Calvin Williams

Calvin Williams has worked over the past 10 years in the field of leadership development and organizing. He found his calling in advancing an equity agenda for youth of color, their families and their communities across issues of public health, education, employment and civic engagement. Calvin is the Program Coordinator for the Oakland Boys and Men of Color initiative at the Urban Strategies Council, partnership of systems leaders, organizations and individuals committed to improving outcomes for young men of color through policy advocacy and systems reform on the issues of education, criminal and juvenile justice, and employment / workforce development. Prior to joining the Council, he developed and launched the Health Equity Fellowship program as part of an innovative partnership between The Greenlining Institute and California Endowment to build the next generation of health leaders in the philanthropic and nonprofit sector. He also served as a BMOC Fellow for The California Endowment in partnership with the 2011 – 2012 National Urban Fellows program. Calvin received his BA in Political Science at LaGrange College, Georgia and his MPA at City University of New York, Baruch College School of Public Affairs. He now resides in Oakland, CA.

Holly Roberson

Holly Roberson has spent the last fifteen years starting, managing, and supporting social enterprises. In her home state of Missouri, Holly established and grew three social enterprises: Terra Bella Farm, a 160-acre organic demonstration farm; Ragtag Cinema, an independent film house and bar/café; and Uprise Bakery, an organic bakery/gallery. In 2004, Holly left Missouri and moved to New York City to co-convene two multi-year projects involving young leaders and social change. Holly joined Ashoka::Innovators for the Public in 2007, and focused on bringing the work of Ashoka, its fellows and the field of social entrepreneurship, to the Bay Area. Since leaving Ashoka in 2011, Holly has worked with YES! to facilitate groups of young leaders who are working together to create just and living economies. Holly is a mama to two awesome little boys, James (5) and Eli (2).

Robert Girling

Robert Girling has been a Professor in the School of Business at Sonoma State University since 1976. Prior to arriving at SSU he served as an economic planner for the Government of Jamaica, taught at the University of the West Indies and at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil. Dr. Girling received his Ph. D. in International Development Education from Stanford University; M.A. in Economics from the University of Essex in England and B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He has worked as a consultant with the World Bank, the United Nations, the Pan American Health Organization, USAID, the Inter-American Development Bank and the OAS. He is author of Education: Management and Participation (Allyn and Bacon, 1991) Multinational Institutions and the Third World (Praeger, 1985) and Gestao Participativa [DP&A Editora, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 1998) as well as over 50 articles and monographs.

Emmanuel Matthews

A Northeastern University graduate with a B.S. in Psychology and Business Development. Focusing primarily on customer experience and go to market strategy, I have developed a knack for understanding consumer and stakeholder psychology while developing and re-architecting processes that allow organizations and processes to scale with core business growth. I am currently a member of the Google Fiber team seeking to reinvent customer support experiences in the internet service provider sector. Moreover, I am passionate about bridging the chasm in representation between minority communities and tech related fields. In my spare time I volunteer as a Big Brother as a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters, as a Mentor Lead at East Bay College Fund, and as an independent career and professional development consultant.

Johhnathan Hill

A Youth Venture alumni and former facilitator who developed Farm Fresh Choice, an organic catering business.  I have been working in the non-profit sector for 8 years. I graduated for SFSU, and am currently working in the Medical/Food Justice field.

Sharmila Singh

Sharmila combines her keen marketing insight with her unflagging passion for engaging communities in social change to drive teams in the U.S. and internationally. Sharmila’s clients have included Google Sustainability, B Corp, Goodwill Industries, HUB Amsterdam, and the San Francisco Bay Area Green Chamber of Commerce. She specializes in identifying strategic, revenue-bearing relationships for entrepreneurial companies in new markets, defining product value points, and identifying potential customer bases for successful market entry. She serves on the advisory board for Bay Area Green Tours, an organization that educates and encourages youth and professionals to incorporate environmental responsibility and social justice in their personal lives. In her spare time, Sharmila is a teaching assistant for the Sustainable Products and Design course at the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. She has an M.B.A. in Sustainable Management from the Presidio School of Management and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin—Madison in addition to program certifications from the Haas School of Business at the University of California—Berkeley.

Konda Mason

Konda honed her business leadership skills as a Grammy winning artist manager in London, an Academy Award nominated film producer in Hollywood, and an Off Broadway hit theater producer in New York…just to name a few. Turning her attention to sustainable personal and global living solutions, Konda partnered with actor Woody Harrelson and founded Yoganics, an organic food business in Los Angeles, where she successfully brought to market the first organic produce section in a major grocery store in the LA area. Additionally, Konda leads ecotourism trips to the Amazon rainforest and is a facilitator trainer for The Pachamama Alliance.  She is a partner in Earthseed Consulting, LLC, where she is producing/directing the web series “Green Street Loft”, a program aimed at deepening the connection of the African American community with land, place and the sustainability movement. She was a co-host for the Shift Network’s 2012 Season of Sustainability and is a Certified Permaculture Designer. Konda’s leadership style leverages her innate wisdom with tools of permaculture, sustainable business practices, yoga, storytelling, Buddhist theory, and Integral theory. A human equity advocate, prolific urban gardener, and social entrepreneur, Konda’s work is driven by the vision of realizing in her lifetime a genuinely just and sustainable world.

Raquel Pinderhughes

Raquel Pinderhughes is Professor and Chair of Urban Studies & Planning at San Francisco State University, where she teaches courses on urban environmental planning and policy and runs the department’s internship program. An activist scholar whose work focuses on improving quality of life and on economic empowerment opportunities for low-income people and inner-city communities, Dr. Pinderhughes has directed urban and environmental education programs for incarcerated and re-entry populations and developed green job training and popular education programs for low-income youth and adults throughout the country, including the Delancey Street Foundation College Program, which provides ex-convicts and substance abusers with an opportunity to get a college education. Dr. Pinderhughes is the creator of “Roots of Success”, an empowering environmental literacy and job readiness curriculum that uses innovative, non-traditional learning approaches to engage youth and adults who have struggled in school,increase their understanding of environmental issues and the green economy, strengthen their academic and labor markets skills, and inspire and prepare them to improve environmental conditions in their communities. “Roots of Success” is used in 35+ states and three countries. Dr. Pinderhughes’s landmark study on green collar jobs informs our understanding of how to harness green business growth to fight both pollution and poverty and provide pathways out of poverty to youth and adults with barriers to employment. The Green Jos Training Program Model she developed informed the development of green job training programs throughout the United States as well as Puerto Rico and the UK. Her training model helped shape the Pathways out of Poverty RFP and program funded with AARA dollars. Recent publications include: Alternative Urban Futures: Planning for Sustainable Development in Cities throughout the World; Equitable Green Development and Green Jobs in Richmond, CA (co-author); Making Green Work: Best Practices for Green Collar Job Training (contributing author) and; She is a co-author of a paper entitled “The Greening of Corrections: Creating a Sustainable System” jointly commissioned by the Federal Department of Corrections.

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