Director of Development & Operations
Director of Development & Operations
Thais has been involved in several social justice causes for many years: urban poverty and homelessness, food deserts, and child poverty. She is currently part of a homeless resources center, a community garden, and a children’s ministry. Through this labor of love, Thais has assisted unhoused individuals to obtain resources and nutritional foods, and secured school supplies for children in her community.
Workers spend a great deal of time at their places of employment and Thais believes that that time spent should not be detrimental to the employees’ health and life chances. Thais fundamentally believes in the humanity of all workers, regardless of hierarchical structures. As such, she has advocated for equal pay for equal work, safety at the workplace, and has implemented anti-harassment and grievance processes so that workers feel safe in their work environments.
Stephen has been executive director of Worksafe since January 2020. Stephen is a Bay Area native with a deep background as an advocate for social and economic justice – his career has been dedicated to work on economic inequality, poverty, gender equity, and the environment. Stephen has also worked as a housecleaner, house painter, busser, paralegal, editor, and fundraiser. He is a graduate of Yale University (after being briefly expelled for involvement in anti-Apartheid divestment activities) and UC Hastings law school (where he worked with Ralph Abascal at CRLA on litigation against Prop. 187).
Data Research Intern
Minami was born and raised in Japan. Her grandfather was a construction worker. He loved
his job and worked hard, and as a child she looked up to him. He was fortunate enough to
be in an environment where hard work was valued and he was paid salary, but she learned
that there were many others who did not and felt the inequality in the society.
While studying at Kobe University in Japan, she majored in law, and after graduation she
worked as a national public servant. Since she was interested in correcting inequality
among workers, she worked on the issue of how to make work possible for women who
were willing but unable to work. As a result, the labor rate of women increased. However, in
the course of this project, she realized the need for public relations. Therefore, she worked
in a department specializing in public relations and acquired knowledge. In addition, she
also introduced the government to the latest public relations techniques using the Internet,
social media, and other media.
She is currently enrolled in the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy, where she is
working hard to develop her skills in quantitative analysis.
Melania was born and grew up in Venezuela. While studying engineering at the Fermin Toro University, she participated in different political and social activities to raise awareness against the dictatorship of Hugo Chavez. She was granted political asylum in San Francisco, United States.
In the United States, she has worked different roles, but her career as an accountant began with ICA Cristo Rey Academy. She was in charge of receiving donations and assisting low-income families. Later, during another work experience, she had the opportunity to work as a Human Resources and Payroll assistant. In this field she discovered a new way to assist people by communicating about Labor Laws and company policies.
Today she is certifying in Human Resources while working on her personal projects. These are dedicated to the purpose of lifting and encouraging the spirit of the people from a message of understanding, humility and forgiveness in order to unite differences and inspire the solution not the conflict.
Chief of Staff & Equity
Chief of Staff & Equity
Jora is an attorney specializing in employment/labor law and has worked for over 20 years to advance social justice issues affecting marginalized populations. From 1991 to 1996, she worked alongside students and organizers to assist and organize workers in Maquiladora factories, created the first Asian American women's feminist conference and UCSD’s first women of color in activism class, and worked in coalition with students and faculty to petition for a fully funded UCSD’s Women’s Center.
During law school, Jora served as an Equal Justice Fund Fellow for Bay Area Legal Aid, and also clerked at the East Bay Community Law Center and the USF Street Law Program. Following law school, she worked for the law firm of Berg & Parker, LLP. From 2002 to 2005, she worked at Employment Lawyers Group with Robert Lazo, a plaintiff’s side employment and labor law firm. In 2005, Jora formed her own law firm, engaging in civil rights litigation and social justice oriented advocacy work in partnership with other law firms. While in private practice, Jora served as the Program Director for the East Bay VIP Mentors, Inc., assisting youth transitioning out of the California Youth Authority (CYA) and a pro bono staff attorney for the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL).
In 2010, Jora returned to the non-profit world by joining Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) as their Senior Staff Attorney where she was a part of the litigation team for Dukes v. Walmart and Mansourian v. UC Regents. She also served as the Campaign Leader for ERA’s Marginalized Women Worker Campaign.
Both before and during her legal career, Jora has shared her passion for social justice through artistic endeavors. Her experiences include touring the country as the Artistic Director of a guerrilla theater troupe, competing on the Berkeley and Oakland slam poetry circuit while in law school, and serving as a Board Member and performer with liquidFire.
Senior Staff Attorney
Karín attended University of Pittsburgh School of Law where she founded the Latin American Law Students Association, reviving and rebuilding a prior organization. As President, she organized panels to engage the community by collaborating with student groups and attorneys from the Pittsburgh Area.
Also, Karín was a recipient of the GE Global Law and Policy Diversity scholarship and attended a conference receiving training on cultural competency, humility, and implicit bias. She also received a tuition-free scholarship to complete a Healthcare Compliance certification at Seton Hall Law School where she learned how organizations develop appropriate procedures and protocols to comply with regulations.
Outside of school, Karín assisted Spanish-speakers in the Baltimore community access healthcare resources. Her interest in occupational health began when she was introduced to a Latino and immigration advocacy-and-assistance organization where she learned about quality of life issues facing workers. She is interested in evaluating the intersection between work and the social determinants of health.
Rachel van Geenhoven
Rachel was born in San Diego but spent most of her young years in Utah. Growing up low-income in a very conservative state, it seemed that the general consensus was that both she and her sisters as well as her parents somehow deserved to struggle and do without, and this, along with her passion for reading, served to raise her class consciousness from an early age.
While attending University of Utah, she participated in a think tank on Domestic Diversity led by Dr. Lynette Danley, who helped her link that fire for social justice to the narrative of race and its role in our collective oppression. Shortly thereafter, she accepted a role with the National College Advising Corps, which furthered her training and understanding in whiteness theory and critical race theory and allowed her to directly assist underserved students in accessing the resources available to them and maximizing their personal assets to attend institutions which might have otherwise seemed out of reach.
While pursuing an MFA in Fiction at the University of Alabama, she took a writing pedagogy class centered on the teachings of Paulo Freire, which inspired her to join Teach For America and lead a sixth grade classroom in San Jose. While this was a deeply fulfilling and enriching year, it reinforced to her that her vocation lies in writing and communication.
Having personally worked for more than one institution which approaches its workers in dehumanizing ways, Rachel is thrilled and inspired to join the network of efforts around the nation to ensure dignity, safety, and justice for all workers everywhere.
AnaStacia Nicol Wright
AnaStacia Nicol Wright is born and bred in Oakland. She’s a 2020 law school graduate but began her legal career as a college intern with Bay Area Legal Aid in Richmond. Since then, she’s worked in a variety of places, but her heart has remained in Oakland, with the communities and people she grew up with.
Throughout those years, her Oakland roots made sure she found a way to service communities similar to Oakland no matter where she was. She’s worked for various non-profit organizations, such as Legal Services of Northern California and the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program, as well as created her own community campaigns. She ended her law school career by creating an expungement clinic at UC Davis King Hall School of Law.
Although the majority of her career has been working for women and children, particularly in the African-American community, she spent her 2L summer at the Alameda County Public Defender’s office where she was able to explore how she can better serve those of our community affected by the carceral system.