Every individual deserves the opportunity to provide for themselves and their family. Yet one in four Bay Area households struggle to make ends meet and access basic needs such as food and housing. Over 85% of Bay Area residents who live in poverty are working at least one job, with significant numbers working two or three jobs. Increasingly, the displacement of individuals and households struggling to make ends meet is complicating strategies to cut poverty, destabilizing communities and support services. Our region's most vulnerable residents are being pushed to areas where the safety net is the thinnest and growing commutes threaten both family life and the environment.
We are a coalition of over 250 partners working together to change this. Partners from all sectors across the Bay Area are asking a critical question: Is it in our collective interest to have so many families in our community without access to opportunity and the thriving Bay Area we all envision? What is the opportunity cost for the Bay Area community to not have these families as equal parts of our economy and our communities? Rise Together is helping to coordinate efforts to break down barriers and advocate for change that will allow every individual the opportunity to thrive.
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Growing up as a child of an incarcerated parent, Megan understood the impact that broken systems can have on a family early on. Informed by this experience, Megan is deeply committed to equity and dignity for all and believes economic opportunity is at the core of creating thriving, safe and healthy communities. Megan has spent over two decades working with communities to shift systems and policies that are no longer working through leadership development, advocacy and multi-sector collaboration. Megan has led Radical Transformational Leadership programs for over a decade, helping to build the capacity of over 750 change makers across California and the U.S. to produce equitable and sustainable results. She was previously the Director of Community Organizing for the United Way of Santa Cruz County and Policy Coordinator for the Center for Human Development in Contra Costa County. Megan earned an MA in Consciousness Studies from JFK University and an MA in Criminology, Law and Society from UC Irvine.
More than 20 years ago, Khammany Mathavongsy came to the U.S. as a political refugee from war-torn Laos. His early experiences fuel his desire to reduce inequality and give back to the community. Khammany is a Daniel E. Koshland Civic Unity Fellow at the San Francisco Foundation. Previously, Khammany was a Cross Cultural Leadership Development Program Manager at Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL) and served as California Director of Programs and Policy at the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC). Khammany earned a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the CSU, East Bay.
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Oakland, CA 94607 510-210-8065