The Honorable Elihu Harris
Elihu M. Harris served as Mayor of Oakland for two terms, from 1991 to 1999. He was a 12-year member of the California State Assembly, during which time he authored the historic 1981 legislation designating Dr. King’s birthday a California State holiday. Mr. Harris received an MA in Public Policy from UC Berkeley and law degree from UC Davis. He served as Chancellor of the Peralta Community College District from 2003 to 2010.
Retired, Senior Field Representative, Office of Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Director of Administration and Public Policy
California Nurses Association
Michael Lighty is currently the Director of Public Policy for the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United. He has spoken and organized throughout the country on health care reform, financing and delivery issues for over 20 years. He coordinated CNA’s campaigns for HMO patients’ bill of rights, clean money elections, and against Arnold Schwarzenegger’s effort to roll back CNA’s landmark safe staffing law. He is working on the national Robin Hood Tax campaign to tax Wall Street trades to fund jobs, guaranteed healthcare, and a secure retirement for all. Mr. Lighty served eight years on the City of OaklandPlanning Commission and was a Commissioner for the Port of Oakland. He has been active with non-profit organizations devoted to neighborhood issues, voter registration, and lesbian and gay equality. Lighty received his BA and MA from Stanford University in the Humanities, graduating with Honors. He grew up in Eugene, Oregon, where he was high school student body president.
Royl L. Roberts JD, MBA
Risk and Safety Programs Manager, Peralta Community College District
Royl L. Roberts works as risk manager for the Peralta Community College District. Royl is a former Administrator and Ethical Leadership Coach for the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center. Mr. Roberts graduated of Golden Gate University School of Law with his Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree and a Specialization Certificate in Business Law, with Distinction. While at Golden Gate he has served as a Peer Mentor, Law Student Ambassador, Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant, and was the President of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA). Prior to attending law school, he held various positions in the insurance and financial service industries. Mr. Roberts earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), and a Master of Business Administration from Our Lady of the Lake University. Mr. Roberts worked as a Law Clerk at Price And Associates, a Civil Rights Law Firm located in downtown Oakland. Mr. Roberts is also an active member in the Alpha Rho Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. located in Berkeley.
Retired, Director of Parks and Recreation
When Audree Jones-Taylor arrived at the Oakland Office of Parks and Recreation as director in 2004, she was ecstatic about the natural resources the California city provided for recreational activities. There was just one problem: The inner-city kids weren’t signing up for its great programs, such as sailing, swimming, and hiking. The solution involved recognition of the particular challenges posed by Oakland’s remarkably diverse population, with a demographic breakdown that includes 27 percent African- American, 26 percent White, 25 percent Hispanic, and 17 percent Asian. now retired, Audree applies her commitment to sustainability and expansion of green spaces, passion for play, and assuring urban access to recreation and parks to her hobbies and pursuits. Watch for Audree on one of East Bay Regional Park District trails–you will be surprised how many folks have found her out hiking and taking in nature!
Lecturer, Public Administration, Cal State East Bay
Alton Jells brings extensive public administration expertise to the board of directors, having worked as Administrative Assistant to Assemblyman Elihu Harris, Special Assistant to the Mayor of Oakland, Deputy City Auditor and Associate Vice Chancellor for Peralta Community College District, where we had responsibility for fundraising, employee trainings and oversight of organizational processes. Alton excels in group facilitation for public and private sector settings, and has also served on the board of directors of many nonprofit organizations as well as worked at the executive level in the area of marketing and fundraising. Alton has taught in the Master of Public Administration at California State University East Bay for over two decades, teaching the full range of courses offered.
Assistant General Manager, East Bay Regional Parks and Executive Director, Regional Parks Foundation
William “Bill” Riley
President of Board of Trustees, Peralta Community College
William is a Merritt College alumnus who has served in public education for over 30 years, including in the Oakland, East Palo Alto/Ravenswood and San Ramon School districts. He earned his Ed.D. in Educational Policy and a B.A. in Sociology and Physical Education from the University of San Francisco and an M.A. in Educational Administration from San Francisco State University.
Dr. Roy Wilson Ed.D,
Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center
Roy received a BA in English and Masters in Creative Writing both from the University of Washington. Roy has a Doctorate in Education and is a published author, scholar, and presenter on civil rights, nonviolence and libratory leadership practices. He has served as director of various non-governmental entities including Seattle Managua Sister City Association, International Relations Director for El Centro de la Raza, and is the founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Community Leadership and the Jack Hunter O’Dell Education Center. Roy has received international, state and regional awards for his work in civil rights and confronting racial and socio-economic disparities. He is widely published and his work has been featured in Life Magazine, the New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald, Seattle Times, Oakland Tribune, and in a National Public Radio TV Special “The United States of Poetry” and a National television feature on the Nickelodeon Network.
The Honorable Barbara Lee
13th-CD, California Congresswoman Barbara Lee is a forceful and progressive voice in Congress, dedicated to social and economic justice, international peace, and civil and human rights. First elected in 1998 to represent California’s 13th Congressional District, the Democratic lawmaker has established a reputation for principled and independent stands, unafraid to take on the tough issues and speak her mind for her constituents, for a more just America, and for a safer world. As a social worker by profession, being an advocate for people in dealing with the federal bureaucracy has been a priority.
Charlie Mae Davis
And members of the historic Oakland March and Rally Committee