Program Staff

Kennedy Whiters - Operations Director
Kennedy Whiters - Operations Director
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Shalini Agrawal - Co-director
Shalini Agrawal - Co-director

Co-Director: Shalini Agrawal is trained as an architect and brings over 20 years of experience in community-engaged practice and pedagogy. She is the co-director FIELD Design Network, a forum that builds capacity for underrepresented designers. She is founder of Public Design for Equity and teaches at the intersection of design and community engagement in Diversity Studies at CCA. Shalini is a board member of Association for Community Design

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Robin Bean Crane - Communications Associate
Robin Bean Crane - Communications Associate

Robin Crane - Communications Associate

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Evelyn Thorne - Training and Consulting Manager
Evelyn Thorne - Training and Consulting Manager

Evelyn Thorne (she/her) is a writer, facilitator and educator with a focus on how systemic and cultural contexts shape our creative selves. Her writing and public training on the creative process of personal and societal transformation can be found at creativityincontext.org

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Garrett Jacobs - Co-director
Garrett Jacobs - Co-director

Garrett is the founding director of the Open Architecture Collaborative and previously led programs and national networks at Code for America and Architecture for Humanity. He has produced creative placemaking and leadership programs in the Bay Area, most recently piloting Pathways to Equity. Garrett serves as Chief of Finance and Operations for Designing Justice Designing Spaces and continues to provide community project management support. He has an M. Arch from Tulane University.

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 Guest Instructors 

Francis Calpotura
Francis Calpotura

Founder and Executive Director of TIGRA/In-Advance.

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Carlee Adamson
Carlee Adamson

Equity Coach, Oakland Unified School District; Somatic Training and Trauma Literacy Coach Carlyn currently coaches teachers and facilitates groups of educators in reflective inquiry work. She is also a somatic practitioner and facilitates caregivers, parents, and teachers in trauma-informed practice. Carlyn began her 15 year career in education as a middle school teacher in Oakland. She spent 10 years teaching and coaching teachers in the Fruitvale community.

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Ms. Margaret Gordon
Ms. Margaret Gordon

1990s, Ms. Margaret Gordon, a housekeeper, single mom in West Oakland, was cleaning the home of eco-activist Michael Herze the of founder of Baykeeper, when she start reading environmental magazines, about pollution and effects on health. Gordon had assumed the green movement was about "kissing birds and whales," where she connected the protecting human beings.

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James Rojas
James Rojas

James Rojas is an urban planner, community activist, and artist. He is one of the few nationally recognized urban planners to examine U.S. Latino cultural influences are transforming the American landscape. He has also developed an innovative public-engagement and community-visioning method for underrepresented communities, which uses storytelling, art-making and play as its medium. He has facilitated over 500 Place It workshops across the globe engaging hundreds of immigrants, refugees, women,

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Carl Anthony
Carl Anthony

architect, author and urban / suburban / regional design strategist, is co-founder of the Breakthrough Communities Project. He has served as Acting Director of the Community and Resource Development Unit at the Ford Foundation, responsible for the Foundation’s world wide programs in fields of Environment and Development, and Community Development. He directed the Foundation’s Sustainable Metropolitan Communities Initiative and the Regional Equity Demonstration in the United States.

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Susana Morales
Susana Morales

Susana Morales has over 15 years of experience in evaluation, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, workforce development, education policy, community participatory planning and research, community economic development, community health, and youth development. Prior to her work with Communities in Collaboration, Susana led economic development and youth workforce development projects at a local non-profit organization. Her work on youth-led action research.

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Angela Zusman
Angela Zusman

Angela Zusman is the founder and Executive Director of Story For All. An award winning author and oral historian, Angela founded Story For All to advance storytelling as means for healing, narrative change, leadership development, and promoting policy change in historically marginalized communities.

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David Clifford
David Clifford

David Clifford builds irresistible learning environments of belonging and becoming. David has been an artist, designer, builder and equity/social justice-oriented educator for over 25 years. Much of this time has been spent designing curriculum and culture that utilize tensions (academia and the arts, power and oppression, white supremacy and multiculturalism) for creative opportunities to inspire humanity.

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Additional Facilitators: 

Deja Gould, Mazin Jamal, Ana Sophia Demetrakopoulos, Brandi Mack, Jess Zimbabwe, Rashmi Ramaswamy, Allie O’Neill, Barbara Brown Wilson, Judi Brown, Dolly Chugh, Prescott Reavis, Keith Battle, Jazmyne Latimer

​​​Panelists:

Joshua Budiongan, Jenn Low, Preeti Sodhi, Kristin Chin, Roshani Thakore, Annie Ledbury (OAC Board Member), Chris Treggiari, James Rojas

P2E Fellows 2020

Junice Uy
Junice Uy

Junice is a senior landscape designer at WRA in Emeryville where she assists with mitigation plans and construction of wetlands and riparian habitats at a variety scales. Additionally, her work explores the application of urban ecology and regenerative design with the reintroduction of ecological connectivity and integration of public access with infrastructure and transportation. She brings an ecological and social science framework to the design and planning process.

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Diana Perez-Domencich
Diana Perez-Domencich

Diana Perez-Domencich is a Mexico City native raised in the East Bay. This migration led her to imagine what it would take to build healthy and equitable communities that sustain nature and people’s wellbeing. One of her most recent achievements is receiving a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley. She now has the privilege to serve the people of Oakland in the city’s Bureau of Planning.

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Karina Davila
Karina Davila

Karina Davila is a graduate from the School of Visual Arts with an MFA in Design for Social Innovation. Here she learned how to become a more holistic designer. As a graduate, she learned not only how to strategically and effectively use her design skills, but also how to identify the right problems to solve through qualitative research. Today, she works as a Senior UX Designer at Visa’s Innovation Center.

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Hannah Groce
Hannah Groce

Hannah is a Bay Area native who has dedicated her career to serving communities that are often marginalized educationally, economically, and judicially. She is especially passionate about affordable housing, educational opportunity, reproductive justice, and criminal justice reform and has supported a multitude of nonprofits in their work on these issues.

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Darcy Bender
Darcy Bender

Darcy Bender is the Project Manager for the City of San Francisco's storefront improvement program, SF Shines. In this role, she designs and implements grant programs for small businesses that strategically impact economic development in San Francisco's diverse neighborhoods. She works closely with local small business owners, designers, contractors, community-based organizations, and CIty agencies to make tangible improvements that strengthen communities.

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Atira Richards
Atira Richards

Atira is a mission-driven product manager who uses her unique experiences and skillset to tackle problems that uniquely impact marginalized folks to create community-driven changes and leave a foundation beyond herself. Most recently, Atira was a product manager at /dev/color, a nonprofit focused on empowering Black software engineers to help one another grow into industry leaders, where she ran, scaled, and iterated on multiple programs.

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David Capelli
David Capelli

David Capelli (He/Him) is a smart infrastructure and Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) researcher and capacity builder. His research focuses on regional approaches on the intersections of governance, finance & infrastructure in planning, preparation, mitigation, and long term recovery of regions prone to rapid economic growth from urbanization and natural disasters (hurricanes, floods, fires, etc.) Capelli Co-Founded with Carla Mays and leads Partnerships at #SmartCohort.

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Kiah McCarley
Kiah McCarley

Kiah is a designer, urbanist and seamstress who grew up outside of San Francisco. She moved to the Midwest in 2012 where she received her Masters degree in architectural design. Kiah returned to the Bay after graduating and has been practicing at a small architecture and urban design firm in downtown Oakland, where she has worked on a variety of projects from food market halls to urban master plans. Kiah is a strong believer in the power of community.

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Jonathon Price
Jonathon Price

Jonathan’s practice is based in craft and woodworking. For over eight years he operated the design studio, FT-FC, where he developed a deep appreciation for working with his hands, wood, and a few good tools. Carrying that same skill set and care to UC Davis, he is currently getting an MFA in Design with a focus on non-hierarchical furniture.

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Marielle Cuison
Marielle Cuison

Marielle currently works as an engineer at the City of Oakland Department of Transportation in the Complete Streets Paving & Sidewalks team. Her educational background is in civil engineering, ethnic studies, and transportation management. She values providing safe and accessible transportation options to communities. Marielle is an aspiring "plangineer" (planner + engineer) and is interested in the overlap between civil engineering and urban planning.

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Imaan Taghavi
Imaan Taghavi

Formally, Imaan is passionate about improving society’s water management through the design of plumbing systems and modeling of flood risk for commercial buildings as an engineer at Arup, a global consulting firm for the built environment. Informally, he is passionate about shaping a world that is equitable, diverse, and inclusive of all types of individuals as the chair of Arup’s local Community Engagement initiative and a core member of the firm’s EDI group.

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Ashrita Shetty
Ashrita Shetty

Ashrita is a curious human moonlighting as an architectural and urban designer/planner. She gravitates towards engaging socio-cultural, civic and ecological themes through socially-oriented design and strategies to ultimately create positive impact. She strongly believes research is critical to contextually relevant and empathetic problem-solving. Her specific obsessions include designing for public life, place-making, urban landscapes & mobility, participatory design, + speculative futures.

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Lan Nguyen
Lan Nguyen

Lan believes design can be a powerful force for change, if there is intentionality of purpose. She brings a multidimensional lens to her design practice from her past work in cognitive neuroscience research, social justice advocacy, user experience, and service design for organizations like Move to End Violence, Pew Charitable Trusts, City of Long Beach Innovation Team, Toyota, and various healthcare clients. Most recently, Lan was a lead designer for Kaiser Permanente.

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Diana Nguyen
Diana Nguyen

Diana's passion lies at the intersection of healthcare, equity and design. Rooted in her lived experience as a child of Vietnamese immigrants, she is personally motivated to working with underserved communities in the Bay Area. Diana is currently a senior program coordinator at the Center for Care Innovations, where she supports capacity-building opportunities for safety-net healthcare organizations.

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Carla Mays
Carla Mays

Carla (she/her) is a San Francisco, CA-based Smart Infrastructure & Disaster Mitigation Mega Regional Planner & Researcher and an alum of San Francisco State University and UC Berkeley. She has been recognized by the California State Legislature, Alumna Next City Vanguard, and Singularity Global Impact Scholars Program for addressing equitable future city planning, fiscal viability, risk mitigation, emergency management, operations and maintenance for climate adaptive projects.

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Megan Gee
Megan Gee

I work as a Senior Planner at Arup in the Integrated Planning team, primarily on transportation planning projects, from strategic master planning of universities and corporate developments, to pedestrian microsimulation modeling inside buildings and everything in between. My passion is for promoting safety, equity, and inclusive design with a focus on sustainable and active mobility. I was also a founding member of the Arup Americas employee resource group for women.

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Amanda Meyer
Amanda Meyer

Amanda is an Oakland-based educator and coach who supports education organizations to solve problems using continuous improvement principles and practices. She works primarily with large urban districts in California, but also serves a variety of youth-facing organizations around the country, from community schools to education non-profits to children’s museums. Amanda was born and raised in Wisconsin but began her career teaching high school English as a Second Language in south Texas.

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Sean Doocy
Sean Doocy

Sean is a researcher working at the intersection of education policy, housing policy, and community development. A city planner by training, his work centers on the connections between communities and their education institutions, with a focus on supporting educators. He has collaborated with Landed and the Berkeley Unified School District on affordable housing initiatives for educators. Sean is currently a research associate at the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at UC Berkeley.

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Talia Shalev
Talia Shalev

A proud Oakland native, I have called the Bay Area home for the past twenty plus years. Since completing my undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley, I have worked in nonprofits and academic institutions to evaluate, develop and research programs that aim to improve the educational and health outcomes of underserved communities. I currently work on Kaiser Permanente's national Community Health team where I provide support to initiatives spanning from community college mental health to housing.

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Taranamol Kaur
Taranamol Kaur

Taranamol sits at the intersection of design, research, and social impact. Her thoughtful and innovative design work has allowed her to serve many different industries, such as transportation, education, social media, and data management. At a local Bay Area nonprofit, RepresentEd, Taranamol creates and teaches a design curriculum that allows non-traditional students of color to solve real-world problems for organizations such as OpenIDEO, Kaiser Permanente, UC Berkeley, and Youth Impact Hub.

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Janet Henkai
Janet Henkai

Janet (she/her) is currently an Environmental Scientist/Planner with Arcadis out of the San Francisco office focusing on Wildfire Safety and Planning in Northern California. Before moving to the Bay Area, Janet has held positions throughout the country with the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service, and various city and state parks specializing in trail maintenance & design and ecological restoration.

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Alumni Fellows 2018 - 2019

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Nnamdi Ihemelu
Nnamdi Ihemelu

I love culture. I love humanity. I want humanity to reach its full potential. I live by the mantra of "pay it forward".

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Alicia Parker
Alicia Parker

Alicia is a planner with the City of Oakland’s Strategic Planning Division. She assisted with three of the first specific plans in Oakland, contributing to each plan’s urban design framework, community engagement, and affordable housing and equity strategies and is currently the co-project manager for the Downtown Oakland Specific Plan. She is author of the plan's analysis of disparities in downtown's existing conditions, and is also a member of the department's internal Race & Equity Team.

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Jessica Jobe Sea
Jessica Jobe Sea

Jessica is a licensed architect who has been with Noll & Tam Architects for more than four years, and in the industry for over six. Since then, she has worked on a range of projects: from research labs to hospitals, libraries to office renovations. Jessica has a passion for sustainable design and community-based design. She likes to get the perspective of people outside of architecture – they challenge her to look at things in a different way.

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Yarden Harari
Yarden Harari

With 8 years of experience in specialty retail architecture from both client and firm side, Yarden is an account and project manager at CallisonRTKL Architects, and recently relocated from New York to the Bay Area. Through CallisonRTKL and its parent company, Arcadis, she’s found opportunities to work with peers from a range of backgrounds, aligned with the common value of ‘improving quality of life.’ These collaborations have refined her ability to bridge the gaps across disciplines.

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Sandy Mendler
Sandy Mendler

Sandy is a nationally recognized architect and planner focused on creating inspiring, healthy places for sustainable living. A principal with Mithun in San Francisco, she integrates complex technical requirements into elegant design solutions for architecture and planning projects, including educational buildings and campuses, offices and mixed-use EcoDistricts. Co-author of two books and numerous articles, her work is widely published in print.

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Sarah Letson
Sarah Letson

Sarah currently serves as Best Practices Manager for the New Americans Campaign at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, a non-profit organization in San Francisco. In this role, she helps over 500 staff at non-profits across the country continually iterate on their methods of providing citizenship application services to the community. Before joining the ILRC, Sarah worked in homeless services, training staff on how best to capture and use client data, as well as helping shape regional policies

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Louise Mackie
Louise Mackie

Louise is a senior designer and project manager at Gyroscope Inc., design studio in Oakland. She specializes in interactive learning environments for informal educational spaces, such as museums, science centers, libraries and makerspaces. Notable recent projects include a mobile outreach vehicle for Oakland Public Library, a children's museum in Buffalo, NY, and a giant 'Laboratorio de ideas' in Mexico City. Louise grew up in England, pursuing her formal architectural education in London.

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Kate Spacek
Kate Spacek

Kate amplifies the unique value of collective creativity by designing experiences that connect people and instigate relevant dialogue – across culture, class, sector, discipline, and geography. Kate aims to transform passive observers into eager co-creators via radical inclusivity, research-based play techniques, and mistake-celebrating experimentation.Most recently, Kate was a 2017-18 Public Imagination Fellow at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

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Brianne Pham
Brianne Pham

Brianne is a licensed architect currently working at Perkins Eastman. She is passionate about helping better local communities and the environment through design. A Bay Area native, Brianne went to school in the Northwest. While in Portland, she co-founded the local chapter of Architecture for Humanity. Having moved back to the Bay Area, Brianne has worked on many large-scale commercial projects professionally and community-based projects pro-bono.

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Samantha Rose
Samantha Rose

I'm an interior designer originally from the Bay Area. I’m passionate about art, architecture & science fiction. I worked in museum education at Yale before going to RISD for graduate school. After RISD, I lived and worked at Arcosanti for a year before moving back to California.

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Lindsey Yuen
Lindsey Yuen

Engaging with her surroundings through the lens of landscape architecture, Lindsey is passionate about resilient communities and the integration of people with their natural and built environments. She was born and raised in Hawaii, educated in the Pacific Northwest, and is professionally rooted in the Bay Area. Her work has focused on the local public realm - ranging from shoreline open space to urban streetscapes. Lindsey is currently a landscape designer at RHAA in San Francisco.

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Lucia Castello
Lucia Castello

I am a community-inspired designer and artist at heart, with a passion for creating spaces that invoke collaboration, well-being and playfulness. With a degree from Cal Poly-SLO, I practice "architecture" (one exam away from licensure ;)) and manage projects at Flynn Architecture in Oakland while also offering vision, time & energy to a variety of community projects, ranging from an after school architecture program to playgrounds to a nature-based children's group.

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Kion Sawney
Kion Sawney

Kion is an affordable housing real estate developer with Beacon Development. Currently, he is managing and supporting a development portfolio of over $100 million in Northern California. He enjoys working within the built environment and exploring how enhancements within it can create identity, advance equity, improve health and cultivate economic growth. He is the Board Chair of the nonprofit Street Works in Nashville,TN and an active member of ULI SF, Yimby Action, and more.

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Jason Su
Jason Su

Jason is an urban designer and city planner passionate about creating vibrant cities through placemaking, public space investment, and community development. Raised in Los Angeles to immigrant parents, his firsthand experience on the impact of cities on economic opportunity and ethnic enclaves informs his work in city building today. Currently, he is the street life manager for the San Jose Downtown Association, where he implements art, construction, and activation projects.

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Kelly Gregory
Kelly Gregory

Kelly is a social architect based in Oakland, CA. Her practice is rooted in socially-engaged work: affordable housing projects, exhibitions, reimagining spaces of incarceration, democratic public space, and in-depth community-driven research. Her projects fold current communities and future solutions into functional, beautiful spaces for collaboration and engagement.

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Jillian Solomon
Jillian Solomon

Jillian is a graduate of Cornell University who is currently doing management consulting in the Bay Area. She's currently helping with asset management for a Northern California transit agency. She is interested in public transportation, urban planning, and economic development.

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Karen Coronel
Karen Coronel

My name is Karen and I am originally from Queens, NY. I currently live in Oakland and work on business development coordination for a consulting firm. I am very passionate about civic engagement and the inclusivity of women of color in political spaces. I like to try new foods and experiences and enjoy dancing.

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Gina Bugiada
Gina Bugiada

Gina is a project designer at brick. who believes that we can all tell when care and quality are put into a product, building, design, or idea. Gina has been a project manager and designer for residential, retail, and non-profit projects with firms in New York and California. She is early adopter of sustainable strategies, and an award winning community leader. While studying architecture at CCA, her graduate research included technology’s current and future role in design and construction.

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Allison Eckert
Allison Eckert

Allison became interested in expanding food access for immigrant communities while at Brown University, where she majored in Hispanic Studies. After graduating, she worked on a few small, organic farms, growing everything from melons to shiitake mushrooms, and ultimately relocated to the East Bay to pursue mission-driven work. In her role as the Associate Director of Development and Communications at 18 Reasons, she explores her passions for teaching, learning, and food.

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Bridgett Simmons
Bridgett Simmons

Bridgett is a housing advocate and attorney, hailing from Texas but calls Washington D.C. home. Bridgett is a proud 2017 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and a 2011 graduate of Florida A&M University who has a background in policy and advocacy. Bridgett is a lover of music and is a fake world traveler. If she could have one superpower, Bridgett wishes she could sing (well).

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Baram (Ramy) Kim
Baram (Ramy) Kim

I am a public health practitioner focusing on environmental justice issues. I have a deep interest in exploring how groundedness in place and our built environment affects our health in obvious and subtle ways. Currently, I am activated in various groups ranging from technology for public interest, to a biohacking space and am informed by an equity lens to qualify if these communities are being inclusive or instrumental in mitigating inequities.

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Shruti Nagarajan
Shruti Nagarajan

Ms. Nagarajan is an Investment Analyst at Illumen Capital. Prior to joining the Illumen Capital team, she held various roles in for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Ms. Nagarajan holds a B.A. in Public Policy and Education from Brown University. Recently, she also received a full scholarship from Salve Regina University to complete a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Social Entrepreneurship to explore her interest for social impact through cross sector collaboration.

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Alex Anderson
Alex Anderson

Alex has combined advanced studies in business, wall street experience and his community values to deploy several economic empowerment platforms over the past two decades. Alex recently co-founded AAEE, a non-profit vehicle providing innovative solution to long standing social ills which would benefit from business development solutions. Mr. Anderson currently serves as a member on a number of advisory boards including PG&E and Royal Business Bank.

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