ASHANTI BRANCH works to change how young men of color interact with their education and how their schools interact with them. Raised in Oakland by a single mother on welfare, Ashanti left the inner city to study civil engineering at Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo. A construction project manager in his first career, his life changed after he tutored struggling students and realized his passion for teaching. In 2004, during Ashanti’s first year teaching high school math, he started The Ever Forward Club to provide support for African American and Latino males who were not achieving to their potential. Since then, Ever Forward has helped all of its more than 150 members graduate from high school, and 93% of them have gone on to attend two- or four-year colleges, military or trade school.
The Ever Forward Club was featured last year in the documentary, “The Mask You Live In,” which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. After completing a fellowship at the Stanford d.school in 2016, Ashanti, stepped away from working for a school district and began working as the Founding Executive Director for Ever Forward-Siempre Adelante, in an effort to grow the organization to serve thousands of Bay Area students. In April 2017, Ashanti was awarded a fellowship from the national organization CBMA - Campaign for Black Male Achievement.
IAN BRECKENRIDGE-JACKSON earned his PhD in sociology at the University of California, Riverside, and his work specializes in gender, race, and class inequality. He is a lecturer at California State University, Los Angeles and a senior researcher for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. He co-authored the book The New Campus Anti-Rape Movement: Internet Activism and Social Justice (Lexington, 2018), and his work has been featured in a variety of outlets, including TIME.com; U.S. News & World Report; the edited volume Men Speak Out: Views on Gender, Sex, and Power; and the peer-reviewed journal Politics, Groups, and Identities. His TEDx talk entitled “Getting More Than We Give: Realities of Volunteerism” has been used widely for volunteer trainings at nonprofit and educational institutions, and his story of grappling with the complexities of masculinity is featured Jennifer Siebel Newsom's documentary film The Mask You Live In. He is a founder and co-executive director of the Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum in New Orleans, an entirely free and volunteer-run museum and oral history project dedicated to community empowerment in the Lower Ninth Ward.
MITCH KAPOR is a pioneer of the personal computing industry and a long-time startup investor. “Genius is evenly distributed by zip code,” Mitch likes to say, “but opportunity is not.”
For the past decade at Kapor Capital, Mitch and his wife, Freada Kapor Klein, have developed a vision and practice of investing in tech startups founded by members of underrepresented groups in the hopes of closing gaps of access, opportunity, and outcome for low-income communities and communities of color.
He is the co-founder of The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which protects freedom and privacy on the Internet. He has also served as the founding chair of Mozilla, creator of the Firefox web browser.
Using film and media as catalysts for cultural transformation, The Representation Project inspires individuals and communities to challenge and overcome limiting stereotypes so that everyone - regardless of gender, race, class, age, religion, sexual orientation, ability, or circumstance - can fulfill their human potential.
Nathan Ballard | Susan Boster | Brandon Hernandez | Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali | Ann O'Leary | Eve O'Toole | Joanna Rees | Mollie Ricker | Brenda Robinson