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.
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.
Aliza Kazmi, MPP
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.
Health Justice Fellow
Candace Cross is a Helen Gurley-Brown Fellowship recipient and will be in a year-long placement at Praxis as a Health Justice Fellow. Candace received her BS from Ithaca College in Public and Community Health with a concentration in the Politics of Health and Healing.
During her undergraduate studies, Candace worked in harm reduction, Zika birth defects research, and health equity programming. Candace is truly passionate about advocating for race, environmental justice, and women’s health issues by using the social justice framework. Candace is always on the quest for learning something new whether through traveling, meeting new people, or tasting new foods.
Health Justice Intern
Haja Kamara is a Health Justice Intern at Praxis. She recently graduated from Yale with a BS in Psychology and next year will finish a Master’s degree in Public Health from the Yale School of Public Health with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences., Haja is interested in mental health and food justice as facets of health justice she would like to explore more. Haja is a proud, lifelong resident of Washington, DC, loves performing with her improv comedy group, being outdoors, and reading her horoscope.
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.
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.
LaTanya Lowe, MA
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.
Graduate Student Researcher
Lisa McCorkell is a Graduate Student Researcher at the Praxis Project. She is a rising second year Masters of Public Policy student at UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy, with a focus on racial equity and social justice. Her previous roles have involved writing briefs on topics relating to labor and employment, managing a study that created stable schedules for hourly retail workers, and counseling folks on their finances. She has a BA in Political Science from UCLA. She strives to center her work around listening to communities' needs and desires and is of the mindset that we should always be learning from each other and growing as both as individuals and communities.
Xavier Morales, Ph.D., MRP
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.