Aja Minor is an educator with varied experience in social justice organizations from London to the San Francisco Bay Area. She dedicated her time to sharing Global, Human Rights and Popular Education curriculum with educational institutions across the world. Aja is a self professed Nerd, and was fueled to create social change through her study of International Studies, Music, Anthropology and Migration. She has worked with the Anti-Slavery International, Women of Color Resource Center, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Global Exchange and Bay Area Community Resources. She is passionate about providing low-income youth of color with access to global education and ensuring global education is critical and socially responsible!
aManda was raised between the Bay Area and Rio, Brazil. Since 2002 she has been involved in various arts and environmental educational programs in Santa Fé, Oakland, Bahia Brazil and Southern India. In this time she has used collective art initiatives, ecological education and permaculture as a way to create dialog and exchange learning and experience across cultural divide. In 2006 aManda received her B.A. in Culture, Ecology and Sustainable Communities from New College of California. She recently received a MBA in Sustainable Enterprise (Green MBA) from Dominican University driven by the belief that the current paradigm of ‘development’ can be transformed into one that is valued based on ecological regeneration and social equity. She currently serves as the Co-Director of Youth SEED (Social Entrepreneurship for Equitable Development) a youth leadership organization based in Oakland California. firstname.lastname@example.org
Gerardo is a Food Justice healer, cultural activist, facilitator, musician, and inner-resilience educator. Gera coordinates cultural empowerment and activism that empowers youth and families to increase community vitality, create equitable food systems, and energize our shift to harmonious living. He is Co-director of Rooted in Community, a network of young leaders from communities of color and low-income rural areas that amplifies the creative power of youth for transforming culture and advancing food justice nationally. In addition, Gerardo offers strategic planning, leadership development, and facilitation to grassroots organizations in the U.S. and abroad. He facilitates a range of workshops in inner-resilience through expressive arts, movement, meditation, and healing ritual. Gera is a practitioner of healing arts based in Mexican tradition, Chinese acupressure, and weaves his offerings for boosting our movements of peace, healing, power and justice. He has been recognized and supported by the San Francisco Foundation’s 5 year Koshland Civic Unity Fellowship and the Art of Living Foundation City Leadership Corp. Gerardo graduated from Colorado State University and is based in Oakland, CA where he studies and plays indigenous flute and drums.
Joshua received his Bachelors in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he became involved as a student-activist. He was the Organizing Director for a key campaign to obtain more funding for student initiated outreach efforts to low income students of color in California. The campaign was successful, and gave birth to rich programming and more opportunities for organizing through alliance. After college, he began working with young people in Oakland and San Francisco in the areas of workforce development, academic counseling, music & media and advocacy. Joshua is a San Francisco native and takes a lot of pride in his experience with the diverse communities of the entire Bay Area. He has a vision of inspiring young people to become soldiers in the face of inequality by coaching them to love, be critical, and to never become adjusted to injustice. Joshua is also a hip-hop artist, and believes that music is essential to understanding and uplifting our people.
Kelley Abraham, began working with the “Todos: Sherover Simms Alliance Building Institute” co-leading anti-oppression and alliance building workshops for young people and adults around race, gender, class, heterosexism, and ageism in 2001. She went on to develop and facilitate workshops using the “Todos” model independently for small groups and organizations committed to surfacing and uprooting institutional, interpersonal, and personal oppressive cultures and practices. She has been engaged in youth and community development work since 1999. She has a Master of Arts in Teaching from Bard College and Bachelor of Arts in History from San Francisco State University. She is a proud alumni of all four the Peralta Colleges where she began her college career. She is a part of the White Noise Collective, and is currently co-leading Camp Little Notch’s, Girls Program as Camp Director.
Levana develops strategic methodology, curriculum and training projects to support movement building with the Movement Strategy Center. Over the last 17 years she has trained and facilitated thousands of children, youth and adults. As a youth activist, she served as the North American Advisor to the United Nations Environment Programme, co-founded the Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Youth Alliance and facilitated international gatherings with Youth for Environmental Sanity. Later (as an adult) she taught Ecopedagogy, an arts-based form of popular education for ecological justice at the University of São Paulo in Brazil and helped organize the World Education Forum while working with the Paulo Freire Institute. At Rainforest Action Network, she developed a national climate education program for children and youth and worked on agribusiness and global finance campaigns. She left RAN to re-focus on her passion for popular education, working to support Youth-Led Participatory Action Research projects with Youth In Focus, and then starting Practicing Freedom. She also currently blogs and facilitates anti-racism trainings and dialogues with the White Noise Collective.
Tele’jon is a political educator, facilitator, poet and Theater of the Oppressed Joker. He began working with his peers as a youth leader at 15 with the Mosaic Project. For two years he wrote and performed Spoken Word poetry with Youth Speaks about the struggles that come with being a young person in Oakland. As a participatory action researcher with the Heal the Streets program of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Tele’jon investigated the Oakland Police Department and racial profiling. In his second year with Heal the Streets he helped facilitate a YPAR process to find community based solutions to the root causes of violence. Currently, he facilitates and jokers with Bay Peace, around issues of militarism and the school to prison pipeline. In addition, he writes and facilitates dialogue with REBYL, a youth group he co-founded.
Zara Zimbardo, MA, received her Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and Social Transformation from California Institute of Integral Studies, and has a B.A. in Religious Studies from UC Berkeley. For the last fifteen years she has been a body-based therapist both in private practice and community health centers. She was the producer of an award-winning alternative current events television series highlighting grassroots movements for social and environmental justice, and has developed critical media literacy workshops, presentations, and curricula in collaboration with a wide range of schools throughout the Bay Area, from elementary to graduate level. As a member of the National Council of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the nation’s oldest interfaith peace organization, she has worked in solidarity with nonviolent activists resisting militarism in the U.S., Israel/Palestine and Colombia. Currently she participates with various anti-racism programs, including the White Noise Collective that she co-founded, as a facilitator using critical dialogue and Theatre of the Oppressed, a form of community-based education that uses theatre exercises as tools for transformation. Ongoing research interests include the politics of representation; Islamophobia; collective memory; U.S. militarism; and nonviolent social movements.
Coming upUPCOMING EVENTS
Currently none scheduled
April 28, 6:30 PM PRESENTATION: Action Research Community Reception and Recognition, AERA conference. In the Grand Ballroom East, Grand Hyatt, San Francisco
Oct 6,7 WORKSHOP: Theater of the Oppressed 101 at the Center for Political Education, San Francisco. A follow up to Popular Education 101.
May 16,23 WORKSHOP: Participatory Action Research for educators and organizers at the Center for Political Education, San Francisco. Registration is open here: www.politicaleducation.org
June 3 WORKSHOP: From Forum to Action; Participatory Action Research grounded in Theater of the Oppressed At the Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed Conference, Berkeley. Register here: http://www.ptoweb.org/
dates tbd, 11:00-5:00 April 28-31 WORKSHOP: "Practices in Youth-Led and Theater-Based Participatory Action Research" & PRESENTATION: Youth-Led Action Research to Heal the Streets 9th Annual Action Research Conference at the UCSD’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences San Diego, CA
March 28-31 WORKSHOP: "Exploring the Intersections of Whiteness and Femaleness" White Privilege Conference Albuquerque, NM
Feb 21, 6:00-9:00pm White Noise Dialogue to explore why so many people socialized as white and female are in helping professions. San Francisco.
Feb 27 & March 3, 11:00-5:00 WORKSHOP: Popular Education 101: Theories and Practices for organizers. At the Center for Political Education, San Francisco. A remixed and re-offered version of Paulo Freire 101 offered last Spring.
Oct 15, 10:30-12:00 Neighborhood Safety Summit, Laney College, Oakland. Last year's Heal the Streets youth fellows and OPD officers will talk about their mistrust of each other, and what to do about it.
Oct 18, 6:00-9:00 White Noise monthly dialogue, San Francisco. People socialized as both white and female talk about Cultural Appropriation www.conspireforchange.org
July 21 Chicago, IL, PTO conference Workshop: Harvesting Knowledge for Collective Action: Youth-Led Participatory Action Research at the Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed Conference
July 23, 24, 30, 31 @ 4pm San Juan Bautista, El Teatro Campesino Free Performance: Popol Vuh, Heart of Heaven
August 4-7, 2011 Portland, OR, Aero Conference 2 Workshops: Participatory Theater for Educators & Youth-Adult Partnerships: Practicing Youth-Led Participatory Action Research
September 3, 4, 5 @ 1pm San Juan Bautista, El Teatro Campesino Free Performance:Popol Vuh: Heart of Heaven, Seven Macaw & the Magic Twins