Why are you a strategist for good?
“When I was a kid, I was very interested in race and identity. My father, who grew up in segregated Mississippi, would tell stories about the treatment of blacks in the south. He would talk about his participation in student protests and marches. My mom and uncles, Salvadorian nationals, would tell stories of the horrors they saw during the civil war. Learning about the unfair hurdles people of color face is what led me to the social justice movement. I studied communications in college so I would be able to articulate the stories of marginalized people to a broad audience.”
What good have you done that you’re proudest of?
“I spent 5 years interning at Youth Radio in Downtown Oakland. While there, I had the great opportunity to collaborate with peers to produce media on a range of issues. I am proud of the radio show my colleagues and I put together on the shooting death of Oscar Grant by a BART police officer including roundtable discussions and commentaries on the officer’s trial to the effects of negative images of black people in the media.”
Who is your intellectual crush?
“So many people come to mind. Ultimately I’d have to say Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. The work they’ve done to build the DemocracyNow! platform for progressive and social justice leaders is inspiring. They have dedicated their lives to helping end the plight of marginalized peoples by providing authentic and uncensored daily news and information. Honorable mentions: Huey P. Newton, Kwame Ture, Angela Davis, Patricia Hill Collins, and Marcus Garvey.”
What are people surprised to learn about you?
“People are always surprised to learn my racial background. I’ve been asked the ‘what are you?’ questions as long as I can remember. I am always proud to tell them that my dad is a black man from Mississippi and my mom a Latina born in El Salvador.”
What’s your superpower?
“Communication skills. I’m a real people person, I like listening to people and finding deeper meaning in their words. I like bringing people together that can help each other. I also enjoy getting the message out to the right audience. Communicator, connector, and messenger, that’s me.”