Biographies – March 2013
Ms. Black currently works as a Program Planner for the City of Oakland, Department of Human Services (DHS), Head Start/Early Head Start programs, and has held this position for the past 3.5 years. Ms. Black brought to this position 20 years of experience in early care and education with Oakland’s Even Start Family Literacy Program and as an educational researcher and content specialist in children’s educational multimedia with Sesame Workshop and Lucas Learning. She was inspired to devote her career to quality early learning experiences early on, when she worked as a preschool teacher with the Children’s Collective in South Central Los Angeles. There, she gained great appreciation for the impact of quality early experiences on children’s developmental outcomes and school success. She earned an MA in Education, with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education, from Mills College and BA in Child Development from California State University, Los Angeles. Ms. Black is currently working toward her doctorate in Educational Leadership, with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education, at Mills College.
Karla Rodriguez Forney is a respected advocate, organizer and educator in the nonprofit sector with more than a decade of experience in program development, grants management, coalition-building and policy advocacy, primarily focused on advancing the well-being of women of color and their families in California. Karla previously directed the Promotoras Program of Planned Parenthood Golden Gate and served as Program Officer for the Women’s Foundation of California. In 2012, she transitioned into working as a consultant focusing on promoting access to quality education and child care for low-income families. She currently serves as the Parent Voices Organizer of San Mateo County. Karla also plans to open a bilingual early learning program in the summer of 2012. She earned a MPH from San Francisco State University, BS from University of California, Davis and completed coaching training from the Coaches Training Institute. She and her husband reside in the Peninsula with their daughter and eagerly await the birth of their second child in early November 2012.
Eric Gavidia, a Bay Area native, earned his BS in Political Science and a BA in Communication from Stanford University. Learning the value of giving to community and volunteerism early on, he lived in a single-parent home and relied on mentors and philanthropists who supported organizations and programs in the community helping at-risk kids. He founded a successful consulting firm that has helped nonprofit organizations raise millions of dollars by providing expertise in fundraising, board development and grant writing. He volunteers with the Economic Development Commission, Youth Commission and the Workforce Investment Board in Richmond, CA, as well as Rotary International, the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center, Project Re-Connect, and others. Eric speaks three foreign languages and loves to travel. His hobbies include reading, dancing, motorcycling, gardening, sailing, skiing, and hiking.
Jennifer Greppi is a single mom of two daughters and a former CalWORKs participant. She joined PLAN in 2005 eager to build her skills as a parent organizer. After participating in the PLAN to LEAD program, she developed a strong Parent Voices chapter in Southern Alameda County and joined PLAN’s Leadership Council. She currently serves on the Alameda County Child Care Planning Council and the Public Policy Committee of the California Child Care Resource and Referral Network. A vocal advocate for child care, Jennifer is often in Sacramento testifying on behalf of low-income working parents on child care issues.
Anika Hardy has been working as an advocate for equity in health care and public education for more than a decade. Motivated to create systemic change within institutions that have historically reproduced inequities, Anika began her community work as an outreach assistant for the Ethnic Health Institute of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. After receiving her BA in Business Management from Holy Names University, she began working in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) as a Family Parent Liaison, opening a Family Resource Center at Oakland Technical High School. She later helped OUSD families to select schools through the open enrollment process and led the district’s Options and School Choice Task Force. Anika currently serves as Senior Program Manager for the OUSD Office of African American Male Achievement. She is the proud mother of a 16-year old daughter who will graduate from high school in May 2013 – the same month that Anika will earn her MBA from Mills College.
Angelica Jongco is a civil rights and employment law attorney with the Oakland-based law firm of Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker & Jackson, P.C. She represents classes of workers in discrimination, wage and hour and employee benefit class actions, and assists individual employees in securing disability, retirement, and health benefits that have been wrongly denied. Before joining the firm, she became familiar with issues of inequity in California public education through her work at the civil rights non-profit, Public Advocates, Inc. In that position, she partnered with community organizations like PLAN to work towards greater equity in our schools. Prior to law school, Ms. Jongco was the director of the Filipino/American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity. She earned her law degree from New York University Law School and her undergraduate degree from Yale University.
Kido is a single parent of two daughters and has been a PLAN leader since she graduated from the PLAN to LEAD program in 2006. She has testified in Sacramento on the need for more college prep classes for high school students, spoken at rallies about the need for greater compliance with the Williams Act, conducted legislative visits with state representatives about education equity issues, and served on PLAN’s Leadership Council. Kido is an independent child advocate with her own emerging nonprofit, Kido’n’Kidz, which supports parents in locating kidnapped children, and with issues of custody and children’s rights. In addition, Kido has advocated for special needs services and dealt with issues of diversity and equity in education and family law arenas.
Sarah has been a professional program evaluator for over a decade, focusing on education and youth programs. Her consulting practice, EVALution Resources, aims to equip mission-driven organizations with the tools and skills necessary to improve program outcomes through conducting thoughtful, purposeful, and high-quality evaluations of their own. Sarah has worked with private firms, large foundations, small non-profits, school districts and communities locally and internationally to make sense of current efforts and encourage data-driven decision-making. Sarah is committed in her professional and personal pursuits to issues of access, quality and equity in schools, and is the mom of two children, the oldest of whom is attending public school in Oakland.
Jean Tepperman is a freelance writer and editor who participated in the creation of PLAN when she was editor of the Children’s Advocate newsmagazine and executive director of Action Alliance for Children. She is a former teacher in both child care and high school. She has been working for the empowerment of parents in education as a parent activist and journalist for more than 30 years. Before coming to the Children’s Advocate she was an editor and columnist at the San Francisco Bay Guardian, publications associate at the San Mateo County Office of Education, publications director at the Citywide Educational Coalition in Boston, and editor of the Dorchester (MA) Community News.
Tammy Johnson, Your Body Raks (Chair Emeritus)
A dancer, writer, and equity activist, Tammy hails from east Tennessee, where she was inspired by her family’s dedication to the struggle for civil rights. As a community organizer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she directed electoral and issue campaigns around public education, election reform, economic and gender justice issues. This led to a decade in advancing racial justice values as a trainer, writer and public speaker at the Applied Research Center (ARC). Based in their Oakland, California headquarters, Tammy became widely recognized for her knowledge of racially equitable public policy practices. Since 2003, bellydance has been a central focus in Tammy’s life. She is now co-owner of Your Body Raks, a movement and wellness business that celebrates bodies of every size through classes, workshops and performance.