Fourteen local residents recently graduated from the Marin Boards & Commissions Leadership Institute, created to increase diversity in representation on the bodies of public agencies in order to support and advance social, economic, and environmental equity.
On Thursday, June 26, a ceremony was held in San Rafael for Antonia Goerss, Gayle Theard, Jesse Shepherd, Kim Ngo, Magali Limeta, Marina Palma, Martha Vega, Maureen De Nieva, Meilyn Santana, Michelle Garcilazo, Ora Hatheway, Pashia Lord, Todd McCleary, and Veda Florez.
Marin Grassroots hosted the 4-month training, designed to “identify, educate, refer, and support members of politically under-represented communities to gain and maintain seats on public decision-making and advisory bodies with influence in areas considered most important by our members.”
The keynote speaker at the graduation was Barbara Zarate, program director at Marin Community Foundation in Novato.
“There are still many people living and struggling in Marin County, the richest county in the country and in the richest nation in the world, she said. “Their voices, reality and difficulties need to be heard. Our nation is ignoring the plight of those who are suffering, and is getting worse.
“Change is possible, and starts with activitism as people join together for good.”