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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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Rio Holaday – Director
Rio is the Director of HOPE Collaborative and a former HOPE Steering Committee member and volunteer. She is a social justice unicorn and has worked in policy, research, and direct service. Prior to joining HOPE, Rio was a Senior Policy Analyst at ChangeLab Solutions with a focus on food access and childhood obesity. She has conducted Fulbright research in South Africa on economic migration, worked with resettled refugees in Vermont, and co-founded a youth-run social enterprise in Philadelphia. Rio is part of the 2017 cohort of Culture of Health Leaders, a national leadership program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Contact Rio at firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 444-4291.
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. 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.
Paul Hoàng Nguyễn – Food Justice Innovations Manager
Paul holds a BA in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine. Before joining HOPE, Paul was organizing a Community Supported Agriculture program that focused on working with Asian Farmers to bring culturally relevant produce to community members in his hometown of Garden Grove, CA. In Los Angeles, he continued to learn and work on Food Justice Issues. Working to expand the CSA program as well as address public health issues in Asian and Pacific Islander communities. During his time in LA, Paul also worked with high school students in the San Gabriel Valley to advocate for better air quality and worked with youth toward becoming leaders in their community. Paul is excited to lead the food work that HOPE has been championing here in the City of Oakland and looks forward to learning more about the Oakland community.
Sarahy Dominguez – Youth Engagement Organizer
Sarahy Dominguez is the Youth Engagement Organizer for HOPE. She was the Youth Leader for HOPE’s Youth Action Board and 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 initiated media projects during her time as a YAB leader, including this well-received Food Desert video. On top of all her work at HOPE, Sarahy is attending Laney College where she is studying Sociology.
Contact Sarahy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erica Jackson – Food Justice Community Organizer
Erica Jackson is the Food Justice Community Organizer. She was a member of HOPE’s Youth Action Board since she was sixteen years old and became a youth leader during her second year at HOPE. During her free time, she enjoys writing poetry and sitting by the water during the sunset. One of Erica’s greatest passions is to show the youth of color that they can achieve whatever they put their mind to in a society that’s pitted against their success; it is also what drives her to continue the work that she does.
Contact Erica at email@example.com.