Our Team

Is What Liberation Looks Like

about us
Be the Change Consulting, LLC is a woman owned and people of color operated, racial justice centered, capacity building firm.
Be The Change Team

We specialize in equity & inclusion, youth development, organizational capacity building, and strategic planning. Rooted in Oakland, CA since 2012, Be the Change Consulting was sparked by the question- who are these systems working for?!

and we got to work
our story

Sangita Kumar wanted to build a freedom space. Be inclusive and accessible. Be the change we want to see… right now

Sangita Kumar, Principal & Founder had worked in government agencies, private and public sector organizations. Every environment had something in common – employees felt unappreciated and were rarely set up for success. Invisible rules seemed to be in place and she wondered how to dismantle them. Sangita pursued a degree in organizational development to understand design thinking, trauma & somatics to discover how systemic oppression shapes people, and professional coaching to explore what motivates change.

These modalities fueled by social justice ideology are how Be the Change was born.

We’ve been actualizing these dreams with your teams, schools and organizations for 15+ years. Inviting your community to be the brightest expression of itself. To dismantle what’s not working and reach your antiracism goals. Our consulting, coaching and training sessions are designed to get you there.

Be the change you always wanted to be.

How We Work

Be the Change Consulting is the real deal. We create brave learning spaces and catalyze change.

Here’s how:

  • Our process is intentional
  • We solve problems together
  • We teach by being and doing
  • We encourage cascading leadership
  • We combine theory with practice
  • We experiment and refine ideas

Finding the right team members has been key to the success of Be the Change Consulting.

Our consultants and full-time crew bring lived experiences across race, gender, ability, body-size and immigration status. We know these diverse perspectives make a stronger, more flexible, more capable, and better able to serve our clients.

Be The Change

Staff

Amelia Lopez-Helm

Amelia Lopez-Helm

HR/Operations Manager

Amelia Lopez-Helm (she/her) is the Interim Operations Manager for Be The Change Consulting, making sure the coordination of all we do happens in flow! She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Policy (2011) and Master’s Degree in Public Policy (2012) from Mills College, Oakland. Amelia previously worked in local and state government offices and non-profit organizations developing and using her skills in project management, systems development, and communications. Amelia’s speciality is attuning to client needs and synchronizing the Be the Change to meet them. She lives in Oakland on Ohlone land.

Aminta Steinbach

Aminta Steinbach

Director of Climate, Culture, & Equity

In her 20 years working with young people, Aminta has been a Program Coordinator, Youth Leadership Instructor and Program Director. Aminta majored in Community Studies, has studied Recreational Program Design and is a Certified Self Defense Instructor. Her areas of expertise as a capacity builder include Cultural Competency, Health and Safety Awareness and Community Building. Aminta is an enthusiastic cheerleader for her coaching clients, listens attentively, pays attention to details and acts as a compassionate guide through even the most difficult transitions. Aminta has a black belt in Kung Fu, and when not working you can usually find her kicking and punching her way to a more peaceful world.

Fong Marcolongo

Fong Marcolongo

Vice President of Youth Development and Education

Fong (she/her/hers) is a bridge-builder, community capacity builder, and youth development advocate dedicated to supporting communities of color to lead their own transformations. Her expertise resides in the design/implementation of experiential human-centered learning, culturally competent youth leadership development, positive youth development trainings, experiential curriculum development and collaborative team management. She specializes in creating interactive visual frameworks for group collaboration and strategic visioning. Fong has over 15 years of working in the non-profit sector. Her passion is to support the youth development and education field to build the capacities of their leaders. Fong received her BS in Political Science and holds a Master’s in Global Affairs. When she is not working, Fong is propagating plants, stumbling on roller skates, and keeping up with her energetic 8-year old while catching moments of joy with her family.

Jae Maldonado

Jae Maldonado

Director of Business Development

Jae Maldonado is a people centric, strategic thinker, with over 15 years of demonstrated success in developing cross-sector programs that advance racial and gender equity. His unique experience as a transmasculine identified Latinx activist has enabled him to lead from the intersections of movements that center the experiences of those most impacted by institutional violence. In his role with Be The Change, Jae continues to draw from his extensive field experience to create spaces for self-care that support change agents with the physical, emotional, and mental strength to realize racial justice. Jae is a recipient of the 2017 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity and has a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Seton Hall University. In his free time Jae enjoys walking his dog snoopy and contemplating the revolution.

Lauren Martinez

Lauren Martinez

Manager of Racial Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiatives

Lauren Martinez has worn many hats in the field of education and youth development. They have specifically coached basketball for over five years for UCLA recreation department, taught chess in an after-school capacity, and now are currently working for Be the Change Consulting as their Racial Justice Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Manager both the PM for the antiracist virtual public series and a facilitator for some of the offerings. They hold a BS in Psychology and Biology and are currently pursuing two master’s degrees, a Master of Social Change and Master of Divinity at “the most progressive seminary in the United States,” Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA. Their intentions are to remind people, in particular youth of color, through spiritual embodiment practices that center a social justice healing lens of their internal power and inherent worth whilst expanding communities understanding of ways to counter oppression and live an authentic life.

Makaena Durias

Makaena Durias

Production Engineer & ZOOM Host

Makaena joins Be The Change Consulting as a part time specialist in technology platforms like ZOOM and Google Apps. In her role, she ensures BTCC client’s have a positive user experience during a training session and supports the needs of clients pre and post session. Her past experiences working at the Kindergarten Readiness Study at Oregon State and with Portland Parks & Recreation have influenced her commitment to working to improve the lives and educational opportunities of youth and individuals in underserved communities. She earned her Bachelor in Spanish and Philosophy from Oregon State University and currently lives in Corvallis, Oregon. She is also an avid writer and singer.

Sangita Kumar

Sangita Kumar

Principal & Founder

Sangita Kumar is a results-based organizational development consultant and facilitator dedicated to the empowerment of individuals and our communities. Sangita’s experience over the past 15 years ranges from coaching, professional development, strategic planning, program design, and curriculum development. Sangita holds a Masters Degree in Organizational Development, is a Certified Life Coach, and completed a two-year certification in Somatics and Trauma.

Shelley Kuang

Shelley Kuang

Manager of Consulting and Training Initiatives

Shelley Kuang is a multigenre artist and organizer. Before joining Be the Change Consulting as a Production Assistant, Shelley has worked as an educator enacting student-led college access programming, advising a youth-led dance team, and facilitating behavioral and mental health education. Later, she honed her mixed-methods data collection, analytic and production skills while working with an evaluations research firm. She received her BA in Human Development from UC San Diego. Shelley is the Alumni-in-Residence with Emerging Arts Professionals SFBA and volunteers with the Asian Prisoner Support Committee.

Be The Change

Consultants

Allison Kenny

Allison Kenny

Co-Founder Spotlight: Girls

Anayvette Martinez

Anayvette Martinez

Co- Founder & CEO of Programs and Communications Radical Monarchs

Ebony Johnson

Ebony Johnson

Trainer & Coach

Ed Center

Ed Center

Trainer & Coach

Franklin Hysten

Franklin Hysten

Founder, Blaze Consulting Group and Associate Director, On The Verge

Jenjii Hysten

Jenjii Hysten

CEO & Founder Blaze Consulting

John W. Meade, Jr.

John W. Meade, Jr.

Sr. Program Manager-Policy AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition

Lyn-Tise Jones

Lyn-Tise Jones

Director of Oceanview, Merced Heights, Ingleside Family Resource Center

Naima Porter

Naima Porter

Tech Consultant

Oscar Wolters-Duran

Oscar Wolters-Duran

Planning and Facilitation Consultant Blue Thistle Consulting

Ricardo Perez Gonzalez

Ricardo Perez Gonzalez

Trainer

Rooben Morgan

Rooben Morgan

Trainer & Coach

Russell G. Jones

Russell G. Jones

Founder Blind Spot

Serian Strauss

Serian Strauss

Trainer & Coach

you

Let’s Be the
Change Together

How does your team want to connect theory to practice?
LO

Lisette Ostrander

Director of Education at Beyond Differences

SW

Sarah Wan

Executive Director at CYC

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Priscilla Parchia

Program Manager, Expanded Learning

AM

Ay'Anna Moody

Director, Social Impact & Generation Thrive

RL

Rodd Lee

Assistant General Manager, External Affairs

EG

Erin Gutiérrez

Director of Learning & Development

AB

Ariana Bayer

Manager of Family Programs

PC

Pam Connie

JN

Jill Nielsen

FC

Felix Caraballo

PMB

P. Marcia Brown

DG

Deanna Grant-Curtis

CW

Carla Williams-Namboodiri

Profesora de Inglés y Humanidades, Escuela Bilingüe Internacional Middle School English and Humanities Teacher

MAT

Mei Ann Teo

Assoc Artistic Director, Director of New Work, Oregon Shakespeare Festival

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Anonymous

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

I am the Director of Education for Beyond Differences. I worked with Fong in the late summer/ fall of 2020. Fong coached me as I prepared to launch an educator cohort series in NYC and FL for close to 70 educators. My primary goals were to build an intentional learning community, support Read More

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Lisette Ostrander

Director of Education at Beyond Differences

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

When developing capacity for my team of 100+ staff, Be the Change Consulting is our go-to organization. Whether I need guidance for our newly hired direct service staff or non-profit veterans from our leadership team, I trust in BTCC to offer the groundwork to address all our needs. They Read More

SW

Sarah Wan

Executive Director at CYC

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

We have been using the Building Intentional Communities Curriculum for a decade now and continue to come back for more curriculum, more PD, and support. We have continued, renewed, and recommended BTCC’s services because they are exactly what our communities need. Thoughtful, communal, Read More

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Priscilla Parchia

Program Manager, Expanded Learning

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

This year we were excited to partner with Be the Change Consulting, Hellman Foundation and the Walter & Elise Haas Senior Fund to launch a virtual training series just as the pandemic hit and the shelter in place order was announced. We wanted to offer relevant and responsive training and Read More

AM

Ay'Anna Moody

Director, Social Impact & Generation Thrive

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

Dynamic…diverse…engaging…extraordinary…innovative…inclusive. Those are just a few terms that describe Be the Change Consulting.

Their team of highly skilled professionals, exceptionally led by Sangita Kumar, assisted BART with extensive outreach and in-depth engagement with Read More

RL

Rodd Lee

Assistant General Manager, External Affairs

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

Be the Change Consulting has been a key partner over the years providing training and support that tends to both content expertise and humanizing processes. The workshops are engaging, thought-provoking, and grounded in the latest academic research, and I most appreciate that their facilitators Read More

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Erin Gutiérrez

Director of Learning & Development

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

Participating in Be The Change Consulting’s Antiracism capacity building series has supported tremendous growth for me professionally through the development of an anti-racist perspective and actions, from big picture project goals and assessments all the way down to how our team opens Read More

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Ariana Bayer

Manager of Family Programs

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

Excellent and I attend a LOT of these training sessions. Well organized. Clear and courageous content.

PC

Pam Connie

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

I really appreciated the hands on skills at the end of the session.
Very engaging and extremely informed – presented material in an accessible and interesting manner.

I would recommend at least 3 hours for this training.

JN

Jill Nielsen

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

It’s a different facilitation style that you have but I can see how it works. It’s a much more human experience, rather than a student teacher discussion. I’m impressed.

Great Job.

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Felix Caraballo

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

Thank you for demonstrating your passion: Be The Change; was evident. I appreciate the copy of the PP.

PMB

P. Marcia Brown

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

I love this organization. Their curriculum is some of the best I’ve ever used! Tried and true.

DG

Deanna Grant-Curtis

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

I adapted the Lemonade activity from your Ice Breakers and Team Builders to Build Social-Emotional Skills for my advisory yesterday. Used the watering pot like a spin the bottle. After saying something they wanted to wash away from the week, they sprinkled water onto the classroom plants. I ❤ Read More

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Carla Williams-Namboodiri

Profesora de Inglés y Humanidades, Escuela Bilingüe Internacional Middle School English and Humanities Teacher

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

I am taking away the way that capitalism and racism are inextricable in causing our micro and macro aggressions against each other. I’m sitting deeply with how the sense of urgency stems from perfectionism and also how it perpetuates how we treat each other as cogs in the wheel instead of Read More

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Mei Ann Teo

Assoc Artistic Director, Director of New Work, Oregon Shakespeare Festival

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

Appreciate y’all Aminta & Thomas! I wish we could combine our collective superpowers in facilitating.

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Anonymous

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

It was really helpful to have to say the actual words. Because it highlighted an issue that could have easily been glossed over- Thank you group.

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Anonymous

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

Thank you all for an amazing learning experience.

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Anonymous

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

Thank you so much. These strategies are really helpful and actionable!!

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Anonymous

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

Thank you for this extremely enriching experience!

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Anonymous

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

Thank you for a great session. This has been really informative and helpful.

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Anonymous

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

Thanks y’all. I am leading a capacity building cohort of 49 orgs. I am definitely going to share your info with them and explore with the foundation partners funding options for this work. Thank you!!!!! Love all of it 🙂

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Anonymous

What Folx SayWhat folx (people of all genders) say about our work:

Facilitating techniques are great. They are great!

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Anonymous

From The Blog
How To Support Racial Equity in the Workplace
How To Support Racial Equity in the Workplace

The recent racial justice movement in our country gave particular light to injustices caused to black, brown and indigenous communities.  This gave rise to organizations everywhere asking themselves – are we racially inclusive?  Where do our workplace practices create disproportionate stress on my non-white staff?  To help organizations reflect on these questions, we launched our Becoming an Antiracist Organization initiative.

read more
What’s Behind Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Work?
What’s Behind Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Work?

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) work begins by acknowledging different types of diversity, and what causes the difference. Most of our Becoming an Antiracist Organization trainings begin with our trainers introducing ourselves by sharing a way that we have been perceived as “different” or “diverse” from the dominant culture.

read more

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2744 E 11th St, Suite A1
Oakland, CA 94601
510.985.4152

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