Bios

 
LILY AUGUS
DANIEL DANG
MINKAH ESHE SMITH
KOJIN GLICK
JAIME LOPEZ
SAMIRA NURU
SHEENA PAUL
DENIM OHMIT
THOMAS OMOLO
lUCY STEPHENSON

 


LILY AUGUS
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Lily Augus is a current freshman at Cal, and hails from Berkeley, California. She graduated Cum Laude from Phillips Academy Andover, a boarding high school in Massachusetts. She is interested in fundraising and resource managment, and how one can approach asset acquisition from a socially sustainable and just angle. Lily has been thinking about issues of social justice and community progress since the beginning of her high school years. She developed and taught a course for sophomores at Andover regarding personal identity and how identity plays into community relations. She has been working with Margaretta Lin and The Dellums' Institute on fundraising organization and is excited to continue her efforts in this capacity. 

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DANIEL DANG 
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My name is Daniel Dang and I am super excited and grateful to be an Urban Equity Student Fellow this year! I am currently a senior double majoring in Political Economy and Social Welfare with a minor in City and Regional Planning. I am a Vietnamese American first generation college student from Southeast San Diego.

 

Ever since I was little, I knew that I wanted to contribute my life towards social good. After I explored more in my classes and reflected upon my experiences, I came to understand how racial and social inequalities manifested into physical communities and spaces. From that point on, I wanted to directly tackle those challenges so I have been spending my last few summers doing public policy and city planning internships.

 

This past summer, I had the privilege to intern at Eden Housing, a nonprofit affordable housing developer here in the Bay Area. Through that experience, I learned a huge amount about Affordable Housing Development and I realized that I want to help build homes and communities for low-income families and marginalized communities.

 

After a few years in the Affordable Housing industry, I hope to pursue two master degrees in both City Planning and Business Administration to eventually become a Project Developer within the Affordable housing field. As of now, I am super excited to learn more about the intersection between City Planning and Equity through the Urban Equity fellowship and I can’t wait to reflect, learn, unlearn, and contribute during my time here.  

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MINKAH ESHE SMITH
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Minkah is a transfer student from Los Angeles whose interests reside in environmental justice and the politics of displacement in urban centers. She began her work as a grassroots organizer working with the Labor Community Strategy Center in Koreatown. While there she was involved in campaigns surrounding the unfair truancy legislation in LAUSD schools as well as transit and environmental justice in LA’s historically disenfranchised communities. She is a transfer student currently in her senior year at the University of California, Berkeley studying Society and Environment; specifically focused on the growing effects of climate change induced disasters on socioeconomically vulnerable populations around the globe. She plans to pursue a J.D. in environmental law so as to be more involved in the world of climate legislation to help secure a future for the planet at large.

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KOJIN GLICK 
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Kojin Glick is a sophomore at UC Berkeley pursuing a double major in Political Science and Media Studies, as well as an undergraduate certificate in New Media.

Concerned with the interactions of social media technologies and social issues like displacement and inequality, he assists in developing an online presence for the Dellums Institute. He also is working to find a permanent home for the Dellums Center at UC Berkeley, an inter-generational hub for social activism in the Bay Area and beyond.

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JAIME LOPEZ 
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As a first generation college student raised in the Gateway Cities region of Southeast Los Angeles, Jaime Lopez has directly experienced poverty, the shame that comes with poverty, housing insecurity, racial segregation and profiling, educational inequality, predatory lending, student loan debt, gun violence, the impacts of immigrant exploitation and deportations, workplace discrimination and bullying, identify theft, and harmful environmental exposure.  He has directly witnessed members of his own family experience police brutality, sexual violence, domestic abuse, substance abuse, same-sex discrimination, and lack of healthcare.  The dysfunctionalities and inequalities he faced during and after his upbringing in Compton, Paramount and North Long Beach in the 1980's and 90’s have since motivated his desire for education and social justice.  

 

As an undergraduate at UCLA he majored in History, with an emphasis on marginalized groups.  He also majored in Film, a medium that appealed to him for its global perspective and educational qualities.  As a student he helped plan events to commemorate decades of student activism on campus.  Since college he has spent much of his free time traveling and exploring Los Angeles without a car and volunteering articles for online publications, focusing on topics ranging from historic landmarks and preservation, local politics, crime, and reviewing a wide variety of films.  To further understand his own life experience and the social, political and economic issues he has faced, Jaime has read over 100 non-fiction books since college and plans to someday write his own.

 

His professional career includes work as a researcher to assess gang prevention programs, tutoring and mentoring students, and working as an Educational Advisor for Johns Hopkins University's Center for Talented Youth as part of a scholarship program intent on closing the Achievement Gap.  For the past 7 years he has worked as a proposal and technical writer for right-of-way consulting and engineering firms, both leading him to become interested in urban equity issues.  Most of his experience is motivated by a desire to help individuals and communities reach their potential.  Jaime is currently a first year Master of City Planning student at UC Berkeley.  His interests as a city planning student include Community Development and Housing, while his declared concentration is in Transportation.

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SAMIRA NURU 
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Throughout my life, I have been blessed to work with people from all walks of life. I have had the opportunity to be a part of some great projects of social justice both locally and internationally. Through my involvement in student organizations during my undergraduate career, I was able to work in Brazil to help address environmental justice in the Amazon. On a local level, I have worked with families of the Fruitvale community through my time serving as an educator for the AmeriCorps program, Jumpstart. Our focus was to give children of low-income families the opportunity and resources to enter kindergarten with the skills necessary to succeed, such as exposure to new vocabulary and basic literacy skills. I am also deeply invested in the social justice issues which exist in my own community, especially as it pertains to future gentrification and displacement of the area’s residents. I aspire to use public service as the platform through which I help serve communities in need and to voice issues which are not receiving attention or solutions. I can attribute the roots of my passion for social justice to my upbringing and have made it my life’s mission to continue to be a contributing factor in the advancement of equity where it is most needed. 

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SHEENA PAUL 
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DENIM OHMIT 
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Denim Robert Ohmit is a senior Urban Studies major and Public Policy minor at UC Berkeley with a focus on economic justice and affordable housing policy.  Growing up in a low-income rural community in Humboldt County, California, Denim became interested in the intersections of geography, economic (dis)investment, history, politics, and built and natural environments. While at Berkeley, he has applied these interests to work as a Matsui Local Government Fellow at the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development, Elections Coordinator for CalSERVE, and Chief of Staff for the Academic Affairs office of the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC). Most recently, he was an inaugural Urban Justice Design Summer Fellow at the Dellums Institute for Social Justice, working primarily on policy and programmatic strategies to prevent the displacement of small businesses and non-profit organizations in the Bay Area. He is grateful to be continuing work with the Dellums Institute through the Urban Equity Student Fellows Program. In his spare time, Denim enjoys hiking, consuming ridiculous amounts of journalism and podcasts, chatting up customers at his part-time job at Trader Joe's, and volunteering for local political campaigns. In the future, he hopes to pursue a Masters in Public Administration and/or City Planning toward a career in equity-centered public sector governance.

 

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THOMAS OMOLO
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Thomas Omolo is currently pursuing his Master of City Planning at the University of California at Berkeley. He was born abroad and moved to the Bay Area when he was 8 years old and has always loved exploring, learning about the natural world, and teaching students to appreciate the environment around them. While working for the U.S. Forest Service Urban Field Station in Philadelphia, he coordinated an environmental science competition for high school students, helped start one of the first citizen-science based longitudinal study of the urban forest, and taught elementary and middle school students about an array of natural science topics.  Thomas’s work with students from many different backgrounds illuminated a deeper understanding of where our societal discrepancies and inequities lie. One inequity that has strongly resonated with is the belief that every kid has the right to experience the outdoors, regardless of neighborhood, skin color, or bank account balance. He hopes to help communities create their own green spaces within walking distance of the neighborhood or within the neighborhood. Every child should have an opportunity to independently explore the natural world without having to rely on caregivers or school field trips to get them there.

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LUCY STEPHENSON
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Lucy Stephenson is a first year Master of City Planning student at UC-Berkeley, where she is especially focused on developing more nurturing, dynamic narrative and concrete spaces that foster greater social resilience and vitality.

 

Her work to date has centered on complex emerging markets, where she is especially interested in how zones of inclusion, exclusion, and influence emerge through the built environment and media landscape. Past projects include strategy, operations, and research roles in Mexican real estate private equity development, urban policy advocacy through a Brussels-based NGO, and mass communications with Afghanistan’s premiere media and broadcasting company. She has also consulted for architecture, real estate, and education startups and NGO’s in the private and civic sectors. Her sense of passion and purpose stems from understanding and ultimately impacting different permutations of change management: at an individual level, what makes the difference between a survivor and a victim? At an organizational level, how do you grow a company or community to bring out the best in its people? At different levels of the world, how do you make diverse communities feel vibrant, strong, and meaningful…all in overlapping and sometimes conflicting territory?

 

She holds a B.A. in International Relations from Brown University.

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