Welcome & Meet Our 2022 Fellows

DWJ Fellows 2023 | Cohort 7

Josephine Appiah | Tracey Enskip | Danielle Foehr | Haley Hester |  Cassandra James | Taylor Kimber |  Desiree Miller | Latrece Martin | Chrisel Martinez | Erika Neal | Sakeema Payne | Kalin Scott | Naomi Waters 


Josephine Appiah | Sacramento

Prior to working within consulting, Josephine served as an Adjunct Instructor of Applied Health Sciences at Johnson & Wales University. In addition to teaching, she has worked in county and state health and social services departments on public health outreach, health education, and chronic disease case management. She received her PhD in Health Services Research from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in August 2021 where her focus included monitoring access, cost, and effectiveness of various health services. Josephine also holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Texas A&M University, concentrating on Health Policy, Administration, and Nonprofit Management. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois, majoring in Community Health which inspired her passion for the health care system and working to advocate for vulnerable populations.


Tracey Enskip |  Alameda County

Tracey Enskip was empowered to pursue her talents and develop her attributes by becoming the one and only first generation college graduate in her family. Tracey’s path, lead her to earn her Bachelor of Arts in broadcast Electronic Communication Arts with a minor in World Music and Dance at San Francisco State University. Tracey has dedicated over 10 years to social justice work with community organizations such as Youth Together and East Side Arts Alliance. She has worked almost four years a private investigator and earned her CSI certificate in 2022. She plans to maintain her commitment to serve her community by seeking to obtain a career as a compliance officer for the Oakland Police Commission. She is passionate about the dance arts and continues to perform throughout the Bay Area while volunteering her time to teach Pilates. 


Danielle Foehr | San Joaquin County

Danielle Foehr is a mom of three spirited black boys who is actively involved in the educational system to ensure equity, services and resources are front and center and on the minds of public officials and educational leaders.  Danielle works for CBRE and brings 15+ years of helping small businesses, entrepreneurs in the mortgage brokers and loan processing industry with digital marketing and business development.  Danielle loves spending time in the outdoors with her husband and the boys and strategizing with her entrepreneurial family.


Haley Hester | Alameda County

An Oakland native, Haley works for the City of Oakland as a Policy Director to longtime BWOPA member Councilmember Treva Reid.  Haley is servant leader who loves empowering people, good food and priceless experiences.


Cassandra James | Vallejo / Solano County

Through my volunteer work with local community organizations, I have served youth & homeless in the City of Vallejo for almost 15 years. Implementing programs & building teams. Over the years, I have earned several certificates of recognition from local government & community agencies, as well as, the United State Senate. With a Bachelor’s of Art in History from Sacramento State University, I lead a career in retail management before joining the Vallejo City Unified School District. In 2017, I set out on a path to be self-employed.


Taylor Kimber | Fresno County

Taylor Kimber is a Communications Manager based in Fresno, California. Her area of focus is Social Media, maintaining Press and Media Relationships, and political communications for campaigns and local grassroots organizations. As Communications Manager she currently works for the Central Valley Community Foundation based in Fresno, California. Previously she has worked for clients like Access Plus Capital, The California Advocate Newspaper, and BWOPA (Black Women of Political Action).


Desiree Miller | Fresno County

As a new mother, creating a support system for African American families came naturally because of my connection with my daughter. However, I also realize that more connection is needed in our community. The cause of this disconnect is due to a lack of core essentials such as access to proper nutrition, education, and a supportive network for mothers so their infants and families can have the best chance of success, all while combating the persisting disparities.


Latrece MartinContra Costa County

Latrece is a single mother of three, grandmother of four and a minister who loves serving her community.  She 20+ years of experience as health aide and earned her degree in Addictive Studies, Criminal Justice, and Psychology.  

Chrisel Martinez | Alameda County

CHRISEL is a mission driven artistic director who fuses her political ideologies and grassroots understanding with her love for public programming. As a community engineer her work involves addressing systematic barriers and organizing channels for community engagement. Her curatorial work provides universal experiences that influence psychological impressions and shift individual and collective consciousness. Most recently, she curated a female-led cultural arts exhibition receiving a creative engagement grant through a cultural engine in Lower Manhattan. In 2021, Chrisel partnered with Road Trip Nation in a month-long cross-country documentary series where she interviewed prolific public servants throughout the US. As a critical thinker, a mindful advocate and a fighter for reform, Chrisel is driven by her first-generation upbringing. Having been raised by two immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic and in Harlem, New York – Chrisel’s vision towards societal justice was built in her early years. Addressing the impacts that low socioeconomic environments can have on first generation college students, she co-authored a book on addressing diversity within higher education. Ensuring access to the arts for historically underserved populations is integral to her impact and merging creative strategy to political solutions is how she maximizes her work.

Erika NealContra Costa County

Erika is a community organizer and spent three years engaging in cognitive decline reduction projects within the Bay Area as a public health consultant. Erika specializes in educating Black communities about Alzheimer's and Dementia to decrease prevalence and reduce our risk of late stage diagnosis. For 5 years my interest in health policy has grown and developed through degree programs, policy internships, and now community level projects. Erika strongly believes that new and old policies only work when the community is involved from the beginning.  Erika is a graduate of Virginia State University and continues her work in black health equity through the Bay Area Disparities Coalition.  She hopes to inspire more young professionals to find their voice through research and advocacy efforts.  


Sakeema Payne | Contra Costa County

Sakeema Payne is a video producer, editor, and business owner from Richmond, California. She owns Sakeema Payne Productions®, a video production company which specializes in creating commercial productions for businesses, non-profits, and educational institutions. Ms. Payne is a graduate of Contra Costa College and San José State University. She obtained her Associate of Arts Degree in Communications from CCC, and her Bachelors of Science in Advertising and a minor in Film and Media Production from SJSU. Ms. Payne is passionate about business, finance, and helping others succeed. She is a member of BWOPA Richmond/Contra Costa Chapter, The Black Film Guild of the Bay Area, and serves as an advisor on Contra Costa College’s Advisory Board for the Media Arts.

BLOG article on Economic Security


Kalin Scott | Inland Empire

Kailin Scott currently serves as the CEO/ Executive Director at Neighborhood Housing Services of the Inland Empire, an HUD approved affordable counseling agency and affordable housing developer. In this role, Kailin’s goal is to prompt a message of housing as a foundational necessity in order for any form of social support to be truly impactful.


Naomi Waters | Inland Empire

Naomi is a recent graduate of UC Riverside with aspirations to attend law school to study higher education and civil rights law. An industrious and determined leader, Naomi previously served as Vice Chair of the Racial Justice campaign for the UC Student Association create solutions to the  array of issues that both challenge and threaten the university and in particular Black students.  Post-secondary education in California produces a specific kind of insidiousness situated on the presumption of equity and inclusion and its undercutting Black advancement in and outside the academy.  


2022 // Cohort 6

Lauren Babb | Sacramento, CA

Health Fellow

Lauren Babb is a community leader and Vice President of Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, the largest affiliate in the country. She is a 2022 Dezie Woods Jones (DWJ) fellow and was a 2020 Women's Foundation of California Women's Policy Institute - State Fellow (SPI) on the reproductive health, rights, and justice team. She helped pass SB 1237: The Justice & Equity in Maternity Care Act. Lauren is a graduate of American University, the George Washington University School of Political Management, and the 2019 Class of Emerge California. She serves as the Chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, a SheShares mentor, and is on the board of directors for Contra Costa STAND! for Families Free of Violence, California Women's List, and was recently named by Women's Foundation California as one of "4 Black Policy Movers & Shakers You Should Know."

Micaela Stafford | Honolulu, HI

Education Fellow

Micaela Stafford is an educator and change-maker with a passion for public policy, educational and gender equity, social sustainability, and racial justice. A Sacramento native, Micaela graduated with an AA in Sociology from Folsom Lake College and a BA in Sociology with an emphasis in Critical Diversity and Social Justice from the University of San Francisco. Micaela has used her degree and experience as a queer Black woman to stand up for the new majority by working for organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the National Equal Justice Association (NEJA). She is currently a 3rd-grade teacher in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is excited to transition from advocating for children in the classroom to advocating for them and other historically disenfranchised groups at the policy legislative level.

Norlissa Cooper | Hayward, CA

Health Fellow

Norlissa Cooper, PhD, MSN, RN, earned her B.S. in nursing from the University of Rochester, her M.S. in nursing with a concentration in education from Georgetown, and her PhD in nursing with a concentration in health policy from the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Cooper works as a Registered Nurse at San Francisco General in San Francisco, California. She has over 13 years of experience in the acute care setting working as a bedside nurse, charge nurse, nurse educator, and continuing education committee co-chair. Dr. Cooper is the immediate past Registered Nurse Industry Chair for Service Employee International Union Local 1021. During her terms as RN Industry Chair, she advocated to improve standards of care for patients and working conditions for healthcare professionals. Dr. Cooper is also the immediate past Chapter President for the Lambda Chi Chi chapter of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Incorporated, a sorority of professional registered nurses. Under Dr. Cooper’s leadership the nurses of the Lambda Chi Chi chapter provided over 10,000 hours of health screenings and education to the residents of Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties. Dr. Cooper is passionate and committed to eliminating policies that create and/or reinforce health disparities and dismantling institutional and structural racism in health care.

De'Anna Miller | Elk Grove, CA

Black Women Empowerment Fellow

De'Anna Miller understands the power of policy as her southern-born, west coast-influenced background has uniquely shaped her opportunities. Inspired by parents who mobilized against the oppressive systems of the deep south, De'Anna led several initiatives to successfully expand education opportunities for underserved communities on the campus of the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she received a bachelor's degree in research psychology. Her equity-focused lens has contributed to international, federal, and state policies where she has developed an expertise in analysis. Currently, De'Anna works within the California State Senate. She continues to successfully staff laws and manage a portfolio on issues related to banking and financial institutions, human services, education, women, childcare, aging, long-term care, and health.

Ayana Best | Los Angeles, CA

Criminal Justice Fellow

Ayana Best is a doctoral candidate in the Political Science and International Relations Department at the University of Southern California graduating this Spring. She is currently a Race and Ethnic Predoctoral Fellow at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Her research primarily focuses on the effects of state-sanctioned violence on Black women’s political participation and civic engagement. Her dissertation argues that Black women possess a stronger sense of collective consciousness through their shared experiences and are more likely to mobilize against police violence because of the threat it poses to themselves and more importantly, their loved ones. Ayana earned her B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside. She previously held a research position at the USC Center for Feminist Research, working on projects addressing homelessness for women of color in California.

Jessica Travenia | Richmond, CA

Economic Security Fellow

Jessica Travenia is a Bay Area native living in Richmond, a cultural strategist, who has dedicated her career to supporting justice by eliminating barriers. Jessica seeks to bring the voices of the most impacted to the table by amplifying the voices of those with lived experience in policy development, and by ensuring they remain at the forefront of the solution and oversight. To Jessica, the heart of system change is always the people who are most vulnerable and policy change is about shifting narratives and moving resources. Over the years, she has supported initiatives and coalition work around public education, voter education and mobilization, health access, and equity in various capacities. Currently, she works with the West Contra Costa Public Education Fund as the Program Director of the Richmond Rapid Response Fund, mobilizing resources and convening collaborative strategies for root -cause- place -based- solutions for community stabilization, including guaranteed income and anti-gentrification programming. She is also a member of the Sacred Rivers Institute SuSu for BIQTPOC artists working to make the movement irresistible.

Dr. Kerby Lynch | Fairfield, CA

Economic Security Fellow

Dr. Kerby Lynch is a critical Black studies scholar of human geography, political economy, and intellectual history. Kerby holds a BA in African American Studies with a concentration in Gender and Sexuality and most recently completed her Ph.D. in Geography, both from the University of California at Berkeley. Kerby's dissertation was titled "In the (After) Life: Black Queer Spatialities under Regimes of Displacement, 1963-1989," which surveyed the spatial practice of redlining in San Francisco during the 1950s until the 1980s. The focal point of Kerby's research aims to understand how political and economic determinants of the urban inform Black queer subjectivity in the city. Kerby currently serves as a Program Manager for Ceres Policy Research and conducts community-based research on community reinvestment, Afri-centric public health models, and gender-based state violence.

Zephanii Smith Eisenstat | Honolulu, HI

Black Women Empowerment Fellow

A native of Stockton, California, Zephanii has lived on three continents and served as a political appointee, public speaker, consultant, or civil society representative working to advance civil rights, human rights, and sustainable development across the globe. With a  Bachelor of Arts in Government from Claremont McKenna College and a Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Leadership from the University of the Pacific, Zephanii’s public service career spans working in each of the branches of government and at every level of governance. While working at Ceeds of Peace and producing The Bravethrough Series podcast, she volunteers her time to several boards including: the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth, the Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaii, the NAACP Foundation, and the U.S. United Nations Association's World Federation of U.N. Associations (WFUNA) Committee. 

Charmaine E. Betty-Singleton | Sacramento, CA

Criminal Justice Fellow

Charmaine E. Betty-Singleton aka CBS, best-selling and award-winning author, advocate, veteran, entrepreneur, designer, attorney, transformational coach, and international speaker extraordinaire, is the CEO/Owner of is the CEO/Owner of Thy Kingdom Come International, Inc, a non-profit dedicated to social justice and educational endeavors and PTK Enterprises LLC, a business focused on supporting other business owners, community activism, and empowering individuals to greatness.  Additionally, she is the owner of Victorious Vibes radio station housed on SIBN. Charmaine is an avid lover of God and all people. She attributes her success first to God, and then to her parents and mentors, one of which is the late Dr. Myles Munroe. Charmaine strongly believes that with God ALL things are possible and wishes to “die empty” successfully fulfilling ALL that God has called her to do. Charmaine is a native of Kingston, Jamaica, and refers to Queens, New York as home. Charmaine currently lives in Sacramento, California.

Germaine Renee Davis | Oakland, CA

Economic Security Fellow

Born and raised in West Oakland, Germaine is the eldest sibling of eight.  She is celebrating 38 years of marriage with five (5) sons.  Professionally, Germaine works for Oakland Private Industry Council, Inc. and has ben recently promoted as the "Assistant One-Stop Operator and Events Coordinator.  An innovator by nature, Germaine's mantra created form her experience when communicating with employers - "ONE EMPLOYER, ONE PERSON, ONE JOB AT A TIME".  Germaine is an avid event coordinator and organized one of the largest Oakland job fairs with 52 employers and close to 1,000 attendees. In 1999, Germaine was recognized by the Coalition of 100 Black Women receiving the "Momentum Award" during their annual Madame CJ Walker Luncheon.

Ayana Cruz |Oakland CA

Black Women Empowerment Fellow

Ayana Cruz (27) earned her Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies, with an emphasis in Behavioral and Social Sciences Emphasis, from San Francisco State University. Ayana works as an Administrative Coordinator at a non-profit organization called Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency where she works with those who are formerly incarcerated. As an Oakland native, Ayana has a passion for supporting her community through overall health, wellness, and education. Ayana is a proud mother of a 5 year old girl and owner of a natural skincare line which will soon be expanding into a business which focuses on overall health and wellness for people of color. She enjoys traveling with her friends and family, and experiencing new cuisines.


Damaris Bronner | Oakland, CA

Black Women Empowerment Fellow

The native San Franciscan, Damaris' community influenced her community to be a changemaker.  From a young age, she had a deep respect and love for the people around her and wanted to ensure that her career revolved around this compassion. This was most noticeable while at Mission High School where she was a part of BSU, Student Advisory Council, and even the debate team where she spoke about social justice initiatives.  Damaris attended Notre Dame de Namur University as a double major in English and Political Science with a minor in Africana Studies.  While at NDNU, she continued to cultivate her passion in leadership and held the position as Senator for the College of Arts & Sciences, BSU President and volunteered with local community-based organizations.  Due to her school closures, Damaris started her journey as an Education Coordinator with Foodwise, local non-profit.  Excited to join the DWJ Fellowship cohort, she plans to engage and heighten her skills as a community advocate and continue learning what it means to be a leader. 

Kiana Fleming | St. Louis, MO

Education Fellow

Kiana Fleming is a St. Louis native, holding a MSc. in Global Media and Communications from the University of Southern California and the London School of Economics and Political Science. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Spelman College.

Kiana currently serves as the City of Olivette, Missouri’s Communications Manager, leading the Public Affairs Department. Her values grow from personal experiences, education, and exposure to others bringing a consciousness and passion for equity, systems reform, and storytelling.

She is a 2020 Focus St. Louis Emerging Leaders graduate and previously worked in DEI at Washington University in St. Louis, media advocacy in San Francisco, and early childhood education where her interest in policy design and transformative change for children and their families blossomed.

She is a published writer, avid reader, lover of 60s soul, proud mama to several thriving house plants, and a Lebron James superfan.


2020 DWJ Public Policy Leadership Fellows


Iris Crawford | SF Bay Area

Health Fellow 2020


Iris is a poet, journalist and social justice advocate hailing from New York City. Her journey has allowed her to empower communities through health care advocacy, education and environmental justice. In 2018, Iris was selected as a semi-finalist Fulbright Scholar for an English Teaching Assistantship in South Africa.  Currently, Iris is an independent journalist and credits her training from Oakland Voices out of Maynard Institute of Journalism Education. She is also a resident of the 2020 Shuffle Collective Literary Arts Residency where she is working to strengthen her creative work and process. She earned her BA in Political Philosophy and African American Studies from Syracuse University.

Patricia Foley | Davis 

Health Fellow 2020


Patricia Foley is a Californian who currently serves as a student advisor for adults with Autism. She brings her experience as a program manager and youth advocate to help support her staff and students. She has enjoyed traveling the world as a Gilman Scholar and currently serves as a board member for Lutheran Social Services in hopes of continuing to help bring visibility and equity within those realms. She is an avid reader and music lover who enjoys spending time traveling and learning through books, sharing laughs and experiences with friends. 

Armonee Jackson | Arizona

Civic Engagement Fellow 2020


Armonee Jackson, a recent Arizona State University grad, is a local activist and community organizer in Arizona who firmly advocates for those within her community and respective communities. Armonee currently serves as the State Conference Youth and College President for the NAACP in Arizona as well as the East Valley NAACP Women in NAACP Committee Chair. Since she can remember, Armonee has had a powerful voice that has never allowed for her concerns to be unheard. Her vision is to ensure that the voices of her people are heard because too often do the concerns within the black community go unheard and unrecognized.   

TaLynn Mitchell | Alameda County

Education Fellow 2020


Ta Lynn began her career in education as a Teach for America corps member in New Orleans and later went on to give students unique study abroad opportunities in places like Thailand through Thrival World Academies in Oakland. After serving as a Program Manager for Code nation in New York City for the past two years, to continue supporting youth in realizing their full potential by exposing them to new career pathways, she came back to the Bay Area to assume the role of Director of Programs. She holds a Bachelor's degree from American University. Ta Lynn is excited to be back in Oakland and in the culture and
community that taught her the value of diversity. 

2018 Fellow

Tatiana Neal | San Jose

Health/Science Fellow 2018


"During her undergraduate studies at UCLA, Tatiana focused on psychology, sociology, and public policy. These concentrations supplemented each other to generate an overarching comprehension of human development on an internal level, as well as the external forces that impact health and contribute to health disparities. She aspires to become a physician to directly provide equitable access to health care, preventative care, and health education in underserved communities. Ms. Neal also plans to provide service in communities by founding a nonprofit aimed to empower students to reach their academic and professional goals through the provision of mentorship, scholarships, and leadership development.


Tatiana is a Bay Area native and currently works in neuroscience research. She is pursuing her post-baccalaureate studies at UC Berkeley, with plans to matriculate into a dual degree medical school. Her interests include biopsychosocial science, research, law, policy, community advocacy, and eliminating disparities in STEM, higher education, and health."


Tatiana M. Neal


2017 Fellows



Danielle Driver Bellino

Danielle currently works for the Alameda County Public Health Department’s Black Infant Health Program for nearly a year and is in process of obtaining a certification as a breastfeeding specialist. 

A magna cum laude graduate from Hampton University is where I learned that I valued advocacy and empathy above all.   It was these beliefs that led me into the teaching profession for five years.  Since I believe every child deserves a competent educator, and later obtained my masters degree in special education from Lehman College during my first two years in the classroom.

The birth of my first child maneuvered me down the path to work to empower women prenatally.  The foundations of a strong community are strong families and my goal is to facilitate the knowledge that they need to truly thrive.

Proudly born in Bronx NY, raised in New Jersey, I now live with my husband and daughter in Oakland, CA with the vision to make an indelible impact on Black women and their families.


Tyffanie Wedding

Tyffanie Wedding is currently a fulltime student and will be transferring to Sacramento State University in the fall of 2017.  Ms. Wedding plans to graduate in 2018 with a bachelor’s of arts in ethnic studies and immediately enter law school where she will receive her Juris Doctorate.

She has always been a resource and an advocate for her peers and has recently transitioned into a new role as a crisis response advocate for a local nonprofit based out of Sacramento California known as WEAVE, Inc which serves woman, children and men who are victims of domestic violence, sex trafficking and sexual assault.

Ms. Wedding maintains an active role in the community with her volunteerism and advocacy work. As a graduate of Sacramento County’s 2016 District Attorneys Citizen's Academy and her current volunteer role as an outreach coordinator with the Critical Trauma Working Group of UC Berkeley she exemplifies the importance of community member involvement and education in effort to ameliorate disparities within  Juvenile Justice system and in society in all respects.


Danielle Motley

Danielle is a philanthropic and nonprofit professional with 10 years of cross-sectoral leadership experience and a strong commitment to social justice. She is dedicated to improving the quality of life for marginalized youth, families and persons impacted by the criminal justice system. Danielle’s personal life experiences and commitment to social justice has led to her dedication for improving their life outcomes through advocacy and the creation of constructive opportunities. Her talents are currently being used as Founder and Principal Consultant of The Motley Collective, a social impact consulting firm, where she works with organizations in the Bay Area and Metro Detroit on issues related to prisoner re-entry and public safety. 

Danielle is very active in her community and serves on numerous boards, including Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (Detroit) and FIERCE, an organization that provides young women with tools and resources that encourages and empowers them to reach their full potential. Danielle received her bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Wayne State University (Detroit) in 2005 and a master's in Public Administration at The University of Michigan. 


Chasitie Neal

Born and raised on the westside of Chicago, Illinois, Chasitie currently resides in Fresno, Ca where she envisions creating sustainable collaborative future for African American business owners and organizations to close the opportunities gap.

Chasitie Neal is the Principal Project Manager for iCAN Business and Marketing Solutions, a project management and training firm she founded in 2016.  She is highly involved in the community and currently serves as Program Director for the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce, and holds leadership roles with the United Negro College Foundation, Black Women Organized for Political Action, Fresno/San Joaquin Valley Chapter.

Chasitie earned her Bachelor of Art’s degree in Mediated Communication and Technology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC/ Fighting Illini), and is currently working on her Master of Art’s from Concordia University Chicago in Sports Management with a concentration on Organizational Leadership.  After completing her BA, she attended the Illinois Media School expanding on her interest in communicating effectively through the use of technology and media, such as video and audio broadcasting.  She holds a Certificate of Completion in Video, Audio, and Web Production. After starting her career off in Education and Media Communications, concurrently. 

2016 Fellows

THANK YOU TO OUR 2016 DWJ Cohort:  Nicole Henderson - Oakland, CA | Samara Rivers- Oakland, CA | Abigail Mariam - Oakland, CA | Ashley Michelle Chambers - Oakland, CA |Brittinee Phillips - Oakland, CA | Ashley Winston - Hayward, CA | Alegra D Angelo, Hayward, CA |Terra Doby, Hayward, CA | Amelia Neal, San Leandro, CA | Chrystal Ellis, San Leandro, CA | Davu Nuru Asli, Sacramento, CA | Camile Duria, Sacramento, CA | Dr. Fatima Sierre Alleyne, Richmond, CA | Jeanetta Minix, Richmond, CA | Garbralle Conroe, Fresno, CA | Erica Duggan, Concord, CA | Tamisha Walker, Antioch, CA | Delthia Mckinney, San Francisco, CA | Brittani Daniels, Los Angeles, CA | Jesika Bethea, Bayonne, New Jersey | Rachel Benjamin, Portland, OR | Michelle C. Kogolo, Bronx, NYC |  SENIOR FELLOWS | Simone Thelemaque | Daisy Ozim | Aishatu Yusuf | Charlette Viney | Shahidah Lacy | Nikki Thompson, Esq.



Alegra Angelo

23-year-old, Bay Area native, Alegra graduated from the University of Miami with a BA in Political Science.  Her introduction to public policy began during college as a volunteer with the Obama for America campaign. After a few weeks of volunteering, she was appointed Housing Coordinator where she led voter registration drives with my team. She served as a tutor in a local Miami community where she worked with young people to improve their reading comprehension skills. Immediately after graduation, Alegra served as an administrative assistant at St. Mary's Medical Center and in the finance department of Golden State overnight.  Currently she is employed at TPS Aviation in Hayward. 

Alegra is civic minded and continually seeks opportunities to further nurture her interest in public policy and community organizing.  She is a member of the task force where she is charged with the duty of encouraging environmentally friendly practices and engage in cleanup efforts within the city of Hayward. She also works part-time as an Independent Living Skills instructor where she works with the developmentally challenged.  Alegra enjoys running, going to the beach, and spending time with her family and friends.


Brittani Daniels

2016 DWJ Public Policy Fellow 

Even as a young student, Brittani took an active leadership role in her community. She held offices in school government, worked in community development programs, and served in neighborhood organizations.

Throughout her life, Brittani has held to the conviction that being a citizen comes with responsibility, as well as privilege, and that the country’s continued greatness depends on the contributions and sacrifices of all its people.

Brittani Daniels earned her Bachelors Degree in Political Science and History from the University of California-Riverside. A former collegiate Track and Field athlete specializing in the throws events garnered All-American accolades and trained with Team USA. 

Brittani is currently working on an alumni outreach mentor program at her high school alma mater, Cajon in San Bernardino. Brittani is pursuing a Masters in Public Policy at Pepperdine University, School of Public Policy. Where she intends to further her understanding of civic engagement through research with the Davenport Institute. Brittani is a State Delegate for the CRP, a member of LA County Central Committee, and President of Christianity & Public Policy at Pepperdine.  Brittani is also a intern at UCLA Health in the Connected Health Strategic Technologies and Innovation department.


Tamisha Walker

2016 DWJ Public Policy Fellow 

TAMISHA WALKER, PICO Live Free Organizer and Spokesperson for the Safe Return Project. Walker is a Richmond based community organizer and known advocate on issues related to mass incarceration and racial disparity in the criminal justice system. Tamisha organizes and coordinates The Safe Return Project under the umbrella of CCISCO (Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community) one of the East Bay PICO affiliates. Tamisha was formerly incarcerated and shares a powerful personal story about the journey to healing and successful re-entry. She has five years of community organizing experience in a city impacted by trauma and economic inequality, including her own personal experience with trauma and poverty growing up in Richmond California. Her educational experience includes professional training in research and advocacy for the formerly incarcerated and their families, violence prevention strategies and conflict mediation to reduce urban gun violence. 


Samara Rivers

2016 DWJ Public Policy Fellow

 Samara Rivers is an independent consultant and event planner with over 10 years of non-profit fundraising  and event logistics experience. She holds a BA in Art History and Criticism and an MA in Arts Administration from The Florida State University. Rivers is also a wife and mother of two, and is invested in her community through her involvement with the local chapters of Jack & Jill of America, Inc and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.


Camile Duria

2016 DWJ Public Policy Fellow 

Camile Duria is a Program Assistant at PICO California (a faith- based non-profit under the umbrella of PICO National Network).  Prior to PICO California, Camile was a Program Support Specialist for the Center of Multicultural Development at the California Institute for Mental Health (CiMH). At CiMH she was involved in the Stigma, Discrimination and Reductions Consortium, Public Safety Realignment Project, and the California Mental Health and Spirituality Initiative.  

Camile has a Bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies, from California State University Fresno. She plans on finishing her Master’s in Health Care/ Business Administration with an emphasis on Project Management in Fall 2017 and then wants to pursue her PhD in African American Studies.


Garbralle Conroe

2016 DWJ Public Policy Fellow 

Garbralle Conroe was born and raised in Fresno Ca. Throughout her life she understood the importance of obtaining an education by getting a Master’s degree in Counseling and Rehabilitation from California State University Fresno. She currently works full time at California Health Collaborative as a projector coordinator for Fresno County child abuse prevention program and also teaches part time graduate courses at California State University Fresno.

Garbralle has a passion for inspiring youth and giving back to her community. She currently mentors several students as well as volunteer’s her time speaking at different high school’s  about peer pressure, making smart choices, leadership, and the importance of education. Garbralle hobbies include shopping, traveling, and spending time with her family. She thrives on the model “each one teach one”


Brittinee Phillips

2016 DWJ Public Policy Fellow

For over six years Brittinee has fine-tuned her talents in marketing and technology. Most recently, she has focused her energy towards entrepreneurship and encouraging such among women of color. By using her knowledge from professional experience and personal pursuits, Brittinee hopes to provide strategic planning advice for economic security through this fellowship and her consulting firm, Articulate You.

Her love of education has complemented her professional career as she holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Cal State Long Beach; an M.A. in Media Studies and Media Management from The New School; an M.S. in Marketing from the University of London (Queen Mary); and (soon) an M.B.A. in Management with a focus on organizational behavior from Mills College. Brittinee is currently a product manager at MasterCard.

Rachel Benjamin

2016 DWJ Public Policy Fellow

Rachel, 23 years old from Portland, Oregon, is in her final year completing her Masters in Criminology/Criminal Justice at Portland State University.   Her areas of interest include criminal justice policy, more specifically re-entry policy, social inequality, and issues of race class and gender.  Currently Rachel works as a student teacher at a child development center, and is also a graduate assistant/research assistant within my program department.   Next year, Rachel plans on pursuing a Ph.D in sociology, focusing on social inequalities within current criminal justice re-entry practices with hopes that her future research will be used to inform policy decisions within the criminal justice system. 


Ashley Chambers

2016 DWJ Public Policy Fellow 

Ashley Chambers is an Oakland, California native, proud mother and passionate journalist. Ashley's love for journalism began while attending McClymonds High School as an editor of the school newspaper. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and later worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for the Oakland Post. Ashley is empowered to use her voice as a tool to advocate for her community and expand opportunities for young people.

She currently works with the Oakland Private Industry Council, which provides job and training services to unemployed and underemployed Oakland residents.


Amelia Neal

2016 DWJ Public Policy Fellow

Amelia Neal grew up in Oakland, California in a neighborhood that showed very little hope for a promising future.  Despite the challenges in her community her parents sent her to a private school.  This experience empowered her to be excellent despite her ethnicity or socioeconomic status. Amelia developed a passion for organizing at a young age when she held office and was apart of the Associate Student Body for two consecutive years.
Amelia was able to merge her love for studying social behavior and African American history at California State University Eastbay where she graduated with a double major in Ethnic Studies and Sociology. During undergrad Amelia also studied abroad and visited Ghana, Cuba, Panama, and Jamaica. Currently, Amelia is a graduate student at the University of San Francisco.  She is in her final semester in the Master of Public Affairs Program. In addition to her course work she has worked as an organizer for Go Oakland Public Schools and California Federation of Teachers. Amelia also works for Bloom Educational Enrichment, a start up non-profit organization that helps students gain confidence inside and outside of the classroom.

Delthia McKinney

2016 DWJ Public Policy Fellow 
Delthia McKinney is an executive consultant in the Medi-Cal department at Kaiser Permanente. In her role, she provides research and strategy assistance to Kaiser’s executive leadership. 

Delthia is interested in the links between health outcomes and socioeconomic status, as well as public and corporate policies that can improve healthcare for underserved populations. Delthia graduated from Yale University with a Masters of Public Health degree.


Chrystal Ellis

2016 DWJ Public Policy Fellow 

A graduate from Princeton Theological Seminary, Chrystal is passionate about civic engagement. She demonstrates her commitment to empowering people through education and leadership development. Chrystal is Site Manager at Rubicon Programs, located in the East Bay.  There she works in the Economic Empowerment division and continues to work to break cycles of poverty by empowering individuals to maximize their potential through quality education and program services.

Currently, Chrystal is a member of the National Association of Professional Women and National Association of Workforce Development Professionals.  Recently, she was awarded a Fellowship in the Dezie Woods Jones Public Policy Fellowship Program where she and her colleagues explore and address political issues, such as advocating for adequate representation in the community, as well as, address various aspects of leadership including; power and self- empowerment. Chrystal resides in the Bay Area where she enjoys the great outdoors and spending time with friends and family. 


Abigail Mariam

2016 DWJ Public Policy Fellow 

Abigail Mariam is a public servant and advocate committed to finding solutions to major issues that affect Black communities, such as homelessness and poverty. A native of Southern California, she currently lives and works in Oakland. A recent graduate of Harvard University, Abigail has done community empowerment and advocacy as a student, including the Itooamharvard campaign which mobilized students around racial discrimination on college campuses around the world. Abigail is currently the Communications Coordinator for Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, shaping the office's housing policy approach as a part of her responsibilities. As a 2016 DWJ Public Policy Fellow, Abigail will focus on finding solutions for economic empowerment of Black women, in particular as it relates to housing and affordability in the Bay Area.


Erica Duggan

2016 DWJ Public Policy Fellow 

Erica Duggan is a Core Platform Project Manager/Reentry Case Coordinator Lead at Rubicon Programs in Contra Costa County, serving previously incarcerated and homeless adults towards economic empowerment. She has also worked with a non-profit at San Quentin State Prison for 8 years assisting incarcerating men prepare for release. She has a Masters in Social Psychology from San Francisco State University. She is committed to assisting underserved populations, especially populations impacted by the criminal justice system.


Dr. Fatima Alleyne

2016 DWJ Public Policy Fellow 

Dr. Fatima Alleyne is a New York native and community college graduate who relocated to California to pursue higher education at the University of California, Berkeley. From this institution, she earned both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science and Engineering.Currently, Dr. Alleyne is a Research General Engineer at the USDA investigating thermal storage and renewable energy sources for agricultural communities. She has served in a myriad of leadership roles in her community and non-profit boards including, but not limited to, Outreach, Diversity and Equal Opportunity Committee (ODEO), School Site Council (SSC), Community Budget Advisory Committee (CBAC), Black Graduate Engineering and Science Students Association (BGESS), and CalGirlS. She is also a wife and mother of four children. When she is not working, spending time with her family, and volunteering at her church, Dr. Alleyne is actively engaged in her community as an Education Advocate, advocating for education equity and empowering parents and students to pursue quality public education.


Terra Doby

2016 DWJ Public Policy Senior Fellow 

Terra Doby, a Bay Area Native, has contributed the last decade to training, teaching, and promoting underrepresented people in the Eden, and county seat of Alameda County (San Leandro, Hayward, and Oakland). Her earliest work was spent advocating for workforce opportunities for urban youth endorsed by Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley. She too spent this time collaborating with agencies throughout Alameda County to provide services to students in the foster care system. Four years ago, she transitioned from non-for-profit work to the educational sector. Doby currently is employed as a Response to Interventionist (RtI) and SST Coordinator for a needy elementary school within the Oakland Unified School District.

Her freshmen year of college, as an intern for Ninth District House of Representative, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, she gained greater insight on the laborious, but rewarding task of politics. Now, years later she is undoubtedly excited to continue this effort. She will do so by merging her love of education and advocacy within a policy making framework. 

T. Doby holds a BA in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing, a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential, and is diligently finishing her M.Ed in Urban Education from Holy Names University.


Nicole Henderson

2016 DWJ Public Policy Fellow 

Nicole Henderson received her B.A. in Political Science and M.A. and credential  i​n Special Education ​from San Francisco State University. With a passion for public service, Nicole currently works for San Francisco Unified School District as an Education Specialist, serving students in grades K-12 with Mild/Moderate disabilities.  Nicole has a special interest in  Education Policy reform especially as it concerns working with children and families in foster care and how to manage the system to better serves students of color.​


Simone Thelemaque

Inaugural 2015 cohort & 2016 Senior Fellow

Serving as the new BWOPA Oakland / Berkeley Chapter Vice President, Simone has over 10 years of experience in community engagement, self-love, advocacy and policy analysis, with emphasis around housing and development in Oakland, CA.

In November of 2015, she founded “Table 4 All” which is a food redistribution company fighting hunger in Alameda County. Table 4 All delivers unconsumed and edible food from events and meetings to local agencies assisting people without a place to call home. Food is NOT waste!  Since November, Table 4 All has fed over 1,500 people and hope to triple the number by 2017.

Currently, she is in working toward earning her Bachelor's in two areas of discipline: Organizational Psychology and Women's Studies at Cal State East Bay transferring in the Fall 2016 from Merritt College.  Her academic goal include earning her Masters in Public Policy.  I am an OUT AND PROUD nontraditional student, LGBTQ activist and lovingly intentionally enjoying the responsibilities of parenting her seven year old daughter.   She loves her job as studio coordinator at Gensler and enjoy the intersections of art, architecture, responsibility to the community, responsibility to myself and all the many steps in between. 


Nikki Thompson, Esq.

2016 DWJ Public Policy Senior Fellow

Nikki Thompson, Esq. is currently the Special Adviser to the Executive Director and President of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where she assists on issues regarding voting rights, criminal justice reform, fair housing, education, and judicial diversity. Prior to, Nikki was a Congressional Aide for Congressman Chris Van Hollen (MD-8), where she worked on similar issues. She serves on the Social Justice Committee for the National Bar Association's Young Lawyers' Division and was named one of "2016 DMV Top 30 under 30." She is a 2015 graduate of Howard University School of Law and received her B.S. in Journalism from the University of Florida in 2012. Nikki is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.




Simone Thelemaque

Inaugural 2015 cohort & 2016 Senior Fellow

Serving as the new BWOPA Oakland/Berkeley Chapter Vice President, Simone has over 10 years of experience in community engagement, self-love, advocacy and policy analysis, with emphasis around housing and development in Oakland, CA.

In November of 2015, she founded “Table 4 All” which is a food redistribution company fighting hunger in Alameda County. Table 4 All delivers unconsumed and edible food from events and meetings to local agencies assisting people without a place to call home. Food is NOT waste!  Since November, Table 4 All has fed over 1,500 people and hope to triple the number by 2017.

Currently, she is in working toward earning her Bachelor's in two areas of discipline: Organizational Psychology and Women's Studies at Cal State East Bay transferring in the Fall 2016 from Merritt College.  Her academic goal include earning her Masters in Public Policy.  I am an OUT AND PROUD nontraditional student, LGBTQ activist and lovingly intentionally enjoying the responsibilities of parenting her seven year old daughter.   She loves her job as studio coordinator at Gensler and enjoy the intersections of art, architecture, responsibility to the community, responsibility to myself and all the many steps in between. 



Daisy Ozim

Inaugural 2015 cohort & 2016 DWJ Public Policy Senior Fellow

Daisy Ozim, is the Community Engagement Coordinator at TAYSF and the creator of Resilient Wellness, a health education programmed designed to end the cycles of multi-generational trauma in communities of color and the owner of 13th Goddess, a professional clothing line made from AfroLatina patterns. She has been involved in community based outreach and advocacy and civic youth engagement, since her late teens. As a seasoned health advocate, based in San Francisco bay area, she's a fierce proponent of health and wellness as well as decolonizing all aspects of the public sector. She has studied and obtained degree's in Human Biology and Behavioral and Social sciences as well as Public Health.  On top of that, she has dedicated time outside of her advocacy life to train in holistic health. She has worked on several issues including, health care quality for young women, public health implications of police violence, increasing visibility of self-care for social justice advocates and political empowerment for young women.


Profile photo of Brianna Horton 

Briana Horton


Jamisha Dachelle Davis

Criminal Justice Reform


Erica Harris


Jazz Monique Hudson


Chyna J Stewart-Banks


Zakiya Tierra Moore


Alaysia Williams


Samia Zuber


Aishatu Yusuf