Names of graduates: Antonia Goers, Gayle Theard, Jesse Shepherd, Kim Ngo, Magali Limeta, Marina Palma, Martha Vega, Maureen “Mo” De Nieva, Meilyn Santana, Michelle Gardilazo, Ora Hatheway, Pashia Lord, Todd McClelary and Veda Florez
Home area: Marin County, California
Name of school or program: Marin Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI), 2014 — 2015
Degree or certificate earned: Certificate of completion
Why you’re honoring these graduates:
“Marin is an affluent, predominately White community of about 250,000 resident. The elected, nonprofit sector and commissions are mostly White, which does not provide opportunity for people of color to have a voice in county and neighborhood decisions.
“The individuals who participated and graduated were members of the community who had demonstrated outstanding leadership in the community. But they had no formal leadership training or structure in place to be identified for recruitment to hold elected office or serve on volunteer boards.
“Each of these individuals not only committed to the four-month intensive leadership training, but they were also charged with leading civic engagement and voter education for the agency that referred them. By doing so, they increased the numbers of residents who were involved in the 2014 election.
“All of this was done while they served as mothers, fathers, bread winners, to their families.
“Our goal for this project was to diversify representation on county boards, commissions and nonprofit boards, as well as bring the equity discussion to the table where decisions are made.”
Honored by: John Young of Marin Grassroots, a human rights organization that works on equity issues and raising voices from underrepresented communities.