Supporting equity for all families and children.

headers-about

Staff

Our Family Coalition

Judy Appel

Judy Appel

Executive Director
Staff

Judy Appel became the Executive Director of Our Family Coalition in 2005 and has led the organization through a vibrant period of expansion. Judy has been a leader in bringing the voice and perspective of LGBTQ families to advocate for LGBTQ inclusion and equality. Prior to joining OFC, Judy worked as the Director of Legal Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, a national, non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the harm caused by drugs and drug policies. Prior to that, Judy founded the Civil Rights Legal Division of the Coalition on Homelessness in San Francisco and then worked at Chapman, Popik & White LLP as a litigator. Judy was elected to the Berkeley Unified School District Board of Education in 2012, where she is currently serving as Vice President of the Board, where she advocates for educational equity for all students. Judy has served on many boards of directors and public committees, including the steering committees of the CA LGBT Health and Human Services Network and the National Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Campaign’s Welcoming Schools National Advisory Council, and the boards of directors of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, the National Lawyers Guild, Media Alliance, and the Coalition on Homelessness. She also served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors' Sunshine Ordinance Task Force. Judy received her JD from UC Hastings College of Law and her Masters in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley. Judy lives in Berkeley with Alison, her partner of twenty-two years and their two children, ages sixteen and thirteen.

Yusni Bakar

Yusni Bakar

Family Programs Coordinator
Staff

 

Yusni has more than a decade of professional administrative experiences and extensive program support skills. This knowledge equips her with a multitude of skills in developing and coordinating programs for LGBTQ families, their allies, and others from diverse ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds.

Yusni is a natural in event management. Her enthusiastic personality, vision, and passion, along with flawless precision and attention to detail has helped contribute to the success of every Our Family Coalition event and the organization’s commitment to excellence. She cultivates relationships with families, provides parents with tools to advocate on behalf of their children and families, and supports strong parent leadership within the organization. She also represents Our Family Coalition in the community and at various venues including meetings, interagency collaborations, and media. Yusni founded Family Now, a family group supporting LGBTQ families and allies in Berkeley. She serves as the VP of LGBTQ Affairs on the PTA Executive Board at her son’s school.

 Yusni holds a BA in Business Communications, Public Relations and is in the process of completing her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. She resides in Berkeley with her family and their cat Frederic. When she’s not planning fabulous LGBTQ family events, she enjoys singing, reading, traveling, inventing new recipes, and playing Tetris, while remaining dedicated to her son’s school and several local community organizations.

Naomi Bardoff

Naomi Bardoff

Design and Communications Coordinator
Staff

Naomi has been working as a graphic designer in various capacities since middle school. She graduated from Bard College in 2010 with a BA in Studio Arts. Since then, she has attended classes and workshops in graphic design and illustration at the California College of the Arts and the UC Berkeley Extension. Naomi has worked at Our Family Coalition since 2013, coordinating and designing promotional materials, building and scheduling emails, creating the bimonthly e-newsletter, editing the print newsletter, managing the organization's social media presence, and more. She is always looking to new ways to expand OFC’s digital and web-based resources. She lives in Oakland with her boyfriend Avery and their dog Luna, where she draws animals, works on her illustration portfolio, and experiments with vegan cooking.

Shareena C. Clark

Shareena C. Clark

Family Programs Coordinator
Staff

Shareena C. Clark is joining Our Family for her fifteenth year of service in the world of non-profit enrichment programming and community engagement. She brings with her the resourcefulness of CBO veteran (well, a baby veteran), and the optimism of a person who sees the world-altering potential in any community devoted to systems change.

Shareena earned her BA in English from California State University San Bernardino, her MFA in Fiction from Mills College and is fervently pursuing her PhD in Anthropology and Social Change at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Shareena enjoys reading, watching films, picking things up off the sand at the beach, Aikido, the 1990’s, sneakers, comics, cartoons, all things Hip Hop and thinks Oscar Wilde was right when he said, “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.”   

Tarah Fleming

Tarah Fleming

Education Director
Staff

Tarah Fleming is the Director of Education, supporting the Welcoming and Inclusive Schools Program. The Schools Team at OFC works with families, teachers, administrators, and other child-serving professionals to create more inclusive and respectful learning environments for all children. We train educators to teach lessons that address family diversity, gender stereotypes, and anti-bullying strategies, specifically those that break down anti-gay bias.

 

Tarah is also the West Coast Regional Consultant for Welcoming Schools, a comprehensive approach to improve elementary-school climate through tools and resources for educators. Ms. Fleming has over twenty years of experience in the classroom internationally and locally as an educator and facilitator of dialog on cultural responsiveness, anti-bias education, issues of power and privilege, and developing equitable and inclusive curriculum for all ages. After living internationally for almost a decade, she received her MA in International and Multicultural Education from the University of San Francisco. She spent five years as the Executive Director for iPride, an organization dedicated to mixed-heritage families. Ms. Fleming also developed and co-directed the Youth Action Project, which exists within the White Privilege Conference, one of the most progressive racial justice movements in the U.S. Tarah is a fierce ally and the mother of a ten-year-old son. Her family has lived on Northern Californian land for five generations.

Kay Gordon

Kay Gordon

Programs and Policy Associate
Staff

As part of Our Family Coalition's Family Programs team, Kay conceptualizes, plans, and staffs family events, including support groups, workshops, community-building events, youth programming, and playgroups. Kay also works with the Policy team, tracking bills, drafting policy briefs, and representing OFC on coalition calls about issues impacting LGBTQ families.

 

They started at Our Family Coalition in January 2013 as the East Bay Programs Intern through UC Berkeley's Gender Equity Resource Center. Their bachelor's degree in Society and Environment allowed them to study how social and political power interact with gender, sexuality, race, and class. They have served as the Volunteer Coordinator for the San Francisco LGBTQ Speakers Bureau; a personal attendant to people with disabilities; the Theme Coordinator for Oscar Wilde LGBTQ Cooperative; a board member for secular community group Sunday Assembly East Bay; and a part-time jack of all trades around the OFC office. 

 

Kay lives in Berkeley and enjoys singing, chatting with their long-distance girlfriend, dancing, and drumming in BoomShake's drum corps for women and trans folks.

Jennifer Grant

Jennifer Grant

Operations Manager
Staff

Jennifer Grant, Operations Manager, is the nuts and bolts of the organization. From accounting to human resources, editing to restocking supplies, scheduling to correspondence, she keeps everything flowing smoothly. Jennifer joined OFC in November 2011, bringing 25+ years of experience in non-profit program management. Her expertise is in the field of domestic violence, specifically serving the LGBTQ community. Jennifer is the recipient of the Isabel Cerna/Del Martin Award for Individual Activism in Domestic Violence and has presented nationally on Transgender Women in Battered Women's Shelters and Woman-to-Woman Battering. She has worked at domestic violence agencies across the Bay Area, most recently managing the emergency shelters at La Casa de las Madres and the Riley Center. She received a Masters of Social Work from San Francisco State University and a B.A. in Public Policy from Stanford University. Jennifer and her wife, Carol, live in San Francisco and are trying to survive the teen years with their twins, Sam and Ruby.

Allen Johnson

Allen Johnson

Donor Engagement Associate
Staff

As the Donor Engagement Associate, Allen strives to expand our impact and seek various forms of financial and physical support for Our Families. Allen graduated from CSU East Bay with a major in English and a minor in Ethnic Studies. Prior to joining Our Family Coalition, he has worked in various capacities managing volunteers, developing programs and events for entertainment, education and critical dialogue, and organizing actions in East Bay communities. He enjoys anything James Baldwin, is a strict vegetarian, and will talk your ear off with immense love for the Bay Area (particularly Oakland). He seeks to enact change and work to create an equitable society where all people have the tools and resources to be empowered in their identities.

Renata Moreira-Bilella

Renata Moreira-Bilella

Policy and Communications Director
Staff

Renata has more than 17 years of experience with educational and non-profit organizations working to advance the issues of low income, immigrant, and LGBTQ people through trainings, voter mobilization, community engagement, and advocacy campaigns. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the California Immigrant Policy Institute and is a thought partner to many interfaith initiatives throughout the U.S. aiming to advance inclusion and equity for LGBTQ-headed families. She has served as a member of the SF Human Rights Commission LGBTQ Advisory Committee, and co-chaired the state-wide Breakthrough Coalition with the goal of expanding LGBTQ acceptance throughout California. Prior to joining OFC, Renata directed a Women's Center, served on the Board of the LGBTQ Pride Center of Northern NJ, and led public education campaigns on sexual assault/DV prevention, and economic justice issues. She also served as VP of Community Relations for Hudson Diversity Action Council and continues to offer strategic planning consulting services to public and private organizations that are committed to advancing equity for LGBTQ and people of color. She is a skilled mediator and passionate proponent of heart-centered leadership. Renata has taught sexuality and gender studies courses at NJ City University, Hunter College, and Montclair State University. She holds a cum laude B.A in Political Science and an M.A. in Gender Studies from the City University of New York. She had a pleasure of serving OFC as Acting Executive Director during the summer of 2015 and was selected as a 2015-2016 Changemaker Fellow for the new Certificate of Spirituality and Social Change at the Pacific School of Religion. Renata lives in Oakland with her wife Lori and wonder dog Petey. She was born and raised in Brasilia, Brazil.

Rick Oculto

Rick Oculto

Education Coordinator
Staff

As the Education Coordinator, Rick collaborates with educators and school administrators to implement Welcoming Schools to create safe and LGBTQ-inclusive elementary schools. Rick provides training and support focusing on the recognition and celebration of all families, challenging gender stereotypes, and addressing name-calling and anti-LGBTQ bias and harassment in schools. Formerly the Youth Service Coordinator at Billy DeFrank LGBT Center in San José, Rick developed programs that addressed LGBT youth issues and created the first transgender youth support group in the area. An accomplished speaker and presenter, Rick has conducted trainings for hundreds of students, educators, and youth workers focusing on diversity, harassment, gender stereotypes, and other LGBT issues. Rick holds a dual B.A. degree in Psychology and Spanish from Seattle University in Washington and a Master of Arts Degree in Social Welfare at UC Berkeley specializing in management and planning. Currently, he sits on the board of Streetside Stories, a youth-focused, media arts literacy organization in San Francisco. Additionally, he coordinates volunteer events for SF Gaymers, a social group that recognizes diversity within the gaming community and creates safe spaces for LGBT individuals to game with one another. Rick lives and games in San Francisco and frequently visits his family in the South Bay.

Polly Pagenhart

Polly Pagenhart

Family Programs Director
Staff

Polly brings more than fifteen years’ experience as a writer, teacher, public speaker, editor, educational program administrator, and small group facilitator to her work at OFC. Across all this work—whether with outreach or undergraduate educational programs at UC Berkeley, or in social media conference programming at BlogHer—she has been concerned with strengthening understanding across barriers of social difference with connection, education, and mutual support. She’s been an active and appreciative  member of OFC since early in her parenthood, which began in 2004 with her and her partner’s first child. In 2007 their second child was born, by which time she knew that parenting was handily her most valuable life teacher and journey. Work at OFC is a combination of a lifelong mission and an act of grace (which she does not consider a coincidence, since the OFC offices are at Mission and Grace Streets in the city).

Jessica Sanchez

Jessica Sanchez

Operations Associate
Staff

Jessica graduated from Wellesley College in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Africana Studies. Since then she has studied Early Childhood Education at the graduate level and enjoys providing childcare at OFC events. She began working at OFC as a summer intern for our Education Team and has now transitioned onto staff as the Operations Associate. In her free time, Jessica enjoys house sitting and pet sitting for friends and family throughout the Bay Area.

sign

Connect with
Our Families!

Joining the community is free, easy, ensures you'll be the first to know about our great programs, and makes it easy to register you and your family for events.