Opening Rally with Aimee Allison!
Inspire Leadership in Elected Positions
Youth Leadership Institute: from Principles to Practice
Rising Above Differences Through Meditation with Richa Bhatnagar
Empower Women in the Workplace – STEM focus
The Power of Mentoring
Commission on the Status of Women August Meeting
Hip Hop Dance HIIT with Ariel Belgrave (GymHooky)
Women’s Equality Day Celebration with Congresswoman Jackie Speier!
Girls* Reimagining Media Education Into Action
Special Recognition Ceremony: Women’s Hall of Fame
Empower Women in the Workplace: Focus on Academia / Non-Profit When Advocating for Equal Parity
Bollywood Dance Fitness with Dr. Aruna Chinnakotla
Reimagine Women and Girls’ Mental Health and Wellness
How To Be an Ally
Enhance Your Leadership Skills Through Meditation and Breathing Techniques with Richa Bhatnagar
Inspire Leadership in Grassroots Community Engagement
Aimee Allison is the Founder and President of She the People, the national network elevating the political voice and power of women of color. By bringing together the nation’s top women of color candidates, strategists, and movement leaders, Ms. Allison is one of the primary architects for the electoral successes in 2018 that made it the “year of women of color in politics.”
In April 2019, she convened the first presidential forum for women of color, inspiring thousands of articles and news segments. A democratic innovator and visionary, Ms. Allison leads national efforts to build inclusive, multiracial coalitions led by women of color. In addition, she leverages media, research and analysis to expand the electorate and support leaders who advocate for racial, economic and gender justice.
A thought leader, a speaker, and a writer, Ms. Allison has been featured at NetRoots, Politicon, Radcliffe College, Stanford University and SXSW. She was featured in Politico’s 2019 Powerlist. In the early 1990’s, Ms. Allison was one of the first women of color to be honorably discharged from the U.S. Army as a conscientious objector and works today to support courageous, moral leadership.
Aimee Allison holds a B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University. Author of Army of None, she has written for the New York Times, The Hill, and ESSENCE Magazine and has appeared in hundreds of outlets including MSNBC, CNN, the Washington Post, Bloomberg, Associated Press and PBS.
Congresswoman Jackie Speier (pronounced SPEAR) is a fearless fighter for women’s equality, LGBTQ rights and the disenfranchised who has dedicated her life to eliminating government corruption while working to strengthen America’s national and economic security. She was named to Newsweek’s list of 150 “Fearless Women” in the world and one of “Politico’s 50” most influential people in American politics for bringing the Me Too reckoning to Congress.
She proudly represents California’s 14th Congressional District, stretching from the southern portion of San Francisco through San Mateo County to East Palo Alto, and serves on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and as the Chair of the Military Personnel Subcommittee, on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, where she serves on the Subcommittees on Environment and Government Operations. Speier is also Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus (DWC), the Congressional Armenian Caucus, the Bipartisan Task Force To End Sexual Violence, and the Gunviolence Prevention Task Force.
More information about Congresswoman Speier’s work with Women’s Rights; eliminating government waste, fraud, abuse and corruption; National Defense, and her Early Career can be found on Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s website.
Dr. Belinda Hernandez Arriaga is an Assistant Professor at the University of San Francisco and she is Founder/Chief Executive Director of Ayudando Latinos A Soñar (ALAS www.alashmb.org), a Latino cultural arts, education, mental health and social justice program dedicated to working with rural youth and families living on coastside.
Judge Beth Labson Freeman is a Judge on the Federal Court in the Northern District of California, appointed by President Obama in 2014. Judge Freeman sits in the San Jose Division, hearing a broad array of cases including antitrust, civil rights, consumer class actions, commercial litigation and technology cases including patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret cases.
Sarah Pistorino joined the San Mateo County Youth Commission in 2016 as a freshman at Sacred Heart Preparatory High School and currently serves as Chair. She is a founding member of the SafeSpace Youth Advisory Board, a resource that provides resources to youth around mental health, referral to services, on-site counseling and communities where youth can connect and share their stories.
The biannual RISE 2020 Women’s Leadership Conference cultivates and inspires Bay Area female leaders. We invite you to Reimagine, Inspire, Support and Empower the impact of women in our communities. Session focus areas include (civic) leadership, career development, mental health & wellness and youth advocacy.
The 5-day conference is FREE. A virtual format provides ultimate access and flexibility — online participants can easily pulse in and out of dynamic keynote speaker presentations, interactive workshops, and subject specific panel discussions. Speakers represent a diversity of thought and experience critical to expanding opportunities for women across social, economic and cultural differences.
Organized by the San Mateo County Commission on the Status of Women, RISE 2020 will also honor the 2020 Women’s Hall of Fame inductees with a special recognition ceremony. Register today!
*”Women and girls” refers to gender expansive adults and youth (cis, trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and gender queer).
We are pleased to present the following sponsorship opportunities to fit different budgets. Your support will help grown the Women’s Leadership Conference and provide access for any woman to attend, regardless of financial means. If you have any questions regarding sponsoring, donations, or sponsoring conference elements such as water bottles, laynards, the iRISE Reception, or a custom opportunity, please contact Tanya Beat at (650) 363-4467 or email@example.com.
The Women’s Leadership Conference, RISE2020, brings together women and teens from all around San Mateo County. Help us fill 1/3 of our seats with those who cannot afford to attend otherwise. Just $100 sponsors a young woman and her chaperone.
We also accept donations for general tickets in Eventbrite.
The voters have selected a diverse group of women throughout San Mateo County and this track aims to discuss equity issues and examine the positive impact female representatives have in our communities, as well as the benefits and importance of electing more women to office. Panelists will share stories of success, obstacles, dealing with COVID-19 in their respective communities, perseverance, and insights into public service. They will also share recommendations for women planning to run for office.
Amourence Lee, City of San Mateo
Cecilia Taylor, City of Menlo Park
Davina Hurt, City of Belmont
Richa Awasthi, Foster City
Moderator: Nirmala Bandrapalli
YLI staff and youth advocates will provide an overview of key youth development principles, how they’re employed in youth-led advocacy campaigns, and youth advocacy experiences from our programs.
Margarita Vasquez, YLI Program Coordinator, has gone from a program participant, to intern, to staff; an example of how YLI principals support the journey in youth leadership and advocacy.
Facilitators and Youth Advocates:
Daisy Sarabia Medina
Meditation is not only great for reducing stress and gaining energy – it is also a powerful tool to grow in community and connection. In this interactive session, we will explore the power of meditation and breathing techniques to become more present in our relationships and become more effective at addressing the challenges we face in our professions, communities and personal lives. These tools are accessible to everyone regardless of whether you’ve meditated before.
Please be prepared to have your video on so that the facilitator may observe and correct technique.
Giving voice to women in the workplace! What narrative do you carry in your head as you progress through your career? Can you be powerful and kind? What is the responsibility of leaders regarding diversity? We will explore ways in which women can support each other through mentorship, sponsorship, and thoughtful communications. The panelists in this session will share their stories in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math).
Jing Li, Genentech
Subha Rajana, Biarca
Giuliana Garcia, Oculus/Facebook
Toni A. Moos, San Jose City College Student Health Center
Special Guest: Melissa Dinwiddie, Creative Sandbox Solutions
Moderator: Anisha Weber, Primitive Logic
Learn about best practices for in-person and virtual mentoring between adults and youth. For the last 40 years Friends for Youth has been matching volunteer mentors with underserved youth to form mutually beneficial mentorships. Join this session to learn how to be a supportive mentor, gain ideas for empowering mentoring activities, and find out how to get involved in a mentoring relationship!
This session is for both adults and youth alike. Tools for both mentors and mentees will be included.
Please join us for a Community Conversation Commission Meeting! The CSW wants to hear from you about the issues that are impacting women and girls in San Mateo County.
We will have break out rooms moderated by Commissioners to capture what your issues are.
This meeting is modified and will only be one hour.
Lets get up and moving!!
This workout will be a fusion of cardio, dance, and HIIT.
We request that you leave your camera on for this high energy workout!
Passive, sexy, pleasing. If a girl* doesn’t fit these narrow definitions of femininity perpetuated by mainstream media and advertising, society says there’s something wrong with her — but what if there’s actually something wrong with the media? In this interactive workshop for youth, we’ll practice questioning the ways that girls* are valued in the media, and defining our own self-worth according to our own values. We’ll defy harmful pressures to be perfect and instead, practice expressing imperfection, complexity, and maybe even silliness. Join About-Face’s two youth interns as we learn that there are many ways to be a girl* — and no matter how we choose to express ourselves, we are enough.
*About-Face welcomes and includes gender-expansive youth. To us, “girls” means self-identified girls, trans girls, gender-expansive youth, gender non-conforming, and non-binary youth.
Join us for a celebration of Judge Beth Freeman, Belinda Hernandez-Arriaga, Celine Wen and Sarah Pistorino; all being recognized for their contributions to the community and leadership.
Hall of Fame Alumnus Dani Gasparini (2004) will be in conversation with the four honorees to share their stories.
Special Guest: Supervisor Carole Groom
Ceremony to be Livestreamed by PenTV at
Hall of Fame Livestream
Add to Calendar:
Giving voice to women in the workplace! What narrative do you carry in your head as you progress through your career? Can you be powerful and kind? What is the responsibility of leaders regarding diversity? We will explore ways in which women can support each other through mentorship, sponsorship, and thoughtful communications. The panelists in this session will share their stories in Academia, Non-Profit and Hospitality industries.
Jayne Battey, Miramar Farms
Jamillah Moore, Cañada College
Georgia D. Farooq, Thrive Alliance
Toni A. Moos, San Jose City College
Special Guest: Melissa Dinwiddie, Creative Sandbox Solutions
Moderator: Anisha Weber, Logic 20/20
Xtrimbollywood is a workout combining 3 core components of exercise: aerobics, strengthening and flexibility to create a complete total body workout. This session consists of fun, easy to follow high-energy dance routines to Indian Bollywood music. This fun session will take you to India to dance while getting fit.
What goes into designing wellness programs? How do we go beyond buying individualized solutions for self-care and lead efforts for collective care? What might work when women take on increased leadership that makes dedicating time to wellness difficult? We will exchange and ideate around these questions and panelists will be available for a Q&A post-session from 3-3:30 PM.
Safi Jiroh, LeaderSpring Center
Alysa Stanford, County of San Mateo
Carol Gosho, NAMI
Reza Nezam-Mafi, SafeSpace
Moderator: Ei Ei Samai, Samai Group
We hear the term “ally” used a lot but what does that really mean? One of the first steps is listening to the voices of the historically marginalized. On this panel, we have gathered woman of color who are actively engaged in their communities to speak to their experience and how to be an ally in their life and work.
Lisa Tealer, Bay Area Community Health Advisory Council
Shara Watkins, San Mateo-Foster City School District Board
Noelia Corzo, San Mateo-Foster City School Board
Monica Casey, Jefferson Federation of Teachers
Kalimah Salahuddin, Jefferson Union High School District
Current demands on us may have us feeling stressed or low on energy, leading to low productivity and focus. In this interactive online workshop, experience an easy guided meditation and gain some simple, yet powerful, breathing tools to relax, re-energize and keep up with your day. Dig deep to learn why being centered and accepting are not opposite to being a great leader. These tools are accessible to everyone regardless of whether you’ve meditated before.
Richa Bhatnagar is a meditation facilitator, trained by the Art of Living Foundation.
Women’s leadership may be something that we are all familiar with. Join this session where local women leaders in the community share their stories of resilience, what keeps them grounded, and how they build and lead their communities to success.
Belinda Hernandez-Arriaga, ALAS
Colsaria Henderson, CORA
Manufou Liaiga-Anoa’i, Pacific Islander Coalition
Rita Mancera, Puente de la Costa Sur
Maya Tussing, Fairlight Advisors
Amourence Lee’s career focused on building strong and empowered communities. She studied public policy and public health at Columbia University. Her career started at UNICEF in Beijing, she directed two nonprofits and founded a successful startup before joining the San Mateo City Council. Her community service spans the nonprofit, public, and private sectors, but she never was never aiming for public office. Amourence is committed to forging the path for more women leaders in government.
Anisha Weber is native to the Peninsula and was the COO at Primitive Logic, a woman owned business in San Francisco. Her new role under the Logic20/20 umbrella is as Managing Director of the California Practice, and continues to evolve with over 20 years of technology and solution consulting. Actively involved in her community, Anisha continues to provide time, talent, and treasure to numerous service organizations. She is a graduate of University of San Francisco’s MBA program and received her B.A. in Communications from the University of Oregon in Eugene. Anisha is a first generation American, her parents are from Switzerland and Holland, and she continues to maintain close ties with immigrant communities/groups from both countries.
Colsaria has a Master’s in Social Work with a specification in Administration and Planning. She is from the South and considers her social justice training buried in the roots of activist parents, who dedicated their early lives to the civil rights movement. Since moving to California, she has held leadership roles in multiple Bay Area anti-violence organizations. She is currently focused in areas of intersection between gender-based violence movements and reproductive justice, racial justice, LGBTQ and immigrant rights. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, co-chairs the San Mateo County Domestic Violence Council and is the Executive Director of Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA), the only agency in San Mateo County solely dedicated to helping those affected by intimate partner violence and abuse.
Jing Yi Ph.D. is director of statistics at Genentech overseeing late-stage CIT molecules in oncology. She joined Genentech in 2006, and is a drug developer with intensive oncology drug discovery and development experience, with expertise in pharmaceuticals, biotech, designing clinical development programs, and overseeing cross-functional teams. Jing is passionate about women leadership and coaching, and she is a core member of Genentech gWISE education team with an objective of providing increased opportunities for leadership and career growth for Genentech women in science and engineering. Jing received her Ph.D. in statistics at UC Berkeley in 2006.
Richa Bhatnagar has facilitated meditation, breathing and self-empowerment workshops since 2007. In Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath, Richa facilitated stress management, leadership, and trauma-relief workshops in New Orleans, working to rebuild communities. Since then she has taught workshops in universities, communities and workplaces around the US. She is certified by the Art of Living Foundation, a global humanitarian non-profit. Richa holds a BSc from Brown University and MS from Boston University. She is a Program Manager in Tech and serves on the Foundation for San Mateo County Libraries board.
Carole Groom was elected to the Board of Supervisors in June 2010 and has served as President of the Board in 2011, 2015, and 2019. Her priorities include expanded access to quality preschool and literacy, access to healthcare for all, environmental protection, preservation of the County’s parks, and growing the local economy. Supervisor Groom was appointed in 2012 to the California Coastal Commission, she sits on the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board and the SamTrans Board. She initiated The Big Lift program, holdd the annual Active San Mateo County conference, and coordinated the county’s annual Disaster Preparedness Day.
Safi Jiroh has over 25 years experience in the public and nonprofit sectors as an executive leader, grant maker, non-profit consultant, and certified integral® coach. She facilitates meaningful and intentional human interaction and engagement to advance the wellbeing of leaders in the social, public and private sectors. As Deputy Director of LeaderSpring she directs the Women of Color LeadStrong Fellowship and its Impact Consulting, which centers racial and gender equity and inclusion for organizational impact.
Davina Hurt earned her J.D. at Santa Clara University School of Law with a specialization in International law and her B.A. in History and Political Science with a minor in Biology from Baylor University. After studying at the University of Strasbourg’s International Institute of Human Rights, she drafted documents for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; worked for Bay Area Legal Aid; and served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Judge James Ware. After working for prestigious law firms, Davina has devoted much of her time to family and community
volunteerism. Ms. Hurt was elected as council member for the City of Belmont in 2015 and served as Mayor in 2019, after serving as Vice-Chair of the Planning Commission. Today, she sits as the Chair of a Department of Consumer Affairs licensee board, Board President of Samaritan House, Vice-Chair of City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo, San Mateo County representative of Bay Area Air Quality Management
District to name a few. She is the proud co-founder and vp of DemFems of Silicon Valley, a women’s Democratic club working for gender parity.
Kiki joined Friends for Youth in 2019 as our Youth Programs intern, and is now our Mentor Recruitment/Group Program Coordinator. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of San Francisco with a B.A. in Psychology, minor in Japanese Studies. Kiki is a Bay Area native, is trained in suicide risk assessment, and has always been passionate about mental health and supporting her community. She loves working at Friends for Youth because she sees how much of a positive impact the volunteers and program have on youth. Kiki’s dream is to become a school counselor and help youth reach their fullest potential. Kiki loves video games (she’s a gaming champion!), watching anime, drinking LaCroix, and spending time with family and friends. 私は日本語が話せます
Sarah joined Friends for Youth in 2015 as the Program Coordinator for 1-to-1 mentoring and helped launch the school-based group mentoring program in 2016. Sarah now supports our programs by developing community engagement and partnerships, especially the Whole Health for Youth Initiative. Sarah is passionate about creating opportunities for marginalized youth and families and fostering the power of mentoring. She has a B.A. in Planning, Public Policy and Management from the University of Oregon. As an avid volunteer, Sarah received the Leaders of Oregon Award for her work in food access and the national Spirit of Service Award for her contributions as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer. Prior to Friends for Youth, Sarah worked for Venice Community Housing Corporation’s YouthBuild program in Los Angeles, where she managed volunteers and developed leadership opportunities for young adults. In her spare time Sarah enjoys the arts, hiking, and traveling. Se habla español.
Audrey Ng served two terms on the San Mateo-Foster City School Board and held the position of president twice. As a Trustee, she engaged the community in an extensive dialogue to address the challenges of school overcrowding and co-chaired the Measure X bond to fund facilities projects across the district. She is an advocate of programs that promote early literacy, socioeconomic equity and mental health awareness. Professionally, she began her career as a pension actuary with Deloitte and Touche. More recently, she transitioned to the nonprofit sector by joining Child Mind Institute as a staff associate.
Cecilia Taylor is Mayor of Menlo Park. The first person elected from her neighborhood to city council in over 40 years, she founded the nonprofit Belle Haven Action after a multi decade career in education. She spent over ten years on the Adhoc Advisory Board for San Mateo County Housing Authority and is a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteer. She holds a BA in Mathematics from San Francisco State and a certificate in Early Childhood Education.
Jayne Battey is the owner and founder of Miramar Farms, a leadership development center located on the San Mateo Coast. She also serves on the board of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board as Vice Chair. Prior to starting Miramar Farms, Jayne held executive positions at Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council, and as founder and CEO of Essex Environmental. Jayne received her masters degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science and her bachelor’s degree from Boston College. Jayne is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum, Class XXIV.
Subha Rajana is a technology entrepreneur passionate about Education, Women Empowerment, and being a local influencer for social change. She is on the board/advisory board of several non profits, who are making an impact on the above causes. She is a big believer in laying the strong foundation early on to empower the future generations. A strong advocate for gender equality, global advisor and mentor for global community leaders from America, Asia and Africa.
Dr. Jamillah Moore is President of Cañada College, an award-winning institution located in the heart of the Silicon Valley. A native Californian, President Moore holds a two degrees from California State University, Sacramento- a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Masters in Intercultural Communication and Public Policy. Dr. Moore also earned a Doctorate from the University of San Francisco in International and Multicultural Education.
Aruna Chinnakotla is board certified in internal medicine, palliative care, integrative holistic medicine and is an obesity medicine diplomat. She is a fitness enthusiast and Co-founder of XTRIM BOLLYWOOD, a dance fitness company. She is a certified instructor, created the program for Xtrimbollywood and trains others to become xtrim instructors. She is also a certified senior fitness specialist.
Richa Awasthi is a Council Member of City of Foster City. Elected in November 2018 to serve a four-year term, Richa has been an active volunteer in the City. Prior to getting elected to the City Council, she was the Chair of the Foster City Innovation and Technology Advisory Committee and Chair of the Site Council at Brewer Island Elementary. Professionally, Richa is Vice President of Digital Payments at Wells Fargo Bank. She holds an MBA and over 19 years of corporate experience with leading financial services organizations. Richa is a long time Foster City resident with her husband Amitabh, and their twin children Anish and Shyla, who recently turned thirteen.
Puente’s Executive Director Rita Mancera has over 20 years’ experience in nonprofit leadership with a focus on youth development and social programs in Mexico and the United States. Rita first joined Puente in 2006. She has served Puente in several capacities including being the Program Director. Rita’s commitment to community empowerment has fueled the growth of Puente’s programs serving more families and individuals on the South Coast of San Mateo County every year to build a healthy, sustainable and inclusive community.
Ei Ei (she/her) contributes to the vision of a world where all our relations have dignified belonging with her coaching, facilitation, and strategy skills. Her career path was paved by women teachers such as Angela Davis, Yuri Kochiyama, Judith Glaser, and Brené Brown. In 2017, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, co-founder of the CSW SMC, recognized Ei Ei for her work with Seedles: Grow the Rainbow. She is being raised as a mother by two kids.
Ariel Belgrave is a health and fitness coach, a sponsored Under Armour athlete, a fitness instructor, and the Founder of Gym Hooky, a wellness brand focused on helping busy women build healthy habits. Through her signature program, The L.E.A.N. Method, she’s helped thousands of women around the world move more and eat better. Ariel’s work has been featured across various platforms, including Women’s Health, Shape Magazine, Essence, PopSugar, Huffington Post, and Buzzfeed.
Melissa Dinwiddie works with large & mid-size companies to unleash creativity by custom-designing and facilitating strategic workshops and offsites to help them be more productive, innovate better and be more competitive. As a visual practitioner, she also makes your ideas visible, so you can get the big picture—themes AND gaps. She is the founder and chief instigator of Creative Sandbox Solutions™ and author of The Creative Sandbox Way™: Your Path to a Full-Color Life.
Nirmala Bandrapalli is a busy mother of 3 who is from Burlingame, CA. Nirmala is currently the President of the Commission on the Status of Women. Prior to this experience, she had the opportunity to serve on the Burlingame City Planning Commission. Nirmala loves playing an active role in her children’s education so she served as a representative on the Lincoln Elementary School, Burlingame Intermediate School, and Burlingame High School’s Advisory Committee. Nirmala currently works for Kaiser Permanente as Project Manager and also serves on various nonprofit boards.
Giuliana Garcia (she/her/hers) runs programs that enable the development and launch of some of the most innovative technology products ever, including the Amazon Echo, Facebook Portal, and Oculus’s breakthrough virtual reality devices. A lifelong tech enthusiast and inclusion rights advocate, Giuliana runs privacy and security initiatives in Facebook’s augmented and virtual reality divisions. At Facebook and in a prior role at Amazon, Giuliana supported development teams that have shipped 100s of features for millions of devices shipped to 80 countries. In addition to a focus on privacy by design, Giuliana spearheads ethics and responsibility for Facebook devices, including inclusive and accessible design. At Facebook, Giuliana co-leads the Pride@ and Pride@AR/VR ERGs. She is also a commissioner on the San Mateo County LGBTQ Commission.
Maya Tussing has lived in the Bay Area for 25 years, half of that time in San Mateo County. She is a partner with Fairlight Advisors, which provides investment and risk management services to nonprofits and philanthropic individuals.
She is an active nonprofit board member and volunteer to local organizations spanning the areas of education, community services, health care and the performing arts. Maya is a graduate of Pomona College and holds an MBA in international finance from the University of Washington.
Became a Wellness Coach over a decade ago after losing 140 pounds and feeling inspired to help others prevent lifestyle diseases. Degrees in Exercise Physiology and certifications in Behavior Change, Worksite Wellness, Laughter Yoga, Health Coaching, Medical Exercise, and Brain Fitness. Passionate about reaching people in underserved communities to identify free resources and build a culture of wellness.
I was born in Trinidad and Tobago, but spent many of my formative years living in different countries as my father advanced his career as a diplomat. I moved to the United States for my last year of middle school and then high school. In college, I completed my Bachelors Degree in Human Biology at Stanford, then went on to Medical School at the University of Pittsburgh and ultimately became a Family Practice Physician.
Carol Gosho, CFP®, SF Bay Area financial advisor since 1978, started fee-only financial planning Gosho Financial Group in November 2000 in San Francisco as her daughter suffered a bipolar psychotic breakdown in San Mateo. Her extended family became NAMI San Mateo County family support groups and Family to Family mental health education classes. Since 2001 she has served many roles on the NAMI Board, including SF Bay Area Walk Co-Chair, and is currently Board Treasurer.
My name is Reza, I’m 16 years old and I’m on the Youth Action Board at SafeSpace. SafeSpace is a youth-led organization focused on removing the stigma around mental health, and how it’s addressed. My goal is to start a conversation about it at schools and in our community. You have no idea what an impact ONE person can have on someone’s life and mental health.
Hi everyone, my name is Aoife (she/her), and I am a rising junior at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep. At school, I am involved in our mental health organization, volunteer group, and I participate in track and field as a pole vaulter. I am a summer intern at About-Face, and I am passionate about how representation in the media affects people especially young womxn and girls*, and how advertising plays into this.
Grace is an aspiring engineer for social good, an avid feminist activist, and a Gen Z idealist. She loves thinking critically, whether it’s about technical skills like computer programming and 3D modeling, or about analyzing and challenging the status quo. She’s learned a lot about gender for the past several months and has compiled her insights here. She’s excited to intern at About-Face because although the media often perpetuates stereotypes, it has the potential to break them.
Georgia serves as Executive Director of Thrive, The Alliance of Nonprofits for San Mateo County. She hails from Boston, where she led the Center for Nonprofit Management at Stonehill College for seven years. Georgia is a founding board member for Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, on the Advisory Council for Gatepath, an advisor for SF Urban Film Festival, and a graduate of Leadership San Mateo. Georgia has her M.B.A. from Boston University and B.A. from Wellesley College.
Manufou’s passion for public service with an emphasis on women’s empowerment and children & youth issues has afforded her opportunities to serve on San Mateo County’s Big Lift Peninsula Partnership Leadership Council and be recognized for her service by Senator Mark Leno as Woman of the Year and by ABC Channel 7’s Asian Pacific Islander Salutes.
Manufou was elected in 2015 and continues to serve as the first Samoan Pacific Islander to serve as Board Trustee and past President of the Jefferson Elementary School District and as Commissioner and Past Vice President since 2011 on the San Mateo County Commission on the Status of Women. As an education advocate, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond appointed her in May 2019 as Co-Chair of the Closing the Gap State Initiative. Manufou is the Health and Nutrition Services Manager for Institute for Human and Social Services, Inc. which provides Head Start and Early Head Start services throughout San Mateo County and is part of the San Mateo County and Pacific Islander Complete Census Count Committees, Board Member of Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center, Task Force Member of Regional Pacific Islander Health Task Force and the newly established Pacific Islander Democratic Club.
Margarita grew up in Half Moon Bay, CA and first joined YLI as a youth participant about five years ago leading our Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) prevention work in the coastside of San Mateo County. While part of the Coastside Youth Council, Margarita helped lead our Lee Law efforts, establish strong relationships with City Council, supported our financial and economic justice work, and helped raise funds during our 2016 Silicon Valley Gives fundraiser. After her civic engagement took our Half Moon Bay and AOD work to the next level, Margarita joined the San Mateo County Youth Commission and represented a geographical voice that had been missing for over 20 years in the commission. She was part of the Immigrant Youth Committee, and through this role, Margarita learned about the importance of community input in boards and commissions.
Currently, Margarita is a junior at San Francisco State University, majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and minoring in Health Education. All her work led to the opportunity to become a program coordinator leading our Transportation Justice efforts in Half Moon Bay.
Smitha comes to YLI from the youth mental health advocacy world, where she saw health and education systems struggle to engage and include young people in their decisions. She studied Public Health and Public Policy at UC Berkeley and advocated with fellow students to secure remote counseling, confidential peer counseling spaces, and close gaps in Berkeley’s counseling services. She also worked with young people as a Health Educator for national nonprofit Peer Health Exchange, and facilitated campus-community collaborations as part of the school’s Public Service Center.
Since college, she has worked with No Stigma No Barriers, a Transition Age Youth advocacy collective, as well as with the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC). Smitha‘s journey has led her to youth empowerment and engagement, and she looks forward to helping lift barriers to youth advocacy in her role as Program Coordinator. In her role, Smitha will be supporting youth in advocating around substance use inequities in their communities, including as one of the advisors at YLI for our alcohol advocacy arm, Friday Night Live.
In her free time, Smitha enjoys travel and a good milkshake — usually together.
My name is Eula Camara and I’m a 17-year-old senior at Westmoor High School. I am one of the youth that makes up the leadership board in Youth Leadership Institute (YLI). Joining YLI has made me realize my passion for advocating for those who need representation. As a group, we’ve attended numerous city council meetings and helped the youth within our community find their voice. Together, we have taken a step forward to find solutions that our community faces.
My name is Daisy and I’m 16 years old. I am currently a junior at Half Moon Bay High School. During my free time I play soccer, bake, and play guitar. It’s my first year taking yearbook and I’m Co-Editor in Chief. I’ve been president of the Youth Leadership Institute club at my school for the past two years. The club helps youth with their engagement in the community and helps youth use their voices. We spend a lot of time working on problems in the community and finding a way to help fix them. We work with adults and they help us with resources and help answering any questions may we have.
Kalimah Salahuddin currently serves as President for the Jefferson Union High School District Board of Education and is running for her third term in November. She is the immediate Past President of the San Mateo County School Boards Association (SMCSBA) were she served for two years and continues to serve as the Coordinator for the SMCSBA Equity Network. At the County level she serves on the COVID-19 Recovery Council and the Advisory Council for the Equity initiative. She was one of the founding members of the REACH Coalition to increase equity and community health for all. She also was recently appointed to the Board of the Housing Leadership Council and previously served as a Board Member for Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco where she has been a regular site volunteer. She is currently employed at Exelixis as a Coordinator on the Investor Relations / Public Affairs team and is mother to three wonderful adults.
Monica Casey, President of the Jefferson Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 1481, has been a math teacher and principal in Daly City since 1993. When teaching at Jefferson High School in 2003, she mentored a few brave students to for the school’s first GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) which is now called the Gender Sexuality Alliance and is run by her wife, also a teacher at Jefferson. As the president of a union, Monica sits on many committees that empower students and members to speak up on many equity issues.
In her spare time, Monica enjoys gardening, riding her bike, walking her chihuahua, and traveling, especially to New York to visit her kid in college.
Lisa Tealer serves as the Executive Director of the Bay Area Community Health Advisory Council (www.bachac.org), a community health based organization focused on eliminating health disparities in diverse communities across generations. BACHAC has an inclusive approach to this work by partnering with several organizations through health education, connection to resources and advocacy. Prior to this role, Lisa spent 30+ years in the biotech industry in technical and management roles supporting clinical trials and manufacturing processes and in
human resources roles specifically managing a wide range of diversity, inclusion and equity initiatives. She continues to consult in the diversity, inclusion and equity space as a Senior Associate with J. Mattox & Associates, a consulting firm that offers a wide range of services and
expertise to partner with organizations in creating inclusive, equitable and diverse workplaces.
Lisa also serves as a community advisory board member for the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center & COVID-19 Research, Sequoia Hospital and the Stanford Cancer Institute. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she joined the REACH Coalition (www.reachcoalitionmc.org) to increase equity and community health for all. In addition, she is
a member of the Equity Recovery Group and the Vulnerable Populations Support Committee for San Mateo County’s COVID-19 Long Range Plan Recovery Initiative. Lisa has an undergraduate degree in Biology from Mills College and a Diversity Management certificate from the Bauer College of Business, University of Houston
Shara has dedicated her life to education and to the students in her local communities. After graduating from Wellesley College, she participated in the Teach for America program in New York City. During this time, she earned her Master’s degree in Childhood General and Special Education. Over the past fourteen years, she has been a classroom teacher, instructional coach, and curriculum designer. Shara has led extensive teacher training on a variety of topics, from equity in education to using technology as a tool to improve student learning.
Shara has served as a San Mateo-Foster City School Board Trustee since 2017. As a SMFCSD Board Trustee, Shara has been a champion for equity. Shara authored an Equity Resolution that helped to create the District’s Equity Task Force, created an equitable scope and sequence to guide her Board in addressing student achievement and outcomes, and supported the integration of fee-based and state-subsidized preschool programs.
In addition to her work as a Board Trustee, Shara is involved in the REACH coalition, an organization working to increase equity and community health for all.
Noelia Corzo is the current President of the San Mateo-Foster City School District Board of Trustees and a bilingual graduate of our district schools who has dedicated herself to empowering her community and serving others. Noelia is the daughter of Guatemalan immigrants from a working class background and the mother to a nine year old boy. She strives to ensure that all students receive the education they deserve and have a strong foundation for happy and healthy lives. Noelia has supported foster youth in education and employment in San Francisco and currently works with the developmentally disabled community in San Mateo County. She is an advocate for grassroots community organizing efforts and is a member of the REACH coalition to increase equity and community health to all.
Aileen Cassinetto is the Poet Laureate of San Mateo County, California. Widely anthologized, she is also the author of two poetry collections and three chapbooks through Moria Books’ acclaimed Locofo series. Aileen curates “Power to the Poets,” a reading series on solidarity and social justice, and is currently organizing the 1st Peninsula (Virtual) Bookfest, featuring authors from the SF Bay Area and beyond, upcoming in September and October 2020.
Bethlehem Roberson is a vocussionist, spoken word artist and songwriter. A Philadelphia native, she has been singing since she was a child—singing by herself and vocalizing with her musical cousins. Performing for over 15 years, she has worked with numerous Philly artists and musicians, sung in churches and cafes to notable Philly venues/events including TEDx Philadelphia, The Kimmel Center, Sistah’s Attune and The Philadelphia Jazz Project.
SevanKelee Boult (bka Lucky 7) is a well-known Bay Area poet. She has been seen on HBO Real Sex since 2000. Hailing from East Palo Alto, she has represented several Bay Area slam teams over the past 10 years. In 2014, she became the only person in the Bay to win the honored title Grand Slam Champion of four different Bay teams (SF, Berkeley, Oakland and Palo Alto). She has performed all across the country, gracing such places as The De Young Museum in San Francisco as well as Yerba Buena, and the Marsh Theater. A UC Berkeley graduate with a minor in Theatre Arts, SevanKelee has been crafting her spoken word performance. Her most recent artistic venture involves the ukulele and spoken word. She effortlessly blends music and poetry to engage the audience with her soft, raspy voice and mesmerizing stage presence.
Ina Cariño is a queer Filipinx poet who was born in the Philippines. Their poetry appears in Waxwing, New England Review, The Oxford Review of Books, and Tupelo Quarterly, among other journals. Ina holds an MFA in creative writing from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. They are a Kundiman fellow, and was a finalist for the 2019 Jake Adam York Prize. In December of 2019, Ina founded a reading series, Indigena Collective, centering othered and underrepresented creatives in the community, including but not limited to BIPOC, QTPOC, and people with disabilities. Find out more about Ina’s work at www.inacarino.com.
Meera Dasgupta is the 16-year-old 2020 National Youth Poet Laureate, a program by Urban Word. Also a Van Lier Fellow, Federal Hall Fellow, Climate Speaks Winner, & Scholastic Arts and Writing Winner her performances have been featured by the NY Times, PBS, Apple, Grist, the Apollo, Bryant Park etc. and she has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall, the Teen Vogue Summit, TEDxCUNY, amongst many others. A part of numerous advocacy groups, in the future, Meera hopes to continue to utilize the intersection between social justice and poetry in order to uplift the voices of historically underrepresented communities whilst combatting societally normative culturally hegemonic narratives.
Angelique Zobitz’s poetry has been published in The Journal, Sugar House Review, The Adirondack Review, Obsidian: Literature & Arts of the African Diaspora, Yemassee, Anomaly, Glass: A Journal of Poetry’s Poet Resist Series, Poets Reading the News, So to Speak: a feminist journal of language + art, SWWIM, Rise Up Review, Pretty Owl Poetry, Rogue Agent, Psaltery & Lyre, Mortar Magazine, The Midwest Review and many others. Angelique is a 2020 Best New Poets nominee; a 2019 two-time Best of the Net Anthology nominee, and a Spring 2019 Black River Chapbook Competition Finalist. Her chapbook, Love Letters to The Revolution, forthcoming from The American Poetry Journal in October 2020, is a tender exploration of revolution, revolutionary mothering, breaking lineal chains and fulfilling ancestral visions. It affirms the experience of inheritance, expectation, and anxiety of the womxn-mother-daughter-sister-cousin-aunt-goddess-witch-bitch multitudes contained within each Black womxn. She lives in West Lafayette, Indiana with her husband The Silver Fox and daughter The Revolution. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram: @angeliquezobitz
Tynea Smith is the CEO and founder of the Still Breathing Movement Inc. Her mission is to breathe life into others and their situations and to watch new life flourish from the inside out. She recognizes that this line of ministry is a sweet dichotomy of her God-given call and her willingness to say yes to the work. Tynea is also an upcoming author, poet, empowerment coach, the host and creator of a “Cup of TEE”, your dose of edifying “TEE”, host of “Her Victory has a Voice” segment, and the host of the “Pick A Poet” showcase every Sunday on the Black Love Poetry Series Network!
Kim Shuck is the solo author of seven books, involved in a four chapthology project for independent booksellers in San Francisco with Denise Sullivan and Thea Matthews. The seventh poet laureate of San Francisco, she belongs to the Northern Cherokee Diaspora. Her awards include the inaugural National Laureate Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, a PEN Oakland Censorship Award, and the NCIBA Golden Poppy Award for her book, Deer Trails. Her latest book is a one poem chapbook, Whose Water, from Mammoth Publications. Although generally silly Kim is being worn down by the current political and social situation.
Pamela D. Jones is a long-time resident of Menlo Park and resides in the Belle Haven neighborhood. She believes that government should be accessible to everyone and encourages all residents to be civically engaged. Miss Jones does this by modeling her own involvement, demystifying government policy development, and educating and encouraging people to embrace both their power and responsibility in driving change. Miss Jones believes the key to equity in democracy begins at the local level through voter registration, education, and voting. This includes challenging the ways in which election offices have traditionally engaged all residents.
Miss Jones is a member San Mateo County VEOAC, advisory group Center for Inclusion democracy report, co-chair Cañada College President’s Advisory Group, core member Menlo Together co-founder Menlo Park Residents for Civic Engagement, member LWVSSMC-Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, board member Menlo Park Historical Association, treasurer of Meditate & Thrive, Inc., and former school board member Ravenswood City School District. She is a retired community college professor and health care professional.
Miss Jones was raised in a politically active family. She started an NAACP Youth chapter at Garden Oaks Junior High, and Junior State (JSA) chapters at both Ravenswood High School and Mountain View High School. She was the first African American to attend JSA Summer School at Stanford in 1964.
Pamela D. Jones was the first African American graduate in 1968 from the Stanford Medical School for X-Ray Technicians. She holds a B.A. in Career and Technical Studies (CTS) and M.A. in Workforce Development from CSU Sacramento.
I was born in another country and I am a naturalized citizen of the United States. As a California credentialed teacher, it is my honor to teach U.S. Citizenship to adults who are immigrants and seek to realize their American Dream: to become U.S. citizens. I make sure that in preparing them to take their examination, interview and oath of loyalty to the USA, they understand fully what this country offers them through the greatest document written: The U.S. Constitution. In its first 3 words, “We the People”, the nation guarantees freedom to all those living in the USA. Along with the privileges come the responsibilities of being involved in defending our democracy with our vote.
As a U.S. citizen by choice, in 1991 I accepted the call for help and became an elected public servant for 12 years becoming a Trustee for the Jefferson Elementary School District. Sharing my experience as an immigrant contributed in making better decisions at the Board table. I was able to communicate bilingually (English/Spanish) with community members who needed help in speaking to authority and, thus, impact decision-making through better understanding. Systemic change happens naturally when leaders become aware of the diversity of families coming from other nations and cultures, when all of us are willing to learn and contribute to a better life.
I believe that: “Immigrants bring their greatest wealth to the United States: themselves.”
Linda’s community involvement started with sports organizations, coaching soccer and Little League Baseball; serving as President of Pony Colt Baseball; also involved in PTA, Foster City Chamber of Commerce and served on the city’s Parks & Recreation committee for 8 years. She served on the Foster City Council in 2003, serving for 8 years, 2 years as Mayor and represented Foster City on key County Boards and Committees. She served with the League of California Cities on their State Transportation & Public Works Committee as well as President of their Peninsula Division. She served on the County Commission on the Status of Women and served as President. Currently she serves on the County Congestion Management Board and the Hillbarn Theatre Board. She continues her political involvement by serving on the Board of Women’s Community Leadership Network and the advisory board of WIRE. Linda is currently President of the Italian American Women’s Guild in San Mateo and started a new business.
Alicia Carmen Aguirre is an elected official and educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is an elected member of the City Council in the City of Redwood City where she has served as both Vice Mayor and Mayor. She is the first Latina Mayor in the history of Redwood City. She also served as a Trustee and the President of the Redwood City Elementary School Board prior to joining the City Council.
Alicia is the daughter of immigrant parents from Mexico, first generation to graduate from college, proud mother of two young men with three grandchildren.
For more information please visit her website at www.aliciaaguirre.com
Sue Digre, former General Education Teacher, present Family Support Services & Advocacy Department Director .
Sue chose to run for Pacifica City Council when none of the candidates expressed the points of view of many residents that she knew. She was considered an “unknown”. She came in 4th place and became “known.” Sue won election in 2002 and was re-elected for a total of four consecutive terms. Pacifica has term limits and Sue termed out in Dec. 2018.
Sue is still a very active resident and is honored to be serving on the Women Community Leadership Network to encourage more women to step forward and serve their Communities
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