Staff Biographies

Management Team

Josefina Alvarado-Mena, J.D.

Chief Executive Officer

Josefina Alvarado Mena was awarded an Echoing Green Fellowship in 1996 after finishing her J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Josefina used her Echoing Green Fellowship to create the Educational Empowerment Program to provide free legal education and services to low income students in Oakland, California. In 1999, Josefina was recruited by an incoming Superintendent of Oakland Unified School District to head the Department of Student, Family, and Community Services. She was the youngest member of the Executive Cabinet in the history of the organization. During her tenure she helped expand after-school programs, violence prevention programs, parent engagement and mental health programs throughout the school district. As director of the department, she also led the effort to develop the Safe Passage Middle School Strategy that has resulted in a 72% decrease in suspensions for violence at target high need middle schools in Oakland. Josefina was then recruited to lead Safe Passages, a city-wide initiative designed to reduce violence among the children and youth of Oakland. Josefina was one of only 5 employees when she arrived at Safe Passages. Currently the organization has a staff of 125. As the Chief Executive Officer for Safe Passages, Josefina has grown the organization from a foundation funded initiative to a leading independent 501(c)(3) Multi-service Nonprofit Organization that implements a continuum of programs that serve children and youth, from birth through college and career. A native of Oakland, Josefina grew up in one of the neighborhoods served by Safe Passages. She received her B.A. in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley in 1993, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in May 1996. She is also a recipient of the following honors and awards: Echoing Green Global Fellowship 1996-1998, Education Advocacy Award 2003, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Alameda County; Outstanding Education Advocate 1999, People United for a Better Oakland (PUEBLO); Advocacy Award, California Latino Civil Rights Network 1998, and James Irvine Foundation California Leadership Award 2009.

Alicia E. Perez

Legislative and Community Development Director

Legislative and Community Development Director Alicia Perez comes to Safe Passages with an array of experience in the areas of community outreach, social service program implementation and public policy. Alicia oversees advocacy and communications efforts for the organization as well as serving as liaison with government officials. In addition, Alicia oversees the implementation of the Safe Passages Early Childhood Initiative. Prior to Safe Passages, Alicia Perez worked in the Office of the Superintendent for Oakland Unified District. She oversaw the district’s outreach efforts for opening of schools and student registration, the district’s state and federal advocacy efforts, and the implementation of several social service programs for students. In the legislative realm, Ms. Perez has been a policy advisor for former Assembly Member Delaine Eastin and to Oakland Councilmember Nancy J. Nadel. She has worked in the creation and implementation of social programs for children and families in Oakland and Chicago, and internationally in El Salvador, Colombia and Spain. Alicia E. Perez holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. She earned her B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in Social Welfare and Comparative Literature.

Nina Moreno, Ph.D.

Research and Strategic Partnerships Director

In her current capacity, Dr. Nina Moreno promotes equity for low-income communities by conducting research and developing strategies that sustain and scale Safe Passages’ Early Childhood, School Linked Services, Economic and Social Justice, and Career Pathways and Community Development initiatives.

In 1998, Dr. Moreno’s career began as the Director of the Family Group Decision Making Project and then later as the Executive Director of the Bushwick Community Development Unit, both projects of Agenda for Children Tomorrow in New York, NY, where she advanced equity for systems-involved families by reforming municipal service systems, policies, and procedures, thus increasing cross-systems collaboration. Between 2004 and 2010, Nina worked on state and national policy research and reform in the areas of health and education as the Regional Director of the Safe Haven Initiative at the National Center on Addiction & Substance Abuse at Columbia University and then as the Interim Executive Director at the Children’s Defense Fund- California.

Dr. Moreno is also the Founder and Principal of Moreno & Associates, a research and strategy group that advances equity by using evaluation to change cultures, institutions and policies. Some of Nina’s past and present clients include the University of California at Berkeley’s Latinx Center on Excellency in Behavioral Health, Seed Collaborative, the California Mental Health Services Authority, and the U.S. Department of State’s Young Leaders of the Americas.

Nina, who is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, was born and raised between Brooklyn and The Bronx, New York City and is the daughter of a single-parent educator. She holds a Ph.D. in social welfare from The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Cornell University. When Nina is not conducting research and developing strategy, Nina may be found exploring the world with her partner.

Program Staff

Katie Brym

Early Literacy AmeriCorps Program Manager

Katie Brym oversees the Super Stars Literacy program at Safe Passages. In her role, she engages AmeriCorps members who provide literacy intervention services to K – 2nd grade students. Katie began her work with Super Stars Literacy in 2013 and joined the Safe Passages team to help implement the program within Safe Passages. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Design from the University of New Hampshire and is an alumnus of the AmeriCorps VISTA program.

Diego Bravo

Development Associate

Diego Bravo serves as Safe Passages’ Resource Development Associate. Diego supports the organization in all development and funding efforts. He works closely with the Development Team and Executive Staff to write and secure grant applications for foundation and government grants, assists with grant reporting requirements, local and state policy initiatives, and manages all individual donor relations. Diego was raised in Richmond, California, and is now a proud Oakland resident. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2017 with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology, is a social justice-oriented thinker, and is interested and impassioned by all things community.

Hailey Dutkin

Equity Policy Associate

Hailey Dutkin serves as the Equity Policy Associate at Safe Passages. Hailey has been with Safe Passages for three years, beginning as an AmeriCorps VISTA member and an AmeriCorps VISTA Leader. Currently, Hailey supports the Safe Passages’ VISTA program and SP’ school-based Family Resource Centers by assisting in professional development, data collection, program logistics, and resource gathering initiatives. In addition, Hailey supports the development team in tracking, identifying, and writing grants, with a particular focus on state and federal grants. Hailey holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Global Studies with a concentration in Human Rights and Social Justice.

Randy Hamati

AmeriCorps Director

Randy Hamati serves as the Director of AmeriCorps for Safe Passages, overseeing both the Elev8 and Super Stars Literacy programs. Randy builds and maintains school partnerships, serves as the liaison with California Volunteers, and supports the overall data and systems work of the AmeriCorps programs. In addition, he leads weekly trainings, one-on-one coaching sessions, and supports members with any challenges that may arise throughout their service. Prior to joining Safe Passages, Randy worked as a 5th grade teacher in Oakland. His teaching background carries over to Safe Passages, where he leads trainings for AmeriCorps members on best teaching practices, social-emotional learning, and life skills for transitioning out of the program. He has hopes to continue to expand the program to support more students, families, schools, and communities across the Bay Area. Randy holds a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and M.A. in Education from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Davis.

Site-Based Staff

Krystal Jenkins

Full-Service Community Schools Director, New Haven Unified School District

Dedication, Empowering and an all-around helper are words that describe Krystal Jenkins. Krystal was born in the Bay Area and lived in Oakland much of her life. She attended Oakland schools and graduated from Life Academy of Health and Bioscience; she was in the first graduating class of FACES for the Future. She began her career in education soon after, first becoming an Academic/Enrichment Instructor in elementary schools, then a Site Coordinator, and now Full-Service Community Schools Director. She holds a Bachelor of Science, Psychology from California State University, East Bay. Krystal has been with the organization, running in the marathon, since 2015. She aspires to continue serving her community for many years to come.

Heivaha Mafi

Site Coordinator, United for Success Academy

Michael Maldonado

Senior Policy Associate, Youth Development and Workforce Development

Michael Maldonado is a current Senior Policy Associate for Workforce and Youth Development and Life Coach at Safe Passages-Oakland. Michael explores, develops, and maintains partnerships in the community that seek to serve youth and their families in the Oakland Area. He also supports foster youth in agency programming with mentoring and case management services. Previously Michael has held mental health positions in the San Francisco Bay Area where he employed a mix of case management and therapeutic techniques to assist a diverse client population. In addition to this, Michael was an adjunct general counselor and technical education counselor at Modesto Junior College. Michael completed his B.A. in Sociology and M.S.W. at UC Berkeley and is also a veteran of the United States Navy.

Jeremiah Carreon

Site Coordinator, Laurel Elementary School

Laura Cabral

Program Manager, Baby Learning Communities Collaborative Program

Laura Cabral currently serves as the Early Learning and Youth Development Senior Policy Associate. Ms. Cabral is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the 0-8 programs at Elementary School sites; these programs include: Early Learning Baby Learning Communities Collaborative and the School Linked Services After School Programs for which Safe Passages is the lead agency. Ms. Cabral has led the Baby Learning Program for the past year. Her work in this capacity is programmatic assistance to partners and work with other Safe Passages staff assigned to the three communities to ensure seamless integration and coordination of program activities. Ms. Cabral will receive her Masters in Mexican American Studies with an emphasis in Policy from San Jose State University this year and holds a B.A. from the University of California at Davis.

Lauren Chambers

Life Coach, Law and Career Social Justice Career Pathways Program

Lauren Chambers is an Oakland native. She is a graduate of Berkeley High School. With a bachelor’s degree in Business from Florida A&M, she decided to return to Oakland to follow her passion for working in education. Through her matriculation at Safe Passages beginning in 2009, Lauren has worked in multiple capacities. Starting her career in 2009, as the after-school coordinator in her hometown of East Oakland with Roots Middle School, continuing on to be a life coach and mentor for high school students. She presently serves as the lead life coach for the Oakland Unite grant and is enthusiastic about supporting her community for years to come.

Jonathan Brumfield

Program Manager, Get Active

Jonathan Brumfield oversees the implementation of the Get Active Program, the Safe Passages Urban Arts program. Through art, this program is designed to promote social justice and cultural awareness with a strong emphasis on leadership development and community engagement among youth. Mr. Brumfield has worked as an Urban Arts Instructor and case manager in Oakland schools and has over a decade of experience in addressing the needs of high need youth, with an emphasis on young males of color. Mr. Brumfield has a B.A. in Criminal Justice from San Francisco State University. He is also an Artist in Residence at the African American Complex in San Francisco.

Robert Campbell

Site Coordinator, Coliseum College Prep Academy

Robert Campbell serves as the Elev8 Project Coordinator at Coliseum College Prep Academy. In his role, he works with school administration in the implementation of the full services community school model. He also facilitates the Coordination of Services Team, Student Success Teams, and Student Attendance Review Teams, as well as overseeing the extended day program. Prior to his role as the Elev8 Project Coordinator, Robert worked as the After School Coordinator at United For Success Academy. Since 2006, Robert has served in Oakland’s public education system. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Discourse from California State University East Bay.