Who We Are

The Oakland Peace Center is a physical space and a network of people and organizations. There are also staff and a board whose mission is to breathe life into the building and strengthen the connections among the partners so that together we can create a peaceful and just Bay Area.

STAFF

Acting Executive Director: Dr. Renato Almanzor

Dr. Renato Almanzor is a transformation catalyst, whose experience emerges from over 25 years developing leaders committed to equitable communities, multicultural organizations, and social justice. He has taught at many universities (e.g., Humboldt State University, California State University East Bay, University of San Francisco, Alliant International University and Argosy University), courses ranging from organization theory and organizational behavior to working with diverse populations and designing multicultural organizations.

In addition, Renato has held executive roles at UC Berkeley and Oakland Unified School District. As Senior Director of Programs from 2008 – 2016, Renato ran all of the programming for LeaderSpring, including their two-year fellowship program for nonprofit executive directors and their LeaderSpring Consulting Group that supports community leaders working with low-income communities and communities of color. Most recently he was the Executive Director of East Oakland Building Healthy Communities – a place-based initiative that targets the nexus of community, health and poverty to advance a social justice movement.

As a leadership expert, he has delivered leadership development programs, keynote addresses, workshops and seminars on issues related to leadership for equity, cultural diversity, and social change. His professional practice ranges from executive coaching and strategic planning to change management consulting and team development. For his efforts, he was awarded the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Fellowship in 2015, recognized for Transformative Leadership by the California School Age Consortium in 2016, and acknowledged for service and leadership during Asian American and Pacific Islander month by the City of Oakland in 2018.

Dr. Almanzor received his Ph.D. and M.A. in organizational psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, his M.S. in counseling from San Diego State University, and his B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Davis. He completed certification as a Life Purpose Coach through Transformation Services, Inc.; a year-long program Practices in Transformative Action at the East Bay Meditation Center where he also served as an apprentice the following year; and certification for Zumba Instruction.

Founder/Executive Director: Sandhya Jha (on Sabbatical until the end of August 2019)

Sandhya Jha comes from a background in community organizing and political engagement, including recently serving as Director of Interfaith Programs at East Bay Housing Organizations and currently serving on the board of East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy and on the steering committee of Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy. She is an anti-racism trainer for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and a regular public speaker across the country on issues of race and social justice. Her most recent book, Pre-Post-Racial America: Spiritual Stories from the Front Lines was one of Publishers Weekly’s top five books on race and religion in 2015. She also loves to sing and play guitar and to cook meals for her expansive family of choice here in Oakland. You can reach her at sandhya@oaklandpeacecenter.org.

Facilities Coordinator: Clidell Jackson

ShrineClidell “Franceyez” Jackson is an avid green jobs advocate, athlete, artist and activist. Jackson is the Chairman and CEO of AMG7 Entertainment and Green Team Leader of Green Carpet Clean LLC. As a youth he co-founded and facilitated the eco-justice, hip-hop and digital arts based United Roots Center in Oakland, Ca. At the age of 18 he became a international basketball star touring professionally; later he created the fashion lines AMG7, Moment Of Truth and Straight Independent. He has worked with PIC, Youth Radio, Green For All, NASA, the Port Of Oakland, the Golden State Warriors, Community Grows SF and countless others. He knows the heart of this work as well as the logistics and seeks to build power through peace. Read an article about Clidell HERE! You can reach him at facilities@oaklandpeacecenter.org.

Director of Programs and Partnerships: Sabrina Patrick-Urrutia

Sabrina Patrick­-Urrutia is a social sector leader and non­profit executive with experience working in different sectors such as mental health, international community development, education, disability and conflict transformation. Sabrina is passionate about conflict transformation and peacebuilding and has lived and worked in several countries including Papua New Guinea, the U.K., Mexico and Australia. Her interest in social justice has led her to work with global teams on many projects including an advocacy app, an educational mobile platform and Sipala Labs, a project aimed to teach tweens social-emotional skills through gaming which received an award by the UNAOC for the most innovative PeaceApp idea in 2014. She also co-founded a consulting firm in 2015 in the Bay Area allowing her to work with different entrepreneurs and founders in project areas of diversity & inclusion, strategic plans and on the Census 2020. Sabrina is Australian born to Chilean parents, earned a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management and a Master’s Degree in Peace and Conflict studies from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Macquarie University, Australia. You can reach her at programs@oaklandpeacecenter.org.

 

Director of Communications for Peace and Partnerships: J. K. Fowler

J. K. Fowler is the founder and executive director of Nomadic Press, a community-focused literary and arts non-profit with operations in Oakland, CA, Des Moines, IA, and Brooklyn, NY. He serves on Cogswell College’s English and Humanities Professional Advisory Board, has taught at Rutgers University, and guest lectured at Mills College. He has been published in a wide range of publications, including Oakland Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Datebook SF, Bay Area Reporter, Eleven Eleven, Foglifter, COG Magazine, and elsewhere, has performed across the Bay Area and Brooklyn, and has been featured in a number of radio shows and online podcasts, including KPFA, Fuel My Fiction, StoryCorps, and others. He is the recipient of the 2016 Alameda County Arts Leadership Award and travels this world with a Kelpie named Stella. You can reach him at communications@oaklandpeacecenter.org.

Operations Manager: Alexandra Candia

Alexandra Candia is an artist, organizer, dancer, and Bay Area native. She has been working with youth in various capacities for over 15 years, and is honored to have been a part of their formative years and see what many are accomplishing now as young adults. She brings a strong organizing background to Oakland Peace Center, developed initially while running her own non profit in college, and developed over the years at various Bay Area non profits and as the Director of Youth Programming for Fogo Na Roupa (Bay Area Grupo Carnavalesco). While she is not working at the OPC she teaches dance at Melrose Leadership Academy (Oakland) and Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (SF) and works as a freelance costume designer. You can reach her at operations@oaklandpeacecenter.org.

 


BOARD

 

Karen Barrett

Karen's CCH PicA native and resident of Berkeley, Karen Barrett represents the Northern California-Nevada Region of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ (DOC), United States and Canada on the Oakland Peace Center Board of Directors.

Karen has served on several boards in the region as well as nationally, to include Christian Church Homes of Northern California, Disciples Seminary Foundation, General Board,  Regional Board and Administrative Committee of the Christian Church (DOC).  She is active on the local level with her congregation, Mills Grove Christian Church (DOC)  and an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

Karen has also been a member of the local women’s chorus, The Distaff Singers, as well as the Oakland Symphony Chorus and the Oakland Cathedral of Christ the Light Dedication Choir.

 

Peggy Bristol

Peggy Bristol is an immigration attorney, with particular emphasis on asylum and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, a humanitarian form of immigration relief for minors who cannot reunify with one or both parents due to abuse, abandonment or neglect. She teaches at Contra Costa College and serves with Tapestry Ministries, a partner of the Oakland Peace Center. She is usually in the front row when her husband Art is playing saxophone.

 

 

 

 


Aimee Fields

Aimee Fields is an Oakland native and long standing member of First Christian Church of Oakland, a partner with the OPC. She is finishing her Bachelor’s at UC Berkeley with a degree in American Studies with an area of concentration in Black Identity and Media Representation. Her ultimate goal is to work with youth in need of mentorship particularly through the media. She also serves as a Music Education Specialist and Music Teacher at a local music school in Alameda CA. When she’s not studying and working she runs her own small baking business, loves spending time with her friends and family (including her 2 big dogs), and building her many Pintrest boards up with ideas and plans.

Angela Urata

1d2793d1-2f91-4aef-b27a-da74b874c8afAngela Urata is the Operations Director for Niroga Institute, where she brings together her experience in nonprofit management, commitment to social justice and passion for yoga’s potential to heal individuals and transform communities. She is a certified yoga instructor and joyfully teaches yoga at an Asian American Senior Center and serves on its Board.  She dances whenever she can and believes in the power of the story to fully inhabit who we are and who we may become in the world.

 

Dr. Renato Almanzor

Dr. Renato Almanzor is a transformation catalyst, whose experience emerges from over 25 years developing leaders committed to equitable communities, multicultural organizations, and social justice. He has taught at many universities (e.g., Humboldt State University, California State University East Bay, University of San Francisco, Alliant International University and Argosy University), courses ranging from organization theory and organizational behavior to working with diverse populations and designing multicultural organizations.

In addition, Renato has held executive roles at UC Berkeley and Oakland Unified School District. As Senior Director of Programs from 2008 – 2016, Renato ran all of the programming for LeaderSpring, including their two-year fellowship program for nonprofit executive directors and their LeaderSpring Consulting Group that supports community leaders working with low-income communities and communities of color. Most recently he was the Executive Director of East Oakland Building Healthy Communities – a place-based initiative that targets the nexus of community, health and poverty to advance a social justice movement.

As a leadership expert, he has delivered leadership development programs, keynote addresses, workshops and seminars on issues related to leadership for equity, cultural diversity, and social change. His professional practice ranges from executive coaching and strategic planning to change management consulting and team development. For his efforts, he was awarded the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Fellowship in 2015, recognized for Transformative Leadership by the California School Age Consortium in 2016, and acknowledged for service and leadership during Asian American and Pacific Islander month by the City of Oakland in 2018.

Dr. Almanzor received his Ph.D. and M.A. in organizational psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, his M.S. in counseling from San Diego State University, and his B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Davis. He completed certification as a Life Purpose Coach through Transformation Services, Inc.; a year-long program Practices in Transformative Action at the East Bay Meditation Center where he also served as an apprentice the following year; and certification for Zumba Instruction.

Sandhya Jha

Sandhya Jha comes from a background in community organizing and political engagement, including recently serving as Director of Interfaith Programs at East Bay Housing Organizations and currently serving on the board of East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy and on the steering committee of Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy. She is an anti-racism trainer for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and a regular public speaker across the country on issues of race and social justice. Her most recent book, Pre-Post-Racial America: Spiritual Stories from the Front Lines was one of Publishers Weekly’s top five books on race and religion in 2015. She also loves to sing and play guitar and to cook meals for her expansive family of choice here in Oakland. You can reach her at sandhya@oaklandpeacecenter.org.