Robin Toma, Executive Director
Robin S. Toma, is Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations Commission, appointed in 2000. He also serves as the head of the Human Relations Branch holding the position of Assistant Director of the department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services, County of Los Angeles. Under his leadership, the agency is working to transform prejuidice into acceptance, inequity into justice, and hostility into peace. By building community capacity and focus in key areas, racialized gang violence has been lessened. Through demonstration projects in high schools, the power of integrating human relations strategies into school campuses have brought about greater inclusion, harmony, reduced fighting and conflict, and improved academic performance. The Commission's signature annual report on hate crime in the county has shown a long term trend downward in hate crime until recent years, while the Commission has invested in hate violence prevention community partnerships and training peacemakers through the countywide dispute resolution program.."
Robin's published writings include A Primer on Managing Intergroup Conflict in a Multicultural Workplace, Day Laborers Hiring Sites: Constructive Approaches to Community Conflict (co-author with Jill Esbenshade), and he contributed a piece on racialized gang violence in the book Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America's Future.
Robin serves as First Vice President on the board of directors of the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies (IAOHRA), and was President of and is on the Board of the California Association of Human Relations Organization (CAHRO). He's been a Senior Fellow at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs since 2009, and had the privilege to be part of the Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government's Executive Session on Human Rights Commissions and Criminal Justice (2006-2008), and the Kellogg National Fellowship/Leadership Program (1994-97). He was appointed by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to serve on the California State Advisory Committee (2012 to present), and helped create and serves on the L.A. Unified School District's Commission on Human Relations, Diversity and Educational Equity. He served three years on the national interim leadership team of the Within Our Lifetime Network for Racial Equity and Healing.
In August 2014, Robin spoke in Geneva on the review of the U.S. Government's compliance with the treaty to eliminate racial discrimination (CERD), and was an invited adviser to the Obama Administration's delegation to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, for the U.S. first-ever presentation on its human rights record as part of the United Nations' Universal Periodic Review process in November 2010. He was also invited to serve on the offical U.S. Delegation to the U.N. World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, in 2001.
Robin is the son of Americans of Japanese and Okinawan ancestry; his mother and her family spent World War II imprisoned in the U.S. internment camps solely because of their Japanese ancestry. Robin's paternal grandfather was an immigrant Okinawan sugar cane plantation worker in Maui. Robin grew up in the Echo Park/Silver Lake neighborhoods of L.A., attending LAUSD public schools. He received a B.A. with the highest honors in Sociology and honors in Economics from University of California at Santa Cruz; and a J.D. degree and M.A. degree in Urban Planning from UCLA. Robin is fluent in Spanish, having studied and worked in Barcelona for two years, and was a teacher in L.A.'s public schools.
Prior to working at the Commission, Robin was a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California for almost 7 years, and litigated a wide range of human rights and civil liberties cases in federal and state courts, including the free speech rights of anti-nuclear weapons activists at shopping malls, Filipina nurses' challenge to English Only workplace ban, UFW supporters' rights to promote the grape boycott at Vons' supermarkers, day laborers' right to not be treated as criminals for merely expressing their availabiltiy for work, international human rights of a Mexican doctor kidnapped by federal agents, and a successful challenge on behalf of Latinos for denial of voting rights. He was also lead attorney in a class action lawsuit on behalf of Japanese Latin Americans which lead to redress and an apology from the President for being forcibly brought to and imprisoned in the U.S. and used in prisoner exchange with Japan during WWII.
Robert Sowell, Assistant Executive Director
Robert is the Program Manager for the Human Relations Branch of the Los Angeles County Workforce Development, Aging, and Community Services Department. In this role, he provides administrative oversight to the Branch’s staff and operations. Previously his primary responsibility was coordination of a department-wide Culture Transformation Initiative to significantly improve leadership, trust, and productivity. He continues to assist with this effort, leading training, training trainers, and coaching leaders. He also is an experienced mediator and dialogue facilitator. Prior to that assignment, Robert served as a member of the Leadership Team of the department’s Human Relations Branch, and supervised staff working on improving the equity and fairness of criminal justice systems in LA County. He also directed coordination of the county’s Dispute Resolution Program and supervised the Branch’s initiative addressing the needs and treatment of commercially sexually exploited minors. Before becoming a manager, he served with the Branch’s Schools Team and as a member of the Hate Crime Report Team. He continues to develop and deliver customized training with all kinds of groups, including community interventionists, housing managers, government workers, young adults, and human services volunteers. His trainings cover a variety of topics, including cultural competence, diversity, prejudice (including implicit bias), conflict management, mediation, communication, peacebuilding, leadership, and collaboration. Robert’s prior experience includes working as a child neglect and abuse investigator with the county’s Department of Children and Family Services. He has earned graduate degrees in social work and in education, and completed post-graduate work in public and urban affairs. In addition to his work with the county, Robert is an adjunct undergraduate sociology professor.
Pierre Ivan Arreola, Senior Human Relations Consultant
Pierre Ivan Arreola (a.k.a. Pierre Boogie) is an artist and community advocate from Pacoima, CA with 8+ years of organizing youth and young adults locally and globally. As a high school senior, Pierre came together with his friends to form "The GR818ERS" (pronounced 'great-one-eighters'), a positive community movement utilizing Hip Hop culture to uplift and empower their community. While studying Sociology at Brown University, Pierre was awarded the Royce Sport and Society Fellowship and the C.V. Starr Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship to build the capacity of The GR818ERS as a force in social development through the arts and athletics. Since then, The GR818ERS have continued to build relationships with community leaders to create programming opportunities across Los Angeles County and around the world..
Pierre’s critical understanding of social change and human interaction, coupled with his experience as a grassroots activist and professional dancer, inform his approach to community organizing. In 2016, Pierre was awarded the Impact Maker to Watch Award for his dedication to community development efforts in the City of Los Angeles and beyond. Currently, as an ACTIVATE Fellow with Arts for LA, Pierre is leveraging the network he has fostered through The GR818ERS to establish "AWOKE", a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and supporting similar community development efforts globally. Pierre has been featured as a guest speaker in various forums across the United States, Mexico and Canada including Brown University, the University of Southern California, the University of California Los Angeles, Cal State University Northridge, Casa de Cultura Altamira, and the Tempe Center for the Arts to name a few.
As a Senior Human Relations Consultant, Pierre co-leads the Police Community Relations Project. Additionally, he serves as a crime report reviewer for the annual Hate Crime Report that is produced by the Commission. Pierre is also assigned to an interdisciplinary team tasked with developing and implementing a public education campaign in collaboration with the Department of Public Health focusing on Trauma Prevention for the Florence-Firestone community of South LA. All the while, Pierre continues his journey spreading hope, justice, and mindfulness as a Hip Hop educator, community advocate and socially conscious artist.
Tisha Boyd, Human Services Administrator I
Tisha Boyd has been a public servant for twenty-three years. She joined the L. A. County Human Relations Commission staff in February 2017. She leads a team of Senior Human Relations Specialists whose primary responsibility is to promote law enforcement and LGBTQ equity and awareness initiatives in Los Angeles County communities. The team also plays a pivotal role in developing the annual Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations HATE CRIMES REPORT.
Prior to working for The Commission, Tisha managed personnel, programs, and projects at the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS), connecting disparate and often disadvantaged individuals with community resources to help them bridge the gap between poverty and economic self-sufficiency. While working at DPSS, she was a member of a five-agency countywide multi-disciplinary team that administered a holistic approach to help public assistance participants alleviate mental health, physical health, educational, and criminal history employment barriers. She has written public social services juvenile justice policies and procedures to ensure that youth exiting juvenile detention have access to immediate and adequate medical and mental health care. Her success as a public servant is credited to both her parents and grandparents who instilled in her their philosophies of spiritual civic duty and “treating all people like you want to be treated.”
Tisha has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing from Louisiana Tech University and a Master of Public Administration from California State University Dominguez Hills.
Kevin M. Coleman, Intergroup Relations Specialist
A native of Los Angeles, Kevin currently assists with coordination of Commission's highly acclaimed Dispute Resolution Program that utilizes mediation services to resolve all types of conflicts and as an alternative to formal court proceedings. Kevin begain his Los Angeles County service in 1993 for the Department of Public Social Services as an Eligibility Worker and Social Worker. In 2014, he continued his services with the County of Los Angeles, Department of Public Social Services as an Administrative Support Staff in its Fiscal Operations Division and later with the Department of Mental Health as a Deputy Public Conservator/Administrator I.
In 1995, Kevin began a career with the California Youth Authority and California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation as a Correctional Counselor. During his fourteen years working in the field of Corrections, he gained valuable experienced as a Correctional Counselor, Facility Trainer, Gang Coordinator, Recruiter, and as a Facilitator for "Victims Awareness" classes. Following his career in the field of Corrections, Kevin worked for Volunteers of America of Greater Los Angeles, faith-based nonprofit organization with over 15 Veteran programs. As a Job Developer/Case Manager, he assisted veterans with transitional housing, case management, job development services, and training. Kevin has served his country as a Commissioned Naval Officer (LT) in the United States Navy, resulting in several medals and ribbons of merit for two tours of duty in the Persian Gulf War. Kevin has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Morehouse College and a Master of Public Administration degree from the California State University Dominguez Hills, School of Management.
Gloria Cuevas, Executive Assistant, Native American Indian Commission
A native of Los Angeles, Gloria Cuevas is a "returned retiree" on special assignment as the project lead responsible for developing policies to improve human relations with the Native American community. She was honored to lead this project as she has close ties with Native Americans. Her godfather was a Hopi, she lived among the Yavapai in Arizona, and was married to a man, whose paternal grandmother Seminole. Gloria was born in a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland, but has lived in Los Angeles County since she was four years old. She holds an associate's degree in zoology from Pasadena City College, a bachelor's in zoology, a master's in biochemistry and bacteriology, and a master's in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. She also holds a proficiency certificate from Tri-Community Photographic School, an Amateur Radio License, and is a certified Community Emergency Response Team member for Altadena Sheriff. She spent 20 years with the U.S. Coast Guard, thereby declared a founder of the Homeland Security Department. She has also worked with the Girl Scouts and the Sea Scouts, and, for a time, was a licensed real estate salesperson.
After completing her first master's, she was employed in medical research at the University of Southern California Medical School, where she worked on a disease known as porphyria, an inborne error of metabolism. It was the disease which caused King George III of Great Britain to have mental issues during the American Revolution. On weekends, in that time period, she modeled for Mary Kay Cosmetics. Then she worked for DPSS, starting out as a social worker and advancing to District Director, a position she held for 25 years before her retirement after 35 years. Immediately upon retirement, she was hired by MedE America/WebMD as a regional manager, managing all of their operations west of the Mississippi River. Following that, she spent 6 years managing the IT network, field operations, and help desk for DPSS, while continuing as a consultant for WebMD. Upon leaving DPSS, she came to WDACS where she served as Chief Information Officer, IT manager, IT security officer. That ended July 1, 2011. Since that time, she has been busy with various studies, writing, reading, teaching, photography, and painting.
She has written a number of travelogues, which she anticipates will be published this year, has written a very lengthy history of the Santa Fe Trail, which is just awaiting more photographs before it goes to a publisher, and anticipates completing a doctorate in public administration by the end of next year.
The motto she lives by, is from the poem "If, "by Rudyard Kipling: "fill the unforgiving minute, with 60 seconds worth of distance run."
Yuisa Alegria-Gimeno, Senior Intergroup Relations Specialist
Yuisa joined the Commission staff in 2015. Yuisa conducts research and community outreach to assist the Commission with identifying best practices to improve community-police relations and equitable policing. She leads the John Anson Ford Human Relations Awards that honors outstanding efforts to address human relations and social justice issues within Los Angeles County. Yuisa also coordinates professional development opportunities for Commission staff.
As a queer Puerto Rican/Chicana/Salvadorena, Yuisa's professional career reflects her diverse interests. Before joining the Commission in August 2015, Yuisa provided case management and cultural enrichment activities to Spanish and English-speaking LGBTQ older adults in the Senior Services Department of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Through SAG-AFTRA's Affirmative Action & Diversity Department, Yuisa educated industry professionls on how to promote and sustain diversity in radio, television and film. Previously, she trained community members and healthcare delivery for the Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations program at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles. Yuisa has also worked with low-income tenants to improve and protect their affordable housing with the Coalition for Economic Survival.
In her spare time, Yuisa coordinates study groups on feminist and people of color histories, community forums on immigration, civil rights, and Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer (LGBTQ) issues at the Solidarity Hall Community Center in South Los Angeles. In May 2015, she became a published author in the new anthology, Talking Back: Voices of Color.
GusTavo Adolfo Guerra Vasquez, Human Services Administrator I
Gustavo supervises staff working on the Youth Human Relations Leadership Development and Hate Crime Prevention, Education, Documentation and Response initiatives. The teams that he leads provide capacity-building and technical assistance services to youth-serving organizations, produce the Commission's Annual Hate Crime working with various stakeholders to document Hate Crime and work with community-based organizations to respond to such crimes. He previously led the Commission's efforts in the Washington Involving Neighborhoods Federal Safe Schools/Healthy Students grant collaborative and the implementation of the human relations youth initiative in collaboration with Pomona Unified School District. Mr. Guerra Vasquez is trained in Advanced Conflict Mediation and has worked in youth training and development for over twenty years. He has worked for the Commission for over a decade.
Mr. Guerra Vasquez is a native of Guatemala, who came to Los Angeles at the age of eight and has lived in different parts of greater Los Angeles. He received his Bachelors of Art in Spanish Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz with Honors in the Major and College Honors and went on to pursue a graduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley where he acquired a Master's Degree in Comparative Ethnic Studies with coursework in a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender and Sexuality. Mr. Guerra Vasquez has been a member of various organizations' Boards of Directors and is currently on the Alumni Advisory group for UC Santa Cruz's "Students with Agency." He has also developed talents as a multi-disciplinary artist and has had his artistic and academic work published in poetic and academic anthologies. A dynamic and engaging speaker, Gustavo has performed and toured different spoken word groups who use their performances to improve Human Relations among individuals and communities.
Sikivu Hutchinson, Senior Intergroup Relations Specialist
Sikivu Hutchinson, Ph.D. is an educator and writer whose responsibilities at the HRC include gender and social justice youth leadership, professional development and training, as well as research on culturally responsive teaching, black feminism, women of color feminism and sexual violence. Her efforts are part of the agency's emphasis improving the equitable treatment of youth of color by criminal justice systems in Los Angeles county, including attention to youth who are survivors of commerical sexual exploitation. As coordinator of the Women's Leadership Project and Young Male Scholars' programs she has successfully assisted first generation, foster care, undocumented, and LGBTQ students of color to go on to college and careers.
Dr. Hutchinson's books include Imagining Transit: Race, Gender, and Transportation Politics in Los Angeles, Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars, and the novel White Nights, Black Paradise, on Peoples Temple and the Jonestown massacre. She is a contributing editor for the The Feminist Wire and her articles have been published in the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches and The Humanist Magazine. She was a 2014-2015 Visiting Scholar at USC's Center for Feminist Research and was named Secular Woman's "Secular Woman of the Year" in 2013.
Monica Lomeli, Senior Intergroup Relations Specialist
Dr. Monica Lomeli is a staff member of the LA County Commission on Human Relations. She works with government agencies, law enforcement and community organizations to reduce hate crime and violence in the County and was the lead staff member in developing a best practices report for law enforcement agencies in their hate crime outreach and response. Dr. Lomeli manages the hate crime database, conducts data analyses and supports the production of the annual Hate Crime Report. She also utilizes GIS software to create maps and spatial-visual analyses of hate crimes. Dr. Lomeli joined the Commission in 2015.
In her doctoral dissertation, Dr. Lomeli studied the racial and class implications of redevelopment and gentrification in downtown Los Angeles. She interviewed and built relationships with old-time Latina/o business owners, indigenous Skid Row residents and loft residents to improve intergroup relations. Dr. Lomeli teaches college courses on Crime and Delinquency, Race and Ethnicity, Juvenile Justice and more as Adjunct Professor of Sociology.
Dr. Lomeli holds a Ph.D. with an emphasis in Urban Sociology and Racial and Ethnic Relations and an M.A. in Sociology with an emphasis in Sociology of Education from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She obtained bachelors' degrees in Anthropology and Behavioral Science from California State University, Dominguez Hills. She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants from Zacatecas and was raised in South Los Angeles. In her spare time, she teaches community gardening classes and is an organic urban farmer.
Grace Lowenberg, Executive Secretary
Grace Löwenberg graduated from East Los Angeles College and attended California State University, Los Angeles. Grace has been with the Commission on Human Relations since 1974 and has served as the Executive Secretary for three Executive Directors. Her duties in this role include coordinating all activities and scheduling for Commissioners. She currently serves on the Boards of Directors for the City Terrace Coordinating Council, Autumn Pointe Homeowners Association, and the East Los Angeles Community Scholarship Foundation. She has coordinated fundraisers for both entities and other community service organizations Grace also participates as a volunteer for the Los Angeles County East Los Angeles Sheriff's Station.
riKu Matsuda, Senior Intergroup Relations Specialist
riKu Matsuda leads the Commission's work to end violence against transgender and non-binary communities. He is an analyst for the annual Hate Crime Report and a seasoned facilitator trained in community mediation. Before starting with the County in 2004, he organized Cambodian youth in Long Beach around issues of reproductive and social justice. For the past decade, riKu has hosted a weekly public affairs program on Pacifica's KPFK 90.7FM and volunteered with many organizations for queer and trans people of color (QTPOC).
Sandi Mitchell, Human Services Administrator III
Sandi Mitchell, a retiree, joined the Human Relations Branch of Community and Senior Services in 2013. As a retiree, she works on short-term projects that warrant her expertise on an as-needed basis. Her current work assignment is Project Supervisor of a CDC-funded grant received by the Department of Public Health to design and implement a training program on Implicit Bias for DPH staff. LACCHR is partnering with DPH to produce a communication procedural guidebook, communication templates, and online learning module, a train-the-trainer module and in-person training for DPH staff. This project will include recommended strategies and activities to assist with breaking the prejudice habit of Implicit bias with the underlying understanding of social determinants as it relates to health equity. At the end of this project, DPH and trained staff will be able to provide on-going support for the curriculum developed by this project.
Sandi retired from the Los Angeles County in 2006 with 34 years of service. Her experience for the last 20 years of her County career was in Contract Management where she supervised staff who managed various social services contracts. Sandi earned her Master of Organizational Management degree with emphasis on Organizational Development, from Antioch University Los Angeles.
Barbara Nolen, Intermediate Typist Clerk
Barbara Nolen joined the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission in April 2014 as a Title V (SCSEP) employee. She is responsible for administrative and clerical assignments. Previosuly, she was employed with Accenture Federal Services in San Diego as a Senior Administratiave Assistant.
A native Detroiter, Barbara has held the opportunity of meeting some prominent people such as Rosa Parks, Jessie Jackson, Malcom X, Diana Ross, Barry Gfordy, Coleman Young and many other historical figures who shaped America's political and artistic history. Through the positive influence of her parents, she joined the NAACP at an early age. They were very active NAACP members who insisted their children become members also.
She has been living in California since 1987, with the majority of years in the San Francisco Bay Area. Barbara is a graduate of Central High School, where the Counselor was Mrs. Vunice Barrow High, sister of heavy weight boxing champion Joe Lewis. She attended The University of Detroit, Henry Ford Community College, and Los Medanos Community College in Northern California. Currently, she is studying to receive her California certification to appraise commerical and residential properties. Barbara brings to The Commission many years of Senior Administrative Assistant experience gained from notable corporate companies such as Booze Allen Hamilton, Smith Barney, Bank of America and Advanced Bioresearch Associates.
Emily Pacheco, Staff Assistant III
Emily provides administrative support to the executive director, the commissioners, and program staff. In addition, she is a Report Analyst on the Hate Crime Report Team.
Emily previously worked with the Commission as a member of the Racialized Gang Violence Prevention Initiative, with the youth program, and the commission’s intern program. Prior to joining the staff of the Commission, she worked as a child welfare social worker for the County of Ventura, and, later, with the Los Angeles County Workforce Investment Board. She received her B.A. in Social Work from San Diego State University and her Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in May 2016.
Joshua Tanamachi Parr, Senior Intergroup Relations Specialist
Currently, Mr. Parr is working on programs to improve police-community relations , build youth leadership in the County of Los Angeles, and empower incarcerated youth to advocate for their own futures.
Mr. Parr has been on staff since 2005, emphasizing the principles of youth leadership development to pursue social justice projects in issues ranging from homelessness, to the school-to-prison pipeline, to immigrant rights. A trained mediator, Josh facilitates sustainable collaboratives that address root causes of human relations issues. Combining interests in the arts, wellness, and social justice, he seeks to catalyze self-realization and creative participation in underserved and vulnerable populations throughout Los Angeles County.
Gustavo Partida, Intergroup Relations Specialist
Gustavo Partida is a member of the Los Angeles County Youth Human Relations Leadership Development Initiative. This project trains adults staff in schools and youth serving organizations to equip youth to lead their peers in change efforts, and human relations projects. Mr. Partida also coordinates the Constituent Service Requests by responding to constituents that seek assistance with various types of issues.
Gustavo began his Los Angeles County service in 2007 in the Office of the Ombudsman as an Assistant Ombudsman. In this role he assisted members of the public to resolve complaints involving employees from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the Office of Public Safety. In additon, he managed work-load statistics for the office, and administered the pilot program for the Graffiti Abatement Project. Prior to working for the county, he specialized in conflict resolution while employed with a county-contracted community mental health center. Mr. Parida holds a B.A. degree in Spanish with an emphasis in Public Service from California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Raymond Regalado, Project Supervisor
Ray Regalado supervises the Dispute Resolution Programs Act (DRPA) activities of the 12 agencies with which Community and Senior Services contracts for these services. These agencies provide community-based conflict resolution at the local level. Additionally, specific agencies also provide civil court/day of hearing mediation opportunities to allow opposing parties to attempt resolving their dispute before presenting their case in front of a judge. Finally, specific program agencies provide restorative justice opportunties for first time criminal offenders. Mr. Regalado provides programmatic guidance to support successful outcomes by the County's DRPA contract organizations.
Ray brings an extensive human relations background to his work. Prior to his current assignment, he worked inthe area of hate crime victim support and hate crime awareness training, and assisted in the compilation of data for the annual Los Angeles County hate crime report. In addition, Mr. Regalado is a trained mediator in conflict resolution. Ray has experience working with at risk youth, community organizing and leadership development. He coordinated the activities of the Gang Reduction and Community Engagement (GRACE) project to address youth gang violence in the Harbor Gateway community of Los Angeles. Ray also has worked as a Field Deputy for First District Supervisor Gloria Molina. Ray has an M.A. in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.
Fidel Rodriguez, Senior Intergroup Relations Consultant
Mr. Fidel Rodriguez is a Senior Intergroup Relations Specialist and Violence Prevention Specialist
for the County of Los Angeles’ Human Relation Commission. Mr. Rodriguez facilitates and coordinates
rites of passage programs, leadership workshops, healing circles and social justice conferences for
youth and young adults. He has lead numerous projects while at the commission to name a few: Spreading
Seeds: Mind Body Spirit rites of passage; a healing program at Homeboys Industries; Project One - a
youth music program that created a socially conscious band called The Bricks; Respect 101 - a celebrity
speaking tour in the County of Los Angeles Juvenile Halls and the yearly Rise Up For Humanity youth conference.
Mr. Rodriguez's facilitation and leadership skills have been highly influenced by his travels throughout the United States, Native American reservations, Mexico, Korea, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Netherlands, Spain, Basque, France, Cuba and Peru. His exposure to a multitude of cultures around the world has shown him the significance of universal principles in fostering superior human relations, good character and respect. He is a motivational speaker; a cultural wellness facilitator and mentor among youth and adults throughout Los Angeles and is a certified trainer of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens for Franklin Convey. He lectures at USC Dworak-Peck School of Social Work on trauma, epigenetics, wellness and the power of the narrative.
Mr. Rodriguez is a 1998 graduate of the University of Southern California (Mc Nair Scholar) with degrees in Chicano/Latino Studies and African American Studies. While attending USC, he lived in Zimbabwe studying African spiritual traditions, colonialism, neoliberalism and the methodology of decolonizing the mind. Additionally, for nearly 20 years, he raised consciousness through the radio air waves where he hosted and produced three award winning and number one Arbitron rated Hip Hop radio shows at Clear Channels 92.3 The Beat and Pacifica's 90.7 KPFK. His engaging and passionate speaking style whether on the radio air waves or facilitating a training synthesizes his youth as a “juvenile delinquent” with his own personal journey of healing, transformation and resilience that is rooted in his Native American, Mexican and African culture."
Clifton Trotter, Senior Intergroup Relations Specialist
Clifton is a member of the Implicit Bias Project Team. This project
is a collaborative between the Human Relations Commission and the county
Department of Public Health to develop a comprehensive curriculum and online
training program to help DPH staff address implicit and conscious bias. Clifton
provides expertise in the areas of curriculum design and training delivery along
with support in various areas in the development and execution of the project.
Prior to joining HRC, Clifton worked for Peach Over Violence as a Program Director and Educator, spearheading the Engaging Men Project, a project developed to engage men in South Los Angeles against gender based violence. As a director and educator, he provided violence prevention education and training for middle schools, high schools, colleges, universities, and non-profit organizations. He has facilitated trainings and workshops addressing violence, domestic violence, teen dating violence, sexual violence, gender based violence, and men as allies. He's also a curriculum writer and training developer. Clifton holds a B.S. in Business Administration and Masters of Public Administration from California State University, Northridge.
Sharon Williams, Senior Typist Clerk
Sharon Williams is a 1987 graduate of Manual Arts High School and has taken
additional courses at Abram Friedman Occupational Center, the National Business
Academy, and Los Angeles Southwest College. She worked as a Typist Clerk for
Atlantic Richfield Company and Accelerated Micro Computers, and as an Intermediate
Typist Clerk for the Board of Supervisors before joining the Commission in the same
capacity in 1990. In March of 1995, she was promoted to Senior Typist Clerk.
Sharon lives in Los Angeles with her parents and her two children, Kordell and Michaela.
Marshall Wong, Senior Intergroup Relations Specialist
A native of Los Angeles, Marshall has served as a Senior Intergroup Relations
Specialist with the Commission since 1999. He is the Commission's Hate Crime
Coordinator and the principal author of the agency's annual Hate Crime Report.
Marshall also staffs a countywide coalition, the Network Against Hate Crime, and
provides training for law enforcement and service providers.
Previously, Marshall held positions with the Smithsonian Institution and the Mayor
of Washington, D.C. He was a Fellow in the Kellogg National Leadership Program and was
named Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers.
Marshall received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and his Master of Social Welfare
from the University of California at Los Angeles. Additionally, he has studied Spanish
in Cuernavaca, Mexico and Antigua, Guatemala, has written articles for Social Justice
, the Washington Times and Asian Week. Marshall also authored a biography
about his father Delbert Wong, the first Chinese American judge.