Our Team

The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights boasts a staff of world-class human rights activists, based in our headquarters in downtown Oakland, CA. Meet our team.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Zachary Norris is the Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and a former director of our Books Not Bars campaign. Prior to rejoining the organization, Zachary co-founded and co-directed Justice for Families, a national alliance of family-driven organizations working to end our nation’s youth incarceration epidemic. During the seven years he led the campaign, Books Not Bars built California’s first statewide network for families of incarcerated youth, led the...
Senior Organizer and Advocate
Angelo Isaac Sandoval is a Senior Organizer and Advocate at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. He works to empower low-income communities of color to dismantle the institutional racism that propagates cycles violence, substance abuse and poverty. He served as a California State Senate Fellow in the office of Senator Denise Ducheny, who was the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee. At the end of his fellowship he joined the Senator’s staff as a Legislative Aide, where he advised the...
Senior Organizer and Advocate
In his role as Local Organizer, Darris leads Ella Baker Center’s effort to build a coalition of families negatively impacted by the criminal justice system in the Bay Area. Darris brings to his current work past success as a certified addictions, domestic violence, and violence prevention counselor and victim advocate with local organizations, including City Team International and Allen Temple Baptist Church. In addition, his experience as both a formerly incarcerated person and a police...
Senior Campaigner
In her role as State Field Director, Emily oversees state and local campaigns, develops a statewide membership structure, and builds and coordinates relationships with other state organizations, community leaders, allies, and key local and state officials. Emily has served as the Statewide Coordinator for Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) , a coalition of 65 anti-prison organizations (including theElla Baker Center), for four years. Her prior work experience includes working...
Policy Associate
Eric Henderson is a Policy Associate at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. In this role, he works on various local and state policies to end mass incarceration and redirect resources to programs that increase housing, healthcare, education, and jobs. Eric is an appointed member of the San Francisco Sentencing Commission, and serves as an advocate for currently and formerly incarcerated individuals and their families. He is also a member of the San Francisco Reentry Council - Legislation,...
Director of Development
As the Director of Development, Jocelyn leads Ella Baker Center’s fundraising efforts. She partners with foundations, individuals, and other supporters to secure the resources necessary to sustain and grow the Center’s work. Informed by prior experience in organizing and direct service, Jocelyn’s approach to development work is that it is but one of the many forms of collaboration necessary to strengthen the organization and the broader movements of which we are a part...
Digital Communications Associate
Norma Orozco is the Digital Communications Associate at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. She hopes to use social media and other digital platforms as a means to engage, educate and motivate people to action for social justice. Her goal is to create a more just and loving world. As a daughter of immigrants who has been directly impacted by the incarceration and detention of family members, she understands the intersections that affect communities of color. Norma began her career as a...
Director of Finance and Operations
As the Director of Finance and Operations for the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Payal works to maintain the organization's administrative efficiency and financial health. She is responsible for refining and implementing policies and practices in the areas of finance, operations and human resources. Payal comes to the organization with years of experience in leadership, operations, and human resources in both for-profit and not-for-profit settings. Payal's passion for the work the...
Organizer and Advocate
Tash is a Local Advocate at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, where she works to amplify local grassroots movements led by people directly affected by prisons and policing to end mass criminalization and incarceration. Born in the Bay Area as a daughter of refugees, Tash brings her lived experienced to her advocacy work as a young queer person who was funneled into the school-to-prison pipeline, as well as a family member of several formerly incarcerated loved ones. Prior to joining the...
Policy Manager
Tunisia M. Owens is a passionate advocate on issues of Black Economic Empowerment, Diversity and Inclusion, Criminal Justice Reform, Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Youth, and Education Equity. She is originally from Oakland, California and has served the public at non-profit organizations and government agencies in the Bay Area. She returned to Oakland after a career as a diplomat proudly representing the United States in Africa, the Middle East, and South America. When she is not raising...
Director of Communications
In her role as the Ella Baker Center's Communications Director, Zaineb is focused on amplifying the organization's message that we must end mass incarceration by moving resources away from prisons and punishment and towards jobs, education, and healthcare. Prior to joining the Ella Baker Center, Zaineb Mohammed was a journalist working at the East Bay Express . She has also written f or Mother Jones , San Francisco magazine, and New America Media, covering politics, the environment,...