About Ella's Voice

Ella’s Voice is the blog of the Ella Baker Center and strives to be an online community of political commentary, inspiring news, and social change action. Our blog includes articles by members of the Ella Baker Center staff as well as guest posts from allies and members.

To learn more about Ella’s Voice or to inquire about submitting an article, contact our Editors.

Commenting Guidelines

We warmly welcome comments, questions, and dialogue about the articles on Ella’s Voice. However, Ella’s Voice is moderated and we will not post comments that contain offensive language, blatant personal attacks, or that are spam. Please note, as well, that opinions expressed in blog comments are those of the persons submitting the comments, and don’t necessarily represent the views of the Ella Baker Center.

Ella’s Voice Editorial Board

Editorial Board members, from left: Suzanne Vyborney, Owen Thompson, Caitlin Seandel, Nikki Howell, Uriah Herbert, Memo Gracia Duarte.

The Ella’s Voice Editorial Board is a community-driven group of volunteers who are key to the success of our blog. As ambassadors between the community and Ella’s Voice, Editorial Board members generate content and support promotion and outreach for Ella’s Voice. Learn more and apply. Meet our current Editorial Board:

Nisha Balaram

Nisha Balaram is a passionate writer, researcher, and advocate for social justice. For eight years, she has been heavily involved with high school debate teams as a policy judge and teacher, in a statewide effort to engage local communities in political issues. In 2011, Nisha graduated from UC Berkeley in Sociology and Interdisciplinary Field Studies, and wrote two honors theses on immigration reform. A recipient of the Cal Alumni Leadership Scholarship and the National Forensic League's Scholarship of Distinction, she has always valued creative communication methods as a means to unite communities. Currently, she works as a Policy Coordinator and Outreach Intern for the Greenlining Institute, a public policy non-profit working to improve the lives of low-income communities and communities of color.

Memo Gracia Duarte

Memo Gracia Duarte is an all-around writer who has been fortunate enough to experience life in rural, urban and suburban communities in both Mexico and the United States. He loves horses and is passionate about the Mexican American equestrian tradition of Charrería. Contact him at memo@charrousa.com.

Uriah Herbert

Uriah Herbert is a social practice artist and writer from Chicago recently transplanted to the Bay. In Chicago, Uriah was attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and pursuing a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts with an Emphasis in Writing. Uriah’s art practice mostly focuses on food systems and justice, the inequalities surrounding our current food infrastructures, the healing power of food and its effect on communities. As an activist, Uriah is invested in the eradication of white supremacy and dedicated to anti-racist struggles. Uriah is incredibly interested in the intersections of food justice, liberation movements and prison and work abolitionism and the ways in which they can fight systemic oppressions.

Nikki Howell

Nikki Howell is passionate about community organizing and issues of social justice. Not one to stand by and simply watch the world change without any input from those affected by change, Nikki enjoys working with community members to discuss key issues, develop solutions, and spark action. She thrives off of connecting with people and empowering them to have a sense of ownership in their community and to help them to have a voice that is recognized. Since graduating with her Master's in Social Welfare from UCLA in 2012, Nikki has returned to her hometown of Oakland and works at Big Brothers Big Sisters fostering caring friendships between kids and their mentors. In addition, she often engages in her community through various weekend service projects.

Caitlin Seandel

Caitlin Seandel is a recent graduate from the International Security and Conflict Resolution and Women’s Studies programs at San Diego State University. Caitlin found her passion in human rights as she started involving herself on campus. After joining the Association of Chicana Activists (A.Ch.A), her human/civil rights work really began. As an ally to students of color, she worked within her own organization and others to fight for the local student guarantee and to resist increasing state budget cuts to education. Caitlin has organized public demonstrations as well as represented A.Ch.A in student government to protect and expand human rights. After graduation, she moved back home to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she now hopes to expand her knowledge and networks by spreading awareness of pressing local and international human rights issues.

Owen Thompson

Owen Thompson came to the Bay Area from the great city of Chicago, with a long layover in Upstate New York. He has been a legal advocate for farm workers in New York and low-income people in the East Bay, with a focus on workers', immigrants', and consumers' rights. He currently lives in Berkeley and works at a consumers' rights law firm in San Francisco. In his spare time, Owen reads books about urban planning, the Mexican Revolution, and the Spanish Civil War. Ask him about these topics at your own risk.

Suzanne Vyborney

Suzanne Vyborney is a proud Oakland resident who enjoys doing grassroots social justice organizing work whenever she's not doing yoga or cooking.