Joshua Bloom, 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, organizing and advocacy. In 2011, he became Project Director of the ‘Heal the Streets’ program (Ella Baker Center for Human Rights). He co-wrote and implemented a youth-led, participatory action research curriculum designed to examine the root causes of violence in Oakland, CA. In 2013, he became the CA Organizing Director for ‘Young Invincibles’, where he would oversee three campaigns engaging young adults in debate around Health care, Unemployment and Higher Education. Joshua is a San Francisco native, but currently resides in Los Angeles. He takes a lot of pride in his experience with the diverse communities of California. 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-manager, and believes that music is essential to understanding and uplifting our people.
Special Projects director
Zara Zimbardo is a speaker, teacher and published writer on topics of the social construction of whiteness, critical media literacy, Islamophobia, subversion of stereotypes in a time of war, modern monsters and the zombie apocalypse, and representations of gender, race, consumerism and imperialism/militarism.
Zara is a founding faculty of an online BA Completion program at Sofia University, and an adjunct faculty at the California Institute for Integral Studies in the BA Completion and MFA programs, teaching courses focused on anti-oppression curriculum, self and society, qualitative research methods, critical thinking, media studies, integral learning, global and postcolonial studies.
She is a co-founder of the White Noise Collective, which offers dialogues, workshops, consulting and resources to collectively investigate patterns common at the intersection of whiteness and gendered oppression in order to deepen the potential of white anti-racism work. As a former 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., Palestine/Israel and Colombia.
Influenced by frameworks of critical pedagogy, feminist praxis and popular education that seek to make forms of shared knowledge and experience more conscious, these courses actively examine intersections of theory, practice, lived observation and insight. Zara’s pedagogy is immersed in multiple intelligences, which strives to cyclically engage diverse modes of knowing, learning and expression in ways that allow everyone’s gifts to shine. As an educator, she values opportunities to connect issues within the classroom to the world outside, through deeper understanding of power dynamics, identity construction, histories of the present, unexamined assumptions, and applied projects of relevance. Her goal is to support a context of curiosity, critical thinking and compassion that supports skilled navigation and justice-oriented care for the diverse worlds we inhabit.
Zara 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. Originally from San Francisco, she is now an Oakland resident. For the last twenty years she has been a body-based therapist both in private practice and community health centers.
Aja Minor, MA 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 has been fueled to create social change through her study of International Studies, Music, Anthropology and Migration. She is passionate about providing low-income youth of color with access to global education and ensuring global education is critical and socially responsible! Aja Minor currently teaches at Oakland Emiliano Zapata Street Academy and is studying for a Masters in Education.
Tele'jon Quinn 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 and was an Oakland youth poet-laureate finalist.
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. In 2013 he traveled the country interviewing leaders in multiple fields as part of Roadtrip Nation. With Bay Peace, he facilitated and jokered around issues of militarism and the school to prison pipeline for 3 years. He cofounded REBYL and Partners for Collaborative Change where he currently works as a facilitator.
EMBODYING CHANGE director
Tatiana Chaterji is a restorative justice practitioner, youth organizer, artist and educator. She uses liberation arts to heal and activate young people and community members, particularly relating to the criminal system, structural violence, and historical trauma. She leads peacemaking circles and sessions in arts-based leadership for those at the intersections of criminalization, social neglect, and commercial-sexual exploitation.
A Bengali-American with heritage across the border between India and Bangladesh, Tatiana works toward reconciliation between groups at multiple ends of harm. With an eye toward 1947 Partition, displacement, fractured socio-political memory, and its renditions in the contemporary moment, she incorporates multidisciplinary tools to examine caste, communal violence, interracial/religious conflict, and meanings of self, society and culture. She conspires with political theatre collectives in her second/creative home of Kolkata, and coordinates “Beyond Partition,” a space for critical consciousness and healing for members of the South Asian diaspora.
Tatiana currently works as an RJ Coordinator within Oakland Unified School District, occasionally leading circles and theater classes in Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center. She proudly facilitates a performance-based residency at the Dublin federal women’s prison through California Shakespeare Theater. She served on the 2015-17 Program Team for Essie Justice Group, a network of advocacy and healing for women with incarcerated loved ones. She is a frequent guest instructor with ROOTS, the ethnic studies program at San Quentin through the Asian Prisoner Support Committee.
Tatiana was a collaborator with Love Balm for My SpiritChild, a testimonial theater project honoring women who have lost children to police brutality and community conflict. Previously at BAY-Peace, she trained Oakland teenagers in Theatre of the Oppressed and performance poetry, connecting storytelling to social transformation and counter-militarism. As a survivor of violent crime, she participates in victim-offender dialogues and speaks with diverse groups about accountability that moves beyond prisons, policing, and punitive discipline.
Levana Saxon, MA, develops strategic methodology, curriculum, training and research projects to support movement building and popular education. Over the last 25 years she has trained and facilitated thousands of children, youth and adults to support work for climate justice, migrant rights, racial justice and Indigenous sovereignty.
She has co-founded multiple organizations and projects dedicated to community-driven change, locally, nationally and internationally including UNEP's TUNZA Youth Advisory Council, the White Noise Collective, Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Youth Alliance, Bay Area Solidarity Action Team, the Ruckus Art Corps and PFCC. She was the Education Coordinator for Rainforest Action Network, Participatory Action Researcher with Youth In Focus and Training Coordinator for Movement Strategy Center. After working with the Paulo Freire Institute in São Paulo, she dedicated herself to making the theories and practices of Popular Education and Theatre of the Oppressed accessible to organizers, educators, researchers, and designers in the US. In addition to co-coordinating Partners for Collaborative Change, she can be found making giant puppets, gardening, or drumming. Both her Bachelors and Masters degrees are in Education for Social Justice.
Coaching & Training Associates
(pronouns she/her/hers) is a mixed race, Japanese/Jewish/Anglo woman, who grew up in Berkeley California, and now resides there. She grew up during the movements of the 60s and 70s, which opened her eyes, inspired her social justice activism, and led her to work in nonprofits for about 20 years.
Laurin founded Mayeno consulting to work with communities and organizations to create inclusive, equitable, diverse spaces where everyone is valued and supported. Her parenting experiences have deepened her passion around gender diversity, which is now a major focus of her work. Her children’s book One of a Kind, Like Me/Único como yo, touches on gender diversity.
Rebecca is a queer Zimbabwean-American theater artist, creative consultant, producer and cultural organizer working at the intersection of art and social justice. They craft spaces for people to gain a sense of place and identity through the creation of art and the practice of storytelling.
Their work explores race, gender, religion, sexuality and class and seeks to illuminate and question the power structures that control our society. They have trained with ArtSpot Productions, Dah Theater, the Highlander Center for Research & Education, Urban Bush Women and Junebug Productions in performance, cultural organizing, devising, performance and story-telling. They currently work for their production and consulting company, Desired Evolutions which develops practices, leads workshops and creates performance to inspire embodied revolution.
Rebecca has been awarded numerous grants from Grinnell College’s Wall Award, Alternate ROOTS, the Network of Ensemble Theaters, the We Shall Overcome Fund, the National Performance Network, the Rockefeller MAP fund, NEFA and TCG to create their work. They are also a 2016 A Blade of Grass-David Rockefeller Fund Joint Fellow in Criminal Justice. Rebecca's most recent original works are their solo piece Looking at A Broad, Last Call’s Alleged Lesbian Activities, and ArtSpot Productions’ Cry You One. They are a co-director and co-founder of LOUD (New Orleans Queer Youth Theater) and serve on the board of the Network of Ensemble Theater. Rebecca resides in New Orleans. Their recent work with Cry You One, a touring performance and cultural organizing project creating awareness about the loss of land and culture in Southeast Louisiana heightened their commitment to integrating an intersectional analysis, specifically environmental justice to environmental work.
Ananda Lee Tan
Immigrated to Canada from India with his parents in the 1960s, and was later sent back to learn his language, cultural traditions and historic roots. Since 1986 he has organized local, national and international movement networks and alliances for land defense, worker rights, environmental justice, climate change, sustainable forestry and sustainable farming.
Over the last decade, Ananda worked as the North American Coordinator for GAIA, a grassroots network organizing for environmental justice and zero waste solutions around the world. During this time, he co-convened the Climate Justice Alliance, a formation of hundreds of frontline communities organizing for environmental justice and community solutions to climate change.
In 2013, Ananda helped organize the Building Equity & Alignment for Impact initiative – bringing together national environmental groups, grassroots movements and funders to build a stronger, more collaborative environmental movement. This initiative gave birth to the People’s Climate March of 2014, which Ananda helped plan and coordinate. Today, Ananda continues to work with the Climate Justice Alliance, the Labor Network for Sustainability and the EDGE Funders Alliance. In order to successfully tackle crises such as climate change and biodiversity loss, Ananda believes that national greens need to learn how to collaborate with communities first and most impacted by, and also cultivating real solutions to these global challenges.
S. Leigh Thompson
He is a white and mixed-race trans queer person with disability and has spent the last 20 years working at the intersections of art and social justice and equity, utilizing Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) techniques and working with and for queer and trans* communities, youth, immigrants and communities of color.
Leigh started organizing in Omaha against Nebraska’s so-called Defense of Marriage Amendment. Ever since Leigh has been dedicated to developing and supporting change-makers. He has experience as an organizer, advocate, lobbyist and campaign strategist at a number organizations, including the ACLU, GLSEN, Race Forward/Colorlines.com and The Forum Project. Currently Leigh is a freelance consultant and trainer at GoBeyondDiversity.com.
Leigh has studied TO and other critical pedagogy techniques for over 20 years, working with practitioners from around the world, and has trained with TO's founder Augusto Boal on multiple occasions. He has an MA from NYU focusing on utilizing TO for political and social change and is the President of Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed. He lives with his husband and tiny baby in Brooklyn, NY.
For as long as she can remember, Ellen Tuzzolo has been fighting for racial, social, and environmental justice as an educator, youth advocate, organizer, campaign director, policy analyst, and strategist.
She is most fired up by ending mass incarceration, teaching and studying antiracism, getting people of all ages outside, and breaking down barriers that prevent people from seeing and loving each other. During her many years in the south, Ellen worked with the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, and the Justice Policy Institute to shrink the wide and harmful net of the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
As Executive Director of Friends of Camp Little Notch, Ellen worked to conserve 2400 acres of Adirondack wilderness and jump-started the operation of Camp Little Notch, an outdoor education and retreat center where a growing community of people is practicing living in harmony with nature, each other, and themselves.
Ellen lives in Providence, RI, serves on the board of the Albany Social Justice Center, and is a proud member of the White Noise Collective. Currently, Ellen is the Program Director for The Discovery Center, headquartered in Farmington, CT. working in partnership with youth, families, schools, and communities to facilitate nurturing spaces where people can understand and challenge systemic racism and oppression.