Board

Team Shortcode (Board)

Kay Fernandez Smith
Board Chair

Kay Fernandez Smith, a former Fulbright Hayes Scholar to the Philippines and a San Francisco Foundation Fellow, has worked with grassroots groups, public agencies, and philanthropic organizations to advance equitable development. She is currently the Director of Community Benefits and Social Responsibility at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, where she oversees the country’s first community benefits program administered by a large public utility. Prior to joining the SFPUC, Kay was Deputy Director at PolicyLink where she launched the Promise Neighborhoods Institute, a national intermediary focused on supporting antipoverty programs modeled on the academic and life success of low-income children. She holds a Master of Public Policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Kay joined the Forward Together board in 2011.

Eveline Shen
Executive Director and Board President, 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. In 2010 Eveline and other leaders launched the Strong Families Initiative, which now works with over 170 organizations to change the way people think, feel and act in support of families. Eveline served as Principal Investigator for two National Institutes of Health grants that explore the intersection between environmental justice and reproductive justice. Eveline is a recipient of the Gerbode Fellowship, was named one of Women’s eNews’ 21 Leaders for the 21st Century, was awarded the 2015 San Francisco Foundation Community Leadership Award, and was awarded the Lani Shaw Award for Courage and Compassion in the Pursuit of Reproductive Justice by the Funders for Reproductive Equity in 2017. She holds a Master of Public Health in Community Health Education from UC Berkeley.

Liza Fuentes
Board Secretary

Liza is a Senior Project Manager at Ibis Reproductive Health. Prior to that she was a fellow at the City University of New York Institute for Demographic Research, and was a researcher at National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. Her research has focused on the effects of immigration and health policies on Latina and immigrant reproductive health, clinician training in reproductive health, and abortion access. She is also interested in issues around the role of social scientists in the movement for reproductive justice. She is the current chair of the board of directors of Reproductive Health Technologies Project, a board member of Forward Together, and is a former member of the boards of the National Network of Abortion FundsNew York Abortion Access Fund, and the DC Abortion Fund. Liza is a doctoral candidate at the CUNY School of Public Health and has a Master of Public Health from Columbia University.

Rosie Abriam
Board Member

Rosie is the former President/CEO for The Center for Asian Pacific American Women. “The Center” is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building leadership capacity within our communities. Previously, her career spanned multiple disciplines across government and corporate entities. Rosie holds multiple patents in manufacturing, software and laser applications and led projects in the US, Europe, Asia and South America. She left the technical sector to provide opportunities for women and our communities.

Rosie has taught martial arts for over 25 years and is a Gura Fifth Degree of the Kamatuuran School of Kali. She is a 2002 Fellow of the Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute (APAWLI). As a result of her APAWLI project, she co-founded Rosemary Pai, Inc., a small business focused on marketing and distributing products from artists and startup businesses. She is a recipient of the 100 Most Influential Filipinas in America award.

Yee Won Chong
Board Member

Yee Won Chong is a trainer, strategist and social entrepreneur. His consulting practice aims to increase organizations’ abilities to fulfill their purpose by focusing on movement building, becoming more strategic, and creating inclusive organizational culture. He has trained employees of government agencies and colleges to create transgender-inclusive workplaces, coached community-based organizations on using racial equity strategies, and led nonprofits through real-time strategic planning.

Yee Won is passionate about using storytelling to change hearts and minds. His TEDx Talk, Beyond the Gender Binary, is used widely to spark discussions about gender. He is currently working on Trans Dudes with Lady Cancer, a film documentary highlighting his personal experience navigating the healthcare system as a transgender patient. Yee Won’s Say This, Not That startup is an award-winning idea dedicated to bringing greater language consciousness and compassion to communication.

Dennis Quirin
Board Member

Dennis Quirin is the President of Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG). NFG is a national membership association of grantmaking institutions that are committed to improving the economic and social conditions of communities of color and low-income communities across the U.S. As President of NFG since July 2013, Dennis has lead an extensive organizational change process that has resulted in doubling the programming and membership of NFG. Dennis comes to this position with two decades of experience as an activist, organizer, fundraiser and grantmaker working for social change.

He has extensive experience working in a variety of roles with nonprofits, designing and implementing strategic programs, and working effectively with diverse stakeholders. Prior to his work at NFG, Dennis designed and led the Race & Equity Collaborative at the Proteus Fund, a multi-city funding strategy supporting the growth of city-level alliances working at the intersection of racial justice and voter engagement.

As a bridge builder between sectors and strategies, Dennis has worked with some of the most respected social change organizations and leaders in the country, including the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, SCOPE/AGENDA, Californians for Justice, and California Forward. Dennis began his philanthropic experience working at The San Francisco Foundation funding hundreds of social justice organizations in the Bay Area.

Dennis has served on the boards of Intersection for the Arts, Californians for Justice, Northern California Grantmakers Emergency Loan Fund, Civic Engagement Fund for AMEMSA Communities and Bay Area Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. He currently serves as a trustee of the Common Counsel Foundation and as an Advisor to the Bay Area Justice Funders Network.

Edith Sargon
Board Member

Edith has spent the last 15 years organizing, training, facilitating and working to build power for and alongside working people, young people, immigrants and queer folks. She has worked within nonprofit organizations and unions, and she is currently working independently to support individuals and teams be the most strategic, powerful and authentic they can be. She is drawn to working with those who are audacious enough to believe that we won’t just win, but who can see the world we want and need for ourselves and for our ancestors who struggled and celebrated before us.

Latonya Slack
Board Member

Latonya Slack, certified executive coach, trainer and facilitator, is principal and founder of Slack Global Consulting, specializing in co-creation, visioning and assisting individuals and organizations with planning and navigating critical decisions.

She served as Senior Program Officer for California Democracy Program supporting civic engagement, community organizing, voter engagement and capacity building with the James Irvine Foundation for seven years. While at the foundation, she was elected vice chair then chair of the Southern California Grantmakers board.

Prior to working in philanthropy, she was Executive Director of the California Black Women’s Health Project, where she created a comprehensive policy advocacy program, a mental health initiative and an Advocate Training Program. She has also worked for SEIU as a community political organizer, engaging community, religious, labor and health organizations on healthcare justice. After graduation from UCLA School of Law, she worked with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles as a Consumer Law Advocate, and through the AmeriCorps Legal Corps, helped community groups in South Los Angeles establish nonprofit organizations.

Additional Affiliations: Los Angeles Social Justice Consultants Network, Liberty Hill Foundation, California Association of Nonprofits

Shiree Teng
Board Member

Shiree Teng has worked in the social sector for 30+ years as a social and racial justice champion — as a front line organizer, network facilitator, capacity builder, grantmaker, and evaluator and learning partner. Shiree brings to her work a lifelong commitment to social change and a belief in the potential of groups of people coming together to create powerful solutions to entrenched social issues.

Today, Shiree leads two statewide Developmental Evaluation teams, both of which are funded by The California Endowment. The first DE team is to track the progress of TCE’s Sons & Brothers statewide advocacy and youth healing and leadership efforts; the second is to support the LCFF community-parent-caregiver-student engagement work in Kern and Riverside Counties. Shiree also leads an evaluation team for East Oakland Building Healthy Communities. Shiree leads by serving, using a culturally based approach and relying on core competencies of strategic thinking, listening and synthesizing, connecting, and defining and measuring success.

April Veneracion-Ang
Board Member

April has over 15 years of experience working in the government and the nonprofit sectors in San Francisco where she has achieved major political and legislative wins in housing, land use and development. Her work with grassroots leaders, nonprofit professionals, elected leaders and high level executives in San Francisco and the Bay Area for the past 20 years allows her to bring diverse perspectives to complex policy and political issues. April most recently was Senior Aide to San Francisco District Six Supervisor Jane Kim. Her legislative portfolio included land use and development, urban planning and transportation. April received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Riverside, and her Master’s degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She lives in Oakland with her husband Eric, mother in law Feliciana and is mom to Niall and Gracie. She currently works at HMS Associates providing strategic advice to a select group of for-profit and non-profit groups.