New Voices Are Rising Advisory Board


Nancy Berlin is the Policy Director for the California Association of Nonprofits. Before joining Cal Nonprofits, she worked on poverty, homelessness, and welfare rights issues for more than 30 years. In addition to working in family shelters and on Los Angeles’s skid row, she has designed and organized campaigns for the rights of very low-income people and directed a statewide coalition fighting poverty in California. In addition to her service with Cal Nonprofits, she consults with nonprofits on organizational development, community organizing, meeting and retreat design, and facilitation and staff coaching. She Chairs the Foundation’s Audit Committee and is a member of the Personnel Committee.

Jada Delaney has been involved with New Voices since 2017, becoming the Youth Co-Coordinator of the 2019 Summer Academy. Jada is a Landscape Architecture student at Arizona State University. Reflecting on her time in the program, Jada remarks, “In my first year with New Voices, I didn’t know much about environmental issues. The next year I was a pod leader – I had a summer under my belt but I was still learning the content as I taught it to new students. As a co-coordinator, I was creating the means through which all the program’s students learned the material. It was pretty wild!”

Kyle Livie is an Associate Professor of History at Ohlone College. He has worked with high school and college students for over 15 years, through teaching and mentoring students at a variety of institutions, including San Francisco State, Cal State Monterey, UC Berkeley’s Early Academic Outreach Program, and UC Berkeley’s successful Summer Bridge program. (Summer Bridge is an intensive, six-week residential program that helps students from underserved academic backgrounds transition from high school to the University’s extremely rigorous and competitive academic environment.)

Christina McGhee-Esquivel is a Counselor/Teacher/Mentor at Oakland Emiliano Zapata Street Academy, where she teaches biology and chemistry. Previously, as a Campus Coordinator for the EarthTeam Environmental Network, she worked with student interns at Oakland High and Richmond High to eliminate litter on their campuses and along their watersheds. Christina was a New Voices Summer Institute student participant in 2007 and is a graduate of Oakland High School and the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she majored in Environmental Studies. She served as a peer leader for the 2011, 2012, and 2014 Summer Academies.

Mykela Patton, a graduate of Oakland’s Skyline High School, is now a student at Colby College, where she is studying public policy and environmental studies. She has been an active participant in the Summer Climate Justice Academy three years in a row, serving as New Voices summer participant and Fellow during the 2016-2017 school year, as a Pod Leader during summer 2017, and the 2018 Summer Academy Youth Co-Coordinator. She is excited to be further involved in New Voices as the Program Assistant.

Shreya Shankar is an environmental and social justice advocate. Currently working with East Oakland’s HOPE collaborative, she has also served as Executive Director of Rooted in Resilience, where her work focused on confronting the challenges of climate change and economic instability. Shankar brings a background in design and installation of sustainable energy and water systems. She is passionate about redesigning the world we live in, and putting historically disadvantaged communities at the center of this process.

Mona Shomali has been working at the intersection of environmental policy and social justice for over 15 years. She has a background in both academia and nonprofit management. As an adjunct faculty, she taught environmental justice and policy courses at The New School, Pace University, and New York University. She has also taught an ecology course at the New York Botanical Garden. Currently, Mona is the Director of the New Leaders Initiative, a youth environmental leadership program that is housed at Earth Island Institute. She is also a reading tutor at Boys and Girls club of West Oakland.

Jessica Tovar is a staff organizer for the Local Clean Energy Alliance. After growing up in East Los Angeles, Jessica worked for over a decade as an environmental justice organizer in a variety of urban, rural, and indigenous communities throughout California and Arizona. Jessica interned with the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative in 2003, working with organizations across the U.S. on issues of climate justice. More recently she has been an organizer for Communities for a Better Environment in Richmond, California, where she successfully mobilized against the expansion of the Chevron oil refinery. Jessica enjoys comedy, art, traveling, and spending time with family.

Carlos Zambrano was the New Voices Are Rising Coordinator and Co-Director for four years. Born and raised in Santa Cruz, California, he moved to the Bay Area for school and graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Geography and a minor in Ethnic Studies. He began working on environmental justice issues in Oakland, and through that experience, he found his voice. He is excited to continue to shape the New Voices program as a member of the Advisory Board, because he wants to spark creativity and confidence in youth and help foster a new generation of environmental justice leaders.

Each year, the New Voices Are Rising Fellows also have a seat on the Advisory Board. Meet this year’s New Voices Fellows.

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