April 22, 2015

Our Board

 

Kazu Haga
Kingian Non-Violence Trainer Founder of East Point Peace Academy
Kazu Haga is a nonviolence trainer and founder of the East Point Peace Academy in Oakland, California. East Point Peace Academy is an organization working to create a peaceful society through Kingian Nonviolence. Kazu is a Level II Kingian Nonviolence trainer who moved to the United States as a child. At age 17, he embarked on a 1.5-year journey across the US and South Asia, studying nonviolence while living in temples with a Buddhist order committed to peace and justice. He has since been involved with many organizations and movements. Prior to joining PPWN, Kazu worked at the Peace Development Fund for over 10 years, where he left as Program Director. Through his work with PPWN, he conducts trainings in prisons and jails, high schools and colleges, with youth groups and activists around the country. His passion is creating peace through just means by working with youth and with communities that have been hard hit by violence. Kazu currently serves as a Board member for Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ), PeaceWorkers and the OneLife Institute. He reflects “I believe that those working for peace need to have the same levels of commitment, training, strategy and discipline that the military invests into war. The military trains its leaders at WestPoint. EastPoint will serve as a counter to that.”
Dr. Angela Irvine
Senior Fellow at Impact Justice. Founder and Principal, Ceres Policy Research
Dr. Angela Irvine FOUNDER AND PRINCIPAL, CERES POLICY RESEARCH Angela Irvine, PhD, has more than 20 years’ experience in education and social policy. Raised in Santa Cruz County, CA, Angela earned her BA from UC Berkeley in 1984, her secondary teaching credential from St. Mary’s College of California in 1985, and her PhD in sociology from Northwestern University in 2002 while simultaneously serving as a National Science Fellow (NSF) in public policy and program evaluation. She has served as the principal investigator of a national study of youth deincarceration; a national study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning, gender nonconforming and transgender (LGBQ/GNCT) young people in the youth justice system; a project to improve permanency for LGBT youth and youth of color within the criminal justice and youth justice systems; a survey of every detention hall, ranch, and camp in California to understand statewide pathways into the youth justice system for LGBT young people; and a National Institute of Justice researcher-practitioner partnership grant in Santa Cruz County to determine whether structured decision-making instruments used by adult probation departments can lead to more equitable probation outcomes for Latinos and women. She worked for four years as the director of criminal justice research at the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and two years as a Vice President at Impact Justice. In 2017, she returned to Ceres to leverage her experience at national policy research companies to support the expanded influence of grass-roots organizations.
Anne Butterfield Weills, Esq.
Civil Rights Attorney at Siegel and Yee
Anne Butterfield Weills has been a civil rights and equity activist since she was a teen. One of the first organizers of the women’s liberation movement in the SF Bay Area, Weills has worked as a union organizer for the International Longshoreman and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the International Garment Workers Union (IGWU). Weills also taught women’s studies at Antioch College’s San Francisco campus until she was fired for helping students organize their strike against excessive student fees and inadequate standards of instruction. Weills worked for Caterpillar Tractor in San Leandro from 1977 to 1982 as a machinist, was a union activist and an Executive Board member of the International Association of Machinists (IAM), Local 284. After Caterpillar closed its San Leandro plant, Weills went to law school and received her law degree from the Golden Gate University Law School in San Francisco in 1988. Since graduating, she has specialized in employment discrimination law, especially in academia, representing both faculty and students. She has represented many people fighting gender bias, intimidation and racial discrimination and harassment. In her current practice, Weills handles wrongful termination, civil rights and employment cases. Weills was a member of the American Association of University Women’s (AAUW) Legal Advocacy Fund’s (LAF) Advisory Committee for six years. (The Advisory Committee is responsible for reviewing applications nationally and recommends potential plaintiffs for LAF support.) Weills is married, has two sons and a grandson and has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since she was five years old.
Cinthya Muñoz Ramos
Legislative Director, Causa Justo/Just Cause
Cinthya’s political involvement began in Sacramento, CA, where, as a high school student, she organized against the criminalization of young people of color by school officials and the police. She became involved in the immigrant rights movement and was instrumental in organizing the student walkouts, community forums and marches that were part of the massive immigrant rights strikes of May 1, 2006. Cinthya began work at St. Peter’s Housing Committee in 2007 as part of SOUL Summer School program for young organizers. In addition to her tenant and immigrant rights work at St. Peter’s, Cinthya has been involved in various grassroots campaigns in the Bay Area. She is the Legislative Director at Causa Justa :: Just Cause and co-chairs ACUDIR: Alameda County United In Defense of Immigrant Rights, a coalition fighting to defend and advance rights for all immigrants. Cinthya is an alumni of the Women’s Policy Institute, and a recipient of the Fellowship for a New California.
Jack Bryson
Community Activist and Member of SEIU 1021
Jack Bryson was an unlikey community activist who became a spokesman in the national spotlight after December 31, 2008 when his two sons Jackie Jr. and Nigel were detained at the Fruitvale BART station platform and witnessed the murder of their longtime childhood friend, Oscar Grant by BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle. Since that time Jack has been a passionate advocate, public speaker, and activist on police accountability, racial profiling, economic justice, non-violence, and social change. Jack has been a bridge to connect labor unions to social justice causes that impact working class families. He has also dedicated much of his time and energy to supporting families coping with trauma due to violence.
David Muhammad
Executive Director, National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform
David Muhammad is a leader in the fields of criminal justice, violence prevention, and youth development. Mr. Muhammad is the National Justice Partner at Impact Justice, a national research and innovation organization based in Oakland, CA. David serves as a lead consultant and technical assistant provider to the Sierra Health Foundation’s Positive Youth Justice Initiative, supporting four probation departments throughout the State of California to transform their juvenile justice practice. David provides leadership and technical assistance to the CeaseFire Violence Reduction Strategy in the cities of Oakland and Stockton, California. Mr. Muhammad is the federal court appointed monitor overseeing reforms in the Illinois juvenile justice system and a member of the Antelope Valley Monitoring Team. The former Chief Probation Officer of the Alameda County (California) Probation Department, David oversaw 20,000 people on probation, a staff of 600, and a $90 million budget. Mr. Muhammad formerly served as the Deputy Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Probation and was responsible for overseeing 35,000 people on probation and a staff of 800. He previously served as the Chief of Committed Services for Washington DC’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS). His responsibilities at DYRS included 300 staff, a $42 million annual budget, a juvenile institution, and 900 youth committed to his department’s care.
Francis Guzman, Esq.
Director, California Juvenile Justice Initiative
Francis (“Frankie”) V. Guzman is a Soros Justice Fellow at the National Center for Youth Law, Oakland, CA. He is working to reduce the practice of prosecuting and incarcerating children in California’s adult criminal justice system and advocating for alternative sentencing and local treatment for youth charged with serious offenses. Guzman was born in Ventura County and raised by his immigrant, single mother. As a teen, Guzman struggled with gangs, drugs and crime. When he was 15 years old, Guzman was arrested and tried for armed robbery and sentenced to 15 years in the California Youth Authority. After serving six years of his sentence, he was released on parole, enrolled in Oxnard College and later transferred to UC Berkeley, where he earned a BA in English. At UC Berkeley, Frankie coordinated work of dozens of interns and organized statewide outreach and informational recruitment visits for thousands of low-income high school and community college students. Guzman attended UCLA School of Law, enrolled in the Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy. There, he served as Co-President of La Raza Law Students Association and Pacific Regional Director of the National Latino Law Students Association. He has worked at the Prison Law Office, Public Counsel Law Center, National Center for Youth Law, and the Greenlining Institute. Guzman is the recipient of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans and the Outstanding Achievement Award from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Justice. Guzman currently serves on the Board of Legal Services for Children in San Francisco, California.
George Galvis
Executive Director of CURYJ
George Galvis, CURYJ Co-Founder and Executive Director, has for more than two decades promoted restorative justice and healing to address the violence plaguing Bay Area communities. Galvis draws upon his experience and indigenous roots to help young people, particularly those involved in the criminal justice system, become future community leaders. Born and raised in the Bay Area, Galvis moved frequently with his mother and sister to escape domestic violence. As a young man, Galvis felt racially targeted, and as a form of rebellion, he was drawn into street life and consequently was incarcerated at the age of 17 and charged with multiple felonies for his involvement in a drive-by shooting. These experiences led him to his commitment to elevate the voice and power of those impacted by violence and poverty. A tireless advocate for at-risk youth, prisoners and formerly imprisoned individuals with children, Galvis has been a leader in statewide advocacy to transform punitive school discipline and juvenile justice policies that disparately impact youth of color. He developed traditional rites of passage programs as healthy alternatives to gang violence using culturally and spiritually based approaches to supporting and strengthening individuals, families and communities. As a board member of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, Galvis helped create All of Us or None, a grassroots movement of formerly incarcerated activists fighting for the rights of those formerly and currently incarcerated and their families. Fundamentally opposed to gang injunctions as both ineffective and destabilizing, Galvis was a leader of the Stop the Injunctions Coalition, which successfully prevented Oakland’s 2010 gang injunction from being fully implemented. Galvis has presented at a wide range of communities, schools, juvenile detention centers, prisons, universities, and conferences throughout the United States and abroad, including the United Nations. Galvis holds both a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies and a Master’s in City Planning from UC Berkeley where he was a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow. He has been honored by the Bay Area News Group and Comcast as a “Hometown Hero” and is a 2013 recipient of the California Peace Prize from The California Wellness Foundation.
Alicia K. Olivarez
Senior Associate of Movement Strategy Center
Alicia leads a regional strategy to build the capacity of youth organizing and youth serving partners in the Central Valley. Alicia also provides leadership and support on several statewide youth strategic initiatives and convening. Originally from the Central Valley of California, her early experiences with poverty and violence have served as her main motivation to be a leader and advocate in communities fighting for liberation. After receiving her B.A. from UC Berkeley, she worked for a social-impact Bay Area non-profit, Urban Strategies Council. During her time there, she partnered with leading Bay Area advocates on issues that ranged from criminal justice to education reform. In 2015, Alicia received her Masters from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where she served as a Taubman Center for State and Local Government fellow studying political and economic development.
Rosa Aqeel J.D.
Associate Director at Policylink
Rosa Aqeel is an Associate Director at PolicyLink, and works with the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color. Prior to joining PolicyLink, Rosa worked for PICO California, a statewide faith-based community organizing network, where she shaped the legislative agenda as the Statewide Legislative Director for the preceding two years. Rosa is proud to have co-led a statewide campaign to get AB 953 signed into law last year, a bill that will collect information on racial profiling by law enforcement from across the state. She also walked 285 miles, from Sacramento to Bakersfield, in 2013, as part of the Campaign for Citizenship for the 11 million aspiring Americans. Rosa has also worked in the Labor Movement for nearly 10 years, and has organized workers in California, Oregon and Washington State. Even though Rosa has a J.D. from UC Davis School of Law, she knew early on that she had no desire to practice law, and so pursued a career in organizing. Her work with the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color is her passion, and is blessed and grateful to work with incredible community organizers from across the state that share a common vision to improve the life outcomes of Boys and Men of Color.