OLAS is very fortunate to benefit from the extensive personal and professional experience of the following members of our Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee meets periodically throughout the year to discuss the progress of OLAS and offer suggestions for future growth and improvement.
Abigail Rich: Abigail is an attorney interested in the intersection of immigration legal services and mental healthcare for survivors of trauma. She is currently a Liman Fellow at East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, where she primarily represents asylum seekers escaping gender-based violence and anti-LGBTQ persecution. She previously worked with immigrants and refugees at Greater Boston Legal Services, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School, where she earned a JD. Abigail received her undergraduate degree in art history, anthropology, and studio art.
Joy E. Carlson, MPH: Joy Carlson has been active in the non-profit sector for over 40 years, working primarily in the public and environmental health arena. She is currently Principal at J. Carlson Consulting which provides strategic planning, organizational development, program and policy development, and evaluation services to non-profit organizations. Prior to founding J. Carlson Consulting, she was the founding director for the Children’s Environmental Health Network, a national organization dedicated to preventing toxic exposures to children. She has worked at local, state, national and international levels with a broad range of constituencies and sectors. She has a special interest in supporting organizations and staff committed to change.
Julio Leiva: Julio was originally from El Salvador and has been living in Oakland, CA for the past 16 years. He has indigenous roots and has been an active member of organizations that promote the rights of indigenous people. He also served on the Board of Directors of CAREN (Central American Resource Center) and is currently a founding member of "El Dia del Salvadoreño," an annual Bay Area event that celebrates Salvadoran history and culture.
Laura Guevara Laura is an immigrant, a Salvadoran-American educator with 13 years of experience in schools. Her interest in social-justice was nurtured by her mother’s community activism in Chelsea, MA - a sanctuary city. She has taught in a number of communities including The Bronx, Brooklyn, Oakland and Singapore. Over the past five years , she has focused on teaching teachers and students how to leverage technology to communicate, collaborate, innovate and make an impact. Laura and her husband and two children have made the Bay Area their home and are committed to contributing to its communities in a positive way. She is honored to be contributing to OLAS as part of the advisory committee.
Scott MacPherson: Scott is an Environmental Manager for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, where he works in the design and permitting of environmentally-friendly utility projects. He has over 25 years experience in the environmental field, including in political organizing for environmental justice issues. He holds a MS in Natural Resources with a concentration in environmental advocacy, and a BS in Psychology, both from the University of Michigan.
Sylvia Soriano: Sylvia is from Bogotá, Colombia. She came to the U.S. at age 16, and has been living in the Bay Area for 37 years. She is an artist and a gardener, and is interested in the interrelation between art, health and nature and the regenerative effect it has at all levels. As a member of the LGBTQ community, she is honored and pleased to collaborate with OLAS and its participants.