OFFICE OF EQUITY TEAMRaquel Jimenez - Executive Director - Office of Equity
RAQUEL JIMENEZ is a second generation Chicana from Mexican immigrant grandparents and the first in her family to go to college. She has roots in Oakland that reach back to 1952 when her grandparents settled in Oakland to work in the canneries and booming construction industries. Raquel, an OUSD graduate and Fremont High School Alumni, was an active student leader with All City Council (1989-1992).
Raquel graduated from UC Berkeley in Chicano Studies in 1997, and completed graduate work at UCLA in 2002, receiving a Master of Arts in Education, with a specialization in Race and Ethnic Studies in Education. Raquel was a lead organizer getting Black Studies and Raza Studies at Castlemont in the early 1990s, and served as teacher of Latino History and Culture at Castlemont for three years, before initiating the Youth Together program at Castlemont, building the first One Land One People/Healthy Start collaborative, and organizing to get the Student Unity Center on campus and convert the empty building next door into multi-service community youth center (now known as Youth Uprising).
In 2007, after leading the Organize Da BAY Coalition Student Power campaign, she joined Oakland Unified School District, as the Student Engagement Specialist. Raquel managed district-wide student leadership programs and organizing campaigns, and innovative student-adult partnerships and initiatives as strategies to increase student attendance, achievement, and institutional accountability. Later, in her role as OUSD coordinator for Youth and Family Engagement in the Community Schools Student Services Department, she led site and district staff and parent capacity to implement OUSD’s Board adopted Family Engagement and Student Engagement Standards.
Jerome Gourdine - Director - Student AchievementJerome Gourdine has served the Oakland Unified School District for more than 27 years, as a teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, Program Manager and now Director of Targeted Strategies. Among his many accomplishments is receiving the 2007 MetLife Principal of the Year Award, a distinguished title afforded to just twenty-five school leaders in the United States. Additionally, Gourdine served as principal to two teachers named California ‘Teacher of the Year.
Iminah Ahmad - Program Manager - African American Female Excellence
Sistah Iminah is an Educator, Cultural Strategist, Singer/Songwriter, Dancer, Media Personality and Oakland native, with roots in Jamaica, Texas, Nigeria and the African world. A living example of redemption & radical transformation, Sistah Iminah's goal is to inspire the original greatness of Africa to rise again, through education, music and activism.
Her life journey can best be themed rising “From Ghetto to Goddess”. As a youth, she overcame many trials that trap young Black women in the sex trafficking & school to prison pipeline. A product of Oakland’s African centered schools and OUSD, she has dedicated her life to help all rise FROM GHETTO 2 GODDESS.
As an Educational activist, Sistah Iminah has been heavily influential in implementing key policies and initiatives aimed at improving life outcomes for students of color throughout the SF Bay Area. Her life's mission is to uplift the educational and life experience for African girls and women worldwide.
Samantha Aubry-Fenwick - Regional Liaison Engagement Liaison
email@example.comParent of two boys, both of whom are special needs and young men of color. Living in Oakland since 2008, and raising both children in West Oakland, Samantha Made it a priority to become involved in her children’s education initially through volunteering and attending Family Leadership Meetings to eventually being hired as a Family resource coordinator during which time she attended various training such as Innovate Public Schools Community Organizer Training. Through her personal and professional experience Samantha Learned the importance of parent engagement for overall campus culture and climate, but, for the purpose of empowering parents to advocate for their children's educational experience as a whole.
Taji Brown - Program Manager - Early Childhood Education
firstname.lastname@example.orgTaji Brown is a native of Menlo Park and Ravenswood School District. He has 20 plus years of experience in youth and family support, including case management, advocacy, and counseling in both public and private. His goal is to give back to his community.Phyllis Copes - Administrative Assistant lll
Arcelia Gonzalez - Regional Family Engagement Liaison
email@example.comMy name is Arcelia Gonzalez, born and raised in Mexico. My journey with OUSD started in 2004 as a parent volunteer. In my previous positions, I was an Office Clerk, Family Coordinator, Library Clerk Specialist and Attendance Specialist. I’m currently the Family Engagement Liaison for Network 2 in the Office of Equity. My focus is to work with ELL families to define welcoming school climate and practices.
Daniel Guzman - Program Manager - Latino Student AchievementSaludos! My name is Daniel Guzman and I am thrilled to serve as the Program Manager for Latino Student Achievement (LSA) within Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). In my role, I coordinate and implement operations designed to transform school culture and improve the academic achievement of Latino/a students from preschool to 12th grade. My motivation in my work is to help more Latino students realize their full potential and accomplish the goals they set out to achieve. My bucket list goals include running the New York Marathon, paying off my student loans, and traveling to Ecuador all within the next two years.Lamar Hancock - Program Manager - African American Male Achievement
Oakland native, Lamar Hancock has been a pillar in education for over ten years. In his latest role as Targeted Strategies Specialist with the Office of Equity(OoE), Hancock helps to create and support environments of systems and structures conducive to effective learning for all students. He supports the school wide assessment of literacy skills while contributing to planning and actualizing of short and long-term objectives for the Office of African American Male Achievement (AAMA) in conjunction with the Office of Equity. Over his tenure within AAMA and OoE, Hancock has participated and led a series of social emotional workshops geared to engage staff and youth in dialogue around understanding and treating trauma. In building structured curriculum he has built strategies that motivates the community to thrive both in and out of the classroom.Lailan Huen - Program Manager - Asian Pacific Islander Student AchievementLailan Huen graduated from Skyline High School, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Asian American Studies from Columbia University and a Master of Arts from The New School. Her family first came to California during the 1850s and moved to Oakland Chinatown in 1906. Lailan has worked in education and youth development for 20 years, including with the OUSD Town Researchers, East Oakland Community High School, Avenues Project, Aim High, Oakland Leaf, Data Center and Youth In Focus.Kevin Jennings - Program Manager - African American Male Achievement
Born and raised in Oakland California, after receiving my Bachelor’s in Mass Communications - Journalism, I spent a number of years in multiple roles working in media, youth development and academic programs throughout the Oakland community. Working for Student Program for Academic & Athletic Transitioning (SPAAT), Lincolns Oakland Freedom Schools (OFS), Heads Up Program via Head- Royce School and most recently The Office of African American Male Achievement (AAMA).
After teaching in AAMA for six years and becoming an impactful facilitator I found myself in a unique situation, where I was able to teach black boys and have the opportunity to expand as a leader in cultural youth development. I was able to create an annual school wide empowerment conference for 200 boys of color, build relationships with local and national resources, manage cross country exploration trips for youth and most importantly foster a culture of empowering and engaging black boys within a school system through changing the narrative about who they are.
I recently finished my Master’s in Education Policy and Management from Harvard Graduate School of Education '19'. Upon return to Oakland I wanted my work to foster systems and structures for equity and inclusion, growth and dynamic experiences in education through different mediums, which led me to continue my work with AAMA and join The Office of Equity.Somneng Chan - Student Engagement Liaison
firstname.lastname@example.orgBrian McGhee - Program Manager, West Oakland Corridor - African American Male Achievement
email@example.comBrian McGhee is a West Oakland native and received his education in the Oakland Unified School District. He is a proud McClymonds High School graduate, along with his parents and his 6 siblings. After graduating from McClymonds he later received his BA degree from UC Berkeley and Masters from San Francisco State University. He is proud of being raised in Oakland and enjoys spending time with family, traveling, reading and celebrating milestones. His role as a Targeted Student Intervention Specialist with the Office of Equity is to support students and families in the West Oakland community. In addition, he is collaborating with District staff which includes Community School Managers, Family Navigators, AA Affinity Groups, and AAMA Manhood Development Classes.Munera Mohsin - Regional Family Engagement Liaison
I am a parent of four children ages 18, 16, 13 and 3, all in OUSD schools. I am a first generation Yemeni American, from Dearborn, MI, with deep commitment for supporting Middle Eastern families navigate home cultures, family and spiritual obligations with expectations and norms in US society and institutions. I’ve lived in Oakland for the past 20 years and have raised a family here, allowing me to develop strong relationships within the Middle Eastern community. In 2006, I emerged as a parent leader volunteering at International Community School, and served in various parent leadership roles. Soon after, I was hired by the East Bay Agency for Children as a Family Advocate, connecting families to resources and supports. In 2015, I transitioned into my role with OUSD’s Family Engagement Team, as a District Parent Liaison, developing parent capacity to partner with teachers and principals for their children’s learning. Now, in my role as Regional Family Engagement Liaison and Equity Partner for middle schools, my focus is on developing parent-staff teams to design and implement parent partnership strategies to advance student learning goals as written in the SPSA.
Cintya Molina - Program Manager - LCAP Engagement
Karina Najera - Regional Family Engagement Liaison
Sara Nuño-Villa - School Governance Specialist
Sara, an Oakland native and mother of 3, has worked in Oakland schools over 20 years. She contributes a rich variety of experience to the Office of Equity having served in different capacities within OUSD. Sara has been a part of building the Family Engagement work in OUSD for the last 12 years and is currently serving as the Family & Community Engagement Specialist.Tiago Robinson - Program Manager, College and Career/Case Manager - African American Male AchievementProgram Manager, College and Career African American Male Achievement. His favorite thing about working with AAMA is helping our Kings and Queens get to the next level in their lives. Degrees that I hold are: A.A in Art, B.S in Recreation Therapy and M.S in Counseling and Student Services.
Nicole Wiggins - Regional Engagement Program Manager
Nicole Love Wiggins was born in San Jose, CA and is a single mother of two living in Oakland, CA. Nicole started her work in social justice in 2000 by getting involved with the Healthy Babies Project in Oakland helping young pregnant women and women with babies find shelter and resources.
In 2004 Nicole attended Merritt College in Oakland, CA where she received a certificate in Human Services. In 2008 she received an AA degree in Social and Behavioral Science and joined an organization in Sacramento, CA called “Save Our Youth” where she worked as a Parent Advisor supporting families from the Bay Area to the Central Valley. Nicole is currently a Family Engagement Liaison for AAMA’s High School network. She is also a participant of OUSD’s Family Engagement parent leadership series called “Parents Raising the Bar”.
Adrieanna Williams - Program AssistantAdrieanna is an East Oakland native and has worked within Oakland Unified School District as an Administrative Assistant, Executive Assistant, and now Program Assistant for the Office of Equity. As a native Oakland resident, Adrieanna has a strong passion and commitment for the youth of Oakland, she believes in their ability and understands that opportunities are the first step in their lifelong success. In her roles she has provided administrative support, program design, and program evaluation. She received her BA in Sociology with a focus in Work and Society from California State University Northridge.Gerald Williams - Research Associate
Gerald Williams is the Oakland Unified School District Research Associate focused on Disproportionality and the data point person for The Office of Equity and African American Male Achievement. Gerald’s primary responsibility are to designs tools, conduct field study, analyze different types of data, fulfill external requests related to focus areas and implement findings in support of culturally responsive curriculum and pedagogy. He is also involved in the design, collection, analysis and production of District surveys and internal evaluations.
Translation ServicesPlease CLICK HERE to fill out the new Translation Services Request Fall 2020 Form, ideally 2 weeks in advance!David Copenhaguen - Spanish Translator/InterpreterDavid was born in Buenos Aires and studied Spanish at U.C. Berkeley. Later, he worked as an after school ESL tutor and substitute teacher in east Los Angeles county. He has contributed articles and translations to local magazines and scholarly journals. He holds a certificate in Legal Interpreting and Translation from Cal State L.A. and is currently completing his Master’s degree in Language Teaching. He has worked with OUSD since 2016.Andres De La Torre - Spanish Translator/Interpreter
Andres De la Torre is a Spanish translator and interpreter. Among other previous career experiences, he is a former Bilingual Teacher in Mexico and California. Before the Educational filed, he has also worked as an interpreter and in communications in the Oil Ring Offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. He hopes that these experiences contribute to the interpretation and translation for OUSD community.
Angel Ho - Chinese Interpreter/Translator Specialist
Cynthia Ovando - Spanish Translator/InterpreterAs an interpreter and translator in Oakland since 2011, Cynthia Ovando is committed to language justice and linguistically inclusive spaces for parents, students, staff and community. She was born in Mexico City, grew up in Colombia and Guadalajara, Mexico, and has lived in California since college. After graduate work at UC Riverside and UC Irvine, Cynthia served as an assistant professor of Spanish and Latin American literature at Point Loma Nazarene and Fresno Pacific Universities and as director of the Spanish program at FPU. Her love of language and the powerful reverberations of personal narratives have further deepened while bridging languages and cultures for parents of children with special needs and the educators and specialists who work with them.
Lang Prasit - Cambodian Interpreter/Translator
Alexander Quan - Mandarin Chinese Translator/Interpretor
Alexander Quan is the Mandarin Chinese translator and interpreter and has previous career experience as a former Teach for America corps member in Oakland, credentialed language immersion teacher in SFUSD, and research center coordinator at Stanford University. He has also worked in Shanghai and Shenzhen, China as an experiential education leader and educational consultant and hopes these experiences add on to his interpretation and translation work at OUSD.Husam Sowaity - Arabic Translator
Eva Vargas - Spanish Translator/InterpreterEva H Vargas was born in Mexico City and grew up in Veracruz. She studied Communication Science and has been a photographer, journalist and radio commentator. She arrived in Oakland in 2001, and worked with the California Federation of Interpreters for over a decade, organizing continuing education events for court interpreters. She became an interpreter herself in 2015, and completed the Court Interpreter Certificate at SFSU. She’s found her calling in educational interpreting, as she appreciates the critical role of linguistic access to empower families to navigate a new educational system and help their children succeed. She is an active member of the Interpreters and Translators Workgroup, an organization working in professionalizing educational interpreters and translators nationwide.
Rebeca Walker-Marquez - Spanish Translator/InterpreterI was born and grew up in Mexico in a family that prioritized unity, solidarity and justice over material goods and individualistic interests, and I have continued to carry those values with me all my life, both as a mother of a now adult child, and as a community member.
Before I moved to Oakland in 2000, I did a masters program in Social Anthropology and my research focused on identity, gender, class, and ethnicity. These experiences informed and steered my career toward social justice. Here in the Bay Area I have worked as an organizer, advocate, interpreter and translator for organizations that work with immigrants.
I am honored to serve now as a translator and interpreter of OUSD and be part of the Office of Equity as I continue my life’s work to end racism, discrimination, and inequity in our wonderful community.David Yuen - Chinese Interpeter/Translator Specialist