Aishah Abdala

Program Coordinator

Aishah Abdala, a member UC Berkeley’s Class of 2017, majored in Public Health with a minor in Public Policy. Aishah began interning with the Praxis Project in the fall of 2016 in our Oakland based office. Aishah grew up in  Tijuana, Mexico throughout most of her early childhood before moving immediately north of the U.S. border to the city of San Ysidro, California at the age of 10. Her multiracial background coming from Mexican and Syrian-Lebanese immigrant families, has made her interested in identity and its influence on interpersonal relationships. Her work at UC Berkeley’s service-based student organization Alternative Breaks as a Break Leader, reflects her commitment to creating opportunities that highlight and uplift the resiliency in marginalized communities and the work they contribute to break the power dynamics that have kept folks out of the decision-making process. From these firsthand experiences she has also developed a deep passion for understanding the intersectionality between the built and natural environment, people, and health within a social justice framework.


Ariel Cohen

Assistant Director

As Assistant Director, Ariel brings strong experience with nonprofit organizational management, operations, finance, and fiscal sponsorship to Praxis. Previously Ariel was an Advisor with Tides, working closely in partnership with a portfolio of its fiscally-sponsored groups. Ariel has worked across a variety of mission areas, including immigrant justice, zero waste, and public policy research. Outside of work she can most often be found in her ceramics studio making lighting, sculpture, and tableware.  Ariel lives in Oakland, was born and raised in Berkeley, and has deep roots in the Bay Area. She graduated from the University of Chicago with honors, earning her degree in sociology.


Jeremiah Headen

Manager of Field Organizing

Jeremiah Headen is the Manager of Field Organizing at the Praxis Project. A DC metropolitan area resident, he spent five years teaching high school in DC Public Schools. Jeremiah left teaching when he realized that many of the barriers to student achievement exist outside of the classroom. With a devotion to social justice and equality, he has dedicated himself to finding better ways to support families and teachers all around the country. Combining his Political Science degree from American University with his love for people, Jeremiah is a stern advocate for children having equal access to a quality education, quality food, and a decent place to live.  In his free time, Jeremiah is an avid music lover, biker, and animation enthusiast. Jeremiah is the 5th of his parents’ 6 children and thus loves being in groups with a lot of noise.


Aliza Kazmi, MPP

Policy Coordinator

Aliza Kazmi is the Policy Coordinator at Praxis. Her multi-issue and intersectional policy experience includes research, analysis, advocacy and coalition-building. Aliza's work approach is rooted in her lived experience as a person of color, daughter of immigrants and American Muslim. She has a BA in Peace and Conflict Resolution (with an emphasis on human rights) and Gender and Women’s Studies from UC Berkeley. Teaching high school in rural New Mexico compelled Aliza to continue building her skills, to address underlying challenges of poverty and inequality facing her students and their families. She pursued a Master of Public Policy degree at the University of Michigan Ford School, where she strategized policy recommendations for stakeholders from Wayne County all the way to Rio de Janeiro. Aliza also developed her social and public health policy practice through working with anti-domestic violence and sexual assault advocates in Alaska: to facilitate and carry out state legislative advocacy while serving as a liaison within ongoing state- and federal- level work to end intimate partner violence and improve social welfare. In her spare time, Aliza enjoys being outdoors, spicy food, live music, and reading work/listening to podcasts by women of color.


LaTanya Lowe, MA

Program Coordinator

LaTanya Lowe is native to the DC Metropolitan area, where she was raised in Silver Spring, MD. She brings more than 15 years of operations, project and administrative management experience to the Praxis Project.  LaTanya has worked with international and local non-profit organizations, such as the American College of Cardiology as well as The Family Restoration and Healing Center. She earned her undergraduate degree in English with an additional concentration in African Diaspora at the University of Maryland and earned her Master’s Degree in Organizational Management.  LaTanya strives to achieve and continually demonstrate hard working ethics and principles in every aspect of life, which is befitting to the cause for social, medical, economical, and educational justice for communities of color throughout the country.


Adrian Mahlstede

Media and Communications Coordinator

Adrian Mahlstede is the Communications Coordinator for the Praxis Project.  Adrian was born in Los Angeles, CA and raised in a family of teachers and football coaches.  He works out of Praxis’ Oakland office, where you’re likely to find him managing this website or creating a short film to highlight another organization’s hard work.  Adrian’s goal is to apply his communications and multimedia production knowledge to work in collaboration with Praxis’ partners and allies to build power in communities and to achieve health justice.  He has wanted to be a reporter since childhood and studied for his BA degree in Journalism at Arizona State’s Walter Cronkite School and for his MA in Specialized Journalism at USC Annenberg, where his areas of focus included: money in politics, access to education, journalism ethics and gender/race studies in mass media.  He is proud to contribute to Praxis'’s mission of cultivating social justice solutions!


Xavier Morales, Ph.D., MRP

Executive Director

Xavier Morales, Ph.D., MRP, is the executive director of Praxis Project, a national organization dedicated to supporting communities building power for health.  Xavier is a longtime advocate for community-driven initiatives to achieve health equity and environmental justice. Taking an expansive view of what constitutes good health and community wellness, he works in partnership to enable opportunities across the social determinants of health.

Xavier currently serves on the board of the Urban Peace Initiative, and was until recently, the Chair of City of Berkeley sugar sweetened beverage tax expert panel. Xavier often provides testimony in legislative arenas and is a frequent speaker at health conferences and health justice gatherings. Xavier, a former Peace Corps volunteer (Hungary), is originally from Sanger, California and studied environmental sciences at the University of California, Berkeley and city and regional planning at Cornell University.


Kingsley Tony-Egbuniwe

Health Justice Intern

Kingsley Tony-Egbuniwe is a Health Justice Intern at Praxis. As a rising senior, Kingsley is working on completing his undergraduate education at Washington University in St. Louis, where he looks to earn a major in Anthropology with a focus in Global Health and the Environment while also earning a minor in Psychological and Brain Sciences. Kingsley was born in Enugu, Nigeria and has lived in Memphis, TN for the past 15 years. Kingsley’s interests are centered around health equity and social justice.

Kingsley is also passionate about helping children who come from underrepresented backgrounds and has displayed his dedication to this cause by working closely with children residing in public housing in St. Louis as a Mentoring Lead for Washington University’s volunteer organization City Faces. He is a strong believer in the notion that “locals know what’s best for the community” and strives to highlight the agency of these individuals through his work. Some of Kingsley’s pastimes include drawing, playing sports, and trying new foods.