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.
  • 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
 
Rosie Balberan, Youth Organizer 
Email: rbalberan@colemanadvocates.org
 
Rosie Balberan was born and raised in San Francisco. Having two parents as musicians, she was influenced by various arts and forms of self expression. Her inspiration for organizing comes from her family; especially her uncle, a community figure who has always been involved in community work and was always passionate about social justice. Once knowledgable of her natural leadership abilities, she began organizing within the schools she attended beginning with fundraising for the people of Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010 at her middle school. During her freshman year at Balboa, she became a youth member of YMAC and continued developing through the leadership pipeline until she graduated from Independence High. Now, Rosie is the Americorps Intern for Coleman Advocates and continues her passion with the arts and her love of knowledge.
 
 
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.
 
 
 
 
 
Toni Hunt Hines, Parent Organizer

Email: thines@colemanadvocates.org
 
 
 
Jessica Inson, Youth Organizing Coordinator
Email: jinson@colemanadvocates.org
 
A San Francisco native and former Coleman youth leader, Jessica grew up in the Mission district. She first got involved with Coleman when she was a sophomore in at June Jordan High School, an SF public school with a social justice curriculum and service learning program that inspired Jess’ participation in Coleman’s youth organizing program, Youth Making a Change. At June Jordan, she developed an understanding of injustice and oppression and through YMAC she was able to put her ideas for change into practice through policy reform campaigns. Jess was a youth member, leader, and intern at Coleman before becoming the Youth Organizing Program Coordinator. Throughout, she has maintained her passion for and commitment to organizing young people and making change for the next generation.
 
 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. 
 
Yaya Ruiz, Parent Organizer
Email: yruiz@colemanadvocates.org
 
Born in Mexico, Yaya’s lived on this side of the dividing and inhuman border since she was 7. She has lived in the southwest and she went to school in San Francisco. As a teenager in the city, she had the privilege of working with and for youth organizations which granted many opportunities for political and spiritual growth. She brings years of experience as a community health worker, organizer, advocate, crisis line counselor and a social justice interpreter.Yaya is a proud momma and on the path of politicized healing for self and community. She is excited to start her medicinal garden (pots by the door !), to dance cumbia and to continue to be a part of a larger movement which sees our human dignity and resiliency ♡!!
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.