Speakers are listed in alphabetical order, please consult the schedule for presentation and workshop days, times, and locations.
More speaker photos & bios coming soon!
Diamond Alexander, the Operations Specialist for Kinesiology and Athletics at COM, is dedicated to enhancing the student-athlete experience through academic support and game-day operations. Her background as a two-sport athlete at Santa Barbara City College gives her valuable insights into the challenges faced by student-athletes. Diamond holds a M.S. in Kinesiology from Cal Baptist University and a B.A. in Sociology from Cal State Long Beach.
Duane BigEagle is Osage Indian from Oklahoma. He has a B.A. Degree from the University of California at Berkeley and has been writing and publishing poetry since the mid-1970s. He has taught creative writing since 1976 with the California Poets in the Schools program and teaches Native American Studies at the college level. He has won several awards for his work, including the 1993 W. A. Gerbode Poetry Award. He is also a traditional American Indian singer and Osage Southern Straight dancer.
Jaimeo Brown (pronounced jah-mayo) has established himself as one of the preeminent conceptualists, composers and drummers and has worked with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, and Wynton Marsalis. As a Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. State Department, Jaimeo shared his extensive experience as a performer and educator, with students across Europe, Eastern Asia and Africa. Jaimeo was also a cast member/performer in the Grammy award-winning documentary “Twenty Feet From Stardom.” Jaimeo currently is the music director at The Branson School in Ross CA this year Jaimeo was awarded 2023 Creative Capital, Wild Futures Art, Culture, and Impact Award.
Ryan has been in the field of athletics and education for over 20 years. He has served as the Athletic Director at College of Marin for 7 years and at Santa Barbara City College for 5 years. Prior to that, he coached football at Diablo Valley College and Santa Rosa Junior College for 8 years.
As the Student Conduct and Community Standards Coordinator for the College, Marco is responsible for implementing and coordinating any activities associated with the Standards of Student Conduct (Board Policy 5500). Additionally, Marco is the primary manager for COM's behavioral intervention system, COM Care. COM Care addresses concerns regarding the overall well-being of students, faculty, and staff. With an equity and impartial approach, Marco consults with on and off-campus partners as necessary as possible regarding the practices, procedures, interventions, and student's rights and responsibilities.
Elizabeth Carranza-Torres, MSW, LCSW, is a Probation Supervisor with the Marin County Probation Department- Juvenile Services Division. She earned her bachelor’s degree from The University of the Pacific with a Communication major and a Spanish minor. Afterward, she attended CSU Sacramento, earning a Master of Social Work degree. For the last 12 years, Elizabeth has been a part of the Probation Department, where she has assisted Spanish monolingual clients and transitional-age youth in navigating the complex criminal justice system and providing resources for recovery/rehabilitation.
Kevin Cokley, Ph.D. is the University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor and Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan where he serves as Associate Chair of Diversity Initiatives for the Department of Psychology. His research and teaching can be categorized in the area of African American psychology, with a focus on racial identity and the psychological and environmental factors that impact African American students’ academic achievement.
Craig Coss is a Bay Area fine artist, illustrator, and storyteller who has exhibited in several northern California museums and galleries, and illustrated the tarot deck for HBO’s Game of Thrones. For over thirty years, Craig has also worked in public schools as a volunteer, artist in residence, certificated teacher, curriculum designer, and instructional consultant. Today, he teaches drawing and painting courses at the College of Marin.
Derethia DuVal, Ph.D, MFT has been a practicing Family Therapist since 1982 with a focus on increasing the psychological mindedness, self-awareness, and cultural understanding of oppression that traumatizes the wellbeing of Black, marginalized and disenfranchised people.
She worked as a clinician at the West Oakland Mental Health Center, a clinical counselor in and director of the Counseling and Psychological Services Center at San Francisco State University.
Shaquam Urquhart Edwards
Mina Fedor (15) is the founder and Executive Director of AAPI Youth Rising, a national student organization with nearly 100 Chapters nationwide that takes small actions to make positive change. AAPI Youth Rising volunteers to teach their ONE DAY OF AAPI HISTORY lesson about Asians in America to classrooms for free. The lesson will reach 54,000+ school districts in 2023. For her work, President Biden named Mina as one of 16 civilian “Uniters” at the “United We Stand Summit.” www.aapiyouthrising.org. IG @aapiyouthrising.
Robin’s 30-year career teaching yoga began teaching yoga while she was living in Saudi Arabia. Teaching people with diverse cultural experiences shaped her unique approach to yoga, blending stress relief techniques with asana for a practice that grounded, eased, and healed.
Babalwa Kwanele is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) with over two decades of experience providing community mental health care to culturally diverse populations. Ms. Kwanele is the co-founder and project lead of the innovative African American Holistic Resource Center (AAHRC) in Berkeley, CA. She holds a Master of Science degree in counseling and is a Doctoral Candidate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice.
Cesar Lagleva, LCSW, was born in the Philippines and emigrated at age 10 to the Bay Area, where his family faced many challenges associated with acculturation and poverty. Lagleva obtained a bachelor's and master's degree in Social Work at SF State University to serve to disenfranchised people and communities. Trained in multicultural/social justice education from the TODOS Institute, he has facilitated workshops and seminars on race, class and gender-based discrimination and inequities.
Gloria Lucas is an eating disorders awareness educator and organizer that specializes in intersectional eating disorders education and resources that transform the lives of BIPOC individuals and expand eating disorders treatment models. Being the founder and CEO of Nalgona Positivity Pride, she is able to raise awareness through digital media, public speaking, and grassroots activism. She lives in Orange County, CA.
Cary (she/her) is the founder and executive director of Art With Impact and a firm believer that art is the answer (and it doesn’t even matter what the question is). She considers mental health to be the foundation of all social justice and, through Art With Impact, works to create learning environments that explore this rich subject through the power of art and creativity.
In 2014, Maureen registered for Barefoot Movement’s yoga teacher training program, where she learned that yoga was so much more than physical postures: yoga, or “union” is a way of life. Black to Yoga allows Maureen to share this way of life with her Black and Brown brothers and sisters. Teaching yoga is her calling in life, and she intends to answer this call to the best of her ability each and every time she teaches.
Much of Joshua’s work stems from his personal identity as a Christian, queer, fem, gender non-conforming, multiracial Asian-American/Euro-American, man who grew up in Mississippi. He is currently the Vice President of Student Services at the College of San Mateo (CSM). Prior to CSM, he served as the Dean of Student Services & Title IX Coordinator at American River College in Sacramento, California, where he had previously served as the Dean of Equity Programs and Pathways.
My name is Karina Ochoa, I am a Sociology major at College of Marin. I am part of the Rising Scholars program and am the President of the student club. I work with Youth Transforming Justice and College of Marin. I was raised by two immigrant parents. I was born in Greenbrae.
Mark Parker, a Marin County native, began his career as a Peer Specialist in 2011 working for a nonprofit organization. With experience in various roles, including drop-in centers, homeless outreach, and patients' rights advocacy, Mark joined Behavioral Health and Recovery Services in 2018. He focused on providing Peer support to the TAY population and First Episode Psychosis Programs.
My name is Adam Paoli. I was born in Santa Rosa, CA. I am a Computer Science major at College of Marin. I am a part of the Rising Scholars restorative justice program for formerly incarcerated and EOPS.
Teresa Reiko Perales
Teresa Reiko Perales (she/they/elle) also known as Tea, is College of Marin’s Equity and Activities Coordinator for the Office of Student Activities & Advocacy and the Chair of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Action Committee (IDEA). Their intersectional identities, including their Japanese and Mexican heritage, being a queer non-binary person of color, and growing up in a racially and socioeconomically diverse extended family, shaped their passion and commitment to creating equitable, just, and healing communities.
Vernon grew-up in two of San Francisco’s roughest areas, the Tenderloin and the Western Addition District (Fillmore), during the early 80’s to late 90’s. Vernon was exposed to many healthy and unhealthy ways of living and learned how to make critical life decisions.
Dr. Susan Rahman is a mother, activist, and professor of Sociology and Behavioral Sciences at the College of Marin. She is the author of two books, A People's History of Structural Racism in Academia and Sexuality, the Self and Society. Her current work involves dismantling the prison industrial complex and creating viable and sustainable pathways for people leaving incarceration.
Coach Russell is in his first year as a full-time kinesiology instructor and third as head coach. He also serves as one of the Umoja Institue Athletics Facilitator. Coach Russell's unwavering commitment to excellence both on and off the court has been a hallmark of his career. With a background in counseling, he provides players with comprehensive experience, equipping them with extensive knowledge in basketball, career development, and essential life skills. By fostering a growth mindset within the program, Coach Russell ensures that success extends beyond the court, positively impacting players' personal lives.
Emily Schaefer is a coach, instructor, mentor and leader of scholar-athletes at COM. As a Kinesiology Instructor and the Head Coach of the College of Marin Women’s Basketball program, she is committed to her students and athletes, and creates a positive learning environment that is consistently engaging, supportive and student-centered. Emily is dedicated to her diverse population of scholar-athletes and helping them navigate their physical, mental and social health, overcoming adversity, and ultimately achieving academic, athletic, and social success COM and beyond.
Higher education transformed Lauren’s life, and in her 20+ years as an educator, Lauren has endeavored to pay the transformation forward. Her educational praxis centers on equity, inquiry, community, culture, and aloha. Lauren was born on Oahu, Hawaii, speaks Hawaiian Creole, enjoys talking story, and weaves, with joy, the fullness of her intersectional identity into her work as an educator. It is Lauren's honor to serve as Dean of Arts & Humanities at College of Marin.
An environmental studies major at COM, Reva hails from both the U.S. and the Philippines as a queer child of Chinese-Tahitian immigrants. Fascinated by the intersection of environmental justice, identity, and mental health, she draws on her experience as a beneficiary of transformative learning communities like Puente and Umoja to understand the value of nurturing community and safe spaces. Leading the Environmental Action Club and pioneering an Asian Pacific Islander association on campus, Reva aspires to cultivate inclusive dialogues, provide essential resources to marginalized communities, and drive positive change for both the environment and the well-being of diverse identities.
Sadika Sulaiman Hara (she/her) is an educator in higher education who creates learning environments that hold, uplift, and encourage students, while centering racial justice and dismantling white supremacy. Sulaiman Hara has deep professional roots in multicultural affairs, and currently leads the Office of Student Activities and Advocacy, including, student conduct and behavior intervention, at the College of Marin.
My name is Nala Tucker, I am a current basketball player on the Women's basketball team at COM. First generation out of my family to being attending college. Throughout my experience so far, due to the experience I can now navigate through my academics , sports, and be able to openly talk about my experience including how I dealt with my mental and how perseverance I've to overcome any obstacles life may throw at me.
I am Cobi Wilson. I was born in Aloha, Oregon and live in Oakland, California. I am a student athlete on the men's basketball team, working towards a social and behavioral science degree, while also working as an Umoja peer mentor. For the future, I plan to further my higher education and basketball career at a four-year university while pursuing my entrepreneurship passions.