Christina (Pina) Cañaveral

Christina is a bilingual/bicultural Latinx woman, born and raised in the Portola and Excelsior Districts of San Francisco. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in the History of Latin America and received her MA in Political Science from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. She has over 20 years of experience […]

Neva Walker

Neva Walker is a long-time community organizer and political leader. She has decades of experience building power with low-income Black and Brown youth and families for racial justice, education justice, and criminal justice. Neva was born into an activist family in Minneapolis – her mother founded and ran the social service programs at Sabathani Community Center, which was located across […]

José-Luis Mejia

José-Luis was born and raised in San Francisco and East Oakland to immigrants from El Salvador and Guatemala. He “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, policy advocacy, and community organizing. José-Luis has worked in youth […]

Andrea Mejia

Andrea Mejia was born in the City and raised in the City and East Oakland, as the daughter of immigrant parents from Central America. As Coleman’s YMAC Lead Organizer, Andrea brings her personal experience of school pushout and the school-to-prison pipeline, which helps her understand and further serve San Francisco’s most impacted youth. Raised by […]

Sara Leaverton

Sara hails from a working class family 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. After originally interning at Coleman in college, and assisting with the Solutions Not Suspensions campaign and the re-approval of the Children’s Amendment, […]

Brandie Bowen

Brandie has been connected with Coleman Advocates since 2015 when she started as an intern and established Children Making a Change for Coleman’s youngest members to develop as organizers and leaders for education justice early on. She is also an Auntie, artist, and writer, and she holds an M.A. Degree in Human Rights Education from […]

Chris Ballard, J.D., M.A.

Chris first joined the Coleman family in 2012 as a PMAC Organizer under the leadership of Neva Walker. He served on the Board of Directors before becoming Co-Executive Director. Chris grew up in the Central Valley region of California. He was born into generational poverty, where he experienced welfare, food stamps, and mass disenfranchisement. Despite […]