Our Staff & Board

Coleman Staff: 

Coleman Board:

  • Leon Augustine – Licensed financial advisor with Edward Jones.
  • Steve Bingham (Treasurer) Staff attorney emeritus, Bay Area Legal Aid
  • Malea Chavez  Staff Attorney and JusticeCorp Site Supervisor, San Francisco Superior Court 
  • Rosario Cervantes (President)—Consumer rights advocate with the CA Public Utilities Commission
  • Dr. Prudence Carter—Professor of Education and (by courtesy) Sociology at Stanford University and Faculty Director of the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities
  • Curtis Chan, M.D.—Medical Director of Maternal, Child & Adolescent Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health.
  • Brigitte Davila — Instructor in Latina/o Studies Department,  SF State University
  • Rick Judd (Treasurer), Retired nonprofit and city Attorney
  • Maria Luz Torre  (Vice President) – Director and lead organizer for SF Parent Voices
  • Ianthia Mack—Former PAY member; Community Organizer
  • Giuliana Milanese—Community and Political Organizer, Civil Rights activist
  • Greg Tanaka (Secretary) — Attorney, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach

 

 
Kimberly Banford, Youth Organizing Coordinator
Email: kbanford@colemanadvocates.org
 
Kimberly is a second generation San Franciscan and a proud product of SFUSD. Her history with Coleman and YMAC began while she was a sophomore at Balboa high school. Her recent work with San Francisco Rising led her back to Coleman. Upon graduation, she attended Middlebury College, where she was a member of the student advisory board for the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity. She served as president and treasure of the school’s African American Alliance, as well as a member of the Institution Diversity Committee. Kimberly is deeply invested in youth leadership development and, in particular, building the knowledge base and inspiring the engagement of young people of color around issues of racial justice and equity in education. In her spare time, Kimberly loves to play rugby and get manicures.
 
 
 
 
 
Kevine Boggess, Director of Policy 
 Email: kboggess@colemanadvocates.org
 
Before joining the Coleman staff team, first as part-time support for SMAC and then as our Program Lead for our Youth Organizing Project, Kevine worked with Black Youth Vote in Atlanta and led the Morehouse University Amnesty International chapter. While at City College of San Francisco Kevine served as the Student Body President and Coordinator of Students Serving Students (S Cubed), a peer mentoring program at CCSF.
 
  
 
 Sara Leaverton, Director of Administration 
Email: sleaverton@colemanadvocates.org
 
Before moving to San Francisco, Sara grew up in a low income community in rural Oregon. Finding a passion for economic and racial justice in her youth, Sara has worked with community based organizations for years, assisting in various capacities. She attended SFSU and majored in Sociology with an emphasis in Africana studies. While in school, Sara interned at Coleman, supporting with the Solutions Not Suspensions campaign and the re-approval of the Children’s Amendment. Sara also brings administrative, event planning, and marketing experience from the restaurant industry.
 
 

 
Samantha Liapes, Development & Communications Director
Email: sliapes@gmail.com
 
Samantha has over two decades of experience supporting the development and sustainability of social justice organizations at the local and national level. She worked with the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights for eight years, serving as the Director of the Bay Area PoliceWatch project, founding staff and Director of NYC PoliceWatch, Staff Development Coordinator and Development Director. In 2007 and 2008, Samantha ran the Generational Alliance (GA), a national network of progressive youth and student organizations working to promote the voices, vision and leadership of young people from historically disenfranchised communities.  Before that, as an independent consultant based in the Bay Area, Samantha provided training and consultation to numerous local and national organizations in the areas of resource development, membership growth, project management, strategic planning, and communications.
 
 
José-Luis Tekun Mejia, Director of programs
email: jlmejia@colemanadvocates.org
 
José-Luis was born and raised in San Francisco and East Oakland to immigrants from El Salvador and Guatemala. José-Luis ‘flipped the script’ from experiencing violence and the street economy to dedicating his life to creating positive change and opportunity locally and nationally through direct service and policy advocacy. José-Luis has worked in youth development for the past ten years as a mentorship, life-skills, multi-media, and rites-of-passage facilitator. He also has extensive experience in the youth and young adult policy sector as a youth engagement strategist, qualitative researcher, advocate, trainer, and public speaker. Most recently, he served as Associate Director at Transitional Age Youth San Francisco (TAYSF), where he worked with the Children & Youth Fund Community Coalition (CYFCC) to win the inclusion of TAY in the reauthorization of San Francisco’s historic Children’s Fund. José-Luis is the proud father of Iyari and Tekun and life-partner of Lizbett Calleros. 
 
 
 
A.J. Napolis, Parent Organizer

Email: ajnapolis@colemanadvocates.org
 
 Allen J. Napolis, affectionately known as “A.J.”, is a native San Franciscan of Mexican and Nicaraguan descent. A.J. has fond memories of his childhood growing up in the Mission and Excelsior neighborhoods of San Francisco. He has over 25 years of activism and work in the non-profit sector in diverse sectors including HIV/AIDS prevention, childhood lead poisoning prevention, environmental justice, and violence prevention among youth. You can find A.J. engaged in many community concerns and issues affecting people-of color and low-income families, including gentrification, housing rights, border human rights campaigns and international solidarity movements. 
 
 
Keith Snodgrass, Director of Organizing
email: ksnodgrass@colemanadvocates.org
Keith is originally from St. Louis, MO and brings to Coleman a decade of experience working with Unions as an Organizer, Negotiations and Grievance Coordinator, and as a Labor and Field Rep. He also brings valuable community organizing experience from his work with Safe Streets Strong Communities in New Orleans and training and capacity building experience from his work with the Center for Third World Organizing and the Northern California Black Worker Center.  Keith is a member of the Black Organizing Project in Oakland where he lives with his wife and two children. He is also an accomplished musician and dedicated BBQ Pit Master.
 
 
Neva Walker, Executive Director 
Email: nwalker@colemanadvocates.org

Neva is a long-time youth worker, community organizer and political leader from Minneapolis who recently relocated to the Bay Area. She was born into an activist family; her mother founded and ran community programs at the Sabathani Community Center, located right across the street from the family’s home. Neva herself now has decades of experience working with low income youth and families of color around economic and racial justice issues. She has organized intensively around community demands for affordable housing and opportunities for youth. At age 29, Neva was the first African American woman elected to the Minnesota Legislature in the state’s history. She ran a precedent-setting grassroots election campaign that involved young people of color at every level of leadership. She served 8 years as a legislator before stepping down to return to her organizing roots. She’s a former Board member of the Progressive States Network. Since coming to the Bay, Neva spent time supporting the Black Organizing Project at the Center for Third World Organizing, and has been organizing workers in the labor movement.