2012 NLC Fellows: Los Angeles

Los Angeles

L. Remon Corley, Founder and CEO, Boys Collegiate Academy Foundation

L. Remon Corley is the Founder and CEO of the Boys Collegiate Academy Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing innovative solutions to the “school to prison” pipeline. The organization’s first project is Boys Collegiate Academy, a college-preparatory charter school for young men, which is projected to open in Fall 2013. Professionally, he has held several positions in K-12 urban education including teacher, team leader, and Assistant Principal. Currently, he is a Charter Schools Specialist in the Charter Schools Division of the Los Angeles Unified School District, where he reviews charter petitions and visits 40-50 charter schools annually. Mr. Corley is also a military veteran who served honorably in the U.S. Army for 14 years, including a two-year deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. L. Remon Corley earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Paine College and a M.A. in Special Education from CSU-Dominguez Hills. He is currently completing the last year of the Ed.D in Organizational Leadership program at Pepperdine University. An international scholar, L. Remon has visited more than 20 foreign countries, including living in Germany for two years. He has also presented scholarly research at the Association of Caribbean Studies’ conferences in South Africa and Guadeloupe.

Elaine Dang, Project and Operations Manager, McMaster-Carr

Elaine Dang is currently a project and operations manager at McMaster-Carr, an industrial supply company. She is learning invaluable skills and knowledge on how to run an efficient operation. In her role, she has the opportunity to run the daily operations of the company’s largest department and to also work on projects to improve its long-term and overall operations. Prior to her work at McMaster-Carr, Elaine taught high school math for two years on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico as a Teach For America corps member and Amgen fellow. With the support and hard work of Teach For America staff members, families, and her students, she led her students from eighth place to first place in the district on their math standardized test. Elaine also worked as a School Operations Manager at Teach For America’s Phoenix Institute in 2010. There she organized the operational and support systems at a school site used to train 50 corps members. She also co-led the math learning team in New Mexico for over 18 Teach For America corps members who taught math as their core subject. There she facilitated and organized monthly meetings among the learning team to develop rigorous curricula, investment, and other pertinent teaching skills and outcomes. In the spring of 2011, she also helped organize and develop the first annual Teach For America Four Corners summit that united key education stakeholders from around the Southwest. Elaine graduated from University of California, Berkeley with honors in Mass Communications and Operations Research & Management Science. She was the Operations Research & Management Science commencement speaker and an UC Undergraduate Research apprentice. Elaine comes from a family of Vietnamese refugees and is in her family’s first generation to graduate from high school and college.

Kevin Diep, Senior Client Technologies Analyst, Pepperdine University

Kevin Diep is a Senior Client Technologies Analyst at Pepperdine University, his alma mater, and will be working towards his Masters of Public Administration from the Sol Price School of Public Policy at USC. Prior to rejoining the Waves family, Kevin spent a year and a half in Durham, North Carolina, where he taught elementary school. Before that, Kevin was a Corps Member for City Year Los Angeles, an organization that places young people into a year of full time service, providing them with the skills and opportunities to make a difference in their communities. In addition to serving as a tutor, mentor, and role model, Kevin was a director for Camp City Year--one of the most important site-wide events for the organization, and was one of two Corps Members, out of over 100, selected to represent City Year Los Angeles at a nationwide Educational Summit on Dropout Prevention in Washington D.C. Kevin continues to stay connected to students through volunteering at hospitals, schools, and other organizations. Kevin holds a dual Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science from Pepperdine University, and spent one of those years studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Kevin, born and raised in Los Angeles, loves to spend his free time rock climbing, cooking, cheering for LA teams, and attending concerts.

Jessica Espinosa, Attorney, Holguin, Garfield, Martinez & Quiñonez APLC

Jessica Espinosa is an Associate at the union-side labor law firm of Holguin, Garfield, Martinez & Quiñonez APLC where her practice focuses on litigation. Jessica was previously a Social Justice Pathways Law Fellow at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) where she worked on a range of legal civil rights issues affecting Latino communities. During law school Jessica was a Staff Member on the Human Rights Law Review, served as the Admission Chair of the Latino/a Law Students Association, and as a member of the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Team. She also clerked and volunteered for the Immigration Law Unit of the Legal Aid Society of New York. Jessica earned her Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and English from UCLA. During her time at UCLA, Jessica was the Project Director of the student run Day Laborer Literacy Project (Proyecto de Jornaleros) offering English classes, labor, and civil rights workshops to day laborers in Los Angeles, California. For her efforts Jessica was awarded the UCLA Women for Change Student Leadership Award. Jessica emigrated from Mexico with her parents, and grew up in Southern California. She is the oldest of four children.

Derrick Everett, Associate, The Raben Group

With a background in both the arts and the law and experience with domestic and international advocacy, Derrick Alan Everett serves proudly as a communications and policy associate at the progressive public policy firm of The Raben Group. There, he almost exclusively serves nonprofit organizations, including national and regional arts, civil rights, legal, minority, and advocacy organizations. His duties include a range of strategic planning work, communications and online advocacy campaign services, and grassroots and grasstops advocacy. He also assists with coalition building, public outreach and engagement, and public policy development. Derrick earned an LL.M in Entertainment and Media Law at Southwestern Law School. He holds a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law, an M.F.A. in Critical Studies (Creative Writing) from California Institute of the Arts, and a BA in English with minors in Writing and American Culture Studies from Washington University. Outside of work, Derrick is an avid writer for theater, film, and television. He has collaborated as writer, actor, director, and dramaturg on a number of productions over the years. His current theater project, The Road to Rilima, which explores the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, is being developed through the Robey Theater Company’s Playwrights Lab.

Alexandrea Gayda, Program Operations Manager, City Year Los Angeles

Alex Gayda currently serves as Program Operations Manager at City Year Los Angeles, an education focused nonprofit organization that unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service to keep students in school and on track to graduation. Before working as a staff member with City Year, Alex served as a Corps Member in the site’s 09-10 corps, tutoring and mentoring middle school students in Boyle Heights. Since then, she has contributed to the site’s rapid expansion to 210 Corps Members currently serving in 17 partner schools in LAUSD. Alex received a B.A. in Public Relations with a Minor in Peace & Conflict Studies from the University of Southern California. As an undergrad at USC, Alex studied abroad in Nicaragua and conducted field research in El Salvador, studying conflict, civil society and migration in both countries. She presented her field research on the social impacts of Salvadoran emigration at the University of Notre Dame at the Ford Foundation’s Innovation in the Service of Human Dignity Conference. Changed by these experiences abroad, Alex considers them to be a constant source of motivation for a life dedicated to public service. Alex was born and raised in Oxnard, California.

Fran Guzman, Analytic Associate, PhaseOne Communications Inc.

Fran Guzman is an analyst at PhaseOne Communications, a consulting firm assisting Fortune 500 companies and public sector clients enhance their communication campaigns. Prior to PhaseOne, Fran worked at a research firm where he assisted gubernatorial, senate, and proposition campaigns during the 2010 midterm elections. He also has experience working on supervisor races, school bonds, and public finance measures and during the 2009 health care debates, worked as a Democratic fundraiser in Washington D.C. Before that, Fran was doing issue advocacy work at a non-profit which helps build worker-owned green businesses that create dignified jobs for low-income immigrants. Fran received his B.A. in Political Science and Mass Communications from the University of California, Berkeley. His honors include being selected as a delegate for the 2009 United States Student Association Legislative Conference and admissions to the UC Berkeley Washington D.C. program, where he completed a research thesis on interest group contributions to Congress. While in college, he also helped organize a debate with 2008 presidential campaign representatives, served as president of the Latino Pre-Law Society, and was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity’s executive board. Fran is a native Angeleno, fluent in Spanish, and a devoted Lakers and Cal football fan.

Vikram Jadhav, Founding Director, Crux Objectives

Vikram Jadhav is Founding Director of Crux Objectives - an impact consultancy providing organizational enhancement and creative design services to for-profit and for-benefit enterprises seeking to maximize their community impact. For over 10 years, Vikram has provided analytic, strategic, and marketing/design services to the Greater Los Angeles professional community, and has consulted to international & domestic non-profits, affordable housing developers & agencies, local & regional governments, and health foundations. In addition to founding Crux Objectives, he also consults as the Director of Operations for Wells Bring Hope, a safe-water charity that is partnered with World Vision that has funded over 90 safe-water wells for the people of Niger and Mali in West Africa. Vikram holds a Masters in Urban Planning from UCLA and a B.S. in Community and Economic Development. He is a 2012 New Leaders Council Fellow and also serves on the board for Leadership for Urban Renewal Now, an action/policy think-tank devoted to designing, managing, and promoting sustainable place-based initiatives in the city of Los Angeles. He pursued the NLC Fellowship to strengthen his ties to the progressive Los Angeles network and deepen his ability to support and impact lasting social and economic justice within our communities.

Michael Kapp, Political Aide/Attorney

Michael started working for progressive candidates and causes at a young age as a fundraiser for Senator John Kerry's Presidential campaign. In 2006, Michael worked on Mike Feuer’s successful campaign for California State Assembly. Michael has been a paid advance staffer on the gubernatorial campaigns of Treasurer Phil Angelides in 2006 and Governor Jerry Brown in 2010, as well as Senator Barbara’s re-election campaign in 2010. In 2008, Michael worked for Project Vote, a voter registration non-profit where he assisted in registering over one million previously-unregistered minority voters across the country. Michael has also interned with Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) in her Capitol Hill office, was a legislative extern for Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) in her State Capitol office, and worked in Washington D.C. as a law clerk on Senator Russ Feingold’s (D-WI) Judiciary Committee staff. Michael holds a Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, a Masters degree in International Relations from the University of Chicago, and a law degree from the University of California, Davis, School of Law. Michael is licensed to practice law in the State of California.

Anjuli Kronheim, Los Angeles Organizer, California Common Cause

Anjuli Kronheim is currently the Los Angeles Organizer at California Common Cause where she is training students, members, and volunteers to build power on relevant campaign issues. She executes media and outreach events, actions and lobby visits. She is from Philadelphia, PA where she first was turned onto activism when she was sixteen. She took a summer job canvassing for Greenpeace. She went to Ithaca College and received a B.A. in Politics and minor in Environmental Studies. From there, she joined Green Corps. During this program, she went to Des Moines, IA; Boston, MA; and finally to New York, NY organizing grassroots campaigns to impact environmental change. She moved to Los Angeles in September 2009 and ran to the rescue of OhioACT to fight the Issue 2 ballot initiative--corporate agriculture taking control of the Ohio Constitution. She organized for a short time on education policy in LA with the Parents Union and worked on groundbreaking local work – the Public School Choice Resolution. She currently lives in Santa Monica and loves the beach and farmer’s markets.

Alejandro Lara, Director of Real Estate Development, New Economics for Women

Alejandro Lara is the Director of Real Estate Development at New Economics for Women. Mr. Lara has over 12 years of experience in real estate finance and has managed numerous projects in all stages of development. At NEW, Mr. Lara oversees all real estate development activity and leads all development teams. Mr. Lara previously worked as a real estate investment banker where he advised on numerous mergers and acquisitions involving notable publicly traded companies. Prior to investment banking, Mr. Lara worked with prominent Los Angeles based real estate development firms, contributing to the development of over 35 affordable residential communities. Mr. Lara's development experience includes complicated financing transactions involving low-income housing tax credits and funding from government sources. Mr. Lara also has previous experience working at Fortune 500 companies including GE Capital and Intel Corporation. Mr. Lara earned an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and an MPP from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Lara earned his BA in Sociology from UC Berkeley where he graduated with high honors. Mr. Lara was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow while attending the Kennedy School and a Robert Toigo Fellow while attending the Anderson School.

Cheryl Leahy, General Counsel, Compassion Over Killing

Cheryl Leahy is the general counsel for Compassion Over Killing. (www.cok.net), which is a nonprofit animal advocacy organization Working to end animal abuse since 1995, Compassion Over Killing focuses on cruelty to animals in agriculture and promotes vegetarian eating as a way to build a kinder world for all of us, both human and nonhuman. Her position is aimed at targeting large-scale abuse of farmed animals through litigation. Originally from Chicago, Cheryl received a J.D. from UCLA School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Chicago in Environmental Studies. She is particularly concerned with issues relating to animal abuse and promotion of vegetarian eating as a way to combat abuse to animals and promote a healthy environment. Cheryl has written on farmed animal law and has an upcoming piece on legal enforcement as a result of investigations uncovering animal cruelty on factory farms. She also serves on the advisory boards of Positive Television and the Humane Party. Cheryl is a member of the Maryland, District of Columbia, and California State Bars. Her dogs Boru and Hermione accompany her to the office.

Katherine Mohr, Environmental Attorney, Los Angeles, California

Kate Mohr is an attorney; environmental and animal rights activist; and writer. Being born and raised in southwest Florida, sandwiched between the Florida Everglades and the Gulf of Mexico, Kate has a deep appreciation for the beauty and value of water. This appreciation is what prompted her to attend law school and focus on environmental law. Growing up so close to the dying Florida Everglades and seeing first hand the value of proper regulation and proper enforcement, Kate’s career trajectory is aimed at the intersection of environmental protection and public policy. To this end, her first legal journal publication is set to print in Spring 2012; the article focuses primarily on the damage caused to the dying Florida Everglades as a result of the policies and practices that regulate sugar production in south Florida. Kate is a recent graduate of Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida, where she earned a Juris Doctorate (J.D.), and a Certificate in Environmental Law. She also attended Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida, where she earned a Bachelor of the Arts (B.A.) degree in Liberal studies, with a focus on Forensics. Having recently graduated from law school and relocated to California, Kate hopes to soon find work that allows her to focus on public policies concerning environmental and animal protection. Kate is a member of the Florida Bar. She is also a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) and the ABA Section of Environmental, Energy, and Resources. In her free time Kate enjoys reading, research, volunteering for environmental and animal rights causes, spending time near the ocean and hiking. If you’d like to gain favor with Kate in a conversation, take out your phone and show her pictures of your dog. Phone: (310)745.1792 E-mail: katherine.mohr@gmail.com Twitter: www.twitter.com/katherine_mohr Website: www.katherinemohr.com

Lauren Perez-Rangel, National Organizer/Representative, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists

Lauren Pérez-Rangel is a National Organizer/Representative with AFTRA, where she is part of a dynamic team dedicated to increasing union member activism and improving working conditions for performers in the entertainment industry. Prior to joining AFTRA, Lauren worked for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), as the Western Regional Census Director, where she coordinated MALDEF’s Los Angeles based multi-media outreach and grassroots organizing campaign to encourage the "hardest-to-count" Latino communities to participate in the 2010 Census. In addition, Lauren worked as a Union Organizer for SEIU United Health Care Workers-West where she led workers across California in union election victories. Inspired by her families' struggles as immigrants to the United States, Lauren was drawn to movements for economic justice at an early age, joining the labor movement at the age of 19 as an AFL-CIO Union Summer intern. She is a proud Mexican-American "Angeleno", raised in South Gate, California and currently resides in Silverlake with her English Bulldog, Matilda. Lauren earned her B.A. from Smith College with a double-major in Latin American Studies and Government.

Marcello Robinson, Chief Executive Officer, The 777 Group

Marcéllo Robinson is an independent talent manager, television/film producer and community activist. As Chief Executive Officer of The Triple Seven Group (777), Robinson represents the careers of working actors, writers and produces television and film content. He previously worked for Asylum Entertainment where he ran the day to day operations of the talent and literary department, New Regency Productions, RD Entertainment and David O’Connor Casting. Marcéllo continues to serve his community daily as an activist; he was elected to the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council (N.C.) on August 23rd 2010. Elected Co-Chair of the 2012 Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates, prior to being elected co-chair he served as a Los Angeles Central Region Budget Advocate Alternate. Robinson studied Theater, Music History and Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). At the age of 17 his life story was published on the front page of the Chicago Tribune on February 13, 2000. He’s the youngest recipient of the Omni Youth Services Life Model Award. Marcéllo is the eldest of 13 children; he was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois.

Travis Sentell, Author, Coliloquy

Travis Sentell is a screenwriter and author working primarily in new media literature. In 2006, Travis was named one of the top thirty new writers under thirty by Random House, and was included in their bestselling publication, Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers: Best New Voices of 2006. He has published work in such diverse places as the Berkeley Fiction Review, the award-winning collection Silent Voices, and the cult-journal Ampersand Review. His first novel, SINergy, was recently optioned for the screen with Mark Ordesky (Lord of the Rings) set to produce and Jim Uhls (Fight Club) set to write. His first non-fiction release, In the Shadow of Freedom, is the biography of a Congolese child soldier and was published in 2010 by Simon and Schuster. His newest novel, Fluid, is set to be released by Coliloquy in January 2012. Travis received Bachelor degrees from Emory University in Philosophy/Religion and Psychology and an honors MLitt in Creative Writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Originally from New Orleans, Travis has worked professionally as a musician, actor, author, comedian and, yes, a circus clown.

Tommy Tseng, Program Manager, API Equality-LA

Tommy Tseng is the program manager at API Equality-LA where he directs ongoing research and oversees communications activities. At API Equality-LA, Tommy has designed and implemented the first study of its kind on the attitudes of Chinese and Korean Americans toward LGBT people. Since 2003, he has worked for labor unions, political campaigns, and other issue campaigns, including AFSCME International Union, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, and Congresswoman Judy Chu’s election campaign. He has served as the Editor-in-Chief for the Harvard Journal of Asian American Policy Review and Editor for the LGBTQ Policy Journal of Harvard Kennedy School. His research interests include LGBT human rights, public perception of LGBT people, and Asian American political participation. Tommy received his Master in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and his Bachelor of Arts in political science from University of California, Los Angeles. He was a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow at the Goldman School of Public Policy at University of California, Berkeley and studied for a semester at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City.

Leah Weiner, Senior Development Officer, Gift Planning, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Leah Weiner is currently a Senior Development Officer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She previously served as Executive Director of Kids Enjoy Exercise Now Los Angeles (KEEN LA), a nonprofit organization that provides free sports programs to kids with disabilities. In this capacity, she built a 10 member Board of Directors, grew the volunteer program from 25 to 1000 members and created an intensive year-long internship program consisting of 6 - 10 interns. Leah recently completed her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology. Her dissertation was titled, “The Search for Best Practices: A Case Study of a Volunteer-led Nonprofit Organization.” She also has a Masters Degree in Public Administration from California State University Northridge and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin. Leah has a diverse background of skills which include conducting organizational assessments and change initiatives, planning and executing professional development programs, consulting small and mid-size nonprofits in fundraising, board development and volunteer recruitment. She currently serves as a Board Member of KEEN LA and is an alumni of PJA+JFSFJ’s Jeremiah Fellowship Program and the LA Jewish Federation’s New Leaders Project. Leah is also in the process of launching the Emma Program which focuses on advancing Jewish women in the workplace. Leah grew up in Madison Wisconsin, a city that helped shape her progressive values.

Seth Weiner, Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Center for Restorative Justice, Loyola Law School

Seth Lennon Weiner is a teaching fellow at Loyola Law School's Center for Restorative Justice in Los Angeles, California. Seth has previously worked as an advocate at the Inner City Law Center, a legislative analyst for Congresswoman Diane E. Watson, a researcher for civil rights attorney Carol A. Sobel, and as a Western Justice Center Fellow in the office of US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Senior Judge Dorothy Nelson. He was a 2005/2006 member of the Americorps NCCC response to Hurricane Katrina and other efforts in the southeastern US, for which he was given the Presidential Service Award. Seth received a BA in Community Studies from UC Santa Cruz in 2004 and a JD from Loyola Law School in 2010, where he served as president of the Student Bar Association. Seth regularly volunteers with the Progressive Jewish Alliance and the Shade Tree Mentoring Foundation. He once rode his bicycle from Tijuana, Mexico to Iowa. He is looking for partners interested in finishing the trip with him to Nova Scotia and the Atlantic Ocean. He loves running and swimming and according to his mother, he was actually born with a gill! He is from Culver City, California.

William Wong, Teacher, Gabrielino High School, San Gabriel Unified School District

Will Wong currently works as a math teacher at Gabrielino High School, a Title I public high school that serves over 1,800 students in San Gabriel, CA. In this capacity, he also serves as the site representative for the San Gabriel Teachers Association, and is an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) site team member. His class website, www.mrwongmath.com, has received tens of thousands of page views from students and their families since he began teaching in 2007. Will also has experience working for Teach For America as a Corps Member Advisor and Director of Data Management. Prior to becoming an educator, Will worked in cost and project engineering roles for Turner Construction and PCL Construction, two of the largest general contracting firms in North America. Will holds an administrative services certificate from Point Loma Nazarene University, an M.A. in Education from Claremont Graduate University, and a B.S.E. in Civil Engineering from Princeton University. He grew up in Elmhurst, Queens, NY, one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the United States, with his parents and three older siblings. He is happily married to his wife, Joy, and together they take care of a pet plant and debate education policy trends.