Our Team

Is What Liberation Looks Like

about us

Let’s honor where
we came from

Be the Change Consulting is a women of color owned and operated company.

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 & Tanya wanted to build an organization that doesn’t replicate dominant culture.  As leaders, they live into the change they always wanted to be. 

Sangita Kumar, Principal & Founder had worked in social services, government agencies, corporations, nonprofits and a financial firm. Every environment had something in common- folx were not feeling appreciated or set up for success. Invisible rules seemed to be in place and she wondered how to dismantle them. Sangita then studied organizational development to understand design thinking, trauma & somatics to discover how oppression shapes people, and professional coaching to learn what motivates change. 

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

Tanya Mayo, Owner & Strategic Growth had lived deeply in the world of art & activism with young people. She’d travelled with them internationally, mentored their entrepreneurship and led them to believe in their highest expression of self through artistic rigor. Working with young people in this way was nothing less than life changing. Tanya’s passion for youth development is how Be the Change became experts in crafting tools for learning & growth. 

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.

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
We’ve been living into these values with your teams, schools and organizations for 15+ years. We know your community wants to be the brightest expression of itself. We know you want to dismantle what’s not working. We know you want equitable, diverse communities that are living into your antiracism goals. Our consulting, coaching and training sessions are designed to get you there.
Be The Change

Consultants, Coaches and Crew

Sangita Kumar

Sangita Kumar

Principal & Founder

Sangita Kumar (she/her) is the design architect behind our “Becoming an Antiracist Organization” series. She is a results-based organizational development consultant. Her expert facilitation is dedicated to the empowerment of individuals and our communities. Sangita’s experience over 15+ years includes 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. She is learning to ride her electric bike around Oakland on Ohlone land.

Aminta Steinbach

Aminta Steinbach

Director of Climate, Culture, & Equity

Aminta Steinbach (she/her) infuses her expertise in shaping climate, culture & equity practices across all our offerings at Be the Change, where she’s been a leader for 8+ years. In her previous 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 Responsiveness, Health and Safety Awareness and Community Building. 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. She lives in Berkeley on Ohlone land.

Lauren Martinez

Lauren Martinez

Manager of Special Initiatives

Lauren Martinez (they/them) makes every event we host pop with music for the movement! As Manager of Special Initiatives across all our offerings, Lauren’s presence makes everything move smoothly and with care. They are currently pursuing both a Master’s of Social Change and Master of Divinity at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA- known for being the “most progressive school in the United States.” With a background in Education and Youth Development, Lauren is dedicated to standing with youth of color through spiritual embodiment and a social justice healing lens. They live in Berkeley on Ohlone land.

Naima Porter

Naima Porter

ZOOM Host

Naima Porter (she/her) is a multi-disciplinary artist, gardener and ZOOM host extraordinaire! Originally an art student from Los Angeles, Naima has studied photography at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City for the past two years. When Naima decided to take a leave of absence from school (due to Covid-19) she was thrilled to join the Be the Change Team, offering her creativity and connection skills to our brave learning spaces. Naima lives in New York City on Lenape land.
Tanya Mayo

Tanya Mayo

Owner & Business Growth

Tanya Mayo (she/her) is the Chief Operating Officer at Be the Change Consulting. She’s the former Director of Capacity Building at San Francisco’s Department of Children, Youth and their Families. A certified professional coach, she draws from her vast experience in training, non-profit systems, and youth development to develop capacity-building pathways. Tanya has a rich background in multicultural education and art with 10+ years of teaching experience, deep-rooted work with diverse populations, and knowledge in organizational capacity-building. Her skills include strategic planning, program development, staff development, board retention, and fundraising. Tanya raises her brilliant kids in Oakland, CA on Ohlone land.

Jae Maldonado

Jae Maldonado

Director of Business Development

Jae Maldonado (he/him) is the brand new Director of Business Development at Be the Change! This people centric, strategic thinker, has 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. 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. He can be found contemplating the revolution in Oakland on Ohlone land.
Typography
Shelley Kuang

Shelley Kuang

Production Engineer

Shelley Kuang (she/they) is a multi genre artist and organizer, bringing her uniquely creative lens to every Zoom Room she hosts! 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. She lives in Oakland on Ohlone land.

Corey Hollis

Corey Hollis

ZOOM Host

Corey Hollis (he/him) is a brand new member of the Be the Change Team and we are thrilled to have him. As a first-generation college graduate, Corey studied at the University of California Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree majoring in African American studies and a minor in Theatre Dance and Performing Arts. Before Corey’s pursuit in education, he was a United States Marine as an automotive mechanic and U.S. Embassy guard. When Corey is not Zoom Hosting in service of changing toxic systems, he finds comfort in journaling, reading, exercise, prayer, and discovering new self-massage techniques in Oakland on Ohlone land.
Fong Marcolongo

Fong Marcolongo

Director of Training and Capacity Building

Fong Marcolongo (she/her) is the design architect and lead trainer behind our “Becoming an Antiracist Youth Development Organization ” modules. She has 10+ years experience and expertise working in the non-profit sector, where she served as a direct line staff, Site Coordinator, Program Director, and Curriculum Developer. Her speciality lies in creating interactive visual frameworks and graphic facilitation for group collaboration and strategic visioning. She studied Global Affairs at the University of San Francisco and now lives in San Francisco on Ohlone land.
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.

Makaena Durias

Makaena Durias

Production Engineer & ZOOM Host

Makaena Durias (she/her) lights up Be The Change Consulting as a specialist in technology platforms like ZOOM and Google Apps. She ensures BTCC client’s have a positive user experience during a training session and supports the needs of clients pre and post session. She earned her Bachelor in Spanish and Philosophy from Oregon State University and is an avid writer and singer as well! She brings her past experience working at the Kindergarten Readiness Study at Oregon State and Portland Parks & Recreation. This youth development work has influenced her commitment to social justice and community work. Makaena lives in Corvallis, Oregon on Chinook land.
Viridiana Castro Silva

Viridiana Castro Silva

Production Engineer

Viridiana Castro Silva (she/her) brings her exceptional gifts in writing, time management, and communication to support the team and special projects at Be The Change. She earned her bachelors at CSU, Sacramento majoring in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Multicultural Studies. Viridiana is now working on her Master of Teaching and Multiple Subject Credential at the University of California, Berkeley. She is passionate about student organizing and hopes to continue organizing with other antiracist educators. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and exploring the outdoors. Viridiana lives in Sacramento on Nissenan land.
Be The Change

Consulting Associates

 Ed Center

Ed Center

Trainer & Coach

Ed Center (he/him) is a lead trainer and consultant in our “Becoming an Antiracist Youth Development Organization” series. His passion is ending poverty through education and equity. For 15+ years, Ed has excelled in partnership development, guiding teams through change and growth, and supporting multi-faceted groups to focus on equity. His expertise lies in helping organizations move from planning to action, and facilitating difficult conversations. He plays and coaches soccer, is obsessive about watching raptor birds in the wild, and hosts an annual Spam cookoff competition. He lives with his husband and two sons in San Francisco on Ohlone land.
Jenjii Hysten

Jenjii Hysten

Trainer & Coach

Jenjii Hysten (she/her) is lead trainer in our Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion work. She is an advocate, teacher, student, facilitator and a voice for the voiceless. In her 15+ years Jenjii has served as a Program Director, Executive Director, Dean of Students, and Curriculum Designer. Jenjii holds a BA in Interdisciplinary-Studies-Urban Economic Development (UCB), is an Ordained Reverend, holds a Compass point ED certificate and is currently pursuing certification as a Professional Coach. She utilizes the power of metaphor to connect program challenges and theoretical frameworks. You can find Jenjii cooking good food for her sons in San Leandro on Ohlone land.
Allison Kenny

Allison Kenny

Trainer & Coach

Allison Kenny (she/her) is a trainer & coach inside our “Becoming an Antiracist Organization” series. A founding Member of Oakland Freedom Theater, she uses her 15+ years experience in storytelling to deepen racial healing, empathy, and antiracism work with businesses and nonprofits. Along with her wife, Lynn Johnson, Allison also Co-Founded Spotlight: Girls, a “Best for the World” certified B Corp and producer of the award-winning, Go Girls! Camp. Allison is an actor, celebrated writer and soon-to-be certified Coach calling in white women to do better with our power & privilege. These days, she can be found walking along the Rio Grande in Albuquerque, NM on Pueblo land.
Serian Strauss

Serian Strauss

Trainer & Coach

Serian Strauss (she/her) is a coach & trainer inside all things equity and youth development at Be the Change. Over the past 20+ years, Serian has honed her facilitation skills in multiple industries with a focus on equity, social justice and team building. As a Coach, Facilitator and former classroom teacher, her passion lies in creating sustainable culture shifts that lead to connection and overall joy. Serian has a Masters in Education UC Berkeley, is a Certified Life Coach, and the Co-Director of the Self Defense program at Hand to Hand Kajukenbo Self Defense Center. When she is not brainstorming new ways to engage in difficult dialogue, Serian is gardening and trying new recipes in Oakland on Ohlone land.
Rooben Morgan

Rooben Morgan

Trainer & Coach

Rooben Morgan (he/him) is a trainer & coach across all of our offerings at Be the Change. Rooben is a seasoned after-school educator, trainer, and coach with a home, jobs, and friends in the Bay Area. He has worked on curriculum building, namely for afterschool spaces to focus on SEL and individualized learning. He is also a fervent advocate of collective bargaining for afterschool staff, so they can rightfully receive appropriate wages, proper training, and fair representation. When not trying to impress no one with his non-existent dancing skills, he can be seen wandering amongst the woods, wearing a contemplative look, just breathing. Rooben lives in San Francisco on Ohlone land.
Lyn-Tise Jones

Lyn-Tise Jones

Trainer & Coach

Lyn-Tise Jones (she/her) is a coach & diversity consultant, bringing her valuable perspective on racial equity training. She is a proud, third-generation resident of San Francisco, California’s Bayview Hunters Point district where she serves her community as the Director of Oceanview, Merced Heights, Ingleside Family Resource Center. She’s a seasoned Program Director and exceptional community leader, dedicated to the advancement of access and equity for underserved communities. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology & Mass Communications and Master of Arts degree in Leadership from Fisk University. Her creativity, passion and ability to lead, motivate, and engage sets her apart. Lyn-Tise Jones lives in San Francisco on Ohlone land.
Anayvette Martinez

Anayvette Martinez

Trainer & Coach

Anayvette Martinez (she/her) is a coach & trainer inside our Becoming an Antiracist Organization series. She is the Co-founder and CEO of Programs & Communications of the Radical Monarchs, a San Francisco native and child of Central American immigrants. Anayvette’s varied interests in advocacy, community organizing and empowerment led her to pursue her undergraduate degree at the University of California Los Angeles and later, her Master’s degree at San Francisco State University in Ethnic Studies. With 15+ years experience making change, Anayvette lives and loves with her two children in East Oakland on Ohlone land.
Franklin Hysten

Franklin Hysten

Trainer & Coach

Franklin Hysten (he/him) is a lead trainer in our Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion work. His high-level work deepens our organizational consulting portfolio, including program design, logic modeling, and strategic planning for organizations state-wide. With 18+ years of experience in the field, Franklin is committed to creating transformative experiences that strengthen youth and their communities. His strong background in youth development has afforded him the opportunity to train and coach emerging nonprofit professionals and share best practices with staff, managers and funders. Franklin lives in San Leandro on Ohlone land.
Russell G. Jones

Russell G. Jones

Trainer & Coach

Russell G. Jones (he/him) is a lead trainer in our “Becoming an Antiracist Organization” series. He’s a youth development expert, equity consultant, and an Audelco, Obie and SAG Award winning actor to boot! He is the founder of BLIND SPOT, a campaign that facilitates cross-cultural dialogue and critical thinking so more of us can recognize and resist both internalized and systemic racial oppression. Most recently he was a series regular opposite Edie Falco in CBS’ Tommy. In his 20+ years in the NY Tri-State area, he has also served as a director, facilitator, moderator, and teaching artist creating multiple programs, workshops, and curriculum. Russell lives in New York City on Lenape land.
Ricardo Perez Gonzalez

Ricardo Perez Gonzalez

Trainer & Coach

Ricardo Perez Gonzalez (he/him/she/her) is a new coach & trainer inside our “Becoming an Antiracist Organization” series. As an improvisational actor, award-winning playwright, tv writer for Netflix and equity consultant, Ricardo tells untold stories in service of racial healing. He brings humor, play and fierce passion to social justice work and splits his time between his stoop garden in NYC and his window garden in LA. Find him engaged in sparkling cocktail conversation with his cat and partner in Los Angeles on Tongva Land.
Oscar Wolters-Duran

Oscar Wolters-Duran

Trainer & Coach

Oscar Wolters-Duran (he/him) is a trainer & coach for our specialty projects at Be the Change. Oscar’s vision as a capacity builder is to listen, understand and help build amazing youth-centered afterschool programs. Over 20+ years, Oscar has been an Executive Director, Curriculum Designer, Coach and Trainer. He holds a BA in History from UC Berkeley. Oscar draws on his experiences as a bi-racial immigrant from Mexico and English language learner to champion social justice values and equitable program design. Oscar has been training in Capoeira for 10+ years, and wrote a children’s book called Marina’s Capoeira Countdown. He lives in Orinda on Iroquois land.
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

DW

Daphne Wong-Ha

Program Director at CYC

PP

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

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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

LO

Lisette Ostrander

Director of Education at Beyond Differences

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

My name is Daphne Wong-Ha and I am one of the Program Directors at CYC working with our Youth Leadership Development Component as well as the agency’s staff development. I’m very familiar with BTCC’s work and have attended their trainings from the very start of my work at CYC. Read More

DW

Daphne Wong-Ha

Program 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

PP

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

AB

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:

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.

A

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

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