Meet The Speakers
California Urban Partnership
Malaki Seku Amen
Malaki Amen (pronounced “ma-luck-eye / say-coo awe-men”) currently serves as executive director of the California Urban Partnership (CUP), which builds economic security in communities of color through policy research, education and organizing community action. Malaki is a 25-year veteran in community economic development, and has pioneered business support programs, steered policy as an appointee in the California Legislature and Governor’s office and advised Fortune 500 corporations in high stakes public affairs issues.
Community Organizer and Graduate Student
Liz Blum is an organizer, scholar, and survivor of violence working to transform the way we think about and address harm in our communities. As a co-founder of Decarcerate Sacramento she works to shift county funding toward life-affirming community services by disinvesting from systems of punishment. Liz's work as a graduate student at UC Davis examines political processes of state prison closure through a lens of racial capitalism, working to both influence abolitionist policy and further abolitionist knowledges. As a researcher and advocate with Californians United for a Responsible Budget, Liz also has the privilege of building policy recommendations to guide the state legislature in California's first prison closures.
Lynn Berkley-Baskin is an equity educator, community organizer, abolitionist and a Juilliard trained opera singer. She bridge-builds at the intersections of academia, racial justice, community health and development to drive systemic change. Leadership positions include Sierra Health Foundation’s Healthy Sacramento Coalition Steering Committee, Greater Sacramento NAACP Executive Committee, and Jewish Community Relations Council Board of Directors. She co-founded Sacramento Faces Race and Justice2Jobs Coalition, and co-piloted Folsom Lake College’s Student Equity Advocates.
Emergency Registered Nurse
Co-Founder, Mental Health First
Co-Founder, Anti Police-Terror Project
San Diego, CA native, Emergency RN, daughter of Valerie Boykin and granddaughter of Bertha Brandy. Her poetry combines her love of words, storytelling, and resistance. Exploring topics like; space-travel, black-femme militancy, & motherhood. Which describes her first full length poetry collection, “Love, Lyric and Liberation.” Asantewaa is co-founder of APTP (Anti Police - Terror Project) an organization committed to the eradication of police terror in all of its forms. Along with being a dedicated nurse she is also a founding member of the Capital City Black Nurses Association.
Program Planner at the County of Sacramento's Department of Human Assistance & Co-Founder of Justice2Jobs Coalition
Tim Choi is a Program Planner at the County of Sacramento's Department of Human Assistance (DHA). He supports DHA to use customers' narratives and data to inform policies that increase economic self-sufficiency. Tim has played a strategic role in advancing the clean slate ecosystem since 2018. He is a co-founder of the Justice2Jobs Coalition, a community project advancing local criminal legal reform. He is currently working on addressing fines and fees justice reform.
Senior Director of Policy, Public Health Advocates
Flojaune Griffin Cofer, PhD, MPH
Flojaune Griffin Cofer is an epidemiologist who serves as the Senior Director of Policy for Public Health Advocates. She oversees the state policy efforts and the All Children ThriveCA local trauma policy initiative. Her professional interest is addressing emerging and persistent public health challenges through research and policy. Her work primarily focuses on metabolic disease prevention, restorative justice, and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). She previously served as the Director of State Policy and Research.
Program Manager, PRO Youth & Families
Scholar, Public Policy and Public Administration at Sacramento State
Nicole Cuellar currently works with PRO Youth & Families leading a workforce navigation program to support formerly incarcerated adults achieve financial security. She is completing her Master’s in Public Policy and Public Administration at Sacramento State. Much of her career has revolved around Restorative Justice and re-entry support. Nicole is dedicated to fostering a justice system that prioritizes equity and community wellness.
Senior Program Associate
My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Sacramento Community Coordinator,
Sierra Health Foundation
Ray Green serves as the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Sacramento Community Coordinator for Sierra Health Foundation, a nonprofit in Sacramento, California. In his role, Ray focuses on addressing violence prevention and intervention, as well as expanding mentoring opportunities in Sacramento. Prior to joining Sierra Health Foundation, Ray served as the Programs Director at Roberts Family Development Center, a nonprofit in Sacramento, where he led health and educational improvement efforts such as Sacramento’s first-ever Freedom School.
Sacramento Boys and Men of Color and Math Teacher, C.K. McClatchy High School
Luis Guerrero is a second-year math teacher at C.K. McClatchy High School. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, a math & physics teaching credential, and is enrolled in the College of Education Behavioral Science Gender Equity Studies Master’s program at Sacramento State University. In addition to his challenging upbringing, his eight-year involvement with the Sacramento Boys and Men of Color Collaborative has inspired him to continue his educational journey by pursing a graduate degree and studying the impacts of disparate racial outcomes in education.
Grassroot Organizer & Member of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Decarcerate Sacramento, and Californians United for a Responsible Budget
Courtney Hanson is a grassroots organizer who has been working to dismantle carceral systems across California since 2012. She is a member of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Decarcerate Sacramento, and Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), a statewide coalition of over 80 organizations shifting state priorities toward #CareNotCages.
Outreach Worker, Peer Crisis Counselor & Volunteer Coordinator with Mental Health First Sacramento
Niki Jones is a Sacramento organizer who works on the decriminalization of homelessness, access to housing and healthcare, and, of course, abolition and racial justice. She has been a harm reduction-based street outreach worker since 2014 and is a Peer Crisis Counselor and Volunteer Coordinator with MH First Sacramento, a community-based mental health crisis intervention team.
Jim Keddy is the executive director of Youth Forward and a consultant to social change organizations. Through Youth Forward, Jim has emerged as a leading voice in policy discussions regarding racial and health equity in the implementation of Proposition 64 (legal cannabis). In Sacramento, he is a co-leader of Sac Kids First, a grassroots coalition organizing to increase investments in children and youth. An appointee of Governor Brown, he serves on the state Tobacco Education and Research Oversight Committee.
Activist & Director of Impact for the United Way California Capital Region | Founder of the Social Justice PolitiCorps an initiative to crowdsource politics
Kula Koenig is an activist. Currently, she serves as Director of Impact for the United Way California Capital Region directing the Square One project – an initiative to end poverty through education. She has held positions as lobbyist, district director in the CA State Assembly, and political campaign coordinator. Kula loves being of service to her community. She is president of the Sacramento chapter of Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA) and is passionate about black women being in positions to influence policy.
Mental Health First (MH First)
Chayo Lavín is a facilitator for Mental Health First and more or less wrote the book on community crisis response in Sacramento. They have a background in Health Justice and homeless street outreach. Their current work focuses on mutual aid efforts.
Scholar, Community Organizer & Teacher ASCRIBE Educational Consulting
Sonia Lewis holds dual BA degrees from Spelman College of Atlanta, GA, and has a Secondary Teaching Credential and Master’s degree in Education from San Francisco State University. After spending more than 15 years in the traditional classroom teaching History/Social Studies, Sonia went on to manage a small magnet program that focused on Criminal Justice. During her time with the Criminal Justice Academy, she saw first-hand, flaws in law enforcement training, inherent implicit biases, and the negative impact on the Black community.
Sacramento Area Congregations Together
Born and raised in the Valley Hi neighborhood of Sacramento, Ryan has worked for years to transform Sacramento communities impacted by racial and economic inequity. Since 2017, he has worked as a Community Organizer with Sacramento ACT (Area Congregations Together) focusing on criminal justice reform and reinvestment in communities. Ryan’s work brings together his faith values with a deep love of developing community leaders. His work focuses on increasing the power of local people to design solutions to the challenges they face while changing systems and policies to help their community thrive.
Associate Director, Community and Economic Development, Sierra Health Foundation
Kindra F. Montgomery-Block
Kindra F. Montgomery-Block has an extensive history as a trainer and organizer that has worked with communities of color and schools across the nation. She has a widespread background in social justice youth development, health equity, community violence prevention, and civic engagement. Kindra has served on numerous advisory boards and executive board of directors, and has been involved in the implementation of many “new-start-up” youth development initiatives.
Nia MooreWeathers is a Sacramento native, and big supporter of social interests. She pursued higher education at Humboldt State University; she obtained a BA in Anthropology, with an emphasis in Evolutionary Medicine. With a skill for research, and passion for change, she began working for Youth Forward in 2018. She has focused her energy towards the establishment of permanent funding streams for marginalized youth via policy advocacy, the expungement of cannabis-related criminal cases via the Justice2Jobs coalition, and the development of racial equity ideology and policy in Sacramento.
Civil Rights Attorney
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area
Tifanei Ressl-Moyer is a civil rights attorney who works to end violence against and institutionalization of Black communities. She has successfully litigated cases regarding dangerous jail conditions, pushed for reducing jail populations, and advocated for local government to prioritize community-led mental health services in lieu of incarceration. She has built and executed campaigns, alongside and in consultation with organizers, calling on local governments to limit the resources and power of the criminal justice system.
Research and Strategy Consultant
Sacramento County Department of Health Services
Jenine serves as a research and strategy consultant to the Sacramento County Department of Health Services. Much of her current focus is on facilitating collaborative efforts to respond to the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism, particularly for people experiencing homelessness and impacted by the criminal legal system. By leveraging diverse expertise, data-driven insights, and strong coalitions, she helps design and advance more equitable policy and systems transformation.
Senior Program Manager
The California Endowment
Christine Tien is Senior Program Manager with The California Endowment. Since June of 2009, Christine has been overseeing the Sacramento Building Healthy Communities initiative. Prior to The Endowment, Christine worked in local government for 11 years as Stockton’s Deputy City Manager (2001 to 2009) and in multiple capacities for Union City including Deputy City Manager (1998 to 2001). She has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from UC Berkeley, a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Arizona’s College of Law.
Sacramento Building Healthy Communities
Kim Williams, a graduate from the University of California, Davis, has worked in the community and in the youth development field for over 20 years and has managed multiple grants and projects focused on improving youth outcomes. Kim worked for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento for 14 years where she eventually became the Present/CEO.
Currently, Kim serves as the Hub Director for Sacramento Building Healthy Communities, a place-based, health equity initiative, focused on ending health and racial disparities in South Sacramento neighborhoods.
Youth Development Specialist
Men’s Leadership Academy
Adrian has spent over 20 years working with young people in various youth serving organizations. He is currently a Youth Development Specialist for Sacramento City Unified School District and focuses on issues facing the youth of Sacramento and was appointed to oversee the Men’s Leadership Academy at all Sacramento City High Schools. After his own struggle in education, Adrian encourages other youth to never give up on their educational goals.
Decarcerate Sacramento and Sacramento Tenants Union
Mackenzie Wilson is a local, Grassroots Organizer with organizations like Decarcerate Sacramento and the Sacramento Tenants Union. They began as a Union Organizer around the minimum wage fight, but quickly radicalized to the truth--all of these systems are rooted in White Supremacy and Capitalism whether prisons, education or healthcare. The abolition of prisons, private property, debt, etc. are all against the same oppressive systems and you'll find them on the front lines of any fight for basic human rights.