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This is Who we are

Our Mission

There is a need for positive change.

Both Sides of the Conversation is a 501c3 nonprofit that was created to provide resources through effective conversations that empower our people.

Through open dialogue, we explore the challenges and barriers that are faced within our Black and Brown communities to connect, reflect and develop ways of healing together.

We focus on listening and providing resources because we believe all under-served communities have one thing in common, the need for positive change.

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|  Our Work in Action

We hope to strengthen Black and Brown families and communities.

|  meet The team

|  Board of Directors

Teuna Gremillion

Teuna Gremillion

President

Teuna Gremillion was born and raised in San Francisco until she moved to Daly City during her teenage years. Teuna initially started volunteering as a “Candy Striper” at Seton Hospital during high school and continued to do so as a peer mentor in college and in various capacities as an adult. She is an alumna of Omega Boys Club/Alive & Free. She graduated from Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Sociology.

Teuna has worked for multiple group homes, non- profit organizations and county government agencies throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for the past thirty years in different capacities including Senior Probation Officer, Eligibility Worker, Social Services Program Assistant, Social Worker, and Supervisor. She also managed tax preparation offices for seven years and was the Operations Manager for a niche real estate company. Teuna has been on advisory boards for the Department of Justice and the Workforce Investment Board. Teuna’s love for music created an opportunity for her to work with artists, book shows, promote concerts and produce events. She enjoys spending time with her family and traveling. She believes in the bible verse: To whom much is given; much will be required. If we have been blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge and time then it is expected that we benefit others. Teuna is excited to assist Both Sides of The Conversation as the Board President.

Denise Alexander

Denise Alexander

Vice President

Denise Alexander is a native of San Francisco where she has resided in Bayview Hunters Point all her life. Denise comes with many years of experience in management that includes managing large staffs and being heavily involved in the care of the geriatric and sick populations. Denise also has extensive experience in HR which includes recruiting, payroll, accounting, and finance. She is a seasoned manager that has brought positive and profitable change to her company.

Denise’s simple pleasures in life include volunteering at her church and local food bank,  shopping, and spending time with family. 

Denise comes with a tireless work ethic, excellent communication skills with a no-nonsense go-getter attitude that will get the job done.

Shawnie Bennett

Shawnie Bennett

Treasurer

Shawnie Bennett is a native of Bayview Hunters Point San Francisco. She possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration-Finance from Clark Atlanta University. Shawnie has a strong academic background in Business combined with several years experience in Accounting, Human Resources, Administration and Event Planning. Currently, she sits on the Board of Both Sides of the Conversation as the Treasurer. Shawnie is a mother of two. She enjoys going to visit her adult son and spending quality time with her 9 year old daughter as well as family and friends. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 20 years and is committed to giving back to her community. She is very passionate about the work she does and really loves event planning and management. 

Tonya Williams

Tonya Williams

Secretary

Tonya P Williams, born 16 May 1963 in a New York City Housing Development, raised in an African American Christian home, orphaned by age four and raised by her Great Aunt who she affectionally called, “Grandma”.  Her grandmother sought out every advantage to instill the best education and enrolled Tonya in an elementary school under Jewish teachers and spiritualty, then from the seven to eleven grades she was taught by Arch Dioceses of New York where she learned various religions and spiritual cultures.  She completed an intern at Mount Sinai Hospital in the twelve grade through a program titled secondary education through health.

Tonya went on to complete her BS in Healthcare Administration in 1985 from Davis and Elkins College located in Elkins, WV and in 2001 she completed her Master of Public Administration degree at Kutztown University.  Tonya has persevered through many of life’s adversities and feels that God has placed a grace on her life to release His glory-He has broken her so that she may comfort others as she has been comforted.

Tonya has over thirty years as a facilitator, twenty years of administration experience of those, twelve years she was the Executive Director of the Girls After School Academy located in San Francisco.    Since 2012 she has worked has a consultant assisting city, counties, non-profit and faith-based organizations throughout the Bay Area build their infrastructure capacities.

Tonya has faithfully attended Northgate since May 2019 and has led, Grief Share, Financial Peace University. She completed a workshop of Developing a Lifestyle of Forgiveness in 2017 and was transformed, and now she would like to share her practice of developing a lifestyle of forgiveness with others.

|  Executive Team

Jon Henry

Jon Henry

Executive Director

Jon Henry was born in San Francisco, CA on August 18, 1979 at UCSF hospital. Jon was raised in San Francisco’s district 10 in Bayview Hunters Point. He attended SF Public schools where Jon eventually matriculated to McAteer High School. After high school, he attended trade school through City College of San Francisco and Local 38 Apprenticeship program were he eventually became a Journeymen Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Service Mechanic.  Jon spent 9 years as an HVAC Mechanic in the private sector before being hired by UCSF.  Interestingly he has worked for UCSF for 13 years the same hospital where he was born.   Jon is currently the Assistant Supervisor for the Heating and Air Conditioning team for UCSF Campus Life Services.

Over the years, Jon has watched the neighborhood he was raised in go through a number of social challenges from limited resources, increased crime and violence, homeless, incarceration issues and gentrification. Jon made a conscious choice to help make change in his community.  At just 18 years old Jon joined a community organization making a difference in the lives of our youth, Alive and Free Omega Boys Club and became a mentor and community activist.  Jon committed his self to the young people in his community by mentoring 2 times a week for the last 24 years.  He mentors youth that are locked up in the San Francisco’s Youth Guidance Center (YGC), he volunteers twice a month to feed the homeless and assist in distributing resources to San Francisco communities.  Jon has assisted in organizing events to take at risk youth to extracurricular activities to expand their horizons; such as, rodeo shows, drag racing, various sporting events.

Jon took his love for helping others with him to work at UCSF. This is evident in his decision to become Shop Steward and tireless advocacy for African-American employees and his commitment to the Black Caucus. Jon has taken the challenge to step up and have the courage to fight for the African-American employees at UCSF for fair and equitable pay, safe work conditions, nondiscriminatory hiring practices, and equality for employees and students.  In addition, he has continued to try to build transparency between African-American workers and leadership at UCSF.

Charisma Crape

Charisma Crape

Deputy Director

Charisma Crape is a young professional with a passion for serving her community. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Charisma has dedicated time volunteering with youth groups for over 10 years. She has a long history of experience with analysis, research and writing with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration.

In her free time, Charisma enjoys bowling, reading, and spending time with family.

Asante Morton

Asante Morton

Executive Assistant

Asante Morton was born and raised in the Bay View Hunters Point District and now resides in Houston, TX. Growing up in a single parent home centered around faith, her mother instilled in her to always be thankful and be a blessing to others. Along side her mother she began making an impact in the community as a youth leader at UJAMMA and various youth development programs such as; Young Community Developers, Prevention Leadership Alternatives for Youth, Youthline and later a respite provider and foster parent for Alternative Family Services. 

She is an alumni of Omega Boys Club/Alive & Free. She graduated from Clark Atlanta University with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration and Accounting. 

Asante worked for the Walnut Creek school district and several corporations throughout the Bay Area for the past sixteen years in various capacities including Payroll Coordinator, Accounting Consultant, Accounts Receivable Specialist, Accounting Clerk and Administrative Assistant.       

Asante is excited to be a volunteer with Both Sides of the Conversation because she strongly believes in the organization’s mission to empower the Black and Brown Communities to become economically self-sufficient with the three pillars.

|  Marketing Team

Succatti Shaw

Succatti Shaw

Marketing and Advertising Lead

Succatti is a mother of three, a Bay Area native, and a fierce advocate for those without a voice. Her love for people and her compassion for others motivates her to serve and
volunteer where she sees a need. She believes that our communities are only as strong as the weakest member, and it is our responsibility to strengthen them one member at a time! In living what she believed, she jumped when the opportunity to be part of a coalition of organizations in Alameda County that formed the ironclad eviction moratorium to protect the many residents who lost jobs due to covid and the stay-in-place order. As a Policy Outreach

Leader for Just Cities, she helped to get the Fair Chance Housing Policy ordinance passed in Oakland and Berkeley. She also serves as the Secretary of the Alameda County Community Advisory Board, where she works alongside other community members to weigh in on the spending of AB109 funding and allocation of said funding. Succatti also serves as the Bay Area Chapter Coordinator for #TimeDone, where she oversees the growth of the Bay Area chapter membership and meetings, in addition to building new leaders.

Ronda Metcalf

Ronda Metcalf

Marketing

Ronda L. Metcalf is a San Francisco native, and has been a professional at UCSF since 2004. UCSF Facilities is currently her third career, and she has more than 37 years of work experience. Currently, she works as an Analyst in the field of Pest Control where her duties include conducting monthly building inspections, generating purchase orders and mini form contracts, and a host of Administrative responsibilities for her team.

Her territory coverage encompasses all of the UCSF Parnassus/Mission Bay and Outlying Area Campuses. In addition, she generates all service order/handles inquiries, resolves escalated complaints, and handles client-relations with outside vendors within the San Francisco region.

Ronda has received many certificates for outstanding Customer Service and for additional administrative trainings. She has Associate Degrees in Social Behavior Sciences and in the Arts and Humanities. Ronda’s most self-rewarding accomplishment is her only son, Aaryn Anthony, who is 29 and a graduate from St. Johns University, New York.

Marco Williams

Marco Williams

Videographer/Photographer

Marco Williams is a native of San Francisco California. Born the youngest of four, and raised by his single mother Frances definitely contributed to his upbringing of being determined and forever learning. 

Growing up he has always had an interest in music. All throughout grade school he was a member of the school band. That love for music continued on as he would go on to study music at City College of San Francisco. Soon after that he would find himself learning Multimedia at Expression a Digital Arts College in the Eastbay. Joined with his brother Richard upon attending they would both go on to graduate and pursue a career with the knowledge obtained.

With the skill set that he acquired along this long road has landed him where he is today. Mr. Williams has been running his own Multimedia business since 2010. Wearing multiple hats most of the time makes him a one man show. This man can help you write your song, get you through the entire song writing process (record, mixing and mastering), shoot your photoshoot and music video  and then turn around and help you market/promote it. There isn’t much that he doesn’t do, as well as being a solid person to get advice from you will know that you came to the right place once you are in his presence.

|  Production Team

Ayanna Matthews

Ayanna Matthews

Production Manager & Co-Host

Ayana Matthews is a native of San Francisco, CA. Growing up in the Bay View Hunters Point District, she witnessed both the good and bad of the beautiful city that she loved. With gun violence, homelessness and a lack of resources plaguing her community, she always had a drive and passion to make a positive change by giving back. Under her Mother’s leadership, as Vice President of UJAMAA,  Ayana started early as a youth leader in the beautification project; which beautified neglected areas within the Bay View. Ayana went on to graduate from S.R. Martin College Preparatory School and later received her Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications from Clark Atlanta University.

Ayana continued to be an asset to her community by working for various non-profits within the Bay Area and Atlanta, GA. She worked with Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program for 10 years, educating and providing resources to underserved communities throughout Northern California. She recently became the owner and director of Beautiful Flower Academy, which is a child care center for young minds to grow and blossom. Ayana is honored to be a volunteer with Both Sides of the Conversation.

 

Toni Rochelle

Toni Rochelle

Production Lead & Co-Host

Toni Rochelle was born in Oklahoma City OK. She started her career in 2005.

When she relocated to the Bay Area she worked at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco for two years, later transferred to Oakland Kaiser for 14 years. In Oakland California, she immediately started working as a Model and Actor. Soon after, she started landing roles in independent films and commercials and many magazines and music videos. Her biggest accomplishment to date was landing a part in A Honda Accords national ad campaign and acting on stage at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland.

Toni has established herself as a talk show host for the entertainment series, Off Tha Hook T.V., on channel 78. She has interviewed entertainers such as Bobby Brown, Blair Underwood, and Smokey Robinson just to name a few. Toni has appeared on Red Carpets at the Bet awards and ASCAP awards. Toni has appeared in many stage plays throughout the Bay area. You can find her gracing the modeling scene as one of the  signature models for Spoiled Boutique located in Oakland Ca and Emeryville Ca. Toni has hosted  red carpet events working with The Oakland Chambers of commerce. Toni is also A  writer for The Oakland Voices and a  independent speaker.

Not only would you say she is the face of the entertainment of beauty but she is also a champion for community activism. Toni stands as Non profit Family Liaison manager /Coach as well as a parent power leader for quality education for Black and Brown families and the founder of her own platform called Keep Ascending to help individuals overcome life struggles through creating content and inspirational messages. This came alone after her divorce and she asked God how can I heal and  he told her that she was a star. Toni is the CEO of pretty perfect cleaning company.

Toni grew up in the foster care system as a ward of the state and aged out of the system when she turned 18 years old. So she knows a lot about being the underdog. From that day forward she felt free and was determined to ascend through anything that life threw at her.

Toni is one of the co-host for Both sides of the conversation, a show that is based on community work. Toni is a Doula/Birth worker. Toni holds a lot of these titles but her favorite title is being called Mommy by her two beautiful talented smart babies 1 girl and 1 boy and that is why she stays lit for herself God, her babies family & friends and her community.

She is here to break generational curse and let people know that you can heal and you can be successful no matter what.

Kiana Mathews

Kiana Mathews

Production Assistant & Co-host

Kiana Mathews is a San Francisco native who spent a lot of her life in many parts of the Bay Area including Oakland where she attended McClymonds High School.

Kiana began both her college and work career in the healthcare industry pursuing the goal of becoming a Registered Nurse. She started working at UCSF hospital in San Francisco having spent several years in the Labor and Delivery department.

Kiana later decided to change career paths after going back to school and obtaining her bachelor’s degree from Cal State Hayward (East Bay). From there Kiana joined the Tech Industry having established over 10 years of experience in Human Resources and Recruiting. Kiana has had the honor of working for some of the top Tech companies in the world.

Kiana is driven, determined, tenacious and was born with a “go get it” mindset. Her motto is it may not be today, but it’s mine”, claiming it all in advance. Her passions and enthusiasm include her being an Event Stylist, Baker, Podcast host and colossal DIYer. Kiana is even a travel agent having not only provided clients with international travel plans but is also a vivid Passport stamp holder herself. She has visited several countries with no plans on curtailing future destinations.

Kiana’s concept has always been “pay it forward.” Her life’s desire is to give back to her community by showing them there is more to life then the block that you live on. Kiana is conscious and woke in knowing that if she can help just one person, she has met her calling.

|  Youth Team Members

Devin Ward

Devin Ward

Marketing and Production

 

 

Amaya Williams

Amaya Williams

Marketing and Production

 

 

Kendall Jackson

Kendall Jackson

Marketing and Production

 

 

Nia Rouse

Nia Rouse

Marketing and Production

 

 

Xavion Babers

Xavion Babers

Marketing and Production

 

 

Maaiiah Bias

Maaiiah Bias

Marketing and Production

 

 

Deja Ward

Deja Ward

Marketing and Production

 

 

Lynette Mackey

Lynette Mackey

Marketing and Production

 

 

HAVE YOU CONSIDERED “BOTH SIDES OF THE CONVERSATION”?

OCTOBER 28, 2021     JR VALREY

FOLLOW STORY HERE

HIS SIDE OF THE CONVERSATION

NOVEMBER 12, 2021

FOLLOW STORY HERE

EARLINE’S SHOW – WISE TALK

JON HENRY, E.D. BSOTC

OCTOBER 5, 2021

FOLLOW STORY HERE

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