30th Anniversary Gala
For three decades, Young Women’s Freedom Center has created positive and
lasting impact in the lives of more than 40,000 young people and their families.
Thursday, February 22, 2024
Reception at 6:00 PM
Dinner & Program at 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
The Open Square at Futures Without Violence
100 Montgomery St., The Presidio, San Francisco, CA
*Complimentary childcare provided.*
Please reserve by January 31 to ensure availability of age-appropriate providers.
Cheyenne Bell Award
Krea is a mother of six who believes in community initiated solutions and that another world that honors everyone’s humanity is possible. She has been deeply influenced by her family’s Indigenous (Quechan/Yaqui), Mexican and Filipino heritage and since becoming a mother has committed her life to ensure her children are connected to their heritage as well.
The power of redemption and principles of restorative and transformative justice has anchored her work in education, community organizing, youth development, juvenile and criminal justice for more than 20 years.
She recently became the senior program officer at the Rosenberg Foundation after spending two years as a fellow with The Leading Edge Fund. LEF seeds, incubates and accelerates bold ideas from the next generation of progressive movement leaders in California. At Rosenberg, Krea will support the investment in criminal and juvenile justice movement building and building out an Indigenous justice portfolio.
Prior to her time at Rosenberg, she served as member of the leadership team at the Young Women’s Freedom Center where she began her journey in community work as a youth more than 27 years ago. There she supported the leadership development of system involved young women, gender non-binary and trans youth of all genders.
Before her return to YWFC, she was a middle school teacher at the North Oakland Community Charter School (NOCCS) where she revamped the Community Action Learning (CAL) program from a civic engagement elective to a comprehensive middle school capstone program that engaged youth in ethnic and cultural studies, social justice and community organizing projects in their North Oakland community and beyond. In 2015, she became NOCCS’ Dean of Students & School Culture. While at NOCCS, she was the recipient of the 2015 Teachers 4 Social Justice Award.
Krea also served as the Western & Southern Regional Program Manager at the W. Haywood Burns Institute for 2005-2010, where she co-managed the Community Justice Network for Youth (CJNY) a national network of over 140 organizations who work to reduce racial disparities in the juvenile justice system. At CJNY, she provided organizational and technical support to grassroots and non-profit organizations all over the country and trained hundreds of young people and allies on how to become community centered and initiated alternatives to detention programs for system involved youth.
Krea is a founding member of the Sister Warriors Freedom Coalition, a powerful statewide coalition of directly impacted cis and trans girls and women, trans men, and gender-expansive individuals committed to shifting power and leading local and statewide policy changes across CA.
Of all her work, Krea is most proud of working with others as a community organizer on various local campaigns.
Michael James grew up in the streets of the Fillmore and Chinatown districts of San Francisco. He is the son of an African American autoworker and Japanese American bookkeeper and homemaker.
James was mentored by Paulo Freire and Myles Horton, and his projects in education for critical consciousness with working class people of color have been part of an international community of practices that include the work of the Highlander Center in Tennessee, IDEPSCA of Los Angeles, California, and The International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
His workshops on social biography have become an acclaimed introduction to liberation pedagogy and popular education. He trains and assists organizations and educators developing their theory and practice.
“I have been part of a cohort of educator-activists who in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s created popular education-type projects in cities across the US. Pedagogy of the Oppressed was introduced to me in a UC Santa Cruz seminar by the late Dr. John McFadden, who facilitated my working relationship with Paulo Freire. When Freire visited the US, he made grassroots site visits a priority. He walked the South Bronx with Patsy Medina and Bronx Educational Services; with Klaudia Rivera and the folks of El Barrio Popular Education in Manhattan, with folks from the San Antonio Barrio Education Project; and with Raul Anorve and IDEPSCA in Los Angeles. During the period in which he was based at the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland, he visited our project in San Francisco, and graced us with brief but intense moments of mentoring. He walked with us in San Francisco neighborhoods and barrios on “crawls” and gave love to our young adult popular education project. Freire recognized the uniqueness of the United Farmworkers movement in California, which according to Dolores Huerta, for a time imagined developing a popular education program. He had a special affection for the few progressive US popular education programs created by working class leaders of color. His affirmation inspired our efforts to establish education for critical consciousness in our own communities.
My role and specialization as a longtime movement activist has been in its educative territory. For the past forty years I have been working with working class youth and adult students of color to learn and appreciate our cultures and experiences, to recognize our heroic contributions to culture and politics, to overcome trauma and doubt, and to generate civic action, resistance, and political engagement. This pedagogy is in the tradition of the Freedom Schools of Mississippi and Alabama, and the farmworkers movement in California and Texas. In recent years it has been inspired and informed by what Gregory Cajete has named the ecology of indigenous pedagogy.”
From 1993 to 2022 James served as an instructor and education consultant for The Young Women’s Freedom Center (www.youngwomenfree.org) in San Francisco. He lives in Albany, California and is completing a work-in-progress on transformation pedagogy titled Pedagogy of Soul.
Jonathan Van Ness
Xiuhcoatl Danza Azteca
Julie Posadas Guzman, J.d.
of all genders from the margins to the Center.
Become a Sponsor