HOPE is a collaborative of public agencies, community-based organizations, and Oakland residents. Leadership bodies and individuals within the collaborative work together to pursue our vision of a healthier, more vibrant Oakland.
The Steering Committee is responsible for the leadership of the collaborative and for making all major decisions.
HOPE staff is responsible for overall coordination of HOPE’s work.
Angela Jenkins is the Community Benefit Manager for Kaiser Permanente’s East Bay Area, which includes West Contra Costa and Northern Alameda Counties. Angela has worked in the community for over 17 years. Prior to working at Kaiser Permanente, Angela held several positions as a field representative for former Assemblywoman Helen Thompson, a case manager for teen parents, a counselor in women’s correctional facility and as a representative for a county supervisor. Angela has a M.S. in Public Policy and Administration and a B.S. in Justice Studies. Angela has been involved with RYSE since the planning process began in 2006 and has serves as the founding President of the Board.
Chanel is a student at the Dietary Management and Community Change programs at the Peralta Colleges, which is where Chanel was introduced to HOPE Collaborative. She wanted to support HOPE’s work in improving access to healthy, fresh, and affordable food in Oakland’s neighborhoods with the greatest health disparities. She began her involvement at HOPE as a volunteer for a class project in October 2013. Since then, Chanel became one of the Healthy Corner Store Project Leaders, working with community members to promote the corner store project, provide nutritional resources and materials for store owners and customers, and encourage people to make healthier food choices for themselves. Chanel now serves on the Steering Committee.
As an Oakland resident, Danielle became aware of the disparities that exist within her neighborhood that affected her and her family’s health. She was interested in being involved with an organization that includes community voices to address positive change in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Since 2010, Danielle has been an active program participant in HOPE’s built environment and food systems work and has developed skills in leadership, outreach, and community organizing. She has developed a strong interest in HOPE’s food systems work as it aligned with her interest in nutrition and food justice.
Esperanza Pallana is an active and vocal participant in creating a healthy and just food system in Oakland, and brings over ten years experience in nonprofit administration to her work. Esperanza’s professional focus is in social movements in urban landscapes. She studied biology and urban studies as an undergrad at San Francisco State University. She holds a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco. For nearly a decade, Esperanza has kept an urban farm in Oakland where she practices and preserves her traditional foodways. Writing on her experience can be found online at Pluck & Feather. More recently, Esperanza co-founded the East Bay Urban Agriculture Alliance.
Esther is an Oakland native who says it’s time for change in her city! She holds the seat on HOPE’s Steering Committee as the Built Environment – Neighborhood Planning Group Leader and has been contributing her time and efforts to HOPE Collaborative since 2012. Esther has also partnered with other organizations such as Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm project, and Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) to improve the health and living of East Oakland residents.
One of Esther’s projects in improving her community in East Oakland is “Changing OUR Grounds”, a project with Urban Releaf, to develop the untouched areas in Oakland by planting trees in the Elmhurst neighborhood.
Jenny is the Founder and Executive Chef of Farm to Table Food Services, an Oakland based organization that works with government, nonprofit, and social enterprise organizations to develop meal programs and services that that utilize local and sustainable food products. Through her work, Jenny addresses issues of food equity, nutrition, and social justice. She has taught culinary arts at Bay Area community colleges, currently serves as a member of the Oakland Food Policy Council, is a Distinguished Fellow at Community Food and Justice Coalition, and has been working with the HOPE Collaborative since 2008. Jenny holds degrees in Dietetics, Food Sciences, and Management from San Jose State University and a Masters degree in Food Economics, Policy and Food Systems from New York University.
Kelly Curry is an author, publisher, and social justice activist. She brings over 20 years of frontline, on the ground support of lower income, communities of color through her development of life enhancing, ground shifting programs that promote health and well-being. As a veteran of public and private foundation work in New York City, Kelly was influential in ushering in change around public children’s after-school programming at the city level, which included development and successful operation of a living arts program for NYC Parks and Recreation Centers in Harlem.
Kelly continued this trajectory with community work in Southern California and is currently focused on engaging committed, creative, sustainable change around food access for the citizens of East and West Oakland. Kelly is currently a proud member of Planting Justice’s Education Team, which travels to prisons; high schools; elementary schools sharing about the history of food justice and serving green smoothies.
Kimi Watkins-Tartt is the Director of the Community Health Services Division of the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD). During her career, Ms. Watkins-Tartt has developed expertise in the areas of community health and chronic disease prevention and treatment. In her current capacity with ACPHD, Ms, Watkins-Tartt oversees a range of programs including Asthma Start, Health Care for the Homeless, Nutrition Services, Urban Male Health, Tattoo Removal, Tobacco Control, and Medical Marijuana I.D Card. Ms. Watkins-Tartt serves on several community-based and inter-governmenntal collaboratives including the California Convergence, Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative, Eden Area Livability Initiative, East Oakland Building Health Communities, and HOPE Collaborative.
Leon has been involved with HOPE since the collaborative was formed in 2007. Throughout the years, he has participated in HOPE’s Leadership Institute and Training of Trainers and is currently a HOPE Project Leader, Steering Committee member, and Executive Committee member. Leon gained and strengthened his skills in communications and leadership from his various leadership roles and has taken his skills to help other organizations such as moderating East Oakland BHC’s Oakland Speaks Forum in fall 2014. Plugging into HOPE and other work within the city, and seeing other people’s involvement to change the political system, inspires him to continue his work at HOPE.
Maria has 16 years of experience working on health, health equity and health policy. She is a seasoned coalition builder and a firm believer in the power of people coming together to address complex social problems.
She is an acupuncturist by trade and spent over ten years as a practitioner serving uninsured and underinsured populations. She is also a former health educator, having served in faculty and curriculum development roles for community health workers and Chinese medicine students. Maria spent the last several years deeply involved with Affordable Care Act outreach, education and enrollment, and legislative work. She holds a B.S. in Biology and a Masters in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Currently, she is working on her Masters in Public Health.
Maria was the Campaign Lead at East Oakland Building Healthy Communities (East Oakland BHC), supporting campaign efforts relating to issues of health access, economic opportunity, land use, and peace promotion and serves on HOPE’s Steering Committee as a Healthy City Planning partner.
Michelle Oppen is the Program Manager of Coordinated School Health for Oakland Unified School District. She guides the School Wellness Council, the implementation of the School Wellness Policy, and develops programs and systems to move the work forward. Michelle strives to support school sites by creating partnerships and technical assistance opportunities to increase school wellness resources and she serves on HOPE’s Steering Committee to connect her work at OUSD to HOPE, the community, and the city. Prior to working for OUSD, Michelle worked at several government and non-profit agencies to promote nutrition and physical activity and prevent childhood obesity. She completed her Masters of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan and her BA from University of Rochester. Michelle lives in Oakland with her husband and two daughters.
Nakia is a recent Cal graduate who majored in African American studies. She now works for the Alameda County Public Health Department as the Community Engagement Worker with the Best Babies Zone. Nakia is from the most beautiful city in the world San Diego, where the sun is always shining and there is hardly ever a rainy day. In her spare time she loves to cook, read amazing books, and do work with her new Oakland Community!
Paula is a foodie at heart and is passionate about everything that is food related. Paula is your neighborhood advocate for healthy food access as well as affordable housing, good jobs, and safe communities. She is heavily involved with various social justice organizations including People’s Grocery, Oakland Food Policy Council, East Oakland BHC, Causa Justa::Just Cause (CJJC), Oakland United Coalition, and HOPE Collaborative.
Since her involvement at HOPE in 2007, Paula has been a participant of HOPE’s Leadership Institute and Training of Trainers and is currently helping the Healthy Corner Store Project take off the ground as one of the project leaders, food systems chair, and now a Steering Committee member.
Sarahy Dominguez is a Youth Leader for HOPE’s Youth Action Board. She has been involved with HOPE for nearly three years. After a Youth Leader for the Youth Action Board (YAB) went to her high school to recruit new members and her Medical Chemistry teacher encouraged her to apply, Sarahy joined the YAB and soon enjoyed going to the HOPE office every Thursday and working on the Healthy Corner Store Team/Project. As the YAB year was coming to its summer term Sarahy was invited into the position of Youth Leader. With initial hesitation she said yes, and started to get the hang of things soon after. She enjoys being the Youth Leader but also likes the opportunity to step back and focus on being part of the Media Team. At the moment she is working with her team to finish a few more videos, in addition to the well-received Food Desert video.
On top of all her work at HOPE, Sarahy will be attending Laney College in the fall, where she will be studying Sociology.
Originally from Detroit Michigan, Shaniece relocated to Oakland after residing in Chicago, Illinois where she obtained her Master’s of Social Work degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. As the new director of the Oakland Food Policy Council, Shaniece brings her passion for social justice including food equity as well as addressing the systemic impacts of poverty, homelessness, and incarceration on people of color across the country. She maintains a commitment to a combination of program design, legislative advocacy and policy reform as the approach for systemic change for individuals, families and communities.
Sabrina Wu – Project Director
Sabrina holds a MS in Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Policy from Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, where she was a USDA Sustainable Science Fellow, and a BA from Barnard College of Columbia University. She is also a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Professional Chef Training Program. Sabrina has over 12 years of experience in public health, nutrition, sustainable food systems, and youth development. Sabrina also currently serves on he Oakland Food Policy Council. As HOPE’s Project Director, Sabrina enjoys working directly with people from all walks of life in Oakland. HOPE has a mix of projects and the organization gives her the opportunity to engage in work around policy, community organizing, and leadership training.
Contact Sabrina at firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 444-4291.
Ang Hadwin – Program Manager, Food Systems
Ang Hadwin has over a decade of experience working as an educator and organizer to promote healthy communities from the Bronx to Oakland. Ang’s work has centered on lifting up the leadership of those most impacted by inequity, from environmental justice organizing in the South Bronx to developing garden programs that supported community control over public land. Prior to joining HOPE, Ang completed a one-year fellowship at ChangeLab Solutions where they researched innovative policy and program strategies to address health disparities including corner store conversion programs, zoning for urban agriculture, and school wellness policies. Ang is excited to be working on building a food system in which health benefits and economic opportunities are shared equitably. Ang holds a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an AB in Biology & Environmental Science from Bryn Mawr College.
Contact Ang at email@example.com or (510) 444-4221.
Ruben Farias – Project Associate, Built Environment
Ruben supports the development and implementation of HOPE Collaborative’s Built Environment work. He has over four years of work experience in community-based projects, including recruiting historically underrepresented students to Occidental College, interning at the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), and recently completing a Policy Fellowship with ChangeLab Solutions. Ruben grew up in South Central Los Angeles with his mother and siblings and experienced slow, inconvenient, and sometimes dangerous trips using public transportation. Thanks in large part to those trips; Ruben is committed to strengthening the quality and inclusiveness of communities like where East and West Oakland residents live, work, and play. He is a graduate of Occidental College (BA in Critical Theory & Social Justice) and holds a MS in Sociology from Texas A&M University.
Contact Ruben at firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 444-4295.
Mario Balcita – Program Manager, Community and Youth Engagement
Mario Balcita comes to HOPE with 19 years of extensive experience supporting the health and wellness of youth of color throughout the Bay Area. He has worked with LYRIC and CUAV in San Francisco working to end violence against and within queer and trans youth, supported youth voice in city policy with San Francisco’s Youth Commission, directed elementary after school programming at East Oakland Pride, and most recently managed at school based health center at Tennyson High School in Hayward. Through a partnership with East Oakland Building Healthy Communities (East Oakland BHC), Mario coordinates their Youth Leadership Board, Youth Mini Grants, and Youth Work Group. At HOPE, Mario works with an intergenerational group of community members who inspire him to continue working towards social justice.
Contact Mario at email@example.com or (510) 444-4212.
Teleah Slater – Food Justice Community Organizer and Project Assistant
Contact Teleah at firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 444-4133.