to share her story in the hope that it might help someone. She is an advocate for Women Against Gun Violence, sings in the group Urban Voices, and can often be found walking her dog Mercy in Pershing Square. She hopes to visit San Francisco soon to revisit the spot where she and Chris spent their honeymoon.
Tomiquia Moss leads Hamilton Families as CEO with more than 20 years of nonprofit leadership and management experience. From 2014-2017, she served directly under the mayors of both San Francisco and Oakland, most recently as Chief of Staff for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. Previously, she was the Executive Director of the HOPE SF Initiative, a public housing and neighborhood revitalization effort with San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee’s Office. Prior to that, Moss was SPUR’s Community Planning Policy Director. She was the founding project director of the San Francisco Community Justice Center of the Superior Court of California and served as director of the Community Organizing Department for the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation. Tomiquia has been a social worker and community activist working as an advocate for social justice and economic equality in many communities around the country. She holds a Masters’ Degree in public administration from Golden Gate University. Tomiquia and her family are proud to call Oakland home.
Destiny Muhammad is a Recording/Performing Artist, Band Leader, Composer, & Producer. Her genre, Celtic to Coltrane™, is cool and eclectic with a feel of Jazz & storytelling to round out the sonic experience. Destiny has curated concerts for Grace Cathedral Christmas Concert Series, SFJAZZ Tribute to Jazz Harp Legend Alice Coltrane, was a featured guest for GRAMMY Winner Kanye West’s ‘Sunday Service’, shared the stage with Jazz Masters Marcus Shelby, Omar Sosa, Blue Note Artist Ambrose Akisemuire, and Azar Lawrence, to name a few. She has headlined Bay Area ‘Women in Jazz’ Concert series, Sundays in the Redwoods Concert, Seattle’s Fest Sundiata, and ButcherTown Jazz Fest. She is the Principal Harpist for Jazz Master Eddie Gale’s Inner Peace Orchestra, The Oakland Community Orchestra, and performs with The AWESOME Orchestra. Destiny is Governor Emeritus and Educational Chair Emeritus of the Recording Academy, ASCAP Songwriter Awardee, California Entertainers Music Awards Female Jazz Artist of the Year Winner, SFJAZZ Teaching Artist, Bay Area Jazz and Blues Award Winner (BAJABA), and Raise Karma Virtual Residency Alumni.
Desi Mundo is an Oakland-based spray paint educator, hip-hop cultural diplomat and the founder of the Community Rejuvenation Project, a pavement to policy mural organization that has produced more than 300 murals, throughout the Bay Area as well as nationally and internationally. The “Universal Language” mural, His largest at that time, galvanized the Oakland community in the struggle against gentrification resulting in $20 million in community benefits, as depicted in the acclaimed documentary film “Alice Street.” In 2020, Desi completed his tallest mural to date, “AscenDance,” a 90′ tall piece on the Greenlining Institute. Desi’s legacy as an educator and youth worker in K-12 schools spans two decades. He received the “Rising Leaders” Fellowship from the Youth Leadership Institute in 2005 and has been awarded the Individual Artist grant from the City of Oakland eight times.
Brian Ng is a poet and tech worker born and raised in Hong Kong, currently based in the SF Bay Area. He edits for Lausan.
Hi, my name is Toan Nguyen. I was born in Vietnam to a family of three; my mother and father and sister. We came to the united states in the early 90s and since then went our own ways. I also have two siblings that were born here.
The current date is Jan. 14, 2021 is when I’m writing this. The reason is because I was asked to write this, which I didn’t really feel like writing my own bio, I think it’s a bit weird. I was also asked to select a title, along with a photo of myself, but since I don’t take selfies I asked a friend for a photo of myself.
Anyway, I’m a member of Cardboard & Concrete unhoused artists Collective. I currently live in an encampment in Berkeley, homeless camp to be clear since 2017. FTCFTH / Here/There is a sober community that (strictly) follow simple rules that were set up from dedicated unhoused activists before me. Some of the folks that initiated this protest / movement have since left, and some passed away. Their legacy is still alive, and along with our rage we continue the demand of acknowledgment that we exist, and we are able to organize, and remind the public that first they came for the homeless…
Leah Nichols is an award-winning filmmaker and designer based in San Francisco. She is best known for the animated short film, 73 Questions (2018 San Francisco International Film Festival selection, 2018 Social Impact Media Awards winner). She served as the lead animator for the documentaries Tomorrow Will Be a Better Day For Me (2020 BBC News) and Only the Moon/Solamente La Luna (2019 Sundance Ignite winner). Her work seeks to expand models of kinship, increase access to collective histories, and champion the compatibility of joy and trauma.
Ed is a Bay Area based writer, photographer and filmmaker. Born in New York to Ghanaian parents, Ed initially studied finance before settling in the Bay Area and receiving an MFA in creative writing at Mills College. In addition to working as a screenwriter and copywriter, his photography has been featured in Vice Magazine, WaxPoetics, Huffington Post, Oakland Museum of CA and the Berkeley Art Museum.
Isaacnezer K.Njuguna is an urban planner with 5 years of professional experience in Sub-Saharan Africa region, specifically Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zambia. He specialises in applied urban research, environmental mainstreaming in urban development, and, informal settlements planning and upgrading. One of his key achievements is supporting the preparation of the Mukuru Slum Special Planning Area Plan in Nairobi, a pioneer undertaking in Kenya, which led to declaration of other informal settlements as Special Planning Areas, to pave way for community and stakeholder-led planning.
Scott Oshima (they/them) is theSustainable Little Tokyo (SLT) Program Director at Japanese American Cultural & Community Center since 2017—but in acknowledging the lineage of arts-based activism, Scott has been fighting for LA’s historic Japantown for 135 years. They are a yonsei/fourth-generation Japanese Chinese American artist, arts organizer, and community activist, born and raised in Los Angeles. As Program Director for the SLT creative placekeeping initiative, they use community-driven and arts-based strategies to advocate for the cultural sustainability and equitable development of Little Tokyo. Scott has presented at national conferences and convenings, such as People & Places, ArtPlace Summit, Western Arts Alliance, and Arts for LA’s State of the Arts Summit, and has written for Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Journal, Capital & Main, Orlando, X-TRA, and more.
Jeffrey Paris is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Francisco, since 2001. He is also Director of the Environmental Studies Program, and teaches courses in environmental and animal ethics. His early research concerned problems such as political resistance and incarceration. He is currently working on the topic of our hominin ancestors and family tree in order to better understand the human difference from nonhuman animals in the present day.
Xan Parker is an independent producer of award-winning documentaries, nonfiction series and shorts. Recent productions include Ross Kauffman’s film “Tigerland” (2019 Sundance Film Festival, Discovery); the 2017 CNN Films’ “The End: Inside the Last Days of the Obama White House,” directed by Toby Oppenheimer; and the ESPN Films/FiveThirtyEight 2016 special “The Contested Convention,” about the 1976 Republican National Convention. Parker produced Marshall Curry’s coming-of-age documentary “Racing Dreams” (Best Documentary, 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, PBS “P.O.V”); Ivy Meeropol’s 2007 series ”The Hill,” about congressional legislative aides (Sundance Channel); and Celia Maysles’s “Wild Blue Yonder” (2007 IDFA, SXSW). Her credits also include Rachel Boynton’s “Big Men,” about offshore oil drilling in Africa (2013 Tribeca, BBC, PBS “P.O.V”); and Kristi Jacobson’s “A Place at the Table” (Participant/Magnolia, 2012 Sundance). Parker directed and produced “Risk/Reward” (2003 Full Frame Film Festival, Tribeca, Oxygen). She earned her first producing credits under filmmakers Susan Froemke and Albert Maysles on the 1996 film “Umbrellas,” about artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, and on the Academy Award-nominated feature documentary “LaLee’s Kin: The Legacy of Cotton” (2001 Sundance Cinematography Award, duPont-Columbia Award, HBO).
Jethro Patalinghug, Film maker and Associate Artistic Director of Facine.
Pancho Pescador is a visual artist and muralist from Chile. He attended Escuela de Bellas Artes in Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, where he was introduced to printmaking and other mediums. Due to his interest in printmaking, in 1995, he joined a cooperative of printmakers, Taller de Artes Visuales (TAV), in Santiago, Chile. He was quickly identified by senior artists, Carlos Donaire and Guillermo Frommer, who invited him to participate in shows in Chile and abroad. In 1995, Pescador immigrated to the Bay Area and it is here where he develops a passion for street art. Soon after, he begins to work on public art projects, primarily through murals. In 2003, Pescador and other Chilean artists and intellectuals from the Bay Area found the 9-11 Squared Collective, a group dedicated to raising awareness about the complex relationships between the United States, Chile and other Latin American countries. Through the collective, Pescador curates several shows in the Bay Area. In 2007, he co-authored a visual poetry book published in Lima, Peru – “Libro de las Sombras o Recortes de la Memoria” with writer Jose Antonio Galloso. In 2009, Peskador becomes an active member of Community Rejuvenation Project (CRP). Together they have painted more than 200 murals in the Bay Area, Chicago, Seattle, Germany, Chile, Thailand and New Mexico. He is also part of “Los Pobres Artistas” a collective of painters, mostly from Chile, that founded and organized the first “Bay Area Mural Festival” this past year in Berkeley- Oakland border.
Kevin Phillips has been the Town Manager of the Town of Paradise since August of 2020. Mr. Phillips is leading the Town through recovery and rebuilding after the devastation from the Camp Fire. Previous to working with the Town, Mr. Phillips spent 13 years with Paradise Irrigation District. During his time at Paradise Irrigation District, he served as the Finance and Accounting Manager, the CFO, and the District Manager. As District Manager, Mr. Phillips led the District through the difficult water restoration period after the Camp Fire.
As a Certified Public Accountant, Phillips worked with Matson & Isom Accountancy Corporation (Chico, CA) from 2000 to 2007. He attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Accounting and Finance.
Phillips lives in Durham (CA) with his wife and three children.
Ada Pinkston is a multimedia artist, educator, and cultural worker living and working in Baltimore, Maryland. Her work has been mounted at a variety of spaces including The Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building, The Walters Art Museum, The Peale Museum, Transmodern Performance Festival, P.S.1, The New Museum, Light City Baltimore and the streets of Berlin, Baltimore, and Orlando. She is a recipient of an Andy Warhol Foundation Grit Fund Grant in Visual Arts, administered by The Contemporary (2017), and a Robert W. Deutsch Foundation Ruby’s Project Grant in Visual Arts (2017). A graduate of Wesleyan University (B.A.) and Maryland Institute College of Art (M.F.A.) she has presented lectures on public space at The French Embassy, NYU, UCLA and The National Gallery of Art. She was a part of the second cohort of fellows at Halcyon Arts Lab and is a Monument Lab Transnational fellow. She currently is also a part of the inaugural cohort of artists participating in LACMA x Snap AR Monument Project with her upcoming work: The Open Hand is Blessed.
Lucia is a community organizer and greening advocate who creates public spaces connected to cultural heritage and future resilience. As The Greenhouse Project’s Program Manager, Lucia’s work focuses on developing community projects connected to the Garden District identity of San Francisco’s Portola District. Her primary aim is conserving the city’s only remaining agricultural vestige – 2.2 acres of abandoned greenhouses in the Portola – and transforming the site into an educational urban farm. At TGP Lucia also works with residents to reimagine the neglected Caltrans parcels that border the neighborhood, and collaborates with city agencies to further sustainable infrastructure projects with robust public benefits.
Joel Pomerantz is a journalist-turned-explorer who has a passion for San Francisco water. He published a water exploration map, Seep City, in March, and is working on a companion book about his water history research and his tromps through creek beds and springs scattered across local hillsides. He leads Thinkwalks and also works as a private guide and teacher. He loves to canoe and backpack.
Yesica Prado is a multimedia journalist and a first-generation Mexican immigrant from Nezahualcoyótl, Mexico. She grew up undocumented in a southeast neighborhood in Chicago, Archer Heights. With limited choices for a job without social security, she ventured into photography to learn a skill –– a trade. She hoped to earn a living as an independent contractor and attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, earning a BFA in Photography. But unexpectedly before turning 21, she was granted a humanitarian visa (U-Visa). Yesica took advantage of this new opportunity, expanding her borders to seek a master’s in journalism from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
While she was a graduate student, Prado lost her housing in San Francisco. She obtained an RV and came to the Berkeley Marina, joining a community of vehicular residents already residing there. They created a network of support for one another, showing the empathy, resilience, and kindness present even in the face of precarious living. Prado captures these elements in her most recent work, “Driving Home: Surviving the Housing Crisis,” which she completed in collaboration with visual storytelling nonprofit CatchLight as an inaugural CatchLight Local Bay Area Fellow for the San Francisco Public Press.
Her fellowship work has been featured by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and by Artists Against an #Infodemic Campaign, which aims to improve access to locally relevant public health information.
Annyliss Quinde, known as Quinde by friends, is a 20-year-old videographer, actor, and model from Minneapolis. She is a part-time student at the Minneapolis Community College, works 2 part-time jobs, and has her own YouTube channel. Annyliss is dedicated to giving back to her community and making change to help build a better life for young ones.
Tom joined Transportation for a Livable City as executive director in June 2004. He has been an urban environmental activist since attending college at UC Berkeley, advocating for urban environmental restoration, better public transport, and the greening and revitalization of public streetscapes and open spaces. He played an important role in voter initiatives to create the Octavia Boulevard and to create a “Grand Central Station” at San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal that connects regional and intercity rail and bus lines. He served as an elected director of the Bay Area Rapid Transit District from 1996 to 2016, where he has advocated for reinvestment and renovation of the BART system, and improving BART practices in the areas of sustainability, accessibility, customer service, architecture and urban design, and the creation of transit villages at BART stations.
Raquel Redondiez is the Director of SOMA Pilipinas- San Francisco’s Filipino Cultural Heritage District. Raquel first came to SOMA in 1995 to work on Superflip- a love story of immigrant Filipinos working in the underbelly of San Francisco’s tourist industry. She has been organizing in the SOMA for over two decades starting as a union organizer in 1996. During the dot-com boom of the late 90’s, she helped lead a community campaign to protect small Filipino owned business that were being displaced by the dot-com offices. From 2001-2008, serving as a legislative aide for District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly, she worked closely with the community to achieve victories such as the rebuilding of Bessie Carmichael Elementary School, the creation of Victoria Manalo Draves Park, and crafting the landmark $52 million SOMA Stabilization Fund.
Effie Rawlings was raised in California and in Illinois, where her family grew seed corn. Her interests found a nexus at the Gill Tract Farm, where she joined the 20-year community struggle to protect the historic farmland by co-founding Occupy the Farm; the grassroots direct action collective for which the film is named. Today, she helps farm 2.5 acres at the Gill Tract and teaches a luminous group of preschoolers there with the Five Creeks Collective. She is currently a fellow with the Farmer Veterans Coalition, and organizes internationally with the Friends of the MST (Landless Workers Movement).
Randy serves as Director of Legislation and Public Affairs for the San Francisco Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Toll Authority. MTC is recognized across the nation as a premier transportation planning and financing agency. It is Mr. Rentschler’s job to advance the legislative, public outreach and external communications objectives of the 21-member Commission at the local, state and federal levels. He also guest lectures on the subject of public finance or transportation at UC Berkeley, Stanford and the University of San Francisco.
Asha Richardson is the Interactive Manager at Youth Radio, the Peabody Award-winning youth-driven production company in downtown Oakland. In 2010, she co-founded the Innovation Lab there, where young people combine journalism + coding + design to create mobile apps and interactive news stories. Asha’s driving passion is to diversify tech of the future and help youth of color develop expertise in data and computer science to make the changes they seek in the world.
Chris Roberts has covered urban issues in San Francisco since 2008, recently as editor in chief of SF Weekly, reporting on fatal fires, lead contamination, and sex offenders in San Francisco public housing.
James Rojas is an urban planner, community activist, educator, and artist. He is the founder of a community healing and visioning outreach process – Place IT! The innovative and interdisciplinary method uses storytelling, objects, art-production and play to help underserved communities participate more equitably in the planning process. He is an international expert in public engagement and has traveled around the US, Mexico, Canada, Europe, and South America, facilitating over 500 workshops, and building 70 interactive models. He has collaborated with municipalities, non-profits, community groups, educational institutions, and museums, to engage, educate, and empower the public on transportation, housing, open space and health issues. He holds a masters degree in city planning from MIT.
Josue Rojas became executive director at Acción Latina in early 2017. As an artist, educator and Mission native, Rojas brings to the organization more than 20 years of experience in fine arts, community arts, arts leadership, and bilingual and ethnic media in the San Francisco Bay Area. Throughout his many endeavors, his work and vision have been characterized by a commitment to San Francisco’s cherished values of community arts and media, civic engagement, social justice and empowerment for migrant communities and marginalized communities at large.
Serginho Roosblad is an Emmy® Award-nominated and award-winning documentary filmmaker, journalist, and photographer. His work has been published by PBS Newshour, KQED News and KQED Arts, AJ+, The Guardian, The BBC, The San Francisco Chronicle, and many others. He has covered a wide range of topics during his years as a foreign correspondent, from Pope Francis’ first visit to Africa, to the plight of homeless single mothers in the Central Valley, and a freeway interchange in the Bay Area.
As Director of Public Policy and Partnerships at the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, Chhavi leads research and communication on policy issues for the San Francisco restaurant community. She works with city officials and departments advocating for local, independent restaurants while also managing community partnerships with business and nonprofit organizations. To support the career development of current and future restaurant workers, Chhavi sits on the San Francisco Workforce Investment Board, City College of San Francisco’s Culinary Arts & Hospitality Advisory Board, and SFUSD Career Pathways Advisory Board. She is deeply passionate about the hospitality industry and small business advocacy. Born and raised in the Bay Area, she has seen first hand the struggles and successes of a small business owner supporting her family’s business, Apna Bazaar in Antioch.
A Swarthmore College graduate with an Honors degree in French & English literatures, Scott Samels (who goes by the alias SCS) is a Hip Hop recording artist who focuses on topics of social justice and delivering positive messaging toward youth. Having lived in San Francisco ever since graduating back in 1999, SCS is also the Founder of his own Richland Records imprint which enables him and fellow artists on the label to get their music out to the world.
Doniece has orchestrated marketing, PR and development for both private and nonprofit organizations including ZERO1: The Art & Technology Network, San Jose Museum of Art, Wilson McHenry Company, Informix, DoubleClick, Toyrus.com, McGuire & Company for Coca Cola and ACA Joe among others. Her passion is finding unique solutions to problems that matter to her. Homelessness has been on her radar for quite some time but she was at a loss as to how to truly help—until she passed a young woman on the street crying over and over that she’d never be clean. Lava Mae is Doniece’s answer.
Renée Elaine Sazci hails from suburban-rural Granite Bay, CA. She holds a B.A in Sustainable Community Development and a M.S in Urban and Regional Planning. Her professional experiences range from public health, e-waste recycling, specialized transportation planning, sustainable land use development, and digital & content marketing. Her passion for the built environment, hyperlocalism, storytelling, and marketing spurred the launch of The Global Grid: Urbanist news – Local views in 2010 during a four-year stint in Istanbul, Turkey. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn and follow The Global Grid on social media.
Katherine Schaff joined Berkeley Media Studies Group to help build the organizational and communications capacity of local health departments, government agencies and community-based organizations working to advance racial and health equity. Prior to joining the BMSG team, she spent 11 years at the Alameda County Public Health Department, where she helped foster racial, social and health equity through policy change, community partnerships, and building institutional and staff capacity within the health department and the county. Her doctoral research focused on how local health departments addressed and communicated about the foreclosure crisis as a driver of health inequities.
Emily Schlickman is interested in forgotten urban landscapes, the power of mapping and the role of exploratory representation. As a landscape and urban designer at SWA Group, she focuses on large-scale infrastructure and planning projects. At the same time, she pursues independent research leading to publications and art installations. Over the past seven years, she has worked on a wide variety of projects – from a participatory mapping initiative to improve sanitation and educational access in Indonesia to an immersive installation to activate the Danube River floodplain in Germany.
Niki Selken is an artist, technologist and educator. Her work focuses around storytelling, games and interaction design. She is the Creative Development Lead at in the Gray Area where she manages the artist incubator and creative code education programs. She founded the Emoji Foundation, created the Emoji Dictionary, and VR game EmojiFlower VR. Niki attributes her intuitive understanding of the translation and meaning of Emoji to her extensive Japanese stationery collection and study of Japanese Butoh and Noh theater. Niki’s design and Emoji work has been featured by Yahoo Tech, Adafruit, Buzzfeed and Make Magazine among others. Niki has taught interaction design, creative coding, and game design at Parsons School of Design, St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn, University of San Francisco, and Bay Area Video Collective. Before delving into design, she founded experimental theater company, Ko Labs, and a technology consultancy, Big Treehouse. She has performed and/or worked with Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The San Jose Stage Company, Yerba Buena Center for Performing Arts, Counterpulse Theater, and United Broadcasting Theater Company.
Camille Servan-Schreiber was born in France and has been working in documentary film in the US since 1998. She has produced for American Masters, Frontline, PBS, National Geographic and many other outlets and received numerous honors including a Peabody, a Golden Spire Award from the San Francisco Film Festival and a national Emmy nomination.
Noni D. Session is the Executive Director of the East Bay Real Estate Cooperative, a 3rd generation West Oaklander and Cultural Anthropologist. Her research and organizing work spans national and global arenas. Under the umbrella of the UNDP in Nairobi, Kenya, Noni carried out her doctoral research in international humanitarian strategies and their on-the-ground consequences. After nearly gaining election to the Oakland City Council in 2016, she decided that her community’s best solution to rapid displacement was to develop an independent cooperative economy. Noni is closely engaged with Mandela Grocery Cooperative, a Black led worker-owned cooperative in West Oakland bringing organic produce and local economics to the community, as well as contributing her visionary energy to homeless advocacy groups across West and East Oakland who are building a movement of houseless and volunteers organizing for housing dignity through direct action and policy. Noni can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com; or check out her groundbreaking work at www.ebprec.org.
Avni Shah, AIA is an Oakland, CA-based architect and filmmaker. By day, Avni designs low-income housing in the San Francisco Bay Area. By night, she creates documentary films investigating the disconnect between design and policy intent and lived community experience. Her mission is to engage and empower stakeholders across communities, governments, and demographics.
Jeremy Shaw is an urban planner with the City of San Francisco focusing on transit station area planning and land use policy for Production, Distribution and Repair (PDR) businesses. He has a background in urban design, regional planning and public space activation. Prior to working for the City, he was the founding director of the Mission Community Market, a non-profit that transformed a street into a public space for community arts, events and small businesses in the Mission District.
Todd is a documentary filmmaker and television producer currently based in San Francisco. In 2007, Todd produced and co-directed “Red Without Blue,” which received the Audience Award from the Slamdance Film Festival and the Jury Award from the Frameline Film Festival. He has also produced live events and behind-the-scenes programs for Fox, MTV and Spike. Todd currently works as a freelance editor, and was recently awarded a Qatar Foundation International grant to produce a series of shorts on the Pacific trash gyre.
Sarah holds a degree in Landscape Architecture from UC Davis with a minor in Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment. At Davis she worked on the Student Market Farm and Ecological Garden and managed the Salad Bowl Garden, a small centralized edible space for community foraging. After graduating she served two years on the Oregon Coast with FoodCorps, an AmeriCorps program that connects kids to real food through school gardens and nutritional education. She also volunteered on farms and worked to support small farm incubator projects in the rural community. Sarah currently works as TNDC’s Urban Agriculture Supervisor in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, where she manages 5 edible rooftop gardens and the Tenderloin People’s Garden, a free public farm located on the corner of Larkin and McAllister. TNDC is adding expansive equitable rooftop farms to many of their new developments in the pipeline. She leads TNDC’s Urban Agriculture team that facilitates food justice programming, health and wellness education, urban food production and much more.
Cigdem Slankard is a filmmaker based in Cleveland, OH. She was born and raised in Turkey and received her BA in translation and interpreting from Bogazici University (Istanbul, Turkey) in 1999. She first came to the United States in 1998 to study film and video at State University of New York in Binghamton. In 2002, she received a Master of Fine Arts in filmmaking from Ohio University. She has written and directed several short film and video projects including Fresh Start (2017), Cultivation (2016) and Comfortable (2013). Her work has been included in several exhibitions and film festivals around the world.”
Susannah Smith is a documentary filmmaker specializing in urban stories. In particular, she is interested in exploring the ways race and sexuality intersect with the politics of gentrification and sustainable cities. She is dedicated to creating films that are nuanced, based in social justice, and still bring a smile to your face. Recent projects include The Lexington Club Archival Project, People Live Here, and collaborating on Women’s March short, Queer Arts Festival performances of White Lies , and work with the UC Critical Sustainabilities Group. She has worked as a Creative Producer, Account Manager, Editor, and Post-Production Supervisor in the Bay area for over 15 years. For fun, she gets her buddies to collaborate on playful lo-fi animations with cardboard, embraces the role of art teacher and spoiler extraordinaire to her nieces, makes jewelry, and posts ridiculous pics of her dog George to Instagram. In 2012 she earned her MA in Social Documentation from UC Santa Cruz.
Adam Osfield Snell is an independent virtual reality filmmaker. Over the past three and a half years he has worked with major brands—professional sports teams, universities, television studios, corporations, musicians—to better understand this new medium and create VR experiences together. He developed his passion for storytelling working for four years as the Assistant Director of City Hope, a non-profit in San Francisco. Adam loves to use his technical and creative expertise in VR to demonstrate the power of the technology and ways to use it to improve our city and world.
Heidi is a partner at Urban Field Studio, which provides urban design services for early idea formation, with particular concern for the public realm and human interaction. With colleague Jane, Heidi provides a full range of urban design services with an emphasis on strategy and design, visual communication with the public, and education about the role of urban design.
Sharaya Souza(Taos Pueblo/Ute/Kiowa) helped lead the American Indian Cultural District initiative by drafting the legislation, working with the local American Indian community to identify a culturally significant geographic boundary, securing funding, and leading Cultural District negotiations with local District Supervisors and stakeholders.
Sharaya is an ambassador for promoting equitable resource distribution to Native American communities, increasing Native visibility and political representation, and protecting and preserving tribal cultural resources in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to active participation with local Native American organizations, Sharaya serves on several local City boards and groups including the Housing Policy Group, Race & Equity in All Planning Coalition, Racial Equity Arts Working Group, Inter-Tribal Community Coalition, Economic Recovery Task Force, the Human Rights Commission Community Roundtable, and the SF Community Climate Council.
Sharaya’s previous experience includes the American Indian Cultural Center, Twitter, California Native American Heritage Commission, the California Research Bureau, Office of Institutional Research, American Indian Recruitment and Retention, and working with Governor Brown’s Tribal Advisor and the Executive Tribal Advisor at the California Department of Water Resources. Her work in these areas included establishing the Native voice in tech, providing research and recommendations in education and policy, Native youth retention, sacred site and tribal cultural resource protection, government-to-government tribal consultation, land use mediation, helping tribal groups gain recognition as non-federally recognized tribes, and the designation of Most Likely Descendants for Native American human remains.
Peter L. Stein is a San Francisco-based media producer and presenter who has enjoyed telling the stories of his native San Francisco in projects for television, film, theater, museums and online. During 11 years at PBS station KQED, he created a wide range of documentaries and series for national public television, including the six-hour series Neighborhoods: The Hidden Cities of San Francisco, which garnered a Peabody Award (for “The Castro,” which Peter wrote, produced and directed) and several regional Emmy Awards for “The Fillmore” (writer/producer) and “Chinatown” (executive producer). More at www.peterLstein.com.
Antje Steinmuller is an architectural designer and educator whose research explores the role of design (and designers) at the intersection of citizen-led and city-regulated processes in the production of urban space. She is an Associate Professor at California College of the Arts where she chairs the Bachelor of Architecture program, and an Associate Director of the Urban Works Agency, CCA’s urbanism research lab. Through her studios at CCA, she investigates new typologies of urban commons, new forms of collective living, and the agency of architecture vis-a-vis the current housing crisis. Antje is also a principal at Studio Urbis, an architecture, urban design and research practice in Berkeley, and co-founder of Ideal X, a design consultancy focused on the potentials of public spaces in transition.
Strauss lost his live-work space in March of 2015 due to a fire in the adjacent unit, and was thus uniquely prepared to go into tenants’ rights activism immediately after Ghost Ship. Oakland Warehouse Coalition advocates for affordable alternative housing at the local and state levels, and has forged key relationships with elected officials, city staff, and ethical developers. The Coalition has developed partnerships with tenants’ rights groups on both sides of the Bay by opening up its advocacy work to include the broader low-income and homeless community. Strauss has been a Production Designer for concerts and special events since 1999, and has run the DIY recording studio Survivor Sound since 2008. He is considering running for an Oakland City Council seat in 2018.
Anne Stuhldreher is the Director of Financial Justice in the Office of the Treasurer for the City and County of San Francisco. San Francisco is the first city in the nation to launch a Financial Justice Project to assess and reform how fines, fees, and financial penalties impact the cities’ most vulnerable residents.
Throughout her career, Ms. Stuhldreher has advanced innovations in local economic empowerment, civic engagement and public interest journalism. In San Francisco, she brought people together to initiate and launch initiatives like: Bank on San Francisco (that spurs banks to create starter accounts for the estimated one in five Americans who don’t have them). As a Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver, she helped start the Bank on California. The “Bank on” strategy that Ms. Stuhldreher conceived is being replicated in dozens of cities. She also authors op-eds and articles in outlets such as the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Sacramento Bee. Formerly, Ms. Stuhldreher worked at the Ford Foundation, Opportunity Fund, the California Endowment and is currently a fellow at New America CA.
Ronald Robles Sundstrom is the Philosophy Department Chair; additionally, he teaches for USF’s African American Studies program and the Master of Public Affairs program for the Leo T. McCarthy Center of Public Service and the Common Good. His areas of research include political theory, critical social and race theory, and African American and Asian American philosophy. He has published several essays and a book in these areas, including The Browning of America and The Evasion of Social Justice (SUNY, 2008). His current project involves social research, and is on fair housing and the effects segregation and integration on democratic life and citizenship.
Grant Sunoo is the Director of Planning for Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC). He oversees LTSC’s creative placekeeping, community planning, and community organizing efforts. Through this work, Grant and his team partner with other Little Tokyo stakeholders to advance the community’s vision for their neighborhood. In nearly 20 years of working in Los Angeles’ non-profit sector, he has extensive experience in affordable housing development, coalition building, leadership development, program implementation, and organizational development. Grant earned a Masters of Urban Planning from UCLA.
The Bauhinia Project was founded by an anonymous poet in 2019 to bring Hong Kong’s struggles to the stage of transnational activism through lyric and language. Our primary work has been to render the testimonies of protesters and ordinary people in Hong Kong–some submitted to an encrypted email and others drawn from “found poem” materials–into English-language poems. The Bauhinia Project has been featured in the Georgia Review, on KPFA Radio, and on KTSF News. We have collaborated with the Oakland Public Libraries, student groups at Berkeley Law, and organizers as far as New York, Canada, and Germany. http://www.bauhiniaproject.org/
Lila Thirkield founded the Lexington Club and was the sole owner until its closure after almost two decades. She opened Virgil’s Sea Room, next to El Rio in The Mission, five years ago and continues to foster nightlife and community through their many benefits and community gatherings. She has served on the Dyke March committee, and continued to as an advisor and fundraiser to help ensue future marches. She also loves cats.
Dr. Brandi Thompson Summers is Assistant Professor of Geography and Global Metropolitan Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her book, Black in Place: The Spatial Aesthetics of Race in a Post-Chocolate City (UNC Press, 2019), explores how aesthetics and race converge to map blackness in Washington, D.C. Her current research explores the complex ways that uses of space and placemaking practices inform productions of knowledge and power in Oakland, California. Dr. Summers has published several articles and essays that analyze the relationship between race, power, aesthetics, and urbanization that appear in both scholarly and popular publications, including New York Times, The Boston, Globe, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (IJURR), Public Books, and The Funambulist. Dr. Summers is a member of the Editorial Collectives at City and ACME, and is on the editorial boards of Urban Geography and City & Community.
Joaquín Torres leads Mayor Ed Lee’s “Invest In Neighborhoods Initiative” leveraging city resources across city departments and through partnerships to maximize positive economic and social impact in our neighborhoods. Joaquín is the current Deputy Director at the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development. He also serves as the President of the San Francisco Housing Authority Commission, as the Authority undergoes a re-envisioning process of structural and financial reform as initiated by Mayor Lee. Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services (MONS) under Mayor Lee. He lives in the Outer Mission in District 11.
Mary Travis-Allen (Mayagna, Chortega, Seneca) sits on the SFUSD School Names Advisory Committee. Mary was born, raised and educated in San Francisco. She has roots with Alcatraz, Wounded Knee occupation, and the American Indian Movement. In the 70’s she frequently spoke at rallies and networked withmany other emerging political activist groups in the San Francisco Bay Area that advocated for racial equality, freedom of political prisoners and more. Mary retired after thirty-two years of employment with the City & County of San Francisco, SFMTA, as a Senior Operations Manager. During her employment she stayed focused on the needs of the people we served and the employees that worked hard to provide service to the City.
Mary is privileged to know and stand with many leaders that fought against the racial and political oppression that was prevalent in this Country (and still exists).“I have learned that every step you take and experience in your life takes you on your path and knowledge in this existence. We learn from those that have come before us, traditions and knowledge, to give us strength and value to live and survive this life. We learn, we cultivate and we continue to plant these ways for those that will follow.”
Rev. Paul Trudeau is founder and executive director of City Hope San Francisco. City Hope’s mission is to cultivate healthy relationships that encourage and empower our neighbors in the Tenderloin to achieve their personal goals, breaking the cycle of addiction, incarceration and isolation in our city. City Hope works in three main program areas: the City Hope Community Center, the City Hope House (a two year transitional sober living home), and a mentoring program in the San Francisco County Jail that combats recidivism by preparing inmates as returning citizens.
A native of Australia, Jack has been fascinated by the authentic urban spaces ever since he was old enough to play LEGO. It was no surprise that since leaving college, Jack has worked in local area revitalization, real estate development for the past 15 years. Jack is a real estate consultant at the Northern California Community Loan Fund, where he works with social purpose and arts organizations to solve their real estate needs in the Bay Area. His work encompasses real estate readiness training, acquisition and leasing strategies, multi-tenant centers and working with distressed real estate. Jack holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and business from the University of Western Australia and a master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of British Columbia.
Dr. Eugene Tssui (AIA, NCARB, APA) is a licensed architect and contractor, city and regional planner, industrial designer, artist, educator, investigative scientist, inventor, musician, competitive athlete, publisher, President of Tsui Design and Research, Inc. and Chairman of the Telos Foundation, a nonprofit foundation for educating the public about design, headquartered in Emeryville, California.
Robert is an urban designer and architect who moved to Oakland from Tel-Aviv in 2017. He completed his Master in Urban Design at UC Berkeley where his research focused on community land ownership and its potential for sustainable urban development, based on land trust models developed by social movements in Israel in the early 20th century. Robert studied and taught in the Dept. of Architecture in Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, did art, volunteered, built gardens and worked in market research until realizing his happiest moments occur in public places. In 2013, Robert co-founded ONYA Collective, an award-winning, not-for-profit group of 15 activists, designers and eco-friendly architects based in South Tel-Aviv. ONYA works with community organizations, municipalities and art institutions to design, grow and build wholesome, inviting places for people to come closer to nature and to one another.
Pam is an award-winning documentary producer, director and editor. Her feature-length documentary, Unearthing the Dream, featured on Arkansas Public Television as part of their independent producer series, won Best Documentary at the Arkansas Black Independent Film Festival, as well as an Indie Award of Merit. A graduate of Brown University, with an MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University, Uzzell has also worked on over twenty feature films in post-production, including Godfather III, Terminator 2, and Dead Poets’ Society. Welcome to the Neighborhood was recently featured on KQED’s Truly CA and won the Grand Festival Award at the Berkeley Video and Film Festival. Uzzell is a member of the Deep East Art Collective.
Ana Vasudeo joined SF Bicycle Coalition as Program Director last year. At SF Bicycle Coalition, Ana oversees the organization’s bicycle education program, community bike builds program, youth and family biking program, and valet bicycle parking. She brings over 10 years experience in the environmental field, working both domestically and internationally. She has a passion for environmental equity, previously leading climate justice initiatives at Green for All and the World Bank. Ana also served as the Director of the Blue Greenway for the SF Parks Alliance. She is a proud San Francisco native and enjoys getting to know the city more via bike and exploring the Bay Trail with her family. She holds a Master of Regional Planning Degree from Cornell University.
David Vega-Barachowitz is Director of Urban Design at WXY Architecture + Urban Design and an adjunct professor of planning and urban design at Syracuse University. His work focuses on the development of new tools, research methods, and design perspectives that investigate and challenge the DNA of cities, from zoning and building codes to street and engineering manuals. David has spearheaded a range of projects and initiatives, including the development of neighborhood-based public realm plans, research on new and emerging mobility options, and guidelines for the design and retrofit of public housing complexes. He is a former Senior Urban Designer at the New York City Department of City Planning and the former Director of the Designing Cities Initiative at the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), where he spearheaded the production of NACTO’s Urban Street Design Guide (Island Press, 2013).
Natalia M. Vigil is a queer Xicana writer, multi-media curator, and big sister born and raised in San Francisco. Her multi-genre writing arises from the voices and stories of the people around her and mixes poem, memoir, song, and myth. Her work has appeared in numerous publications and shows around the Bay Area. She is a 2016 Lambda Literary Fellow for nonfiction and the fiercely proud co-founder and Artistic Director of Still Here San Francisco.
Angela is a Monroe, Louisiana mother of two began her career in the late 80s as a reporter for the Gannet News Service, cutting her teeth on the police beat before settling into courts and investigative features, at the News Star World. After moving to San Francisco Angela settled into the world of post-production and advertising for Fleet Street Pictures, where she helmed work for clients like Levi’s, Honda, Taco Bell, Sony and Clorox. Following her role in advertising she hosted her own talk show, The Simple Truth. She is currently CEO of her own event consulting business, A Simple Affair.
Brian Weiner specializes in political theory (from the ancients to contemporary theory), American political theory, and public law. He teaches courses in the areas of political theory, law, and American politics. Professor Weiner also teaches Literature and Political Thought and Democratic Theory and Democratic Transitions. Professor Weiner has written, Sins of the Parents: The Politics of National Apologies in the United States, a book examining the political and legal issues raised by recent attempts by the U.S. government to redress past wrongs.
After starting as the SF Bicycle Coalition’s Development Director in May 2014, Brian became Executive Director in July 2016. He has been a member since 2007. He brings almost a decade of nonprofit resource development and management experience to the job, including leadership roles at ODC and Performing Arts Workshop. A passionate advocate for better bicycling in San Francisco, he has worked for safer streets in his SoMa neighborhood and beyond. Brian holds an MPA from San Francisco State University and a BA from the University of Minnesota.
Born in Philadelphia, Bryan grew up in a household filled with music and art. His first renowned photojournalism project, “In Search of African Continuum; Sacred Ceremonies and Rituals,” focused on sacred ceremonies and rituals rooted in West Africa and spread throughout the Diaspora. His still photography is on the feature film documentary, “Crips and Bloods: Made in America.” The compelling story by director Stacy Peralta examines the conditions of devastating gang violence among young African Americans growing up in South Los Angeles. “Oakland Here and Now” was born with an overwhelming sense of urgency to tell the stories of the city’s unique and diverse people before they are gone forever. His work has been featured in Ebony Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Newsweek, Agence France-Presse and was a photo editor at Black Issues In Higher Education and the Children’s Defense Fund magazines. Bryan has lived in Oakland for 9 years and mentors youth on the autism spectrum.
After a decade working with gang-involved and homeless youth in the California Bay Area, Spencer founded Endangered Ideas in Oakland, to focus on stories of resilience. Spencer is the director and producer of ALICE STREET which premiered in 2020. KQED Arts describes ALICE STREET as “set in just a few city blocks, it’s a story about intractable loss as well as collective refusal, depicting artists’ role in grassroots activism that builds power by bridging communities.” ALICE STREET won the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Documentary at the Oakland International Film Festival and was an official selection of 15 film festivals in 2020. In 2018, he directed the feature-length “ONE VOICE: The Story of the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir” which premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival, was a “Best Movie of the East Bay” in 2019 and featured on PBS’ “Truly CA” 2020 season. He was awarded grants for impact producing in 2020 from the California Arts Council, San Francisco Foundation and Oakland Cultural Funding Program. His films have presented at the Urbanworld Film Festival, Newport Beach, Mill Valley, Marda Loop Justice, Atlanta Docufest, Milwaukee, Social Change Fest, DOCUTAH, Brighton Rocks, London Rocks, Filmocracy, ARTS X SDGS and the San Francisco Latino Film Festival.
Mr. Williams is the principal of Junious Williams Consulting, Inc. (JWC) a firm specializing in research, policy and program development on issues of equity and social justice. From 1998 through 2016 he served as President and CEO of Urban Strategies Council, a social justice impact organization. He holds a Juris Doctorate in Law and a Bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Michigan. In addition to private law practice, his career includes: founding the Saginaw Student Rights Center and co-founding the Ann Arbor Student Advocacy Center; work on school desegregation, disparate student discipline and education equity at the Program for Educational Opportunity at the University Of Michigan School of Education; Executive Director of Student Attendance and Discipline for the Detroit Public Schools; and Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at CSU, Fresno. He has worked on community building, education and criminal justice reform, workforce and economic development efforts including negotiating landmark community benefits agreements on major development projects in Oakland and San Francisco. He is co-founder and Board Chair of the Oakland Community Land Trust and Board Chair for the Center for Law and Education.
Keith Wilson is a filmmaker and artist based in San Francisco whose films have been exhibited at Sundance, the Berlinale, South by Southwest and the United States National Gallery of Art. He is a 2018 BAVC National Mediamaker Fellow for his in-progress film DEEP INSIDE THE SHAMAN’S DEN about the life and legacy of performance artist Frank Moore. Keith is a member-owner of New Day Films, has an MFA in film production from the University of Texas-Austin, and grew up on a cul-de-sac deep in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia.
David Woo was born and raised in San Francisco where he still currently lives. He recently graduated from USF with his MA in Urban Affairs where he studied urban policy as it relates to gentrification and displacement. He previously worked with the South of Market Community Action Network in community development, focusing on bottom-up strategies for addressing displacement through land use and planning. He currently works with the SOMA Pilipinas Filipino Cultural Heritage District in land use and is helping to write their Cultural Heritage, Housing, and Economic Sustainability Strategy report.
Kevin D. Wong is a Bay Area-based director, editor, and producer. After a stint in visual effects at ILM, he ventured out into the world of independent filmmaking. His narrative films include “Forgetting,” an adaptation of an epsiode of “Radiolab,” and “Be My Baby,” a family drama that was featured on Comcast’s “Pinoy TV.” Wong’s feature screenplay “Nellie” was a 2nd round selection in the 2013 Sundance Screenwriters Lab.
Winnie is an independent producer in the narrative short film, music video, commercial, documentary, and lifestyle space. She is committed to working with conscientious individuals, companies and organizations on creative projects that reflect the events and topics that move us. She is also committed to incorporating diversity and inclusion clauses when commissioned for her work.
Sara leads the Story Department at Wondros, a creative communications agency dedicated to ideas that change culture. Working with clients from the initial point of engagement through to campaign completion, Sara develops messaging, film creative, and copy for leaders in health, business, technology, public policy, philanthropy, and the arts, including Univision, Home Matters, Huawei, Seventh Generation, and the Harvard Football Players Health Study. She earned her BA with Honors in English literature from USC, where she was a Trustee Scholar.
Eric Young serves as the Director of Communications for the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, overseeing strategic communications, public outreach and media relations. He oversees a four-person communications team responsible for soliciting public feedback to help shape the agency’s policies and programs. Before joining the Transportation Authority, Eric was a reporter at several newspapers and magazines, covering several topics, including transportation. He holds degrees in Spanish and Political Science from Stanford University.
Jonathan Young grew up in foothills of the Angeles National forest of LA county. He developed a healthy appreciation of animals at an early age having been raised by an avid outdoorsman and a mother that allowed him to keep a number of critters as pets. After obtaining a Bachelors of Science in Biology from San Diego State University he moved to San Francisco where he began volunteering with the Presidio Park Stewards. A year or so of volunteering resulted in habitat restoration internship. It was during this time that he began graduate school at San Francisco State University, meanwhile advancing to a new internship which focused on the restoration of the Presidio’s Mountain Lake. His master’s work overlapped heavily with his restoration work in the Presidio and when he completed school he was hired on as the Presidio Trust’s first Wildlife Ecologist. Since then he has been developing the Presidio’s wildlife program, which in general includes monitoring, outreach, and reintroductions of lost species. He is interested in all animals from worms to zooplankton, but his all-time favorites are reptiles and amphibians. Jonathan is excited about the endless opportunities in the new field of Urban Ecology and what better place than San Francisco to bring conservation action to an urban audience.
Lily is a youth education advocate and filmmaker. Lily served as a co-op member at the Echo Park Film Center and worked as a teaching artist for high school students throughout Los Angeles. She graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in Film/Video, a minor in Cultural Studies, and a focus on arts education and pedagogy. Currently, she works at a youth arts center in East Palo Alto. Her interests include art curation and analog filmmaking.
Robert N. Zagone is an independent filmmaker and television director who is best known for his independent feature films Read You Like a Book (starring Karen Black, Tony Amendola and Danny Glover) and The Stand-In (starring Danny Glover). He is also well known for the iconic guerilla-style documentary Drugs in the Tenderloin, as well as his many forays into the musical culture of San Francisco, including Go Ride the Music, featuring Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver Messenger Service; A Night at the Family Dog, featuring the Grateful Dead, Santana, and Jefferson Airplane; Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin; and the infamous Bob Dylan Press Conference. Zagone was one of the first filmmakers to cover the cultural explosion of the 1960s in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as one of the first directors to make music videos. In addition, he was one of the first directors to implement an open policy of diversity for all of his film projects, for both cast and crew. He is the recipient of three Emmys from the San Francisco chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and is a member of the Directors Guild of America.
Sadaf Zahoor is an East Bay native and member of the underground music scene and a debate coach for the Bay Area Urban Debate League. Sadaf became an advocate for her home, Burnt Ramen after it was outed after the Ghost Ship fire and is committed to regaining access to the space that her and others love so dearly. Understanding the importance of spaces where marginalized folk can have an outlet for creative expression is a cornerstone in Bay Area life, and needs to be protected.