Thanks for joining us for Facing Race 2022. See you in 2024!

Alma Cervantes

Regional Education Equity Manager | Action Council/ Building Healthy Community Monterey County
Pronouns: She/her/ella

Alma Cervantes a proud Brown, Chicana, Indigenous woman and mother of two beautiful girls named Annavi and Aitana. She has led the Education Equity Justice Action Team for Building Healthy Communities-Monterey County for the last 8 years at a local, county and state level. Part of her vision with the education work is to transform our education system into a more Racially Just Relationship Centered. She has more than 10 years of expertise in community engagement, grassroots-organizing, policy advocacy and culturally rooted healing informed practices. Working closely with education leaders across statewide, parents, and students to dismantle the School-To-Prison Pipeline by creating positive and transformative environments where all students can thrive. She is a former consultant for National Compadres Network as a facilitator for Healing-Centered, Culturally Rooted curriculums for youth and parents. A former fellow for Women’s Policy Institute that focuses on building women leaders to work on public policies that support historically oppressed communities across California. She received a Bachelor of Arts in World Languages and Culture from Cal State Monterey Bay and a master's degree in Mexican American Studies with an emphasis on Policy and

Education at San Jose University.

Presentations from Facing Race 2022

Visionary Practices for Community of Color Power & Ownership

What are the possibilities when communities of color work collectively across-race to deepen shared power, organize and develop future-forward democratizing practices and structures that offer a vision for true democracy and transformation with racial justice as the horizon?

In this session community leaders from local coalitions and networks will present a snapshot of the vision, values, culture and practices that are informing this push for community ownership of the institutions that determine their lives. Multi-sectoral efforts for racial justice necessitate the development of new democratic practices that place r transformation at the front and center, along with prioritizing of transparency, accountability, and deeper relationships – centering bold solutions for the long haul.

Speakers TBD but will include representatives from local coalitions and networks in the Puget Sound and Northern California who are building multiracial power for racial justice and transformation in their communities. The session will be supported by Fernando Mejia Ledesma, Co-executive Director of Puget Sound SAGE and Jesse Villalobos from Race Forward’s Place-Based Initiatives, who works to support local racial justice networks in deepening their collective power to bring bold vision into fruition.

Moderator(s): Jesse Villalobos Speakers: Fernando Mejia Ledesma, Kim Williams, DeAngelo Mack, Andrea Manzo, Alma Cervantes, Yordanos Teferi

Building an Intergenerational Black and Brown Centered Organization

BHCMC is the driving force in Monterey County on healing-informed governing for racial equity practices and is building toward operating as a true Black- and Brown-led organization. BHCMC will share its journey in building Black and Brown solidarity that is explicitly uprooting anti-Black racism.

This session will share the journey of individual transformation and the cultural shift that BHCMC has committed to in order to become a true anti-Black racism organization. Panelists will discuss the process of leading Healing-Informed Racial Equity work and the pause needed to internally reflect on the organization’s own internal anti-Black policies, practices, and tendencies. They will also share challenges that were faced in expanding geographically across Monterey County as well as expanding the community the organization is accountable to to include Black populations of Seaside, CA, also experiencing racial inequities. They will emphasize the connection between anti-Black racism work as critical to building intergenerational Black and Brown solidarity, a process that was accelerated after the uprisings of 2020. Panelists will discuss lessons learned from organizing a 14-mile march that connects the predominantly Latinx population of East Salinas to the predominantly Black community of Seaside as well as everyday lessons learned around organizing intergenerational Black and Brown communities. There will be an opportunity for a collective reflection on ways to explicitly address anti-Black racism in our work and build toward intergenerational Black and Brown solidarity.

Speakers: Alma Cervantes, Rosalyn Green, Andrea Manzo

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Toward A Racially Equitable Monterey County — An EcoSystem Approach to Healing-Informed Governing for Racial Equity

Building Healthy Communities is deepening and expanding the opportunities for a healing informed governing for racial equity practice across and within Monterey County by coordinating an ecosystem of institutions including philanthropy, government, and resident organizing. Achieving lasting equitable outcomes require institutional and structural change, even before policy change. Because these institutions make up a larger ecosystem of interconnected structures, this strategy deepens capacity of all them beginning with shared concepts, language and frameworks. Together, this ecosystem is learning to synergize an equity strategy for the region by holding both power and relationships as core components to achieve success.

Members from each of institution of the ecosystem will share their challenges, lessons learned/missteps, and emerging opportunities in this work. This will be an opportunity to explore what is needed to deepen the trust and relationship with institutions that have varying levels of power and commitment/understanding to advancing a healing-informed governing for racial equity practice.

Witness an evolving story where narrative has the power to be inclusive or divisive in balancing the love for our community and the desire to dismantle systems of oppression.

Speakers: Andrea Manzo, Rosemary Soto, Lauren Padilla-Valverde, José Arreola, Rosa González, Alma Cervantes