Danielle Driver Bellino

Why are our babies dying? Where should we place the blame?

Infant immortality is a crisis in the African American community that threatens its viability and long-term sustainability. In general, members of society are usually quick to conveniently place blame for negative birth outcomes on negligent, irresponsible African-American mothers.

However, if this crisis was examined from a historic, cultural and socioeconomic lens, members of society may arrive at a different conclusion about the root cause of this unfortunate occurrence.       

In “Black Infant Lives Matter”, Ms. Danielle Bellino will offer a panoramic approach to examining and rectifying the negative birth crisis in the African American community.

Tyffanie Wedding

Don’t Turn A Blind Eye

Commercial Sexual Exploitation is a crime on the rise in the United States. Here are a few statistics:

-African American and Latino youth are overwhelmingly likely to be victims in the Commercial Sexual Exploitation industry

-According to the FBI, 52% of all juvenile prostitution arrests are African American Children

-In a study conducted by Covenant House, a shelter and service provider in New York, 25% of children had either experienced sex trafficking or felt the need to trade sex for food, money or a place to stay

While there are a myriad of factors behind the large number of youth being sexually exploited in the U.S., there is something both simple and practical that can be done to rescue our children from this modern-day form of slavery.

In “Don’t Turn A Blind Eye”, Ms. Tyffanie Wedding will share why she is so passionate about annihilating Commercial Sexual Exploitation by proposing a trailblazing solution to this horrendous problem. 

Danielle Motley

The Overlooked Entrepreneur

On July 20, 2017, after serving 9 years of a 33- year sentence in a Nevada prison for robbery, Orenthal James Simpson was granted parole and became a free man. When O.J. Simpson finally returns to life outside the prison walls, he will receive a $300,000 a year football pension to aid him with his living expenses. O.J. is an exception to the rule.

Everyday, countless other African American men and women are released from detention facilities around the country, who will not have adequate training and financial resources to sustain themselves and their families. Granted, there are numerous programs and laws that currently exist to aid the re-entry and rehabilitative process for the formerly incarcerated. Yet cycles of recidivism also exist because these programs and laws fail to offer viable solutions for individuals starting over again.

In “The “Overlooked Entrepreneur”, Ms. Danielle N. Motley will examine the current re-entry crisis and offer a feasible solution to this rehabilitation dilemma.  

Chasitie Neal

A Piece Of The Pie

There is a scripture in the Holy Bible that states, “If a man doesn’t work, he can not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Although the intent of this scripture was to highlight the dangers of laziness, it also illustrates an economic fact. Meaning, a person who doesn’t have a job might find it difficult to secure money to buy food. The ugly truth about this proverb is that a vast number of African Americans find themselves in this exact predicament. Either they can’t find jobs or they are unable to secure jobs that pay wages commensurate to their white counterparts. In turn, a racial wealth gap is perpetuated through all facets of African American life.

A racial wealth gap occurs when every $1 of wealth held by the typical white household; the typical African American household owns only $0.06 of wealth. Undoubtedly, in order for the African American community to survive, drastic changes in economic policies and opportunities need to place.

In “A piece Of The Pie”, Ms. Chastity Neal will share her community and wealth building strategies aimed to at helping the African American community become economically secure.



Dr. Fatima Alleyne2016 DWJ Public Policy Fellow

Dr. Fatima Alleyne is a New York native and community college graduate who relocated to California to pursue higher education at the University of California, Berkeley. From this institution, she earned both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science and Engineering.Currently, Dr. Alleyne is a Research General Engineer at the USDA investigating thermal storage and renewable energy sources for agricultural communities. She has served in a myriad of leadership roles in her community and non-profit boards including, but not limited to, Outreach, Diversity and Equal Opportunity Committee (ODEO), School Site Council (SSC), Community Budget Advisory Committee (CBAC), Black Graduate Engineering and Science Students Association (BGESS), and CalGirlS. She is also a wife and mother of four children. When she is not working, spending time with her family, and volunteering at her church, Dr. Alleyne is actively engaged in her community as an Education Advocate, advocating for education equity and empowering parents and students to pursue quality public education.

Nicole Henderson, 2016 DWJ Public Policy Fellow

Nicole Henderson received her B.A. in Political Science and M.A. and credential   Special Education rom San Francisco State University. With a passion for public service, Nicole currently works for San Francisco Unified School District as an Education Specialist, serving students in grades K-12 with Mild/Moderate disabilities.  Nicole has a special interest inEducation Policy reform especially as it concerns working with children and families in foster care and how to manage the system to better serves students of color.

Simone Thelemaque, inaugural 2015 cohort & 2016 Senior Fellow

Serving as the new BWOPA Oakland / Berkeley Chapter Vice President, Simone has over 10 years of experience in community engagement, self-love, advocacy and policy analysis, with emphasis around housing and development in Oakland, CA.

In November of 2015, she founded “Table 4 All” which is a food redistribution company fighting hunger in Alameda County. Table 4 All delivers unconsumed and edible food from events and meetings to local agencies assisting people without a place to call home. Food is NOT waste!  Since November, Table 4 All has fed over 1,500 people and hope to triple the number by 2017.

Currently, she is in working toward earning her Bachelor's in two areas of discipline: Organizational Psychology and Women's Studies at Cal State East Bay transferring in the Fall 2016 from Merritt College.  Her academic goal include earning her Masters in Public Policy.  I am an OUT AND PROUD nontraditional student, LGBTQ activist and lovingly intentionally enjoying the responsibilities of parenting her seven year old daughter.   She loves her job as studio coordinator at Gensler and enjoy the intersections of art, architecture, responsibility to the community, responsibility to myself and all the many steps in between. 

 Daisy Ozim, Inaugural 2015 cohort & 2016 DWJ Public Policy Senior Fellow

Daisy Ozim, is the Community Engagement Coordinator at TAYSF and the creator of Resilient Wellness, a health education programmed designed to end the cycles of multi-generational trauma in communities of color and the owner of 13th Goddess, a professional clothing line made from AfroLatina patterns. She has been involved in community based outreach and advocacy and civic youth engagement, since her late teens. As a seasoned health advocate, based in San Francisco bay area, she's a fierce proponent of health and wellness as well as decolonizing all aspects of the public sector. She has studied and obtained degree's in Human Biology and Behavioral and Social sciences as well as Public Health.  On top of that, she has dedicated time outside of her advocacy life to train in holistic health. She has worked on several issues including, health care quality for young women, public health implications of police violence, increasing visibility of self-care for social justice advocates and political empowerment for young women.