2016 Board Officers
Navina Khanna, Board Chair: Navina Khanna is a co-founder and the Field Director of Live Real, a national initiative dedicated to amplifying the power of young people in frontline communities shaping radically different food systems through policy and practice. As a Movement Strategy Center Innovation Fellow, she applies lessons from other social justice movements to build a stronger, more aligned, and strategic food justice movement. Her commitment to creating equitable, ecological systems runs deep: Navina has spent nearly 15 years focused on transformative change through agriculture and food systems. Based in Oakland, she’s worked as an educator, community organizer, artivist and policy advocate transforming local, regional, and national agri-food systems from field to vacant lot to table.Navina holds an MS in International Agricultural Development from UC Davis, where she developed curriculum for the first undergraduate major in sustainable agri-food systems at a Land-Grant University, and a BA from Hampshire College where she focused on using music and dance for ecological justice. She is also a certified Vinyasa yoga teacher and permaculturalist. A first generation South Asian American, Navina’s worldview is shaped by growing up – and growing food – in the U.S. and in India.
Sihle Dilani. Treasurer. As Finance Director, Sihle Dinani oversees the financial management of Movement Strategy Center and its fiscally sponsored projects. She also works as part of a team to maintain the financial sustainability of the organization as well as develop and implement administrative systems that support MSC’s strategic goals. Sihle joined the MSC staff with over with over 10 years of accounting and administrative experience in nonprofit organizations. She has previously worked with the YMCA of San Diego County, Sweatshop Watch, and the Garment Worker Center, developing skills in accounting as well as fundraising and public education. Outside of the administrative realm, her work included facilitating workshops on the LA garment industry and globalization for students, labor organizers and activists. After graduating Claremont McKenna College with a degree in Economics and Accounting, Sihle served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer supporting career development initiatives for low-income high school students. In addition, she has volunteered with community based grassroots organizations like Kids and Creeks, the Chico Bicycle Music Festival, Black Women for Wellness, Humanitarian Notes, and Infuse Africa. A mother, consummate volunteer and novice gardener, Sihle is dedicated to developing and supporting efficiency and accountability within social justice organizations.
Jen Loy. Board Secretary. Jen Loy is a Richmond resident and currently the Assistant Director of Local Government and Community Relations at UC Berkeley. Her specialties are Local government and community relations; policy analysis; developing space and support tools for innovators and entrepreneurs, writers and artists; healthy cities planning; community engagement, coalition building, group facilitation and community organizing; developing and maintaining institutional partnerships; grant administration and management; program planning and evaluation; project management and content management; strategic planning and budget administration; quantitative and qualitative research (ie participatory research); strategic communications and media advocacy; labor, arts, culture, health writing/reporting; experienced in nonprofits, small businesses; cafe and gallery management and marketing; 20 years of event management and production.
Blanca Hernández, Program Director, leads the YES program team providing guidance and direction according to the organization’s mission, priorities and goals. Prior to joining YES, Blanca worked for several years with the school district in West Contra Costa where she began to cultivate strong relationships in the community and developed a passion towards working for the well-being of low-income youth and families in the city of Richmond. She loves to share her love of the outdoors by developing and facilitating YES programming in nature that strengthens family and community relationships. She is fluent in Spanish, enjoys painting, writing, and jogging with her dog, Bo.
Eli Moore. Eli is the Acting Program Co-Director for the Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice program of the Pacific Institute, which works to create a healthier planet and sustainable communities. Eli carries particular expertise in participatory research strategies and spatial analysis and a depth of experience with community health, environmental justice, community safety, and sustainable economic development issues. Eli currently directs projects on nitrate contamination of drinking water, community reintegration after incarceration, and community resilience to climate change. A Richmond resident, Eli holds an M.A. in Geography and an M.A. in International Relations from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.
Carla Perez. Carla is a dedicated mother and community organizer of Native Mezo American and Spanish heritage residing in Oakland, California. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 1999 with a BS in Conservation & Resource Studies with an emphasis on Environmental Racism. She has worked on issues of environmental justice and sustainable agriculture with community groups from Yucatán, Mexico to Bay Area environmental justice communities such as Richmond, East Oakland and Bay View Hunters Point in San Francisco.
Prior to joining MG in 2007 as a Planning Committee member and co-founder of the Justice & Ecology Project, Carla spent 8 years as staff at Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) as a Leadership Training Coordinator, grassroots organizer and most recently as CBE’s Northern California Program Director. Carla is certified in Popular Education Training and Permaculture/Indigenous Permaculture Design. She was also a co-founder and organizer of the Mobilization for Climate Justice West while it was active from 2008-2011.
Today, as a member of the MG collective, Carla leads MG’s Resiliency and Permaculture work, including the Earth Skills Training Program. She is also the founder of the Healing Clinic Collective, an autonomous project housed within MG which offers free traditional, non-industrial healing to some of the most vulnerable populations in the Bay Area. Carla actively organizes in her neighborhood to build neighborhood relationships and security and fight gentrification, as well as within her spiritual community, convening women’s circles and leading or participating in rites of passage and healing ceremonies. Carla’s hard work is done in dedication to her daughters and to the Spirit of Creation.
Doria Robinson. Doria is 3rd generation resident of Richmond, California and the Executive Director of Urban Tilth, a community based organization rooted in Richmond dedicated to cultivating urban agriculture to help our community build a more sustainable, healthy, and just food system. Urban Tilth hires and trains residents to work with schools, community-based organizations, government agencies, businesses, and individuals to develop the capacity to produce 5% of our own food supply.
Formally trained as a Watershed Restoration Ecologist, Doria has also worked on organic farms in Western Massachusetts where she attended Hampshire at Veritable Vegetable a women owned organic produce distribution company, Real Food Company and Mixed Nuts Food Co-op. She is passionate about exploring her work from the perspective that physical, social and economic health is dependent upon ecological health; the restoration of one depends on the restoration of the other.
Doria is a Certified Permaculture Designer, Certified Bay Friendly Gardener, a Certified Nutrition Educator and a Certified Yoga Instructor and the founder of Sanctuary Yoga, Richmond’s 1st and only yoga and meditation center. She was recognized as Environmental Advocate of the Year for Contra Costa County and as Woman of the Year for Contra Costa County in 2010 and in 2011 she was presented with a Community Resiliency Leadership Award from Bay Localize. Doria currently lives in the neighborhood she grew up in in Richmond with her wonderful 10-year old twins.
Kaylie Simon. Kaylie is a Deputy Public Defender at Contra Costa Public Defenders Office. Kaylie studied closely with Angela Davis at University of California at Santa Cruz. During law school at Northeastern University School of law, Kaylie worked on the Civil Rights Restorative Justice Project with Margaret Burnham and is currently on the advisory board. She is also one of the founders of the Contra Costa County Racial Justice Coalition.
Tamisha Torres-Walker. Tamisha is a lifetime Richmond resident and currently employed as the Lead Mass Incarceration Organizer at Safe Return Project/CCISCO. She has four years of experience community organizing in Richmond a city impacted by trauma, personal experience with trauma, and professional training in research and advocacy for the formerly incarcerated and their families. She is also the parent of one of Urban Tilth’s apprentice graduates.
Yenny Velazquez De Garcia. Yenny has been a community activist for years, working on issues facing the undocumented immigrant community and broader issues of community safety and social justice. She was on the Richmond Police Commission for several years. She also lead a leadership development program for Latina youth. Yenny is passionate about racial justice and building relationship between the Black and Latino communities. She is a long-time Richmond resident, Latina with deep ties in the Richmond community.