Raquel Pinderhughes, Ph.D. is the Founder, Executive Director, and Author of the Roots of Success curriculum, Chair and Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at San Francisco State University, and is an internationally recognized expert on green jobs, green jobs training and environmental literacy. Raquel has decades of experience working with incarcerated, low-literacy and first-time college populations. The environmental literacy and job readiness curriculum she developed, called Roots of Success, is used by job training programs, prisons, juvenile justice facilities, social enterprise training programs, career technical high schools, community colleges and nonprofits in 35 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and the U.K.
Chadwick Flores is the Deputy Director of Roots of Success. His expertise is in nonprofit organizational management and environmental policy. Chad’s leadership perspective is informed by studying environmental policy in Washington, DC, European Union policy approaches in Belgium and Ireland, as well as his international humanitarian aid service in Honduras and Vietnam. Previous to his work with Roots of Success, he worked for the online fundraising nonprofit Network for Good and the social innovation incubator Hub Bay Area. Chad holds a M.S. in Public Service Management from DePaul University’s School of Public Service, and a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences from Marquette University. He is passionate about issues at the intersection of public health, economy, policy, and innovation.
Shamar Theus is the Program Manager for Roots of Success, and a Roots of Success curriculum contributing author. Shamar is a 23-year-old, Afro-Caribbean, Vallejo, CA native who holds B.A. degrees in sociology and environmental studies from San Francisco State University, where he focused his studies on social (in)equity, sustainability, environmental (in)justice, ethnic studies, history, urban education, public health, and social change. Shamar is an aspiring environmental planner with extensive experience developing and facilitating engaging curriculum, skills he developed through years of work for, and mentorship from, the ACLU of Northern California’s Friedman Youth Education Project and Roots of Success. He is an active member of the Black Organizing Project in Oakland and is deeply committed to grassroots organizing for social, racial, economic, environmental, and educational justice.
Brandi Campbell joined the Roots of Success team in January 2013 after completing her B.S. in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Natural Resource Management and Conservation at San Francisco State University. Brandi will be focusing her initial efforts on collecting complete and accurate data on the programs using Roots of Success, and the students going through the course. A combination of highly interdisciplinary coursework, teaching and research assistantships, internships, and activities have provided her with a solid breadth of knowledge spanning the social, political, biological, and physical sciences. Brandi’s prior work experience includes educational advocacy and program management, urban ecological restoration, campaigning for local environmental legislation, and researching pedestrians for The San Francisco’s Department of Public Health. She is currently applying to graduate programs in City and Regional Planning through the nation.
Cristobal Bonal is a native of Tijuana, Mexico. He earned an A. S. in Architecture from Southwestern Community College and a B. A. in Urban Studies and Planning from San Francisco State University. Chris helped produce the Spanish language versions of the Health, Food & Agriculture and Community Organizing and Leadership modules, and create marketing materials for Spanish-speaking audiences. He also helped create a curriculum sampler, developed the online newsletter, and researched the market for the Spanish version of the curriculum. He currently works as a Program Support Clerk for the City and County of San Francisco Human Services Agency and volunteers with PODER in San Francisco.
Sarah Vining is our Outreach Specialist. She has degrees in both law and advertising and has worked in the advertising industry as a strategist specializing in communication strategy. She is passionate about discovering the most effective story an organization should be telling at a particular moment in time, and loves to geek out on research to uncover viable consumer insights that a brand can leverage with maximum impact. Wanting to do more to contribute to local social justice efforts, Sarah has been tasked with determining how best to measure and describe the curriculum’s impact and success.
Wayne Farrens is an alumnus of the Urban Studies program at San Francisco State University and volunteers as the Media and Impact Strategist for Roots of Success. A marketing professional with nearly a decade of experience, Wayne is currently contracted with Samsung Electronics — where he provides high profile marketing services in collaboration with with Samsung’s senior officials and celebrity partners. Prior to his time with Samsung, he produced several projects for the City and County of San Francisco and was part of the SFSU Voices campaign — which culminated with invitations to speak privately with California Senators Leland Yee and Mark Leno. As a fervent advocate of sustainable planning practices and the environmental justice movement, Wayne is excited to work with Roots of Success and share in the organization’s vision through social media, viral marketing, and online reputation management.
Sonja Gajic is an undergraduate student at San Francisco State University where she is completing her degree in Urban Studies and Planning, with a minor in Race and Resistance Studies. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Urban Action, the journal run and produced by students in the Urban Studies Department.
Larry Cohen, Executive Director, Prevention Institute (co-chair)
Kay O’Neill, Director of Workforce Development, Canada College (co-chair)
Van Jones, Executive Director, Rebuild the Dream
Sarah Shanley Hope, Executive Director, Alliance for Climate Education
Trina Martynowicz, Cleantech Coordinator and Transportation Sector Lead, EPA
Lara Ettenson, Director of CA Energy Efficiency Policy, NRDC
Kenji Kato, Visual Simulation Expert, NASA Ames Research Center
Jamie Brewster, Employment Training Center Site Manager, Asian Neighborhood Design
Sarah Brooke, Strategist, Behavioral Planning Department, BBDO New York, New York
Pedro Noguera, Professor, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University
Carlos Martin, Senior Associate of Sustainable Communities, ABT Associates
Ian Kim, Chief Operations Officer, Rebuild the Dream
Sriranga Veeraraghavan, Senior Director, Tessera