Women and Power (12/18/18 Circle)

On December 18th, at Manny’s gathering space in the Mission District of SF, over 130 powerful women and a few good men assembled, fostering dialogue on the topic of Women and Power, celebrating where we’ve come and inspiring us with hope of where we’re going.  Immense gratitude for Wanda, Nina and Andrea for their time and energies.  We applaud you for your daily work in this movement.  We were also treated to musical gifts by Melita and fabulous food from Farming Hope.  Most importantly perhaps, thanks to all of you who came to create our full Circle – ready to share, listen and learn from each other.


To learn about organizations supporting girls and women in this critical work to help us rise, reference our working document of resources for our topic of Women and Power.

Little and Big Ways to ACT NOW **choose at least ONE thing and do it!  I challenge you to FIVE things!

1)     Diversify your media, movies, music and authors you follow. Watch at least one woman-directed film per month.  We are what we intake. www.moviesbyher.com

2)     Expand your friend group to folks who are different from you.  Gather with those outside your comfort zone. Create a ritual to be together in person.  Contribute to this experience and learn from each other.

3)     Ride public transportation!  We sadly missed Lateefah in our discussion who I know would have touched upon this from her role on the BART Board but Wanda beautifully illuminated how and why this is critical.  Let’s fully recognize the bubble in which we live AND let’s try to at least get out of our bubble within the bubble.

4)     When you see an injustice speak up. Everyone. Every time. Particularly us privileged white, cisgendered, heterosexual, Christian-raised folk.

5)     Whether or not you live with a child in your home, we are ALL parenting the next generation – as aunties, uncles, babysitters, community members.  It is critical we all do our own work examining our past so we can progress in our language and behaviors with the future generation.

6)     Keep finding joy for yourself. Closely examine what that looks like for you. What do you need in this moment? A break? A bath? A book? A personal dance party?  Let go of the farcical idea of balance. Some moments you’re going to work until your heart’s desire, some moments play, some moments rest.  Tackle each moment as it comes and let it flow. As Nina said, “radical self-care,” particularly if you’re an introvert and live with a human puppy dog.

7)     Trust the kids are alright if you work, if you don’t work, if you have help at home, if you don’t.  According to this study highlighted in Harvard Business Review, if you believe family should come first and view work as a source of challenge, creativity and enjoyment, that is the most important stuff.  We also need to let housework and perfection go, take care of ourselves and be present for each other (all easier said than done of course).

8)     Critically examine our systems of oppression. What steps can you personally take to change the system?  *This is a personal challenge area for me. I need to do more homework here for certain.

9)     Read Dr. Martin Luther King Junior‘s Letter from Birmingham Jail. I don’t recall reading this in school. Do you? Maybe I did and it was swept right over. Maybe it was never a part of the curriculum to begin with. How can we make this and other civil rights documents a part of core curriculums for all?  If you have a lens into public education, we need your voice to help us all learn how we can change what we are taught about our own American history. We deserve the whole picture, not just half of it.

10)  Bring our men and boys into this conversation. Let us teach not just our girls, but also our boys the history of gender and race discrimination, recognize how far we’ve come and talk openly about where things still are and where we need to go. ALL the kids will have ideas of how to get there, and later they will be doing this work and carrying our torch.  It is a disservice to them and to us all if we try to shield them from dark histories and darkness that still exists today. Their sense of justice runs deep. You might be surprised how young children can appreciate and understand the complexities of these conversations.

11)  Work to lift up other women, particularly women of color. Validate. Attribute. Support each other. Show up. For your fellow sisters. At work. In your school communities. Out and about in the world.  Fellow white women: Let us use our power to elevate our sisters of color without expecting them to do all the work. (This is super tricky and something we have to talk and work through together. We must all be brave and vulnerable.)

12)  Support women-owned businesses.  With your wallets. With your voices. With your networks.  With your time.

13)  Support women as political leaders and candidates. Persuade them to run for office. Volunteer for their campaigns. Get out the Vote for them. As Andrea says, we the people are responsible for our own representative democracy.  The people in power now are not going to deliver that to us on a silver platter. To all the parents who don’t think you have time for this one, remember: this is not in conflict with your parental duties; this is precisely our parental duty.  **Since we just elected a whole heck of a lot of women across our nation at all levels of government, follow what they do in office; speak up and let them know when you agree with their work, no matter if you are their constituent or not.  In this moment, we are one nation (and one world).  Public service is NO EASY TASK, particularly as a woman who faces criticism at every literal move she makes; these female leaders need our support now more than ever.**

14)  Network with women in your industry.  Find ways to support women in your workplace.  Do this in some big or small way every day.  And not just if you’re a woman. We need the men to have our backs too.

15)  If you’re not all in for something, just say no. Conserve your energy and use it for something you’re deeply passionate about. My friend Renee says, Practice the art of saying no. It’s not something we are used to doing, particularly as women and mothers. We must practice and help one another to say no. There is no room for guilt. Let us all recognize the need for flexibility as we dance through life, parenting and work.  Identify at least one thing you can take off your calendar or to do list in the next week and at least one way you can ask for help this year.  Back up a sister when she says no to you, or doesn’t reply to a text/email immediately – in fact, commend her for this.

16)  Let us get off of our phones and say hi to the people we pass as we walk down the street and through this human world (I say as I voice type walking on a sidewalk downtown) – verbally and eye-contactually connect, y’all!

17)  Engage in conversations with people who walk in different shoes than you. Hear their stories. Share yours.

18)  Work to understand the history of the feminist movement and teach someone in your life who is critical of it what it really means. Author Bell Hooks describes it brilliantly. Buy her book and gift it.

19)  Move in your own body. Take breathes. Find peace within as you seek your purpose. Recognize we each have our own unique role to play.


Listen to our Spotify playlist on Women and Power and watch our expanded Women and Power slideshow (with quotes, inspiring women and photos) for fun and inspiration. 36 of Our Favorite Feminist Quotes for Nasty Women.


Homelessness in the Bay Area: Mapping Causes and Solutions (3/8/18 Circle)

ACTION LIST: Circle of Light Gathering, March 8, 2018

Homelessness in the Bay Area: Mapping Causes and Solutions

  1. When you see someone homeless on the street, say hello, offer dignity and respect
  2. Think about what we can do to help and have conversations with others (friends, colleagues, your child’s school, personal interest groups); what are our responsibilities as community members? What superpowers can you leverage to help solve this problem?
  3. Help our homeless neighbors access services by dialing 311
  4. Get involved in non-profits – donate time, money, leverage your expertise on boards, Party on Garth! (numerous upcoming fundraisers and events highlighted below)
  5. When the city needs to build new shelters, challenge yourself to welcome shelters or low-income housing in your neighborhood
  6. Attend Mayoral Debates! Demand thoughtful discussion around homelessness!
  7. Take action to help homeless veterans: va.gov/homeless
  8. Ask your members of Congress to help victims of child abuse and domestic violence
  9. Call/email your representatives at all levels (local, state and federal) and demand solutions for our homeless neighbors
  10. Attend an uplifting Sunday celebration service at Glide – 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. weekly
  11. For the holidays, team with your own family/friends or work colleagues to Adopt-a-family through Compass Family Services
  12. Engage with Project Homeless Connect’s “Community Day of Service”, March 21st


San Francisco Department of Homeless and Supportive Housing


Homeless Prenatal Program



Hospitality House

  • Donate to Hospitality House / Ask your friends to donate / Be a monthly sustaining donor – as little as $10/month!
  • Volunteer at Hospitality House – at the Community Arts Program, at the Employment Program, at the Community Building Program
  • Help job seekers with resumes and cover letters; assist job seekers with computer skills
  • Come to the Hospitality House Annual Art Auction,Thursday May 17, Minnesota Street Project – bring a friend, volunteer at event, hospitalityhouse.org/annual-art-auction
  • Donate interview clothing, art supplies, books for our free lending library, hygiene kits, feminine hygiene products; underwear, socks, t-shirts, gloves, etc.
  • Host a house meeting with your friends and neighbors – raise awareness and raise money for Hospitality House!
  • Talk to your co-workers about Hospitality House – organize a tour, come see us!
  • For more information about getting involved with Hospitality House, contact Tess at 415-749-2118


Miracle Messages reconnects people living on the streets with their loved ones (and us), through short video messages and social media. To date, 33% of reunions have led to stable housing. Miracle Messages has been featured in the New York Times, NPR, and NowThis, whose video reached 25M views and 360K shares. Founder Kevin F. Adler started Miracle Messages in honor of his Uncle Mark, who lived on-and-off the streets for 30 years. Our goal is to reunite 1 million people by 2021. Since Miracle Messages is almost entirely volunteer operated, here are our top 5 ways to get involved:

1) Join our facebook group and help us search for loved ones online.

Miracle Messages has a closed facebook group where our cases are posted, and anyone who wants to help find leads can do so. Just look at the cases that are posted, see if you can find a point of contact for the loved one we are trying to reach, and post it as a comment. Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/miraclemsg/ and request to join.

2) Become a virtual case lead.

If you are able to spare 2 hours per week (at your convenience, and from your computer) you can be a virtual case lead! This involves working for our 1-800-MISS-YOU hotline, making calls/sending messages to loved ones, and updating case documentation in our case management system. Email jess@miraclemessages.org or visit http://miraclemessages.org/getinvolved/.

3) Join us for a neighborhood dinner.

On March 12th, Miracle Messages is kicking off an event called “The Neighborhood”. The concept behind the dinners is simple–we want housed people to sit across the table from people experiencing homelessness, enjoy a meal, and simply relate as people. We want to bring people together in a way that avoids the traditional service dynamics (serving vs. served, housed vs. unhoused) and instead focuses on the things that make us human–our interests, our love of good food and conversation, and the people and things we care about. To sign up for an upcoming dinner, email jess@miraclemessages.org.

4) Spread the word. 

If you want to help us get the word out about Miracle Messages, consider making our phone number available at your business, or just distributing cards with our phone number. We are happy to provide printed cards, flyers, and window decals for this. If you work or volunteer with a local organization that serves people experiencing homelessness, and you would like to make Miracle Messages available to the people you serve, email jess@miraclemessages.org.

5) Share your talents.

As a largely volunteer-run organization, we leverage the talented people in our community to fill a variety of organizational needs. If you want to share your talents/skills to help us grow, please email jess@miraclemessages.org or visit http://miraclemessages.org/getinvolved/.





  1. Back on My Feet, https://www.backonmyfeet.org/getinvolvednational, recruits members at homeless and residential facilities around the country and begins with a commitment to run three days a week in the early morning. After 30 days in the program, members with 90% attendance earn the opportunity to move into the second phase of the program called Next Steps, which provides educational support, job training programs, employment partnership referrals and housing resources. Over 80% of individuals who start our program move into the Next Steps phase. In Next Steps, members work with BoMF program staff to develop a personal road map to independence. Each member attends financial literacy classes and job skills training provided through partnerships with our corporate partners. Members can earn financial assistance to remove barriers to employment and housing such as work supplies, transportation and security deposits. Members who achieve employment and housing become Alumni Members. Within six months of becoming a Back on My Feet Alumnus, 90% of members maintain their employment, 60% receive a wage increase and 20% achieve a promotion.


  1. Compass Family Services helps San Francisco families who are homeless by providing help with shelter, long-term housing, childcare, therapy, educational and job assistance. Compass has been service innovators for more than 100 years, and more than 90% of the families we house achieve lasting success. For ways to get involved, you can find more information on our volunteer events page here: https://www.compass-sf.org/volunteer-eventsJoin the Compass Spring Benefit, March 28th, The Bently Reserve, https://www.compass-sf.org/springbenefit


  1. GLIDE Volunteer Opportunities:

Our Community Engagement and Volunteer Program connects humanity through service and offers opportunities for people to get involved.

Daily Free Meals Program, https://www.glide.org/serveameal

We rely on 85-100 volunteers every day to h elp us provide 3 nutritious meals a day, 364

days a year.  SIGN UP ONLINE TO SERVE MEALS AT glide.volunteerhub.com

Meal Shifts:


7:00-9:00 am—Breakfast

9:00-11:30 am—Prep

11:00 am-2:00 pm—Lunch

3:00-5:30 pm—Dinner


7:00-9:00 am—Breakfast

7:00-9:00 am—Prep

9:00-11:00 am—Bag Lunch

9:30-11:30 am—Prep

11:30 am-2:00 pm—Lunch

Long-term Opportunities, https://www.glide.org/LongTermVolunteer

Become a volunteer in one of GLIDE’s many programs! Work with children, get involved in the HIV/Hep C Harm Reduction Services center, assist at Sunday Celebrations, help the Fund Development office, and more. Committing to volunteer once a week for at least 6 months is required. To learn more, please visit glide.org/longtermvolunteer

Toy/Care Item Drive

Gather a group of friends or colleagues and help GLIDE collect hygiene items to hand

out in our Walk-In Center, children’s toys for our holiday toy giveaway and other items

as needed.

Service Learning

Bringing your classroom or youth group to GLIDE? Contact Lauren for more information on our service learning curriculum, which enriches the volunteer experience and helps students better understand issues such as community, diversity, poverty and empathy.

Holiday and Event Volunteers, https://www.glide.org/Volunteer-Holidays-2016

Sign up to be notified of special event volunteer opportunities. GLIDE holds spectacular

events throughout the year and especially during the holiday season! Email volteam@glide.org to join.

CONTACT:  Amar Al Hosani, tel. 415-674-6192, aalhosani@glide.org


  1. Lava Mae, https://lavamae.org/san-francisco/, has served 10,000+ guests who have taken 35,000+ showers on our mobile units across Los Angeles and the Bay Area, and innovated one-stop Pop-Up Care Villages to dramatically expand access to essential services for people living on the streets. They have inspired dozens of new mobile hygiene programs across the U.S. and around the world, and recently launched the first-ever open sourcetoolkit + platform to help people everywhere replicate our mobile hygiene service in their own communities.

Volunteer: both individuals and groups, sign up at volunteer@lavamae.org.

Give essentials: Personal hygiene items, undergarments, socks and clothing are vital. http://gooddler.com/Wishlist/10162

Donate: Contributions of any size make it possible to serve more people in need. https://lavamae.org/donate/


  1. Support the Make Them Visible Foundation, http://makethemvisible.com/, to raise investments and awareness to humanize the homeless. MTVF address the need for a collaborative movement where non-profits work together to secure funds and harness change.


  1. At aProject Homeless Connect “Community Day of Service”, an individual experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless is able to receive assistance from more than 100 providers under the same roof in a “expo style” model. Many of the services provided could not otherwise be accessed by a person experiencing homelessness. Our next event will be March 21st, and we expect between 1,000 and 1,500 Participants to come to receive care. We have a variety of volunteer needs at our events. From Participant Escort to check in and check out, you will be a vital part of serving over a thousand individuals experiencing homelessness in one day!


  1. Simply the Basics focuses on improving physical health and dignity in the community, as well as saving nonprofits time and resources. Operating as a Hygiene Bank, we have seen a decrease in infection rates and an improvement in nonprofit partners ability to reach greater goals and achieve their Missions. To best support, you can sign up to Host a Hygiene Drive or to volunteer as a group to pack and sort through products. Learn more atsimplythebasics.org.


  1. Join StreetHearts, http://www.streethearts.us/volunteer, to help end child homelessness, one heart at a time. 1 in 30 childrenin the United States is homeless. StreetHearts is raising awareness of this critical and largely invisible issue — by placing hearts in public spaces, and making it easy for anyone to take direct action. You can knit hearts and hang them  somewhere with heavy foot traffic & high visibility — or in a somewhat hidden spot to surprise peeps! Think: raising awareness//biggest impact.

StreetHearts also supports and encourages you to:

  1. Make art with kids living in homeless shelters to support safe expression and creativity. http://www.drawbridge.org/volunteer/#volunteer
  2. Play with toddlers. Tutor a child. Make a shelter brighter. Make a holiday special. https://hamiltonfamilies.org/get-involved/volunteer-opportunities/
  3. Prepare bags of food and clothing for homeless youth. Help in the office. Hike for a good cause. https://atthecrossroads.org/getinvolved.html




Children’s books: 

Counting on Community by Innosanto Nagara

Maddis’ Fridge by Lois Brandt

You and Me and Home Sweet Home by George Ella Lyon

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

The Exact Location of Home by Kate Messner (juvenile fiction, grades 5-7)

More books: http://www.doinggoodtogether.org/bhf-book-lists/picture-books-hunger-poverty-homelessness

Helping Children Respond to Homelessness: http://us.thinkt3.com/blog/helping-children-respond-to-homelessness?platform=hootsuite



Homeless Podcast. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/homeless-podcast/id1263342600?mt=2

Roofless Podcast. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/roofless-podcast/id1262928181?mt=2

Homeless from Rumble Strip. https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=664663777&i=1000347385861

‘DJ’s Homeless Mommy’ | Modern Love 46. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/modern-love/id1065559535?mt=2&i=1000378444389

Two Types of Homeless from The Bay. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-bay/id1350043452?mt=2&i=1000403985520

Homelessness from It Matters SF. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/it-matters-sf/id1273634276?mt=2&i=1000391266385

Homelessness from Prickly Politics. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/prickly-politics/id1257234651?mt=2&i=1000393221640


Audio/visual stories and interviews:

Tender Souls:  Short documentary about three Tenderloin residents that live vastly different lives in the same square mile and yet share a common history of pain and struggle

https://www.tendersoulsfilm.com/ (23 minutes)

Make Them Visible (3.5 minutes)


NPR Here & Now: Giving The Homeless A Camera To Tell Their Stories (6 minutes)


What is the Homeless Prenatal Program? (2.5 minutes)


Martha Ryan shares the genesis of HPP (10 minutes)


Miracle Messages Video Stories


Hospitality House: The Oral NowStories Project (12 minutes)


Kevin Adler’s “Don’t be a stranger” TED Talk (7 minutes)



Guess what?  We DO have a federal level council on homelessness!



Upcoming Local Discussions

Thursday, March 29th, 6:15 – 8:30 p.m.

San Francisco Mayoral Debate

Location: Minnesota Street Project, 1275 Minnesota Street

Eastern Neighborhoods Democratic Club (ENDC), The Bay City Beacon, Edwin M. Lee Asian Pacific Democratic Club, and Willie B. Kennedy Democratic Club cordially invite members and SF residents to a debate with the candidates of the June 5th SF mayoral special election. Candidates Angela Alioto, London Breed, Mark Leno, and Amy Farah Weiss will all be participating.

Doors open at 6:15pm and the debate will start at 7pm. Attendees are encouraged to come before 7pm to check in and find a seat. Each attendee will need an Eventbrite ticket to enter.





  1. @Homelessashes #featurefilm is complete! The filmmakers need support to finish the film, do you want become a voice for homelessness? please donate or share to our #crowdfund @indiegogo. https://www.com/projects/homeless-ashes-feature-film-drama/x/5112537#/ … Trailer contains disturbing images, View discretion is advised: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/homeless-ashes-feature-film-drama#/


  1. A Meal With Dignity

There is a Humanitarian Crisis of Homelessness in San Francisco. In response, we have started a California nonprofit to feed the unsheltered homeless on the streets of San Francisco. We call it A Meal With Dignity (AMWD). Our Vision is to foster community, lift the soul, and nourish the spirits of those in need, as well as our friends, neighbors and families. We believe fresh, in season, organic food is medicine that can heal people’s spirits and souls. And, in doing so, raise each other up by serving our unsheltered homeless community with dignity.

Periodically, a small group of A Meal With Dignity volunteers mobilize to make 100 healthy organic boxed lunches in a home kitchen and deliver them immediately and directly to poor and suffering individuals living on the streets of San Francisco.  We use our own vehicles to deliver the meals. Our freshly prepared boxed lunch consists of an avocado and tomato sandwich on a Brioche bun, San Simeon cheese and gem lettuce, dressed with a citrus vinaigrette made with Sevillano Fall EVO and fresh herbs. That, plus a seasonal piece of organic fruit, a fresh pastry and a bottle of spring water, provide a nutritionally complete Meal With Dignity. Our food ingredients and packaging supplies are sourced at discounted wholesale prices from our supporting vendors: Ergo Packaging, Earl’s Organics, Rainbow Grocery, Bakers of Paris, Cassein Cheese, and Bi-Rite Market.

DONATE: A boxed lunch for a homeless person costs us about $5 each.


Contact Volunteer Coordinator Erika Aguirre Amealwithdignityvolunteers@gmail.com

Click to sign up on our Doodle Volunteer Schedule https://doodle.com/poll/p63k9apeub8xx9u4

Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/amealwithdignity/

Joy D’Ovidio, Executive Director, 415.305.5655, joydovidio@comcast.net


  1. HELP US END FAMILY HOMELESSNESS: Give Now to Compass Family Services
    (Your donation today will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Google.org!)



  1. BrightVibes: Clean Slate: One Texas City is Paying Its Homeless to Pick Up Trash

Clean Slate is a social enterprise initiative designed to erase the barriers that keep many homeless people from working and contributing to the community. The goal is to break the cycle of homelessness by providing steady employment that restores dignity and provides hope. Almost four thousand tons of litter was collected from the streets of Fort Worth by Clean Slate workers last year.



  1. CBS News: Act of kindness leads to a family reunion six decades overdue

Our ongoing series, A More Perfect Union, aims to show that what unites us as Americans is far greater than what divides us. In this installment, an unlikely path toward finding family. A homeless man panhandling at a transit station in the Bay Area discovered a new life thanks to the kindness of some people who gave him a chance.



Print/online articles (homework sent prior to gathering):

San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing’s Strategic Framework




SF Chronicle: For mentally ill homeless patients, new center offers 54 beds and a dose of hope


Outside: Can a Running Club Help Fight Homelessness?


t3 Threads: Changing the Conversation: Helping Children Respond to Homelessness


SF Gate: Candidates for SF mayor try to stake their ground at forum


Once homeless, Joe Wilson now runs a source of hope for the most desperate


SF Chronicle: Homelessness doesn’t have to be the end of the journey (Op Ed by Joe Wilson)


SFGate: S.F. photo exhibit of women who found self-worth


HPP: Janet Delaney- Nine Women: Nine Stories


HH: Everyday Heroes: Participant Profiles


NYTimes: A Video Project Reconnects Homeless People With Families


Mother Jones: Meet the Man Who’s Making Tech Do Something About San Francisco’s Massive Wealth Gap


SF Chronicle: Nonprofit pledges $100 million to aid SF’s chronically homeless


Psychology Today: Person or Object? The Case of Homelessness



Street Sheet: Charlene: I slept and showered at Facebook. I was homeless. And pregnant.


Fast Company: Experience How Expensive It Feels to Live Below the Poverty Line


Recode: Tech companies have an obligation to join the fight against poverty, says Tipping Point CEO Daniel Lurie


Recode: Why Silicon Valley’s Wealthy Techies Need to ‘Stand Up’ to Homelessness Now https://www.recode.net/2017/3/27/15068606/daniel-lurie-tipping-point-community-homelessness-inequality-san-francisco-recode-podcast

NYTimes: A ‘Bright Light,’ Dimmed in the Shadows of Homelessness


Recode: Why aren’t we harnessing technology to end homelessness?


East Bay Times: Richmond: A new approach to eradicating poverty


Creativity Online:  Would you recognize your sister if she were homeless?


High Country News: A Tale of Two Housing Crises, Rural and Urban


The Urbanist: Homelessness in the Bay Area


Wired: A Bid to Solve California’s Housing Crisis Could Redraw How Cities Grow


The Bold Italic: Why San Francisco‘s Homelessness Problem Is Still Complicated


SF Chronicle: Despite money and effort, homelessness in SF as bad as ever


SFGate: SF’s new count shows homeless people spreading into neighborhoods


Curbed: UN expert decries homeless conditions in Bay Area as ‘cruel,’ ‘unacceptable’


Mission Local: Navigation Center for the Homeless Switches Focus from Housing to Triage


KQED: The Rough Stories Behind the Tender Souls



Activist Put Up Hearts All Over San Francisco


Business Insider: Lava Mae is turning old buses into bathrooms and showers for San Francisco’s homeless


Medium (press release): Tipping Point Steps up with $100 Million Initiative to Reduce Chronic Homelessness by Half



Circle of Light Gathering, March 8, 2018

Bay Area Homelessness Expert Panel


JESS DOING, http://miraclemessages.org

Jess Donig is the Director of Operations for Miracle Messages. She joined Kevin Adler, Miracle Messages’ Founder and CEO, as the first full-time team member in 2017, driven by her passion for improving people’s lives through innovation.   Prior to joining Miracle Messages, Jess served as the first employee and VP of Operations for the YC backed med-tech startup Call9, where she built the infrastructure to provide emergency medicine and palliative care medicine to nursing home patients via telemedicine. She has also worked in clinical research at Stanford University, where she ran the clinical wing of the Daldrup-Link Pediatric Imaging Laboratory, and as the Director of Academic Programs for the East Palo Alto Boys and Girls Club.

In addition to her social impact and operational work, Jess has co-authored six publications on the use of iron-oxide nanoparticles as an MR imaging agent. She is also an artist and illustrator, with work published in the journal Radiology and paintings on display at Stanford and Oakland Children’s Hospitals. Jess received her BA in Sociology from UCLA in 2008, where she participated in the sociology honors thesis program and completed an ethnographic research project. Her interest in working on the issue of homelessness was sparked in her first year at UCLA, when one of her sociology professors remarked that, in the 1960’s, homelessness in the Bay Area was practically nonexistent. It was this remark that got Jess thinking about the normalization of homelessness, and the importance of understanding homelessness as a human experience.


CARRIE HAMILTON, http://www.homelessprenatal.org

Carrie Hamilton is a graduate of the Homeless Prenatal Program’s Community Health Worker Training Program (2008). Since then Carrie has worked as a Case Manager at the agency as a member of the New Beginnings program, which serves expecting women with high-risk pregnancies. As a part of her role, Carrie provides street outreach to better engage homeless, and acts as the liaison between the city homeless medical teams as well as area hospitals.

As a former HPP client, Hamilton has been a powerful role model, influencing the lives of many wellness and substance use disorders and mental health challenges. Hamilton holds a certificate from the Community Health Worker Training Program at City College of San Francisco and is currently working on her Drug and Alcohol Certification (May 2019).


DANIEL LURIE, https://tippingpoint.org

Before founding Tipping Point in 2005, Daniel worked for the Bill Bradley Presidential Campaign and the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City. Daniel’s fourth day at Robin Hood was September 11th, 2001. Over the course of the next two years, he witnessed the organization’s ability to lift up the city through its focused philanthropic work. In 2003, Daniel returned to the San Francisco Bay Area to complete graduate school. While there, he worked to adapt Robin Hood’s model to fit his home region and Tipping Point Community was born.

Daniel has earned a BA in Political Science from Duke University and received his Master’s in Public Policy from the Goldman School at UC Berkeley. Daniel serves on the Board of Directors for the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, and the Levi Strauss Foundation and was Chair of the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee in 2016, which raised $13 million for community efforts, the largest contribution in Super Bowl history. When not fighting poverty, you can find Daniel on the hunt for the Bay Area’s best burrito or spending time with his family.


MARTHA RYAN, http://www.homelessprenatal.org

Martha Ryan’s journey to creating the Homeless Prenatal Program (HPP) began in Africa.  After a 10-year stint as an ICU nurse at San Francisco General Hospital, Ryan returned to Africa, where she had been a teacher for the Peace Corps years before.  In Somalia and the Sudan, Ryan worked in refugee camps where she created a Community Health Outreach Program, a program she would later replicate at HPP. In 1989, Ryan founded HPP to provide free prenatal care to at-risk pregnant women. In that first year, HPP provided prenatal care to 72 women.  Twenty-nine years later, HPP has a staff of 80 (half former clients) that serves 4,000 families annually.

Ryan holds an M.P.H., Maternal and Child Health, from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in Modern Languages from the University of San Francisco.  She has received numerous honors for her work including an honorary doctorate from University of San Francisco, a CNN Hero Award, a James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Community Health Leadership Award and the San Francisco Foundation’s Community Leadership Award.


ABIGAIL STEWART-KAHNhttp://hsh.sfgov.org

Abigail is currently the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing and a Tipping Point Community Fellow.  In this capacity she is responsible for the strategy, implementation and change management across the homelessness response system.  Abigail also takes up specific strategic initiatives including philanthropic engagement, partnerships and new program development and initiatives.  Abigail has unwavering commitment to creating change with and on behalf of vulnerable communities and individuals through clinical intervention and systems and advocacy work.  Abigail has expertise in working from vision setting through implementation, consensus building and partnership, collective impact work across sectors and organizational change management.  Abigail is a passionate leader and clinical social worker with over 15 years of experience in management, strategy, fundraising, program development, operations and direct service.


JOE WILSON, http://hospitalityhouse.org

Joe Wilson was recently named Executive Director of Hospitality House. Joe was previously the Director of Community Initiatives at Hospitality House, and he has an extensive and deep history with the organization. He began his time with the House as a shelter resident in 1983 after finding himself homeless in San Francisco, and his career started here. He was a volunteer and soon after became the shelter manager. Joe was one of the founding members of the Coalition on Homelessness in 1987, and in 1989, he and three other advocates published a policy paper on transitional housing that led to the creation of the Community Housing Partnership. For the next 20 years, Joe continued to gain experience and knowledge working in various leadership roles at other nonprofits and labor unions, and led policy reform, community organizing, and budget advocacy campaigns. In 2012, Joe came back to Hospitality House and has been leading our community building and policy advocacy work for the past five years.

State of the Environment: Climate Change Policy (5/30/17 Circle)

State of Our Environment Resource and Action List

Circle of Light Gathering May 30, 2017


“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” ~Rumi

Use Your Voice!

Instead of despairing over the Administration’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord this week, use your frustrations to FUEL YOUR FIRE!

Action Alert: Tell members of Congress to protect Paris Agreement (Greenpeace)

Tell U.S. Leaders: Don’t Back Out of Climate Action  (The Nature Conservancy)

Take the #FrontlinesFirst Pledge (Green For All)

READ this week’s responses from our Circle of Light organizations:

Greenpeace statement

Paris Climate Accord: The Future Depends on Us (Green For All)

Green For All Director Vien Truong Interviews Commissioner Vella at EU Green Week

10 things you should know about the Paris Agreement, and what they mean for you (The Nature Conservancy)

A good overview article from New York Times


  1. URGENT: Call The White House, your Senators and Representatives and tell them how you feel about the U.S. pulling out of the Paris Agreement!

a.   Use Resistbot to write Congress in under 2 minutes: Text “RESIST” to 50409 (No downloads or apps required)

b.   Find contact details for your elected officials (federal and state legislators) using Common Cause locator

  1. Keep an eye on HR 1430 The Honest Act of 2017, HR 1431 EPA Science Advisory Board Act of 2017 and proposed Senate bill 100×50 Act of 2017; connect with your Congressional Representatives to let them know your stance
  2. Sign Climate Parents’ Stop EPA Cuts petition
  3. Join the #ReadyFor100 movement by signing the letter to tell your mayor you’re ready for 100% clean and renewable energy
  4. Help #FixThePipes in Flint, Michigan. For every $10k we raise, we can fix the pipes in one home. And we have a lot of homes to fix.
  5. Ask Book Publishers to Stand Up For Free Speech and Forests!
  6. Join Greenpeace’s Rapid Response Action Team by texting RESIST to 877-877
  7. Follow Greenpeace’s 6 step kit to resisting Trump’s anti-environmental agenda


Its Personal!

  1. GO OUTSIDE and soak it in! Use our public lands. Encourage others to do so too.
  2. Watch a fun short film about all the stuff in our life: The Story of Stuff and Tell Your Story of Stuff
  3. Estimate your carbon footprint using The Nature Conservancy’s Carbon Calculator
  4. Open Your Eyes (plastics) and make smart choices in your consumption. In addition to carrying your own water bottle and thermos, forgo plastic straws or replace them with an alternative
  5. If your family is not willing to go entirely meatless, try Meatless Mondays
  6. Check out how this family generates only a quart-size jar of waste per year and see what tips you can adopt in your home
  7. Read through the most comprehensive list I’ve ever seen on how to be a Global Steward with your actions
  8. Stay tuned for more innovation in biodegradable or recycled product offerings (think sneakers made from corn and Sneakers from ocean plastics)


Get Involved! 

These organizations are doing a lot of on-the-ground research, fighting for environmental justice and holding our governments accountable.  They all welcome your support with time and/or money:


Nature Conservancy

Climate Parents

Green for All


314 action

March for Science

Union of Concerned Scientists

Earth Justice

Natural Resources Defense Council

Communities for a Better Environment


Sierra Club

Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC)

Energy Foundation

Wilderness Society

Earth Law Center


Stay informed with these blogs, podcasts, videos, research reports and news outlets!

Climate One by the Commonwealth Club



Hot & Bothered: A Dissent Magazine Podcast

Green for All Research and Reports

I AM the Green Economy Stories

The Nature Conservancy Reports

Cool Green Science, the conservation science blog of The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy California Projects and Campaigns

The Environmentalist, Greenpeace blog

Story of Stuff Videos


Anthropocene (formerly Conservation Magazine)



Make sure kids in your life are armed with resources to become informed and engaged!

NASA Kids Club


Earth Guardians

NPR’s new kids’ science show! Wow in the World

Eco Friendly Crafting

Green Kid Crafts

Join a local group/volunteer!


Follow on Facebook and Twitter to stay connected!
Climate Parents/Sierra Club

Contact:  Lisa Hoyos

cell: 510-282-0440


FB: Climate Parents

Twitter: @climateparents


Greenpeace USA

Isabelle Geczy




FB: Greenpeace USA

Twitter: @greenpeaceusa


Green For All

Contact: Michelle Romero



FB: Green For All

Twitter: @GreenForAll


The Nature Conservancy

Contact:  Mari Marjamma



FB:  The Nature Conservancy

Twitter: @nature_org


Additional Actions/Resources that came out of 5/30 Circle of Light (these actions are NEW and were not included in gathering handout):

  • Connect with folks who are still at EPA to let them know you appreciate their work
  • Talk to your relatives and friends across party lines about what is at stake here; let them know we can have BOTH a fruitful economy and environmental protection (as Administrator McCarthy says, “the clean energy train has left the station”)
  • Outreach to Amazon and other businesses: ask them why they are not using clean energy; also ask “Alexa” why she is contributing to climate change (this data is compiled for Amazon daily)
  • Check out https://grabyourwallet.orgfor a list of companies to boycott and shop
  • Be on lookout for Governor Brown’s potential extension of cap and trade policy in the fall
  • Californians: make sure we don’t let our Reps off hook at federal level (even though as a state, we’re headed in right direction as leader in this space)
  • Bay Area folk: look for work by local artist (based in Oakland) Favianna Rodriquez and her organization Culture Strike, which focuses on many faces of environmentalism
  • Watch and share:
    • this under 3 minute video about 100% clean energy; note the diversity of voices; I particularly like the former utility executive interview
    • 8-minute video on the importance of message and messengers
  • Join Green For All’s email list and specifically look for updates on:
    • Green For All director Vien Truong’s trip to Brussels at the EU this week; she is the only American representative heading to Germany with top leaders for EU Green Week
    • A new campaign to organize women/moms to engage Ivanka around preserving the EPA’s budget
  • Follow real people’s voices on Twitter (not just orgs): @AnnieMLeonard, @mppsweeney, @Viendetta, @michelledreams2, @VanJones68; @TomSteyer; @GinaEPA (to see all amazing work she did at EPA); CA-based organizations: @Greenlining, @APEN4EJ


Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses and Citizens Can Save The Planet by Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein

Feature Films:

Catching the Sun

Before the Flood

Chasing Coral


“Being good stewards of the environment God gave us should not be a partisan issue.”  ~Ronald Reagan


Pre-Circle Homework:


Climate One (by the Commonwealth Club)

Climate policy with Gretchen Goldman from Forecast: climate conversations with Michael White

Episode 78: Margaret Atwood, Evangelizing Against Climate Change, and Greek Tragedy from The New Yorker Radio Hour

EOC 119: Inside the March for Science – The Meaning and Inspiration Behind the March from The Eyes on Conservation Podcast

EOC BONUS: CA State Assembly Member Todd Gloria on the Vaquita, Climate Change, and Standing Up to the Trump Administration from The Eyes on Conservation Podcast

How Climate Scientists Really Feel About Climate Change in Their Own Words – Part 1 from Climate Change Minute

NPR’s new kids’ science show! Wow in the World

The Children’s Climate Crusade from Bill Moyers in Conversation

ScienceCast 221:  Reshuffling Heat on a Warming Planet from NASA ScienceCasts


The New York Times, 23 Environmental Rules Rolled Back in Trump’s First 100 Days

The Hill, White House leaning toward exiting Paris climate pact

globalcitizen.orgChicago Now Hosts Deleted EPA Content on Its City Website

globalcitizen.orgCities Are the Best Place to Fight Climate Change, UN Says 

Articles that feature our panelists

Harvard Gazette, Fighting words from former EPA leader: McCarthy urges scientists to raise their voices on climate change

Street Roots News, ‘Carbon pollution isn’t free’: How Oregon can cap, trade, reinvest (an interview with Michelle Romero)

The Washington Post, Laying a road map for states, liberal senators introduce bill to end U.S. fossil fuel use by 2050

ColorLines, 3 State Reps Announce Congressional Caucus Dedicated to Environmental and Climate Justice

Huffington Post, Reflections of an activist mom in the Trump Era, by Lisa Hoyos

Blogs, videos and research reports

Green for All Research and Reports

I AM the Green Economy Stories

The Nature Conservancy Reports

Cool Green Science, the conservation science blog of The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy California Projects and Campaigns

The Environmentalist, Greenpeace blog

Story of Stuff Videos



Annie Leonard is the Executive Director of Greenpeace USA. Leonard began her career at Greenpeace in 1988 and has returned to help the organization inspire and mobilize millions of people to take action to create a more sustainable future together. She is based in San Francisco.

Leonard has over two decades of experience investigating and explaining the environmental and social impacts of our stuff: where it comes from, how it gets to us, and where it goes after we get rid of it. Her film, The Story of Stuff, blossomed into The Story of Stuff Project, which works to empower people around the globe to fight for a more sustainable and just future. The project has built a community of over half a million people and released 8 more videos since The Story of Stuff, which have been viewed over 40 million times and been incorporated into countless school and faith curricula. In 2010, Simon & Schuster published Leonard’s New York Times bestselling book, The Story of Stuff, which takes a deeper dive into the issues of the film.

A hallmark of Leonard’s work with The Story of Stuff Project has been her keen recognition that solving environmental crises requires working across a wide range of movements to fix economic and political systems that are currently dominated by corporations at the expense of people’s health.

Leonard currently serves on the boards of Wallace Global Fund, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Public Citizen, and the Democracy Initiative and has previously served on the boards of the Grassroots Recycling Network, GAIA, the Environmental Health Fund, Global Greengrants India, Greenpeace India, and the International Forum on Globalization. She earned her undergraduate degree at Barnard College, Columbia University and has a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University. During Leonard’s tenure at Greenpeace, she was arrested for protesting a business that was exporting hazardous waste to South Africa under the apartheid regime, and dumping it in a black community.


Gina McCarthy has dedicated her 30-year career in public service to environmental protection and public health. Her leadership and perseverance has led to federal, state, and local actions on critical environmental issues, and her significant accomplishments include action to advance environmental, clean energy, public transportation and public health goals consistent with a growing economy in New England and across the United States.

From 2013 – 2017, McCarthy served as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under President Obama.  As Administrator, McCarthy was the nation’s leading advocate for common-sense strategies to protect public health and the environment. Willing to take bold action, Administrator McCarthy achieved notable success by finalizing the Clean Power Plan (CPP) which set the first national standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for fossil-fuel fired power plants.  The CPP demonstrated the United States strong commitment to climate action, sparking broad international support for adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement.  Under her leadership, EPA also finalized the Clean Water Rule to protect rivers and streams that 117 million American s rely on for their source of drinking water.

Prior to her role as EPA Administrator, McCarthy held the position of Assistant Administrator in EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.  Previously, McCarthy served as the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, where she began an initiative called “No Child Left Inside” to introduce families to the natural world by visiting state parks, and she helped design and implement the nine-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation’s first cap and trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for power plants.   She has also held senior positions in Massachusetts, serving five governors, including Deputy Secretary of the Office of Commonwealth Development and Undersecretary for Policy for the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.

Since leaving the Obama Administration, McCarthy has been serving as a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government’s Institute of Politics and as the Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and a joint Master of Science in Environmental Health Engineering, Planning and Policy from Tuft’s University.  A native of Massachusetts, McCarthy lives in the Greater Boston area with her husband and spends as much time as she can with her three children Daniel, Maggie, and Julie.


Lisa Hoyos is the co-founder of Climate Parents, a program of the Sierra Club that mobilizes parents and families for clean energy and climate solutions. She has been a campaigner in the labor and environmental movements for over twenty years, working with such organizations as the BlueGreen Alliance, the national AFL-CIO, and Greenpeace. Lisa also served as a committee staffer to the California Senate Natural Resources Committee under Senator Tom Hayden. Lisa’s international experience includes working on global justice issues with the Congress of South African Trade Unions as well as coordinating an international coalition focused on fair and just trade policy. She is a member of the San Francisco Commission on the Environment, and on several boards including Labor Network for Sustainability, the Alliance for Climate Education and the California League of Conservation Voters. Lisa is Latina and bilingual. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two sons.


Michelle Romero has nearly a decade of organizing and advocacy experience fighting for progressive issues — ranging from immigrant rights and economic justice, to higher education, redistricting, and voting rights. Michelle joined Green For All in early 2016 to bring her interdisciplinary and multi-ethnic organizing experience to the fight for climate justice.  In her role as Deputy Director of Green For All, she leads the team to implement a bold climate agenda that seeks to create an inclusive green economy for all – starting with those hit first and worst by pollution and climate change.

Almost immediately upon joining the organization, Michelle helped organize a celebrity bus tour with Van Jones, Mark Ruffalo, Vien Truong, and Tom Steyer to bring national attention and support to Flint, Michigan — a community suffering the effects of lead-poisoned water and under-investment. She also helped spearhead an effort with national partners to produce a first-of-its-kind policy toolkit to provide a robust set of policy ideas for states to advance climate solutions that address both poverty and pollution. With Michelle’s leadership, Green For All has built a powerful coalition that is advancing a national strategy to replicate carbon pricing policy that invests billions into rebuilding the health, wealth, and environment of frontline families.

Immediately prior to joining Green For All, Michelle worked in the Issues Management and Policy Analysis unit for the President of the University of California system Janet Napolitano. She also spent five years at the Greenlining Institute, leading state strategy to ensure communities of color have a voice in the major decisions that affect their lives, and received legislative and congressional recognition for her work to engage an unprecedented number of low-income people and people of color in California’s citizen redistricting process.

Michelle has published research on barriers to voting, advised state and local government agencies about effective practices for engaging communities of color in decision-making processes, wrote and lobbied for legislation, and helped catalyze a shift in the election policy community to design programs that are user-centered.  Michelle’s work has been featured from the prominent stages of Netroots Nation and the California Democratic Convention, to media outlets like the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, KQED Newsroom, and ABC News. Michelle holds a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz.


Mike Sweeney is executive director of The Nature Conservancy in California and managing director of global fisheries. He has worked in business, government and nonprofits and has more than 20 years of experience solving major environmental challenges in the U.S. and internationally. He joined The Nature Conservancy in 1998 as a project director and became chief operating officer and associate state director in 2001. In that role he oversaw historic accomplishments and major strategic initiatives in water, climate, oceans, and public finance. In 2007, he was named Executive Director in California, and in 2016 he added the role of Managing Director of Global Fisheries. As an assistant to Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, he helped advance the first Clinton Administration’s conservation priorities, including national park concessions reform, the transition of closing military bases to wildlife refuges, Everglades restoration, and making the Endangered Species Act more effective. Previously, he worked in national politics for the Clinton-Gore ‘92 campaign in Little Rock, worked for Kodansha Ltd, Japan’s largest publisher, and served on the staff of a member of the Japanese Diet. Since 2008 he has served as a director and program committee chair for Island Conservation. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from Harvard College.
“The world is waking up to the fact that problems for nature are problems for people too—when nature suffers, so do we. Now is the time to build a world where people and nature thrive together.”


Our Media Ecosystem (4/13/17 Circle)


  • Identify media outlets that are telling and looking at the whole truth and support them; subscribe as paying customers where possible (a few good ones to add to our reading lists: https://www.revealnews.org, foreignaffairs.com, www.fusion.net)
  • Check our own sources before sharing news
  • Call out falsehoods when we see them (on social media, email, in person)
  • Find specific reporters/journalists to follow (vs outlets)
  • Tell your grandmother/cousin in Idaho to watch Shep Smith (“moderate” on Fox News that might be more palatable for her than Huffington Post)
  • Sign Media Matters’ and other relevant petitions: http://action.mediamatters.org/
  • Write and call our politicians (local, state, national) to let them know where we stand on issues
  • Write media outlets directly to let them know where we stand (thank them where possible and call them out as needed)
  • Check out http://www.theopedproject.org/and https://freedom.press/crowdfunding/ and consider ways to get involved
  • Write our own op eds or letters to the editor about something we are passionate about; host a party with friends to do this and make it fun
  • Stay engaged on social media within our own boundaries; share links of real news to combat the fake news; share opinions to make sure our voices are heard
  • Find our own balance of staying informed vs going crazy (ideas include: limit news intake to once or twice a day vs all day incessantly, take day-long or multi-day breaks from news to avoid burnout, watch SNL and political comedy, remember to SELF CARE and BREATHE!)



News sites (in addition to the ones highlighted above)








*The following were recommended by Gene Stone in The Trump Survival Guide; Caution: very left wing tilt












Organizations (in addition to the ones highlighted above)

https://centerformediajustice.org *based on Oakland

https://freedom.press *based in SF



Pod Save America, Pod Save the World, Lovett or Leave It, With Friends Like These: https://getcrookedmedia.com/

Indivisible:  http://www.npr.org/podcasts/516647023/indivisible

Forum: http://www.npr.org/podcasts/432307980/forum

Fresh Air: http://www.npr.org/podcasts/381444908/fresh-air

Reveal:  https://www.revealnews.org/episodes/


Tip Sheets

Twitter Best Practices: 12 Tips from ReThink Media

Writing & Placing Letters to the Editor: 9 Tips from ReThink Media

Writing & Placing Op-Eds: 10 Tips from ReThink Media


Circle of Light Gathering, April 13, 2017

Our Media Ecosystem Expert Panel

Jessica Yellin was the Chief White House Correspondent for CNN in Washington, D.C. from 2011 to 2013.  Described as “one of the most influential women in Washington,” Yellin began reporting for CNN as the network’s senior political correspondent in 2007, covering Capitol Hill, domestic politics and the White House.  Yellin is currently a senior fellow at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism and a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Public Integrity.

Robert J. Rosenthal is executive director of The Center for Investigative Reporting. An award-winning journalist, Rosenthal has worked for The New York Times, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer and, most recently, the San Francisco Chronicle. Rosenthal worked for 22 years at the Inquirer, starting as a reporter and eventually becoming its executive editor in 1998. He became managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle in late 2002, and joined CIR as executive director in 2008. Robert has been an adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

Markos Kounalakis is an author, publisher, journalist, and scholar. Dr. Kounalakis covered wars and revolutions for Newsweek and NBC-Mutual News. He was there during the fall of the Berlin Wall and lived in the Soviet Union during its collapse. He later became publisher of The Washington Monthly magazine. Dr. Kounalakis is currently a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution working on a book on the geopolitics of global news networks. He still writes a foreign affairs column for the McClatchy-Tribune News Service.  Since 2010, he has been a senior research fellow at the Center for Media, Data and Society at Central European University.  His wife, Eleni Tsakopoulos, served as the U.S. Ambassador to Hungary until 2013.

Ethan Lindsey is KQED’s managing editor for news. In this newly-created position, Ethan helps to continue the public media organization’s transition to a 21st-century newsroom and further deepens KQED’s commitment to regional news, especially on digital platforms. Ethan came to KQED from the WBUR and NPR newsmagazine Here & Now, in Boston, where he was the show’s senior managing editor. Previously, he was senior digital editor and interim managing editor for the public radio show Marketplace. In 2009, Ethan won a Peabody Award for his work as a correspondent for Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Yasmin Nouh is a digital producer at Fusion who has covered social justice, immigration and local and global diaspora communities for various news outlets in the past. She graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts and received her Master’s degree from Columbia Journalism School in 2015. She previously served as a blog editor for The Huffington Post and on the NPR news team.

Angelo Carusone is the President of Media Matters. Before joining, he organized the successful Twitter based StopBeck effort. He holds a B.A. in American Studies from Fordham University and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin.

Ashley Houghton has worked with ReThink since 2011. As managing director of Security and Rights, she currently leads in developing, implementing, and supporting effective media and communications outreach and capacity-building.  After graduating from the University of Maryland, Ashley briefly worked in the nonprofit world before plunging into work at a Washington public relations firm, where she honed her skills in promoting experts and newsworthy personalities. She’s always looking for new hobbies, from arc welding to swing dancing, and has gained notoriety in DC for her semi-annual “Wear Something Awesome on Your Head” birthday parties.



Homework for our Media Ecosystem discussion:

Good reads/listens/watches from our Media Ecosystem panelists:



Kick off Gathering for Circle of Light

February 28, 2017

CAUTION TO THE FIESTYTogether we are a Citizen ArmyNot everyone can do everythingRemember, we are all in this for the long haul so pace yourself to avoid burnoutHere are MANY examples of actions that are neededFind your role, take selfcare breathers and use your passion, privilege and platform however YOU can.

  1. SHOW UP for urgent, what’s happening now events and protests – ex. Airport strike for travel ban; as we’ve seen, numbers matter!
    • protests need behind the scenes support (flyers and poster makers, translation and legal work, transportation providers, Know Your Rights protectors)
    • Bay Area Resistance: text RESIST to 41411 to stay updated on ICE Raids and any future action regarding immigration related executive orders and polices
  1. USE YOUR VOICE politically as a citizen
    • Locally, ATTEND City Council and Town Hall meetings
      1. Find out if your city has municipal ID program; if not push for it to incorporate one
      2. Encourage your city agencies and institutions to stop all collaboration with ICE and refuse to hold people for ICE: this includes, social service agencies, shelters, schools, probation offices, jails and courthouses
      3. Tell the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to approve funding for the San Francisco Public Defenders Office to hire immigration attorneys to represent detained immigrants
    • State/National level, CALLS and LETTERS to Congress, Representatives and Senators
      1. Make 5 calls in five minutes to our elected leaders to empower them with our concerns
      2. Call voters in Special Elections for State Legislatures, Congress, and National Issues. Democracy Action SF hosts local phonebanks, including for a Special Election for Congress Sunday and ACA Tuesday
      3. Tell CA lawmakers (senators, governor) to pass California Values Act, SB 54
      4. Tell CA lawmakers(senators, assembly members, governor) to pass SB 6, which will fund legal representation for immigrants fighting deportation in immigration courts. Tell them you want this representation to be truly universal and without excluding groups based on prior convictions or otherwise
      5. Tell CA lawmakers (senators, assembly members, governor) to pass SB 3, the Strong Public Defenders Act, which will give every public defender office access to immigration expertise
      6. Keep eyes open for proposed legislation to support in CA
      7. Write to and call White House and congress members to say you and America value immigrants and demand US ensures immigrants have access to due process and protection, demand no separation of families, etc; host postcard and letter writing parties to do this
      8. Write WH about not banning Muslims or freezing refugee program
      9. Win backState Legislatures and Congress with Flippable.org,  SwingLeft.orgThe Resurgent Left, and the Sister District Project
  1. ENGAGE your smaller communities (think about ALL your circles: work/business associates, religious organizations you may be a part of, special interest/hobby groups, school communities, neighbors, community centers, gym, home contractors, childcare, friends from all walks of your past & present life)
    1. Pass pertinent information to your circles via email/social media
    2. Host your own circle gathering or event
    3. Reach out to folks you know OUTSIDE CA who can make a difference in their states (friends, family, other contacts); persuade them to call their reps
    4. Think about the needs in your own community and how to leverage resources to meet those needs (one example is immigrantfamilies.org). If your community members are not facing deportation themselves, leverage their resources in support of a community that is
    5. Print Know Your Rights handouts and deliver to people in your neighborhood and anyone you know who might need to know or who knows of other folks who might need to know; let them know you are making no judgements but making sure we all know our rights in these times; encourage them to pass on to others
  1. RESEARCH and SUPPORT organizations doing the field work
    1. Volunteer your time
    2. Donate your money
    3. Host an event: talk, training or fundraiser (ginormous or teeny tiny); many of these organizations want to reach more people and can send experts to speak or train folks at your events; they need more people to host the trainings (provide space, food, recruit folks, etc)
    4. Host Know Your Rights event for immigrants in your community
    5. Join Local Resistance Groups e.g., Indivisible SFStand Up San Francisco#Resist San Francisco & TheResistanceSanFrancisco
  1. OPPOSE actions and rhetoric that divides us based on “good immigrants-bad immigrants,” which historically has been used to undercut real reform. Act with a principle of fairness and justice for all


Resource Links

ACLU specific actions:

Learn more: https://www.aclunc.org/

To volunteer, sign up here: Volunteer

To become a card holder, sign up here: Membership.


March 8 (International Women’s Day!) Day Without A Women sponsored by the Women’s March on Washington.

March 8: Register New Citizens to Vote, 10-11:30am at Paramount Theater, 2025 Broadway at 20th St, Oakland, CA 94612

March 14 (Pi Day!): Tech Stands up to Trump in Palo Alto

March 15: Supporting Open Source Code in Election Voting Systems

March 18: LGBTQ in Action Against the Freedom of Religion Act

THURSDAY, APRIL 13th 6:30-8:30 p.m. (note new time): SECOND CIRCLE OF LIGHT GATHERING (POTENTIAL FOCUS: A FREE PRESS, OUR DARN LIBERAL ELITE MEDIA; Wait, Is this Fake News? Im confused!”) Location: Sports Basement on 15th and Bryant Street (parking garage entrance on Florida Street across from SFSPCA), gathering with be held in larger “Grotto” space

April 15 (Tax Day!): Tax March San Francisco

April 22 (Earth Day!): March for Science San Francisco


Kick off Gathering for Circle of Light

February 28, 2017

Edwin CarmonaCruz is now, during the Trump Administration, the InterimDevelopment Director of La Raza Centro Legal.  Originally from Azusa, CA. he moved to San Francisco in 2012 to attend the University of San Francisco to purse a B.A. in International Studies and a minor in Latin American Studies.  While working full-time and attending USF, Edwin was involved with: MEChXA de USF, College Track SF, Curry Senior Center, ANSWER Coalition, and La Raza Centro Legal.  He has been a part of the Immigration department at La Raza for 2 years and is a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Accredited Representative.  edwin@lrcl.org

Lisa Frydman is Director of Regional Policy and Initiatives at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). KIND’s regional team works to protect Central American and Mexican migrant children on the move, in partnership with civil society organizations in the region. Previously, Lisa was Managing Attorney at the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS). Throughout her eight years at CGRS, Lisa worked to advance law and policy for immigrant women, children, and asylum seekers through impact litigation, national policy advocacy, and extensive training and mentoring of attorneys. Prior to CGRS, Lisa practiced child immigration and child welfare law at Legal Services for Children. She began her legal career as an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center representing immigrant children before the Immigration Court and Board of Immigration Appeals. Lisa has trained and mentored attorneys across the country and has presented to federal judges, immigration judges, and asylum officers. She is a 2002 graduate of Berkeley Law, Order of the Coif, and a 1996 graduate of the University of Maryland, magna cum laude.  lfrydman@supportkind.org

Benita Jain, Immigrant Family Defense Fund (IFDF) and Immigrant Defense Project (IDP). Benita has been fighting deportation and detention for 16 years. She is a part of an all-volunteer group of parents and staff at her daughter’s elementary school that established the Immigrant Family Defense Fund after the 2016 election. IFDF supports Oakland public school families facing deportation with rights information and helps to cover legal fees, bond costs and emergency living expenses. Benita is also Supervising Attorney at the Immigrant Defense Project (IDP), a New York-based organization that fights for the rights of immigrants accused or convicted of crimes, and works to end mass criminalization, detention and deportation. Benita was co-Director of IDP before moving to Oakland and has been on the Steering Committee of the Detention Watch Network and Families for Freedom. She has written several pro se guides for immigrants and is an original co-author of the Deportation 101 curriculum. Her “other” job is raising two kids, 5-year-old Rohit and 8-year-old Maya.  benitajain@gmail.com

Kelly Dermody is Managing Partner of the San Francisco office of Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP Her experience is in organizing the SF legal community to respond to the crises presented by the Trump administration, helping to develop a network of non-profits and legal professionals engaged in strategic crisis planning, and working with city government and philanthropists on ways that they can support legal services for people in need – all of which have touched immigration issues this year.  Kelly is currently in the process of being trained to do volunteer deportation defense.  At Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, Ms. Dermody chairs the firm’s Employment Practice Group and specializes in class and collective actions on behalf of plaintiffs in employment and consumer cases.  In 2012, she served as President of the Bar Association of San Francisco, after serving as an officer and on the board of directors.  From many years running, the Daily Journal named Ms. Dermody a “Top 100 Lawyer in California” and she has been named a Northern California “Super Lawyer”, including being named a “Top 10 Lawyer” in Northern California in 2014.  She has won a variety of professional awards, including “California Lawyer Attorney of the Year,” and awards from charitable and civic organizations, including the National Association of Women Judges, the Anti-Defamation League, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, California Rural Legal Assistance, Legal Momentum, Centro Legal de la Raza, and Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom. Ms. Dermody received a B.A. degree magna cum laude from Harvard University and a J.D. degree from Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall).  kdermody@lchb.com

Shailey Jain joined Gibson Dunn in 2014 after graduating from Columbia Law School.  She has represented a number of pro bono clients regarding asylum applications while at Gibson Dunn.  After the election, she helped coordinate the firm’s efforts in the Bay Area in response to the Executive Order banning entry into the United States for nationals from 7 countries.   She is also working on the Seattle case where ICE arrested and detained a DACA recipient.  SJain@gibsondunn.com

Gibson Dunn, an international law firm with more than 1,200 lawyers in 19 offices all over the world, is proud to partner with many of our clients working to provide immigrants with access to pro bono legal assistance, thereby assuring access to the justice system for a large, vulnerable segment of our communities.  These partnerships have taken many different forms, but often involve setting up full-day or half-day pro bono clinics where our attorneys work side-by-side to provide legal counsel to low income immigrants seeking advice on issues ranging from asylum petitions to DACA applications.  After the election, Gibson Dunn has taken on an even more active role to support immigrant communities.  Working with groups like the International Refugee Assistance Project and OneJustice, over 100 Gibson Dunn attorneys stepped up to offer legal assistance and additional support to individuals who were detained upon entry into the United States pursuant to the Executive Order.  We had partners and associates on the ground working at Dallas Fort-Worth, Dulles, JFK, LAX, Newark, Oakland, and SFO and provided direct legal assistance to detained individuals and their families, including drafting habeas petitions, negotiating with immigration officials and obtaining detainees’ release and reunification with family and friends.  Gibson Dunn also filed an amicus brief on behalf of prominent companies and employers in the Eastern District of New York case, Darweesh v. Trump, 1:17-cv-00480-CBA (E.D.N.Y.), which challenges the January 27 Executive Order.   Most recently, Gibson Dunn has partnered with Public Counsel to represent Daniel Ramirez Medina, a DACA recipient who was arrested on February 10 and detained in Seattle.  On February 13, Gibson Dunn filed a habeas corpus petition in Seattle, seeking Mr. Ramirez’s immediate release on the grounds that his arrest and detention violate his Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.  Our lawsuit asserts that Mr. Ramirez and others like him, who the United States government promised not to subject to such arbitrary detention if they adhered to the rules to live and work here lawfully, must not be expected to live in fear that any day they could be arbitrarily and capriciously arrested and detained.  At a hearing on Friday, February 17, a magistrate judge in Seattle set an aggressive schedule to resolve the matter on an expedited basis.  Gibson Dunn will continue to be committed to defending the rule of law, civil rights and fundamental human rights.

Christine Preziosi is a volunteer with the ACLU of Northern California and our Circle of Light/ACLU liaison.  Christine can educate us on how we can get involved with the ACLU and support the work they do.  Christine previously led the food pantry team (amongst other community outreach efforts) at the Richmond District Neighborhood Center. Christine is currently a student working on her Masters in Nonprofit Administration at the University of San Francisco.  ccpreziosi@gmail.com