Director, Leilani Salvador-Jones
Leilani has been working with youth in after-school programs since she was 12. She chose to do dance classes at a local after-school elementary after running into some trouble and hasn't turned her back on educational arts programs for youth since! As an at-risk youth herself, she felt empowered by her ability to lead and the enthusiasm of her students. Since, she has continued to develop her pedagogy for arts education, graduating with a double-major in History of Art and Visual Culture and Sociology, as well as a minor in Dance, from UC Santa Cruz, where she co-founded Rainbow Theater's multicultural dance troupe and served on the Board of Director's for the Cultural Arts and Diversity Resource Center. Currently, she is pursuing her MFA in Creative Inquiry/Interdisciplinary Arts with a concentration in Art and Social Justice. With her extensive background in dance, singing, spoken word and acting, she strives to support young emerging artists to use their arts practices as a form of transformation, healing and empowerment for themselves and their communities.
Program Manager, Ericson Amaya
Ericson Amaya has been dedicated to serving youth justice ever since he was in high school. He has been involved in numerous programs that have that same dedication such as 67 Sueños, an undocumented youth justice program dedicated to represent migrant communities across the country through artivism. Ericson started off as an intern and over the years became a youth mentor for 67 Sueños due to the development of skills and a wider thinking of community involvement. Ericson has also served a term for the Oakland Youth Advisory Commission, a leadership training and a civic engagement platform for youth advise on issues related to education, employment, public safety, environment, and health. Ericson is dedicated to bringing all the game he has acquired over the years by supporting the powerful work Bay Peace youth are doing. Ericson Amaya currently attends San Francisco State University majoring in Latino Studies and minoring in Race and Resistance.
Program Assistant, Arville Persons
Arville Persons, born in Oakland and raised all over the Bay Area, has always had a passion for trying to find ways to connect people from vastly different backgrounds. After only a year at UC Santa Cruz she realized that college wasn’t her path and dove blindly into the working world. Taking jobs in various fields from food service, to interior design, and real estate, she eventually found herself apprenticing at a tattoo shop at only 18. Arville found that through all her various careers the one consistent thing that inspired true passion was connecting with others and trying to understand more of what makes makes them similar versus different. Through her art, Arville strives to show the younger generation that they can be their own bosses, that they can follow their own passions, and that they can create their own futures. She wants to bring forth creativity in everyone, not just the born creatives. Through sharing her art, she hopes to encourage people to experience their life from a new/fresh perspective and to evaluate the path that they have chosen, questioning whether or not it is a true reflection of their deepest desires. She wants to inspire youth to get excited about the journey, rather than the outcome and to feel confident in determining their own paths.
Youth Organizer, Alejandro Manzanarez
Alejandro Manzanarez is a 21 year old youth from Oakland. He has been involved in social justice organizing from a young age and the passion he has for work the work he does in his community is real. Alejandro comes from a city that experienced many different forms of oppression and he believes that he can use his voice as a tool to bring positive change to better himself and his community!