At times, our vision can feel as impossible as it is crucial: achieving a Bay Area where every single person has a safe place to call home. We have a long way to go, but our biggest obstacle isn’t the work ahead, it’s despair.

When all we can see are the urgent unmet needs around us, how do we cultivate the courage of millions of our neighbors to dream of what is possible, and act to make it real?

Learn from a panel of nationally renowned social movement builders – from climate to racial justice – on why a strategy filled with joy, healing, and positivity is a winning strategy. We’ll see how we can overcome the despair and defeatism that hinder our progress – and how building a joyful, courageous movement begins with you and me.

About our panel

Conference panelists and moderator

Chione Lucina Muñoz Flegal
Executive Director of Housing CA

Chione has over 20 years of experience building coalitions and leading policy campaigns to improve outcomes for low-income communities and communities of color in California. With deep expertise on issues of infrastructure, land use, housing, and environmental policy, she works to promote social, economic, and environmental equity through policy change.

Prior to joining Housing California, Chione was a managing director at PolicyLink, where she led a portfolio of initiatives focused on water, climate, housing, transportation, and equitable fiscal policy in California and beyond. Her work has strengthened California’s housing and equity movements, has contributed to significant statewide policy wins, and has resulted in new and expanded public investments in housing and infrastructure.

Chione has previously worked at Latino Issues Forum where she directed the organization’s environmental health and justice work. She has worked as a consultant for organizations in the United States and abroad including CARE International and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Chione has served on the Board of Directors at several other state and national organizations including Housing CA, TransForm, the California EDGE Coalition, and Emerald Cities. She has been a member of the climate justice working group for the California Natural Resources Agency and the AB 32 Environmental Justice Advisory Committee for the Air Resources Board.

Alicia Garza
Principal at Black Futures Lab, Author of “The Purpose of Power” and Co-founder of The Black Lives Matter Global Network

Alicia believes that Black communities deserve what all communities deserve — to be powerful in every aspect of their lives. An author, political strategist, organizer, and cheeseburger enthusiast, Alicia founded the Black Futures Lab to make Black communities powerful in politics. She is the co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter and the Black Lives Matter Global Network, serves as the Strategy & Partnerships Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and is a co-founder of Supermajority, a new home for women’s activism. Alicia has become a powerful voice in the media and frequently contributes thoughtful opinion pieces and expert commentary on politics, race and more to outlets such as MSNBC and The New York Times.

She has received numerous accolades and recognitions, including being on the cover of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World issue and being named to Bloomberg’s 50 and Politico’s 50 lists. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart (One World Penguin Random House), and she warns you: hashtags don’t start movements, people do.

Leah Thomas
Founder of Intersectional Environmentalist & Author of The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet

Leah Thomas is a celebrated environmentalist based in Los Angeles, CA. Coining the term ‘eco-communicator’ to describe her style of environmental activism, Leah uses her passion for writing and creativity to explore and advocate for the critical yet often overlooked relationship between social justice and environmentalism. With this intersection in mind, Leah founded and launched the non-profit Intersectional Environmentalist, a platform and resource hub that aims to advocate for environmental justice, provide educational resources surrounding intersectional environmentalism, and promote inclusivity and accessibility within environmental education and movements.

Building on her work in the field, Leah penned The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet. Published in March 2022, the book serves as an introduction to the intersection between environmentalism, racism, and privilege, and as an acknowledgment of the fundamental truth that we cannot save the planet without protecting all of its people.

Leah is also the founder of the eco-lifestyle blog @greengirlleah, where she uses her multiple years of eco-focused educational and work experience to inform her ever-expanding list of projects, and connect with her audience of ​​more than 400k followers across channels. Leah has been named to several notable lists—including TIME100 NEXT, INSIDER’s Climate Action 30, Marie Claire’s Creators to Watch, EBONY Power 100, and InStyle’s The Badass 50—and is an established public speaker who has presented at Google, 1% for the Planet’s Global Summit, Dreamforce, and more. Her writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, The Washington Post, and Highsnobiety. She has also been featured in Harper’s Bazaar, W Magazine, and CNN as well as Good Morning America, ABC News, NBC, The Weather Channel, and numerous podcasts.