Pecolia is Plan’s Executive Director with over 15 years of organizing and advocacy experience. She joined PLAN in 2013 as a Program Director, and was promoted to Associate Director in 2015. As Associate Director she developed strong relationships with all members, established herself as a leader in the organization and in the parent leadership movement in Oakland.
In January of 2016, she was appointed by the Board of Directors to serve as Acting Executive Director based on her multi-faceted understanding of parent engagement and advocacy. Prior to coming to PLAN, Pecolia worked for Coleman Advocates organizing with low-income families of color to launch school-based and district-wide campaigns to improve the conditions of their children’s education environments.
During her almost six years with Coleman Advocates she worked to build a theory of change to create systemic change in education in San Francisco. This included creating a hybrid advocacy- and membership-based organizing model and designing education justice campaigns that addressed policies and that shifted institutional responsibility to solutions-oriented strategic planning and implementation.
Before her time at Coleman Advocates, Pecolia worked as an administrative assistant at the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), where she developed a keen understanding around the operational side of non-profits. Before her work at EBASE, Pecolia worked at the Jamestown Community Center as Coordinator of Youth Power, a middle school leadership development program in San Francisco’s Mission District.
Pecolia believes that authentic and transformative family engagement makes a significant difference in early childhood success for lifelong achievement. Recognizing the boundaries of traditional parent involvement, she leads PLAN to design programs and organizing strategies that foster shared responsibility for student success among families, schools, and communities. Pecolia inspires action through stories of parent-led advocacy efforts to provide quality education for all children. She invites the education sector to reflect on how to meaningfully apply research, experiences, and best practices to foster a deeper understanding of how individual family engagement successes lead to the broader systems change we desire.
As a Public Administration and Political Science student at California State University at East Bay she hopes to continue building her skills and knowledge to support communities of color to successfully design practice and policies that close the achievement gap, train a new generation of education organizers and support the movement for education justice within the Bay Area, statewide and nationally.