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, MA, 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.
She is a guest presenter 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. 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. Zara is an interdisciplinary cross-pollinator. She 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. 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.
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.
to troupe director
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.
Levana Saxon, MA, develops strategic methodology, curriculum, training and research projects to support movement building and popular education. Over the last 22 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 six organizations and projects dedicated to community-driven change, locally, nationally and internationally. 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, researchers and consultants. In addition co-coordinating Partners for Collaborative Change, she can be found facilitating anti-racism workshops with the White Noise Collective, leading trainings with the Ruckus Society, supporting organizational development as a consultant, or making giant puppets. She has a Masters in Education with a concentration in Participatory Theater from San Francisco State University.