Our New Community Empowerment Activists

This fall semester, the McCarthy Center launched a new leadership program for students interested in advocacy and community organizing work toward social change for a just and equitable society. The Community Empowerment Activist (CEA) program develops critically engaged students through a part-time paid internship placement with community-based organizations throughout San Francisco. We are excited to introduce our 2018-2019 CEA cohort and our community partners who are hosting our CEAs for the academic year.

CEA Alaina ArroyoAlaina Arroyo
Critical Diversity Studies; Sociology minor ’19

Alaina is interested in increasing her involvement with grassroots organizations in San Francisco in a more hands on and active way. She wants to connect with local communities and contribute to the work that is being done by and for vulnerable populations in the city, on issues that she feels a personal connection with. Alaina is interning with San Francisco Rising, an alliance grassroots organizations that unites low-income and working class communities of color, creating a new community-based political infrastructure capable of running sophisticated electoral operations each election cycle, and winning. She is excited to participate in SF Rising phone banking and precinct walking operations leading up to the midterm election, and supporting the “College for All” campaign.


Emily Garcia
Sociology; Public Service and Community Engagement minor, ’20

Emily is excited to work with other passionate students in building community and leadership that creates positive, and impactful social change. She is an alumna of the Esther-Madriz Diversity Scholars program and the current vice president of the Esther-Madriz Activist Scholars program. She is interning at the Coalition on Homelessness (CoH), which organizes homeless people and frontline service providers to create permanent solutions to homelessness, while working to protect the human rights of those forced to remain on the streets. She is excited to work on the proposition C campaign, a local ballot initiative that if approved, would tax the top corporations in San Francisco, and allocate those revenues toward providing housing and support services for over 7,000 homeless families and individuals in San Francisco.

Yaqub Elmi
Sociology; Public Service and Community Engagement minor, ’20

Yaqub is passionate about working with and learning from underprivileged and marginalized communities, and advocating for permanent solutions to systemic social problems. He is an intern at the Transgender Gender-Variant and Intersex Justice Inclusion Project (TGIJP), which works with transgender, gender variant and intersex people – inside and outside of prisons, jails and detention centers – to create a united family in the struggle for survival and freedom. TGIJP works in collaboration with others to forge a culture of resistance and resilience to strengthen the fight against imprisonment, police violence, racism, poverty, and societal pressures, and to create a world rooted in self determination, freedom of expression, and gender justice.


Nyteia Tyler
Computer Science; African American Studies minor ’20

Teia is interested in pursuing social change work and was a member of Cohort 12 in the Esther-Madriz Diversity Scholars program. She is enthusiastic about engaging with the South of Market community through the CEA program. In addition to her participation as a CEA, she currently serves as the President of the Esther-Madriz Activist Scholars, the Advisor of Finance for the Black Student Union, the Social Justice Chair for Advocacy Committee, as well as a working as a community assistant in Hayes-Healy Hall. She is interning at the South of Market Community Action Network (SOMCAN), a multi-racial, community-based organization, serving low-income immigrant youth and families in SoMa and greater San Francisco since 2000. SOMCAN organizes, supports and informs the SoMa community through leadership development, advocacy, direct services, and referrals. SOMCAN works to uplift the voices of immigrants, people of color and low-income communities, so they will be heard in local policy-making decisions and so civic offices are accountable to their needs.

Kiana Martinez
Sociology ’20

Kiana is working towards a future in community organizing and is focused on supporting working-class communities, immigrant communities and overall people of color. Last year, she was a member of Cohort 12 in the Esther Madriz Diversity Scholars program where she studied Community Organizing and various social issues. For the last two years, Kiana has also been a University Ministry Student leader, organizing events for social awareness as well as helping to organize their Social Justice Programs. Overall, she is eager to learn and take action through the CEA program as an intern at Causa Justa Just Cause, an organization that challenges displacement and gentrification by building coalitions and taking direct action.


LeeAnn Quintero
Critical Diversity Studies; Chican@ Studies minor,’19

LeeAnn is interested in working with immigrant communities and supporting underserved populations that are particularly vulnerable in our current social and political climate. She is motivated to participate in a “hands on” environment that will nourish her personal growth and enable her to contribute to positive social change. She is thrilled to intern with Mujeres Unidas y Activas, a grassroots organization led by Latina immigrant women with a double mission of promoting personal transformation and building community power for social and economic justice.


Causa Justacooalition on homelessnessMujeres Unidas y ActivasSan Francisco RisingSouth of Market Community Action NetworkTransgender Gender-Variant and Intersex Justice Inclusion Project

jgpearson • October 12, 2018

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