We have a significant number of people in addition to the people listed here who assist our initiatives in some capacity. For the complete Team list for each initiative please visit: Green For All, #YesWeCode, and #cut50.
Van Jones is a CNN political commentator, regularly appearing across the network’s programming and special political coverage.
Jones is a Yale-educated attorney. He is the author of two New York Times best-selling books, The Green Collar Economy (2008) and Rebuild the Dream (2012). The second book chronicles his journey as an environmental and human rights activist to becoming a White House policy advisor. He was the main advocate for the Green Jobs Act. Signed into law by George W. Bush in 2007, the Green Jobs Act was the first piece of federal legislation to codify the term “green jobs.” During the Obama Administration, the legislation has resulted in $500 million in national funding for green jobs training.
In 2009, Jones worked as the green jobs advisor to President Barack Obama. In this role, Jones helped to lead the inter-agency process that oversaw the multi-billion dollar investment in skills training and jobs development within the environmental and green energy sectors.
Jones has been honored with numerous awards and spotlighted on several lists of high achievers, including: the World Economic Forum’s “Young Global Leader” designation; Rolling Stone’s 2012 “12 Leaders Who Get Things Done”; TIME’s 2009 “100 Most Influential People in The World”; and the Root's 2014 "The Root 100." He is presently a fellow at the MIT Media Lab.Van is founder of Dream Corps, Rebuild The Dream, Green For All, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Color of Change.https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/rebuildthedream/pages/5656/attachments/original/1467320610/00-aa-van_jones__photo.png?1467320610
Vien Truong is a solutions innovator and movement builder who has been a key architect to building an equitable green economy. Vien has developed numerous energy, environmental, and economic policies and programs at the state, federal and local levels. She has advised on billions of dollars in public investments for energy and community development programs. Most recently, Vien co-led a coalition to pass and implement California's landmark Senate Bill 535 (de Leon), a law that created the biggest fund in history for the poorest and most polluted communities -- to date it has reinvested over $800 million in disadvantaged communities most harmed by fossil fuel pollution. She also co-led Charge Ahead California, which will place one million electric vehicles to California in 10 years, especially ensuring that low-income communities most impacted by pollution will benefit from zero tailpipe emissions.
She is a board member of US Climate Action Network, Clean Energy Works, and MegaPhone Strategies. She previously led The Greenlining Institute’s Environmental Equity program, Chaired the City of Oakland’s Planning Commission, and taught New Business Practicum at UC Berkeley’s Boalt School of Law.
Vien received the White House Champion of Change award for her work on climate equity. Vien has also received numerous congressional, state, regional and local awards for her work advocating on behalf of those most vulnerable to climate change. She was featured in the SF Chronicle as one of San Francisco’s “Top Women Leaders,” received California League of Conservation Voters’ “Environmental Leadership Award”; and Transform’s “Leadership, Innovation, Vision, Equity” award. She also received YBCA 100 which recognizes the creative minds that who are making the provocations that will shape the future of culture and was recognized as a "Power Shifter" on the Grist 50.
Vien is a first-generation resident of Oakland, where she continues to live and invest in. She holds a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and a J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law.https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/rebuildthedream/pages/5661/attachments/original/1492958342/vien.png?1492958342
For the last 14 years, Somer Huntley has honed her organizational and management skills as a leader in the non-profit sector. She began her career at Rainforest Action Network, where she defended the rights of indigenous people and fought corporate power. During her tenure RAN obtained key commitments from America's largest corporations, including Citi, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Kinko's, and Lowe's.At Dream Corps, Somer oversees organizational structure, team management, campaign development and staffing in addition to providing support for president and founder, Van Jones. Somer received a Master's Degree in Ecological Economics from San Francisco State University. Her thesis, Redefining Economics: Offering Solutions to a Sustainable Future" was recently published by Lambert Academic Publishing.https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/rebuildthedream/pages/5663/attachments/original/1499891591/Dreamcorps-0061-Somer_Huntley-RT-LinkedIn.jpg?1499891591
Nisha joined the team in 2013 and is a veteran fundraiser and consultant with decades of experience in nonprofit development and management. Previously, she was the Director of Development for The Ruckus Society, a national direct action training organization, and for San Francisco Women Against Rape, the city's rape crisis center. Nisha is a senior trainer and consultant with GIFT, the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training. As a certified coach, Nisha is a pioneer in the field of “fundraising coaching.” She provides her clients with a unique blend of coaching through their issues around money while providing high-quality fundraising tools and consulting services. Nisha has also played a public role: interviewing extensively for TV, print and radio and speaking in front of the UN, US Congressional Hearings, press conferences, activist gatherings, protests and more. In addition, her writing has appeared in The Nation, The Grassroots Fundraising Journal and online media.https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/rebuildthedream/pages/5664/attachments/original/1507504669/IP3C0533-3.JPG?1507504669
Matt Haney coordinates, implements and provides policy and research direction and support for Dream Corp's program initiatives. He develops communications, social media, and briefing materials and reports, and leads strategic policy direction and advocacy.Matt also serves as an elected School Board Member on the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education, where he is responsible for determining policy, budget, curriculum, educational goals and standards for all pre K-12 public schools in San Francisco. In his role as a School Board Member, Matt has been a national leader on ending the school to prison pipeline, including authoring a landmark policy transforming San Francisco's school discipline system.
Matt is also an Adjunct Faculty Member at the Stanford d.school, where he uses design thinking and human centered design to incubate new ideas public education and government. As the former Executive Director of the University of California Student Association, Matt worked directly for the over 200,000 students in the UC system, managing a budget of over half a million dollars and a team of dedicated professional staff, to ensure public education is protected for current and future generations. Matt is the Co-founder and Chair of Citizen Hope, a Bay Area organization which encourages civic engagement and community service.
Matt has a B.A. from UC Berkeley, an MA from Stanford University School of Education,a JD from Stanford Law School with a focus on education law, and an LLM in Human Rights from National University of Ireland where he was a Senator George Mitchell Scholar.https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/rebuildthedream/pages/5671/attachments/original/1467322066/00_a_photo_mhaney.jpg?1467322066
Jessica Jackson is a human rights attorney who began her career representing California death row inmates in their appeals. She now oversees DreamCorps #cut50 initiative to end mass incarceration. Jessica currently sits on The Committee for a Fair Judiciary, serves as a Board member of the American Constitution Society Bay Area Chapter, represents Congressman Jared Huffman on the Democratic Central Committee of Marin, and serves on the Public Outreach Committee for the Marin Bar Association.
She was elected to the Mill Valley City Council in November, 2013, becoming the youngest ever elected official in Marin County. In addition to her duties on the City Council, Jessica serves as Mill Valley's representative to the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Joint Services Oversight Committee, the Marin County Major Crimes Oversight Task Force, and the MCCMC Legislative Committee.
Jessica earned her B.A in Political Science from the University of South Florida Honors College and her Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara University School of Law where she received the Dean's Outstanding Student Leadership Award.https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/rebuildthedream/pages/5659/attachments/original/1467321384/00_a_photo_jjackson.jpg?1467321384
Shaka is a writer, mentor and motivational speaker whose story of redemption has inspired youth and young adults at high schools, universities, and conferences across the nation. He is founder of the Atonement Project, a recipient of the 2012 Black Male Engagement (BMe) Leadership Award, a 2013 MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, a Fellow in the inaugural class of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Community Leadership Network, and teaches a course on the Atonement Project at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In March 2014, Shaka shared his story on the world-renowned TED stage and in just four months his talk reached more than 1,000,000 views.
Shaka transformed his life and discovered his love for writing while serving nineteen years in prison, time he spent examining his life and the decisions that led him to spend his youth in a 6′ x 8′ cell. By sharing his story, Shaka has inspired mothers of murder victims to forgive, inspired young men in the streets to choose a college degree over a prison number, and shifted the thinking of tough-on-crime advocates from the lock-em-up-throw-away-the-key mentality to believing redemption is possible. Shaka has written a memoir about his life titled Writing My Wrongs (Drop a Gem Publishing, 2013) and published a collection of essays and poems about his abusive childhood and his life in the streets and in prison titledLive in Peace: A Youth Guide to Turning Hurt into Hope (Drop a Gem Publishing, 2012).
Anyone who has heard Shaka's story has been moved; and once they read his memoir they are challenged to question every system, from education to corrections, that touches the lives of people all over the country.https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/rebuildthedream/pages/5672/attachments/original/1467322152/00_a_shaka.jpg?1467322152
Tamyra has 10 years of youth development experience as an impassioned STEM educator, fueled by an altruistic belief in equity for all learners. Her diverse experience in education spans across classrooms in Dallas, Greece, and Oakland, and includes STEM program and curriculum development as well as teacher leadership and professional development. She is also a featured educator on a Stanford University Massive Open Online Course on formative assessment.
Tamyra holds a BA in Sociology from Howard University and a MS in Mathematics Teaching and Learning from Drexel University. Much of her pedagogical practice has been steeped in effective implementation of technology, informative and rich assessment, and student centered design. She has a natural orientation towards innovation and looks forward to embedding insights gained from her practice as an educator into youth development solutions that extend beyond the STEM classroom into the tech industry.https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/rebuildthedream/pages/5674/attachments/original/1499891819/Dreamcorps-0022-Tamyra_Wallker-RT-LinkedIn.jpg?1499891819
Luigi believes that social injustices can be tackled with strategic partnerships, by bringing in valuable resources, manpower and talent to devise creative community-based solutions. He hails from New York City, where he worked at New York Cares developing employee engagement service projects and programs for 50+ companies who wanted to give back to their neighbors and communities. Over three years, Luigi helped mobilize more than 17,500 employees on 460+ service projects to clean local parks, paint murals at public schools and community centers, provide educational enrichment programs for students and much more in all five boroughs.
Luigi received his BA in International Studies from Dickinson College and Master of Public Administration from Baruch College Marxe School of Public and International Affairs.https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/rebuildthedream/pages/16642/attachments/original/1499893353/Dreamcorps-0035-Luigi_Fu-RT-LinkedIn.jpg?1499893353
Michelle Romero is the Campaign Director of Green For All's Clean Power Plan campaign. In her role, she works to ensure equity has a front seat in the CPP so that it can become a strong vehicle for addressing both poverty and pollution across the country.
Immediately prior to joining Green For All, Michelle worked in the Issues Management and Policy Analysis unit for the President of the University of California system Janet Napolitano. She also spent five years at the Greenlining Institute, leading state strategy to ensure communities of color have a voice in the major decisions that affect their lives. Among her major accomplishments, includes an unprecedented statewide civic engagement campaign to engage people of color in California's 2011 redistricting process and activating and leading a 501c4 organization alongside 501c3 strategies.
Michelle has published research on barrier to voting advised state and local government agencies about effective practices for engaging communities of color in decision-making processes, wrote and lobbied for legislation, and helped catalyze a shift in the election policy community to design programs that are user-centered from the outset.
Michelle's work has been featured in the SF Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, KQED, ABC News, La Opinion, and many other media outlets. Michelle holds a B.A from the University of California at Santa Cruz.https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/rebuildthedream/pages/5679/attachments/original/1467323123/00_a_MichelleRomero_headshot.jpg?1467323123
Kim builds and manages relationships with the Administration, Congress, and with national environmental and progressive organizations and coalitions. She also helps shape the organization's national policy agenda. Prior to this role, she served as an executive aide and program associate for the organization. Kim attended Fort Valley State University and received her B.A. in Mass Communications. She has spent the majority of her career assisting children and families as a parent educator and later as a program manager and training director for resource centers in the Maryland Child Care Resource Network. She is passionate about making sure children are in a safe environment and families have access to available local, state and federal resources. Kim also enjoys photography and reading and is an avid walker.https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/rebuildthedream/pages/5676/attachments/original/1467322780/00_a_photo_knoble.png?1467322780
Kalia Lydgate is Dream Corps' National Coordinator for the #LoveArmy. Kalia is a cultural creative interested in building new models that make the old obsolete. In 2007, Kalia co-authored the first-in-the-nation legislation to fund green jobs training programs in Massachusetts. From 2009-2012, she co-led a green jobs program in New Bedford, MA that developed innovative, whole-systems solutions for environmental, economic and social justice challenges. During that time, she served as a Mayoral Fellow for the City of New Bedford, where she developed partnerships between the city, the local utility company and grassroots organizations to increase access to livable-wage jobs in the Green Economy. Kalia has developed environmental and climate justice curriculum for a number of after school and summer programs using hip hop and creative expression to teach and engage young people. For the past five years, she has been immersed in sustainable agriculture and alternative economies at the local level. Since 2013, she has worked with the Olohana Foundation to restore traditional Hawaiian agroforestry practices as part of a climate adaptation and food security strategy. Kalia graduated from Wesleyan University in 2007 with a degree in Social Ecology. She is a mother, kitchen herbalist, spoken word artist and salsa dancer.https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/rebuildthedream/pages/13746/attachments/original/1485178308/kalia.png?1485178308
Michael was sentenced to adult prison as a young person. At 15 he was told that he had no hope of changing and would spend the rest of his life in prison serving a life sentence. Through redemption, education, family support, and smart policy (SB 260), Michael would demonstrate his transformation after 17 years and prove that we can safely reduce our prison population.
Prior to joining #cut50, Michael worked at the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice as a case manager. He worked with families and at-risk-youth on probation to provide wrap around services and help bridge gaps to their needs. As a member of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, he collaboratively works with a group of members who were also formerly incarcerated or impacted by the criminal justice system to build safe neighborhoods and policy that promotes equity. In addition to working on several campaign steering committees on smart policy, he also conducts workshops for people who are currently incarcerated. His work within the walls of confinement provide hope and resources that will help them regain their humanity within our societies.
In 2017, Michael will have completed his B.A. in political science at San Francisco State University and will continue to pursue a higher education.https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/rebuildthedream/pages/13767/attachments/original/1485236923/temp_headshot.png?1485236923
Augusta "Gus” Alexander is executive assistant to Van, working in the Dream Corps Office of the President (or, “Team Van”).
Gus graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC), with a BA in Community Studies and Politics and a focus in public health. She came to us after working with a health equity research and advocacy group called Human Impact Partners (HIP), in Oakland, focusing on the social determinants of health. There, she developed an interest in research ethics, specifically research for social justice. Learning from the great researchers at HIP and pulling from the structural-level thinking of Community Studies (questions of power and position), Gus devoted her final university work to researching the historical implications – the beautiful and the ugly effects – that outside researchers can have on communities of people that they’re not intimately connected with.
Gus’ experience includes work with the California Rural Legal Assistance in Watsonville; two years as co-chair of an international clean-water organization; and four years as an active member of the UCSC African Student Union, where (as a white woman) her understanding of race and racism in the US was transformed. Gus is one of the three recipients of the 2016 UCSC Herman Blake Award for "outstanding scholarship and deep commitment to service and social justice." She is determined to approach the rest of her work with the same (and even deeper) type of heart, reflexivity, and active listening that got her to this opportune position.https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/rebuildthedream/pages/13715/attachments/original/1499892241/Dreamcorps-0043-Gus_Alexander-RT-LinkedIn.jpg?1499892241
Roger is a Bay Area native with a passion for helping the underserved. He graduated from California State University, Fullerton with honors and subsequently earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California. Prior to The Dream Corps, Roger worked at the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Office of the Medical Director, where he coordinated the Human Subjects Research Committee, supported the Countywide implementation of an electronic health record system, and worked toward hope, wellness, and recovery for all Angelenos suffering from mental illness and substance abuse. Roger has written for the City of Los Angeles, and has also published research in the Californian Journal of Health Promotion and Health and Social Work. Roger loves coffee, music, Bay Area sports teams, and staying active.https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/rebuildthedream/pages/7598/attachments/original/1501604139/Roger.jpg?1501604139
An expert generalist with 20 years of experience managing projects & logistics for different organizations, Cricket is ideally suited to assist with the foundational details that keep Dream Corps running smoothly.
Cricket offers daily support to the Chief of Staff and Director of External Relations maintaining the President's calendar, and also supports all staff with events and travel logistics.
She is devoted to people, creating music, dancing, and working with positive focus to make beautiful things happen in the world.