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Board of Directors

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Colsaria Henderson, MSW, President
Leadership Development Specialist, Center for Excellence in Nonprofits

Colsaria has a Master’s in Social Work with a specification in Administration and Planning. She is from the South and considers her social justice training buried in the roots of activist parents, who dedicated their early lives to the civil rights movement.  She began working in the field in the 1990s and began her official career in anti-gender based violence work as a Sexual Assault Counselor in Atlanta, Georgia. She later finished a Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work while working in a dual Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault advocacy agency. 

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Gayle Guest-Brown, MBA, PMP, Treasurer
Executive Leadership Coach, Trainer and Speaker, Guest Brown Impact

Gayle Guest-Brown is CEO and Executive Leadership Coach, Trainer and Speaker of Guest Brown impact. She holds an MBA, a project management credential (PMP) and many years’ experience at global Fortune 100 businesses successfully motivating people and maximizing project potential. With 30+ years of success serving the leadership needs of corporate, tech, non-profit and faith-based organizations, Gayle is well positioned to assist other leaders. She’s also been an entrepreneur serving as Executive Director and Operations Manager of KidzArt of Placer.

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This is a headshot of Saara Ahmed.

Saara Ahmed, Bay Area Regional Representative
Community Resource Coordinator, Asian Women's Shelter

Saara believes in the power of shifting culture to eradicate inequality and violence. She earned a MA in International Affairs in 2013, completing a thesis project on global advocacy campaigns addressing gender based violence. She has advocated for survivors for over 10 years, including through community based approaches and prevention campaigns in the East African region, nationally in the U.S. and locally through her communities in Seattle and the Bay Area.

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Alejandrina Carrasco MA, Central Coast Regional Representative
Prevention Services Program Manager, Interface Children & Family Services

Alejandrina Carrasco MA, serves as the Prevention Services Program Manager for Interface Children & Family Services in Ventura County. She oversees comprehensive family violence programming that prevents, interrupts and ends the cycle of violence within family systems. She empowers advocates working in the field of domestic violence, child abuse, and human trafficking to be their authentic selves and provide support for victims and survivors of trauma.

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This is a headshot of Cynthia Carrasco-White.

Cynthia Carrasco White, Los Angeles Regional Representative
Staff Attorney, Rainbow Services

Cynthia Carrasco is the daughter of Ecuadorian immigrants and familiar with opportunities for first generation Americans. She was the first in her family to attend college and law school who has made a long term career in public interest law. She is a domestic violence shelter staff attorney at Rainbow Services, Ltd. She also currently serves as a Trustee for the Mirman School, a school for highly gifted children.

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This is a headshot of Elizabeth Eastlund.

Elizabeth Eastlund, LCSW
Executive Director, Rainbow Services

Elizabeth Eastlund, MSW/LCSW, is a current Board member of the CA Partnership to End DV, one of the founding members of the LA DV Homeless Services Coalition, and former executive director of Rainbow Services, a domestic violence organization providing shelter and support services to survivors while advocating for policy and resources that support their healing journey.

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Cristal B. Gleason, Central Valley Regional Representative
Emergency Services Manager, Haven Women’s Center of Stanislaus

Cristal B. Gleason is the Emergency Services Manager at Haven Women’s Center of Stanislaus. Haven serves all survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and human trafficking regardless of gender identity, immigration status, or sexual orientation. Haven is a catalyst for individual empowerment and societal change: advocating for those impacted by domestic and sexual abuse or exploitation and working to end gender-based violence. Cristal has been with the agency since January 2014.

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Amanda Jancu
Senior Attorney, Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice

Amanda Jancu is a Senior Attorney at the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice. She has been providing legal services to low-income survivors of domestic violence for over ten years, offering both pro per assistance and representation in various family law matters including restraining orders, custody and visitation, support, divorce, parentage, and family law appeals. She has worked as a staff attorney in both shelter based and non-shelter based agencies and has engaged in both direct services and policy advocacy in order to empower and promote justice for survivors.

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Headshot of Melissa Luke

Melissa Luke
Chief Program Officer, Healing & Justice, YWCA Golden Gate Silicon Valley

Melissa has been part of the movement to end gender-based violence for 20 years.  Her core values are equity, liberation, and loving kindness, and she believes that transformation must be intersectional, intergenerational, and rooted in our diverse communities.  Melissa’s journey has been focused on building programs, and advocating for systems and policies, that promote equity for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, immigrants, limited English speaking families, and communities of color.  She currently sits on the leadership teams of the Domestic Violence Advocacy Consort

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Rebecca Nussbaum, Southern Regional Representative
Associate Director of Programs, Community Resource Center

Rebecca believes that everyone has the right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to grow up in an environment free from violence.

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Dina Polkinghorne
Executive Director, Project Sanctuary

Since 2008, Dina Polkinghorne has served as the Executive Director of Project Sanctuary, a Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis center serving Mendocino County in rural Northern California. Prior to her tenure at Project Sanctuary, she worked in local government and other non-profit sectors. She currently serves as the board Vice Chair for the Mendocino County Public Broadcasting Corporation and is a member of the Healthy Mendocino Community Advisory Panel.

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Gina Roberson, North Regional Representative
Chief Program Officer, WEAVE

Gina Roberson is WEAVE’s Chief Program Officer overseeing Advocacy and Intervention Services including Residential Services (Emergency Shelter and Transitional Housing), and Crisis Response Services (24/7 Support Line and Sexual Assault Response, Violence Response Teams working with Law Enforcement, and the Anti-Trafficking Response Team). Gina has more than 25 years in the Violence Prevention field including developing and administering Domestic Violence and Child Abuse programs with the California Governor’s Office of Criminal Justice Planning (now CalOES).

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This is a headshot of S. Suresh.

S. Suresh
Community Leader and Activist

As a community leader and activist, Suresh is vocal on social justice issues including domestic violence, gun control, LGBTQ rights, religious and caste-based discrimination, environmental rights, and racism in all shapes and forms. He shares his viewpoints and experiences through his blog, and Fair Observer, a crowdsourced multimedia journal.