Ron Dellums, president

Cynthia Dellums, senior advisor

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Ron is a transformative world humanitarian and social justice leader who has stood for the rights of all peoples to live in peace, dignity, and security, even when those positions were unpopular.  He has been a leader in movements to end the Vietnam War, apartheid in South Africa, nuclear de-militarization and also an early leader in movements to promote the environment and social justice for women, immigrants, gays and lesbians, AIDS prevention, and boys and men of color.  

Ron's visionary leadership has been responsible for watershed social justice outcomes such as the federal divestment of South Africa's apartheid regime, end to dangerous nuclear weaponry, creation of the Global AIDS Fund and PEPFAR programs to stem the HIV/AIDS pandemic, end to genocide in Bosnia, policy solutions to structural discrimination against Boys and Men of Color, and consistently serving as the radical and effective activist in the halls of Congress.

Ron has engaged in public service for over fifty years as a Congressman, Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus, founder of the Dellums Commission on the Status of Boys and Men of Color, and Mayor of Oakland.

He is renowned for his principled leadership, brilliant strategies, big heart, and bi-partisanship abilities.  He received a Masters in Social Work from UC Berkeley and a BA from San Francisco State University. 

Margaretta Lin

Executive Director

 Margaretta is passionate about big change solutions, young people leading change, and people coming across divisions to care about justice and one another.  She combines her unique experiences in government, community activism, law, youth development, social enterprises, and collaboration into a force for equity and hope.   She has pioneered innovations and created new community institutions working at the intersections of equitable development, race, class, community healing, government transformation, youth violence, and educational equity.    Fruits of her love and labor include the  Oakland Housing Equity Roadmap , the  Oakland Housing Assistance Center , the  OSNI Collaborative for East Oakland development without displacement , the  City of Oakland's foreclosure prevention ,  foreclosed properties , and vacant lots initiatives, affordable housing in West Oakland and  Oakland Chinatown , the preservation of the historic  West Oakland train station and community reuse plan ,  Youth Together ,  Youth Uprising , and the  Skyline High School One Land, One People Youth Center .  Margaretta served as the Deputy City Administrator and Founding Director of Strategic Initiatives for the City of Oakland and Senior Advisor to Mayor Dellums.  Prior to government service, she served as Director of Community Economic Justice for the East Bay Community Law Center, Founding Director of Youth Together, researcher at ARC Associates, and Staff Attorney at Public Advocates.  Margaretta received a J.D. and Masters in Asian Studies from UC Berkeley, and a B.A. in Asian Studies and Religious Studies from University of Virginia. 

Margaretta is passionate about big change solutions, young people leading change, and people coming across divisions to care about justice and one another.  She combines her unique experiences in government, community activism, law, youth development, social enterprises, and collaboration into a force for equity and hope.   She has pioneered innovations and created new community institutions working at the intersections of equitable development, race, class, community healing, government transformation, youth violence, and educational equity.  

Fruits of her love and labor include the Oakland Housing Equity Roadmap, the Oakland Housing Assistance Center, the OSNI Collaborative for East Oakland development without displacement, the City of Oakland's foreclosure prevention, foreclosed properties, and vacant lots initiatives, affordable housing in West Oakland and Oakland Chinatown, the preservation of the historic West Oakland train station and community reuse plan, Youth Together, Youth Uprising, and the Skyline High School One Land, One People Youth Center.

Margaretta served as the Deputy City Administrator and Founding Director of Strategic Initiatives for the City of Oakland and Senior Advisor to Mayor Dellums.  Prior to government service, she served as Director of Community Economic Justice for the East Bay Community Law Center, Founding Director of Youth Together, researcher at ARC Associates, and Staff Attorney at Public Advocates.

Margaretta received a J.D. and Masters in Asian Studies from UC Berkeley, and a B.A. in Asian Studies and Religious Studies from University of Virginia. 

Dan Lindheim

Senior Advisor

 Dan is an economist, planner, software developer, attorney, and educator.  He served as City Manager for the City of Oakland and as Director of its Community and Economic Development Agency. Previously, Dan was a senior economist at the World Bank and a policy director for then Congressman Dellums. Dan also headed a regional development office for the Chilean government, taught at the University of Chile, and was a health researcher at Johns Hopkins.  Dan also spent many years in the private sector as President and CEO of two leading high tech video and computer graphic software companies.  Dan currently teaches at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School for Public Policy.  He has a PhD in Regional Economics, Masters degrees in both City Planning and Public Health, and a B.A. in Economics, all from UC Berkeley.  He also has a J.D. from Georgetown Law School and is a member of the California Bar. 

Dan is an economist, planner, software developer, attorney, and educator.  He served as City Manager for the City of Oakland and as Director of its Community and Economic Development Agency. Previously, Dan was a senior economist at the World Bank and a policy director for then Congressman Dellums. Dan also headed a regional development office for the Chilean government, taught at the University of Chile, and was a health researcher at Johns Hopkins.

Dan also spent many years in the private sector as President and CEO of two leading high tech video and computer graphic software companies.

Dan currently teaches at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School for Public Policy.  He has a PhD in Regional Economics, Masters degrees in both City Planning and Public Health, and a B.A. in Economics, all from UC Berkeley.  He also has a J.D. from Georgetown Law School and is a member of the California Bar. 

Ise
Lyfe

Senior Advisor

 Ise Lyfe is a Spoken Word Hip-Hop Theater Artist, author and educator from Oakland, CA living in Los Angeles.      As a nationally renowned artist, justice advocate, businessman, and social architect- this young man has over as decade of experience in performance and education that includes HBO Def Poetry Jam and residencies as a guest lecturer at over 50 universities a year. Invited by both student groups and department chairs, his engagements draw thousands of students, galvanizing both discourse and student action towards creating safe and thriving environments for personal and communal growth.  He’s a contributor for the Huffington Post and   New York Times and his commentary is widely used as educational tools and resources in a number of genres and fields.      Lyfe is simply a unique and powerful asset to the artistic and human rights world.     *In 2012, Ise Lyfe's hometown of Oakland, CA awarded him with one of its highest honors by dedicating his birthday, December 28th, as 'Ise Lyfe Day' in the City of Oakland.

Ise Lyfe is a Spoken Word Hip-Hop Theater Artist, author and educator from Oakland, CA living in Los Angeles. 

 

As a nationally renowned artist, justice advocate, businessman, and social architect- this young man has over as decade of experience in performance and education that includes HBO Def Poetry Jam and residencies as a guest lecturer at over 50 universities a year. Invited by both student groups and department chairs, his engagements draw thousands of students, galvanizing both discourse and student action towards creating safe and thriving environments for personal and communal growth.  He’s a contributor for the Huffington Post and 

New York Times and his commentary is widely used as educational tools and resources in a number of genres and fields. 

 

Lyfe is simply a unique and powerful asset to the artistic and human rights world.

 

*In 2012, Ise Lyfe's hometown of Oakland, CA awarded him with one of its highest honors by dedicating his birthday, December 28th, as 'Ise Lyfe Day' in the City of Oakland.


Ndidi Okwelogu

 Social Justice  Organizer

 A recent graduate of UC Davis receiving Bachelors of Arts in Black Studies and Sociology, strives to better the condition of Black people in all corners of the globe. Currently assisting her people as the Social Justice Coordinator, she hopes to help propel the Dellums Institue to even higher echelons of service.  As a bibliophile and lover of coffee, Ndidi spends her time reading and raising her acumen. In a constant process of decolonization, she supports others in challenging themselves, critical thinking, and resisting the powers that be. Ndidi agrees with the sentiment of Kwame Turé when he eloquently stated that, “We were aware of the fact that death walks hand in hand with struggle”. She lives by this idea and works to eradicate the systems that oppress her people.

A recent graduate of UC Davis receiving Bachelors of Arts in Black Studies and Sociology, strives to better the condition of Black people in all corners of the globe. Currently assisting her people as the Social Justice Coordinator, she hopes to help propel the Dellums Institue to even higher echelons of service.

As a bibliophile and lover of coffee, Ndidi spends her time reading and raising her acumen. In a constant process of decolonization, she supports others in challenging themselves, critical thinking, and resisting the powers that be. Ndidi agrees with the sentiment of Kwame Turé when he eloquently stated that, “We were aware of the fact that death walks hand in hand with struggle”. She lives by this idea and works to eradicate the systems that oppress her people.

DomINIQUE Fernandez

          Urban Equity          Fellow

 Dominique Fernandez, a native of Inglewood, CA, recently graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with her Bchelor's degree in Urban Studies. She is very passionate about people, cities, and how the two intersect. Her passion for people is displayed in her work on behalf of the University of California, Berkeley, where she has created and executed programming to recruit, retain and graduate black students. Dominique is dedicated to global learning as a means for creating cultural understanding and internationalizing her outlook on life. Her most recent interest have been focused on affordable housing and other disparities that are affecting the foundations of cities and the people that reside in them.

Dominique Fernandez, a native of Inglewood, CA, recently graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with her Bchelor's degree in Urban Studies. She is very passionate about people, cities, and how the two intersect. Her passion for people is displayed in her work on behalf of the University of California, Berkeley, where she has created and executed programming to recruit, retain and graduate black students. Dominique is dedicated to global learning as a means for creating cultural understanding and internationalizing her outlook on life. Her most recent interest have been focused on affordable housing and other disparities that are affecting the foundations of cities and the people that reside in them.

JOhN Jones III

Community & Political Engagement Director 

 As a father of three and born and raised in East Oakland, John is also formerly incarcerated, and has spent over 14 years behind bars in the California Youth Authority and state prison. After being paroled in 2012, John went unemployed for eighteen months and was homeless. John became involved in community organizing and advocacy to empower himself and others. John uses his personal story of pain, trauma, faith and transformation to inspire young people as well as fight for policy change. John serves as a member of the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) Prop 47 Executive Steering Committee, as well as the Vice Chair for the Selection Panel for the Oakland Police Commission under Measure LL. John has worked on several local and state campaigns and ballot measures, including Measure FF, Measure Z, Prop 47, and Prop 57- all successfully passing. John is a passionate and vocal advocate for affordable housing, employment, violence reduction, ending mass incarceration and racial equity. John has received a number of awards, including the East Bay Express' Dynamo for Justice Award in their 2016 People edition; California's 18th District Assembly Member Rob Bonta 2016 Equity Champion Honor for his advocacy for equity and work towards bail reform; the ACLU Paul Robeson Chapter's Grover Dye Activism Award in January 2017, and in October the 2017 Hattie Mae Redford Award for Social Justice. In April 2018, John was presented a Proclamation from the Mayor of the City of Emeryville in recognition of his contributions to the Community during the Celebration of Second Chance Month April 2018.   

As a father of three and born and raised in East Oakland, John is also formerly incarcerated, and has spent over 14 years behind bars in the California Youth Authority and state prison. After being paroled in 2012, John went unemployed for eighteen months and was homeless. John became involved in community organizing and advocacy to empower himself and others. John uses his personal story of pain, trauma, faith and transformation to inspire young people as well as fight for policy change. John serves as a member of the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) Prop 47 Executive Steering Committee, as well as the Vice Chair for the Selection Panel for the Oakland Police Commission under Measure LL. John has worked on several local and state campaigns and ballot measures, including Measure FF, Measure Z, Prop 47, and Prop 57- all successfully passing. John is a passionate and vocal advocate for affordable housing, employment, violence reduction, ending mass incarceration and racial equity. John has received a number of awards, including the East Bay Express' Dynamo for Justice Award in their 2016 People edition; California's 18th District Assembly Member Rob Bonta 2016 Equity Champion Honor for his advocacy for equity and work towards bail reform; the ACLU Paul Robeson Chapter's Grover Dye Activism Award in January 2017, and in October the 2017 Hattie Mae Redford Award for Social Justice. In April 2018, John was presented a Proclamation from the Mayor of the City of Emeryville in recognition of his contributions to the Community during the Celebration of Second Chance Month April 2018.

 

Founding Board of Directors

Inter-generational leaders from government, community justice, cultural arts, and business serve on the inaugural advisory Board.

   Congresswoman Barbara Lee  ,  Co-Chair , long-time political and social justice leader.

Congresswoman Barbara LeeCo-Chair, long-time political and social justice leader.

   Dan Lindheim  , economist, planner, software developer, attorney, and educator.

Dan Lindheim, economist, planner, software developer, attorney, and educator.

 Arnold Perkins is a longtime community and health equity leader and co-founder of the Brotherhood of Elders. 

Arnold Perkins is a longtime community and health equity leader and co-founder of the Brotherhood of Elders. 

   Ise Lyfe  , social marketing entrepreneur; award-winning spoken word performer, artist, and recording artist; and founder of Lyfe Productives.

Ise Lyfe, social marketing entrepreneur; award-winning spoken word performer, artist, and recording artist; and founder of Lyfe Productives.

   Marisol Lopez ,  chief of staff at Kenwood Investments, former chief of staff to Mayor Ron Dellums.

Marisol Lopez, chief of staff at Kenwood Investments, former chief of staff to Mayor Ron Dellums.

   Carl Anthony  , co-founder of environmental justice and regional equity movements and organizations including Breakthrough Communities and Urban Habitat.

Carl Anthony, co-founder of environmental justice and regional equity movements and organizations including Breakthrough Communities and Urban Habitat.

   Margaret Gordon  , long-time environmental justice activist, co-founder of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, recipient of President Obama's Champions of Change.

Margaret Gordon, long-time environmental justice activist, co-founder of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, recipient of President Obama's Champions of Change.

  boona cheema is a longtime homeless advocate and the former Executive Director of     Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency, or BOSS, an Alameda County nonprofit organization serving poor people with disabilities and special needs since 1971. BOSS seeks to help homeless, poor and disabled people achieve health and self-sufficiency, and fight against the root causes of poverty and homelessness. As executive director, Cheema has forged partnerships with faith groups, schools, business leaders and service providers, and has worked with equal commitment alongside policy makers and poor and disabled community members. Cheema was born and raised in India in a Sikh family. After working with wounded children in Vietnam during the war, she immigrated to the United States in 1971. A trained Unitarian Universalist Minister, she holds a B.S. in economics and master's in journalism and divinity. She was awarded an honorary doctorate of humanitarian letters for her work as an urban minister. She has an extensive portfolio of political, social, and economic justice work. 

boona cheema is a longtime homeless advocate and the former Executive Director of  Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency, or BOSS, an Alameda County nonprofit organization serving poor people with disabilities and special needs since 1971. BOSS seeks to help homeless, poor and disabled people achieve health and self-sufficiency, and fight against the root causes of poverty and homelessness. As executive director, Cheema has forged partnerships with faith groups, schools, business leaders and service providers, and has worked with equal commitment alongside policy makers and poor and disabled community members. Cheema was born and raised in India in a Sikh family. After working with wounded children in Vietnam during the war, she immigrated to the United States in 1971. A trained Unitarian Universalist Minister, she holds a B.S. in economics and master's in journalism and divinity. She was awarded an honorary doctorate of humanitarian letters for her work as an urban minister. She has an extensive portfolio of political, social, and economic justice work. 

Congresswoman Barbara LeeCo-Chair, long-time political and social justice leader.

Dan Lindheim, economist, planner, software developer, attorney, and educator.

Arnold Perkins, longtime community and health equity leader and co-founder of the Brotherhood of Elders.

Ise Lyfe, social marketing entrepreneur; award-winning spoken word performer, artist, and recording artist; and founder of Lyfe Productives.

Margaret Gordon, long-time environmental justice activist, co-founder of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, recipient of President Obama's Champions of Change.

Marisol Lopez, project manager at Platinum Advisors, former chief of staff to Mayor Ron Dellums.

Carl Anthony, co-founder of environmental justice and regional equity movements and organizations including Breakthrough Communities and Urban Habitat.

boona cheema, homeless advocate, former Executive Director of  Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency.

The Dellums Institute for Social Justice