Alana graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a BA in Sociology, and a Masters degree in Social Work from CSU East Bay. While pursuing her Masters she served as the Chair of the Social Work Graduate Association organizing fundraisers, providing education to fellow students and doing community outreach. In her 12 years as a social worker, Alana has worked in group homes with teenage boys, infants with Autism, developmentally disabled adults, and a wide range of other disenfranchised populations. Most recently, she was an intern with Alameda County Children and Family Services as an Emergency Response child welfare worker, as well as with Safe Passages doing school social work in East Oakland.
She is currently working with Marin County Children and Family Services as a Supervisor overseeing child welfare workers who conduct emergency investigations, provide ongoing services to families, and provide adoptions services. She is an active participant in the Marin County coalition fighting the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC), specifically working to provide services to victims and collaborate with other agencies to educate the community about how to help this population. Alana is also registered as an Associate Clinical Social Worker and member of the National Association of Social Workers.
Ray Casarez, MSW
Ray Casarez grew up in Union City, CA. He was raised by his grandparents and mother who was involved in a very physically and emotionally abusive relationship with his father until age 12. After his father left the picture, Ray began to be very involved with music and playing guitar in middle school after buying his first Rock CD and quickly developed a passion for what it meant to be a musician. After high school, Ray continued playing in a touring band that has traveled from coast to coast multiple times as well as putting out a CD release under a record label for international distribution.
Several years after High School, Ray was offered a job at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office in Oakland, CA in 2008. Upon being hired, he served as a file clerk to the attorney staff in the records and archives division. Mr. Casarez was also sent down to Los Angeles for 2 weeks to assist as a witness transportation escort for the trial of People v. Johannes Mehserle for the 2009 shooting case of Oscar Grant. Ray currently works in the Investigative Division of the District Attorney’s Office, assisting the DA Inspector’s with court subpoena preparation and service, as well as helping direct incoming clientele with connection to prosecutors, victim resources, and case results.
Ray met Devon Gaster while completing his Domestic Violence Counselor Certification course and immediately reached out in showing interest with helping expand the organization. Ray enjoys spending his free time working out and producing music in his home studio.
Emma Craig graduated from Clark University with a BA in International Development & Social Change and a minor in Entrepreneurship. As a student she served as president of the anti-genocide coalition on campus and as an ambassador for the Admissions Program. She also had the honor to study and intern at Primeros Pasos, a comprehensive health clinic in Xela, Guatemala and in Accra, Ghana, where she conducted research on the gap between pediatric health care and the orphanage system in Accra, Ghana.
During her time in Massachusetts, she held a Rape Crisis Counselor Certificate and Domestic Violence Counselor Certificate, spending one year working as a domestic violence counselor and four years as a rape crisis counselor in hospital settings. Through her roles as a student, intern and advocate, she has served in crisis intervention, individual counseling, facilitating support groups, community networking and health education.
Emma is currently working as a writer. She also facilitates women’s groups, arts workshops and is self publishing an illustrated dating empowerment book, Dating Between the Lines, due to be released November, 2016. In her leisure time Emma loves to dance, write poetry and explore the beautiful city of Oakland.
Ellen Dahlke is an educator with experience teaching in public middle school and high school, jail and prisons, and undergraduate and graduate settings. Her research focuses on language and literacy and the ways that they intersect with identity and power.
Raised in the suburbs of Chicago in a large, Irish Catholic family, Ellen went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earning a BA in English and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction.
Upon moving to the Bay four years ago, Ellen started volunteering for an education program at San Quentin State Prison and is currently working with men incarcerated there to develop the first teacher credentialing program in a carceral setting.
Aside from work and volunteering, Ellen likes to write, make and experience art, and spend time (even if it’s just FaceTime!) with her niece and nephews.
Michael Long has a background in design thinking and is a leader in improving how people interact through technology. Michael believes in applying his background to address significant societal challenges.
At an early age, Michael witnessed violence in his own home. These childhood memories have made a significant, long-term impact on him and his family. Michael has since dedicated his pro bono capacity to support nonprofits focused on violence prevention and survivor advocacy. He believes that if we can promote non-violence at home, we can prevent violence on a global scale.
Michael is a practicing yogi, meditator, and an avid trail runner.