Eveline Shen, Executive Director, Oakland
Since Eveline's leadership began in 1999, Forward Together has become widely recognized for its innovative role in the Reproductive Justice Movement—working with grassroots communities; providing thought leadership; developing effective tools and resources for evaluation, training, and documentation; and organizing for long-term systemic change. Eveline serves on the board of the Movement Strategy Center and is a member of the Bay Area Social Justice Funders Network advisory committee. She has also served as Principal Investigator for two National Institutes of Health grants that explore the intersection between environmental justice and reproductive justice. Women's eNews named Eveline one of their 21 Leaders for the 21st Century. She was a 2009 Gerbode Fellow and holds a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley in Community Health Education.
Kemi Alabi, Program Communications Manager, Oakland
Kemi joined Forward Together in November 2014, and she's thrilled to work at the intersection of movement building, policy, field and communications strategy as Program Communications Manager. Originally from Wisconsin, she earned her B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from Boston University in 2013 as a Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholar. There, she organized with low-wage labor and LGBT rights campaigns while writing, teaching and touring as a performance poet. She moved to Oakland, CA for queer love, black liberation, weirdo writers and 60 degree winters; it's worked out quite well.
Adriann Barboa, New Mexico Field Director, New Mexico
Adriann Barboa is a Chicana, Native New Mexican born and raised in Albuquerque, where she is a single mother of two. In 2012, Forward Together launched the Strong Families New Mexico state based action site with Adriann as Field Director. As Field Director for Strong Families New Mexico, Adriann connects across; issue areas, geography, and differences in approach, to advance the work and leverage capacity for a strong network in New Mexico and in connection to the Strong Families national movement work led by Forward Together. Adriann brings 15 plus years experience in the social justice sector, working primarily on issues of gender, reproductive, anti-violence, education and youth justice in communities of color.
Micah Bazant Artist in Residence, Oakland
Micah Bazant joined Forward Together as Artist in Residence in March 2017. They bring more than 10 years experience making art in collaboration with social justice movements. Prior to coming on staff, Micah worked as a freelance graphic designer, artist and art director. In 2014 they worked with Forward Together and trans justice organizations across the country on the Trans Day of Resilience Art Project. In 2016, Micah initiated the Trans Life and Liberation Art Series, celebrating the existence and resistance of trans activists and artists of color across the US. Micah is advisory board member of Sins Invalid, a member of the Jewish Voice for Peace Artist Council, and a long-term partner with Movement Generation. They love drawing, growing and eating food, bike adventures, and speculative fiction.
Moira Bowman, Deputy Director, Portland
Moira Bowman joined Forward Together in November 2007 and works primarily from Portland, Oregon. As Deputy Director, Moira builds and manages an effective staff team and plays a lead role in the strategy and implementation of the Strong Families initiative. Relying on more than 20 years of experience working with social justice nonprofits, Moira also provides technical assistance to a number of our allies. Moira has been active in the social justice movement for the last two decades on issues of economic and racial justice, LGBTQ rights, and gender justice. She brings extensive experience in movement building, organizing, political education, and technical assistance. As Director of the Gender Justice Program at Western States Center, Moira worked to build regional capacity (in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, and Wyoming) to counter the Right's agenda and to build progressive power for low-income families, communities of color, and LGBTQ communities.
Jessica Lopez Collins, New Mexico Program Director, Albuquerque
Jessica joined Forward Together as the New Mexico Program Director in July 2015. She ensures that the Strong Families network in New Mexico is both vibrant and part of the broader Strong Families initiative. Prior to joining Forward Together, Jessica spent twelve years at Media Literacy Project where she led the Girl Tech program for young women of color that centered on reproductive justice, video production, and media literacy. She also designed curriculum, taught classes to middle and high school students, and trained nationally and internationally in media literacy and media justice. Jessica also brings experience in educating and organizing on media access issues. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Young Women United. When not at work, Jessica enjoys spending time with her two sons, Luca and Micah, reading nonfiction, and hiking in the mountains.
Kelly Francisco, New Mexico Program Assistant, Albuquerque
In August 2013, Kelly joined Forward Together in a temporary Administrative Assistant position and now is the New Mexico Program Assistant. Born and raised in North Eastern Arizona, Kelly is Diné (Navajo) of the Red House Clan and born for the Mexican People Clan. She is fortunate to have been raised in strong Diné teachings and practices by her parents, grandparents, and extended families; Kelly proudly represents herself as a Diné woman. She currently resides in Albuquerque, where she completed her BA in Psychology at the University of New Mexico. During her time at UNM, she was very active in student organizations and community organizing.
Jeana Frazzini Director of Philanthropic Partnerships, Portland
Jeana joined the Forward Together team in March 2017 and works primarily from Portland, Oregon. As the Director of Philanthropic Partnerships, Jeana is mobilizing financial resources to power the work of Forward Together. Most recently, Jeana served as Executive Director of Basic Rights Oregon, where she successfully built the organization into a nationally-recognized powerhouse, known for innovation, intersectionality and bold policy wins. During her tenure, Jeana led a transformative process to integrate racial and transgender justice into the organization’s culture and priorities and positioned the organization to play an essential role in the national strategy to win the freedom to marry, as well as statewide transgender health access, immigrant rights and economic justice campaigns. Jeana built relationships across the LGBTQ and allied movements, channeling the influence, resources, and energy of partners toward education and policy campaigns that profoundly shifted the landscape for LGBTQ people, couples, and families. Jeana is mama to two amazing boys, Emmett & Griffin.
Leslie Griep, Director of Finance and Operations, Oakland
Leslie joined the Forward Together team in October 2014 as the Director of Finance and Operations. Throughout her career, she has worked in a variety of not-for-profit organizations in accounting, administrative, and program positions. Her activist interests include affordable housing, economic & racial justice, LGBTQ rights, and anti-violence work. When not in front of multiple spreadsheets, Leslie bikes, runs, eats, and watches movies (with a particular soft spot for sing-along musicals).
Kalpana Krishnamurthy, Senior Policy Director, Portland
Kalpana joined the Forward Together team in March 2013 as the Policy Director. Working from Portland, Oregon, Kalpana will be helping to develop and implement Forward Together's policy shift and civic engagement strategies. Most recently, Kalpana spent eight years as a field director at Western States Center focusing on building the racial justice and gender justice programs at the Center. She served as the primary author of the Oregon and Nevada legislative report cards on racial equity. She helped to develop and lead the Uniting Communities work, which works to help organizations of color meaningfully engage their own LGBT constituents of color. Prior to Western States, Kalpana worked in philanthropy at both the Third Wave Foundation and the Ms. Foundation for Women. She remains active in philanthropy and currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity. She is the mother of two fabulous boys, Sachin and Kavi.
Darshan Khalsa Organizational Growth Director, Oakland
Darshan Khalsa serves as the Organizational Growth Director, where she leads human resources, technology, and operations toward policy and practices that embody our mission, transform culture, and catalyze social change. Darshan has long been passionate about strengthening sustainability in social justice organizations – and especially for the amazing people who work in social justice movements. As a senior nonprofit leader for fourteen years, Darshan has dedicated her career to organizations that serve and support racial justice, gender equality, and youth leadership. From 2014-2016, she served first as the General Services Manager and then as Human Resources Manager at Asian Health Services, a community health center in Oakland, CA serving more than 24,000 patients in eleven languages. She has served as the Managing Director at the Center for Media Justice, Deputy Director at Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity (URGE), and Deputy Director at the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development. She is currently chair of URGE's Board of Directors and served on the Board of Directors of the Third Wave Foundation from 2009-2014. Darshan holds a BA from California State University, Sacramento, and a JD from New York University School of Law.
Alanna Kwoka, Individual Giving Manager, Oakland
Alanna joined Forward Together as the Individual Giving Manager in July 2016. She is excited to inspire and thank people who invest in grassroots organizing and community-led change. Most recently, she stewarded donor-advised fund holders at the San Francisco Foundation and worked with them to give locally. Previously, Alanna worked at The Boston Women’s Fund, which makes grants to grassroots social justice organizations led by women of color. She earned a B.A. in Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brown University. Alanna can often be found going on lunchtime walks or curled up with a fantasy novel. She would like you to consider making a donation to Forward Together today.
Erin Malone, Communications Director, Brooklyn, NY
Erin joined Forward Together in April 2016 as the Communications Director working from Brooklyn, New York. As the Communications Director, Erin develops strategies to spread Forward Together's message of empowering families with the rights, recognition and resources they need to thrive. She oversees all aspects of the organizations communications and is the first point of contact for media inquiries.
Erin comes to Forward Together from the labor movement where she worked as a communicator for 1199SEIU. As a seasoned communications strategist, she has lead communications campaigns to win paid sick days and living wage legislation, secure affordable housing, keep hospitals open, secure strong union contracts, and provide medical relief in Haiti. Erin has previous experience as an organizer working to building union/community coalitions in the Bronx and Newark, organizing tenants at the University of California-San Diego and as an educator fighting for access to higher education and the retention of underrepresented students. She is also a communications trainer with degrees in advertising and communications and several years of teaching experience.
When not nerding out on the latest trends in communications strategy, you can find her on the dance floor or roaming the streets of New York with her camera.
Bianca Mounce Data and Analytics Strategist, Chicago
Since 2013, Bianca has empowered electoral campaigns, companies and non-profit organizations to strategically use data. After working on President Obama's re-election campaign as a Field Organizer in Tampa, Florida, Bianca continued immersing herself in data-driven campaigns and non-profit work. She was previously the National Data Manager at Organizing for Action where she oversaw reporting, training and data for Grassroots staff and volunteers. She then worked at Civis Analytics as a Client Success Analyst working with a diverse portfolio of clients on how to leverage the Civis Platform and data best practices. A native Oregonian, Bianca lived in the United Kingdom for five years, and has traveled to 21 countries. She likes to think she is equal parts coffee expert, yogi and proud Portlander.
Rosa Yadira Ortiz, Grants Manager, Portland
Rosa joined the Forward Together team in April 2016 as the Grants Manager working from the Portland office. As the Grants Manager, Rosa helps to develop, implement and administrate institutional fundraising strategies for Forward Together and its programs. Most recently, she served as the Development and Communications Director at the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health where she implemented new strategies and systems to secure necessary resources to sustain programming and developed an organizational approach to grassroots fundraising. During her time at ICAH, Rosa served on the leadership team of the organization where she nurtured a supportive, inventive, and dynamic team with an equal focus on the big and small picture, grounded in the organization’s mission and values. Prior to ICAH, Rosa served as the Development and Communications Manager at Western States Center where she focused on grants management and social media communication. Rosa is committed to volunteering in philanthropy and has been part of the grant making committee of McKenzie River Gathering (MRG) Foundation and the pilot Giving Project of the Crossroads Foundation. She holds a double BA in Latin American and Latina/o Studies and Spanish from DePaul University and a MA in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University. Rosa is a twin Mama, enjoys power lifting, and Virgen de Guadalupe iconography.
Maria A. Santos, Administrative
Maria joined Forward Together in January 2016 taking on the role of Administrative Coordinator. Born in the Philippines, Maria immigrated to the United States when she was seven years old settling with her family in Arizona and eventually moving to San Francisco in high school where she has lived for almost fifteen years. A product of San Francisco State University’s College of Ethnic Studies, Maria received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Asian American Studies. As a graduate student, her research explored the impact of teaching Ethnic Studies to Filipina/o American elementary school students focusing on the students she taught in Pin@y Educational Partnerships. Prior to Forward Together, Maria had also worked with multiple community-based organizations in San Francisco providing support and facilitation of services ranging from after school programs to workforce development training. Having had the opportunity to engage her community in scholarly and direct service work, Maria is looking forward to also adding (and strengthening) her administrative experience.
Jainan Singh, Senior Accountant, Oakland
Jainan joined Forward Together in August 2014. He gained his professional experience in Business and Accounting with diversified businesses including nonprofits in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jainan is highly efficient, detail oriented and passionate about business and accounting. He is also used to producing high quality work in a time sensitive environment. Jainan received his Bachelors of Accounting and Economics at University of the South Pacific in Fiji where he gained most of his professional experience. He is excited to learn, grow his skill set and provide quality service to the organization. His favorite recreational activities include cycling, golf and movies.
Cecy Velasco, New Mexico Field Manager, New Mexico
Cecy Velasco joined Forward Together in January 2016. As the New Mexico Field Manager, she engages and builds with members across the state through events and workshops and digitally through email, text, and social media. She also helps grow and support the Strong Families New Mexico statewide network. Cecy earned her B.A. in Psychology and Family Studies from the University of New Mexico (UNM). While at UNM, she organized on campus for immigrant rights and education access, mentored freshmen students, and interned for the Strong Families New Mexico program. Cecy is the proud daughter of hard-working Mexican immigrants. After growing up and living all over the Southwest, she is happy to call Albuquerque home as it holds a special place in her heart. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her orange tabby cat named Chubby, taking long naps, and binge watching shows on Netflix.
Alicia Walters, Movement Building Director, Oakland
Alicia joined Forward Together in 2014 after serving as a consultant with the organization. In her role at Forward Together, Alicia builds authentic alliances across movements for more effective social change, including working with the 150+ organizations in the Strong Families network. In 2012, she worked with Forward Together to launch Echoing Ida: a program to raise the visibility of Black women's expertise in the media and our social justice movements. A trained organizer, facilitator, and speaker, Alicia is an expert in the ways society attempts to make Black women invisible as well as the impacts and strategies to address the rampant criminalization of communities of color. Over her 10-year career, Alicia has led coalitions and movement building efforts that center the experiences of women and families of color, authored legislation to prohibit the shackling of pregnant women in California jails and prisons, and co-led and authored the Who Pays research project and report on the family impacts of incarceration. She has been featured on television, radio, and print including CNN, BBC, CBS, NPR, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and EBONY.com, among others. She is a new mama who lives and believes in her community of Oakland, California.
Jonathan Wong, Executive Assistant, Oakland
Jon joined the Forward Together family in August 2013 as the New Mexico Organizer and Program Assistant for Strong Families New Mexico. Born and raised in Southern California, Jon graduated with a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine. Wanting to spread his wings in political advocacy, he spent a couple years in Washington, DC where he worked with an environmental justice organization and developed his knack for database management at a progressive fundraising firm. In 2012 he moved to the Land of Enchantment and fell in love with the state of New Mexico as a fundraiser and field organizer for Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham's campaign. In his free time you can see Jon eating at different Asian restaurants for his blog and exploring the scenic beauty of the Southwest.
Dalia Rubiano Yedidia, Movement Building Manager, Oakland
Dalia Rubiano Yedidia joined Forward Together as the Movement Building Manager in February 2015. Born and raised in San Francisco, Dalia’s organizing roots are in the domestic worker movement, where she organized nannies, housecleaners, and caregivers to seniors and people with disabilities in New York, Chicago, and the Bay Area. She worked on the New York and California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights campaigns, and, alongside thousands of immigrant women of color, fought and won these groundbreaking statewide policies. As a mixed Colombian Jew still living in the city she grew up in, Dalia maintains an unwavering belief – and over eight years of experience to know deeply – that organizing works. Outside of work, she enjoys attempting to write creatively, knitting estilo colombiano the way her abuelita taught her, and relishing the exceedingly beautiful Bay Area views on hikes with her partner.
Janna A. Zinzi, Media Strategist, Los Angeles
Janna A. Zinzi joined Forward Together as the Digital Organizer in September 2014. She began working with the organization as part of the Mamas Day 2013 press team, and again to support the Mamas Day 2014 online campaign. Now as the Digital Organizer, she is responsible for coordinating online campaigns and engaging our audiences to take action, particularly through e-mail and social media. She has an extensive background in strategic communications including public relations, social media strategy, and promotional writing. Since 2007, Janna has been doing communications work for reproductive health and justice organizations including the Guttmacher Institute, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice and National Advocates for Pregnant Women. She also has contributed to a variety of progressive and feminist blogs including AlterNet, Feministing, Racialicious and RH Reality Check. When she’s not on the internet, you can find Janna dancing or traveling or both.