Paul L. Watson, Jr., MSHS
Formerly Executive Director of the Training and Research Institute for Residential Youth Centers in New Haven, CT; San Diego Youth and Community Services; and Watson and Associates International. Paul began his career as a youth organizer at the age of 17. He has a Master's degree from Springfield College. He began a consultant organization in 1998 and specialized in Community Development, Youth Development, Child Welfare, and Organizational Development. He successfully completed International projects in Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan), The Netherlands, Brazil, Jamaica, and Egypt. He is a national trainer in Youth Development and a member of the Community Youth Development Design Team. He was trained as an ICA Participatory Facilitator. Paul has also served as faculty at Springfield College, New School of Architecture and Design, San Diego City College, and UC San Diego. Paul has won numerous awards and has published both books and articles.
Ahmed is a freelance community engagement and business owner who has lived in San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood for more than 24 years.
He is the Founder and Executive Director of non-profit City Heights Youth and Family Outreach, which is dedicated to enhancing self-sufficiency within local families. Ahmed is an advocate for safe, organized and healthy communities, currently serving on the City Heights Area Planning Committee, City Heights Project Area Committee, Mid-City CAN Coordinating Council and City Heights on Portal.
Ahmed holds a Master’s degree, Organizational Management Leadership from Springfield College, School of Human Services. He speaks Somali and English fluently.
Clarence Henderson, III
Clarence is the Executive Director of The Inner City Athletic Program (ICAP) in San Diego. ICAP is an organization aimed at decreasing childhood obesity through sports and physical activity.
He has more than 20 years experience working with youth through athletics, as well as counseling youth within the child welfare system living in group homes.
Clarence holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Springfield College.
Harold Georgiou is an entrepreneur who has made his mark in several industries across multiple countries. He has been a board member and contributor to numerous non-profit organizations in California including UC San Diego. He served on the UC San Diego Urban Studies and Planning Steering Committee which provides direction to the educational program on a wide range of issues (curriculum, events, opportunities for students, annual Urban Expo). He also served on Project Wildlife's Board of Directors. His fluency in Greek, Spanish and English have been found useful, as he runs numerous businesses and investments both locally and overseas.
Harold graduated from UC San Diego's Warren College in 1987 and soon after held the position of the Assistant to the Director of the DPLU (County San Diego) and as an auditor for the City of San Diego. He wrote articles on economic and real estate issues for several media outlets including KFI, FBN and The Street.com. His work has appeared in The European and in the Athens News.
As a child, he learned tailoring while working in his family’s business, and by the age of 17 he started his own business venture importing luxury automobiles from Antwerp Belgium. This was very rewarding, and by 19 he began his journey in real estate which is still now one of his biggest interests. Harold is heavily involved in several aspects of the property industry which includes funding residential projects to new construction.
Harold's overseas operations include vast orchards producing high quality olive oil and a business offering short term holiday accommodations.
Whenever Harold is away from work, he enjoys reading, history, day trips, community events, and travel.
Harold resides part time in several cities which include Honolulu, Hawaii and in West Hampstead in the United Kingdom.
Bea has over 30 years of experience in the field of Human Resource Management, Labor Law, Employee Relations, Cultural Diversity, Supervision, Employee Safety, Training & Staff Development.
In 2002, she retired from her position as Vice President Human Resources, YMCA of San Diego County. She has served as Associate Executive Director at Jackie Robinson YMCA and Adjunct Faculty at Springfield College.
Bea holds a Master’s degree in Human Service Administration (Springfield College) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Human Resource Management.
She has received numerous awards including Women Who Mean Business Award from the San Diego Business Journal; Tribute to Women in Industry Award from YWCA, San Diego; and San Diego Human Resources Association Professional of the Year Award.
Gil Ontai, EdD, M.Arch
Dr. Ontai is a practicing architect and urban planner for over 20 years in San Diego. Formerly, he was city planning commissioner and city redevelopment director for downtown San Diego. He also held positions as campus director and educator at Springfield College, School of Human Services. Ontai is currently State Commissioner on the Citizens Redistricting Commission and recipient of Harvard Kennedy Ash Center award for community engagement.
He has been an active advisor/board member on numerous cultural and minority organizations such as Neighborhood House, Union of Pan Asian Communities, Pacific Islander Education Foundation, and Samahan Health Center, where he has helped shape policies to address health disparities, economic growth, educational opportunities, resource access, and community/housing needs. Additionally, he has worked with numerous community planning groups in developing community master plans that addressed housing, environmental, recreational, educational, infrastructure and capital improvement needs. As redevelopment director, Ontai has worked with city officials, planning staff, private developers, civic organizations, and business groups in ways that bridged dialogue with neighborhoods and community leadership.
His area of on-going research focuses on community engagement through action research with emphasis on outreaching to diverse cultural and socio-economic communities through his practice as action researcher and urban architect. Ontai received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in architecture and Doctorate in adult education.
David Pellow, Ph.D.
Dr. Pellow is Dehlsen Chair and Professor of Environmental Studies, and Director, Global Environmental Justice Project, University of California Santa Barbara.
Previously, he was a professor in the department of ethnic studies at UC San Diego and director of California Cultures in Comparative Perspective, a research initiative that supports creative interdisciplinary research, teaching and collaborations among faculty, students, and the public.
His areas of research focus on environmental conflict in ethnic communities in the United States, Africa and Asia. Pellow can speak on issues concerning race/ethnicity, the environment, labor, social protest, immigration, free trade agreements, and globalization, as well as the global impacts of the high-tech industry in Asia, Latin America and other regions of the world.
Pellow has written on the social and environmental impacts of the U.S. and international waste management industries (garbage, pesticides, incineration, electronic computer wastes, etc.) and the global social protest movement that has emerged to combat this issue. Pellow has also published material on environmental racism, occupational health hazards, economic globalization, international environmental protest movements, Silicon Valley industries, the global environment in high-tech and social impacts, waste management industry, recycling industry, international movement of hazardous chemical wastes and international laws/conventions/treaties concerning environmental protection.
Pellow also seeks to make the academic enterprise more relevant and more accessible to non-academic audiences. Pellow received his B.A. in sociology and religious studies and his M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology.
Nohelia is a community organizer who focuses on the creativity, genius, and resiliency of communities of color, especially women of color.
Her organizing has ranged from environmental, racial and housing justice across indigenous and immigrant communities.