Center Honors Three Bay Area-based Heroes and Innovators at 15th Anniversary Gala

For Immediate Release: 7/18/2011
Contact: Abel Habtegeorgis
Media Relations Manager
(510) 428-3939 x232

The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights hosts 15th anniversary ceremony in Oakland featuring live music, food and special guests

Oakland, CA- The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights will host the 2011 Ella Awards on Thursday, September 22, 2011. 6:00 - 9:30 PM at the Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakland.

“This year, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights celebrates 15 years of people-powered change that has built community strength, developed leaders, and secured victories for people of color and low-income communities across California,” said Ella Baker Center Executive Director Jakada Imani, “We invite you to join us in honoring the triumphs of the Center and inspiring leaders who bring hope and justice to our world.”

The famed social justice institution will honor three Bay Area innovators:

Favianna Rodriguez, President, TUMIS, and Interim Executive Director,

Favianna Rodriguez is a celebrated printmaker and digital artist who uses art to spark civic engagement and social change. She has co-founded incredible groups such as, the Taller Tupac Amaru printing studio, EastSide Arts Alliance (ESAA), and Tumis Design Studio. Favianna continues the long legacy of leaders who use art to fuel grassroots activism.

Akaya Windwood, President, Rockwood Leadership institute

Akaya Windwood is the President of the Rockwood Leadership Institute, a nonprofit with the simple goal of changing the world by helping (through leadership development) the people who want to change the world. At the age of 7, she was one of two African American kids sent to desegregate a previously all-white school in Southern California.

Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)

APEN seeks to empower low-income Asian Pacific Islander (API) communities to achieve environmental and social justice. APEN is a champion of Asian community health, leadership, and political strength.

The 2011 Ellas also include the presentation of the Van Jones Scholarship Award to a young community member who demonstrates an unrelenting commitment to social justice with plans to continue his/her education. This year’s receipient is Joaquin Diaz DeLeon.

To purchase tickets online visit


The Ella Baker Center is named for an unsung hero of the civil rights movement who inspired and guided emerging leaders. We build on her legacy by giving people opportunities and skills to work together to strengthen our communities so that all of us can thrive.

For interviews with the awardees, Ella Baker Center staff, or gala hosts, and to RSVP as media at the event please contact: Abel Habtegeorgis,  510-285-8232.