Leila pronounced (Lie-La) brings over 10 years experience in community and campus organizing, electoral organizing and facilitation to her role as Manager of People and Culture. In this role she partners with Ayoka Turner, Chief of Staff, to refine and advance MSC’s approach to the human development of core staff as well as external partners — alongside the building and sharing of systems, practices, and training to support the accountable, grounded, and transformative leaders and networked culture that we need in these times.
She is dedicated to creating spaces for authentic relationships and collaborations to emerge across diverse constituencies and coalitions. Leila was a founding member of the successful student-initiated minimum wage campaign in San Jose, California that helped kick-start the national minimum wage movement. In 2011 she started working at Working Partnerships USA, a labor-affiliated social justice non-profit. Starting out as a canvasser, she moved her way up to field manager and then project lead where she lead a group of 20 canvassers that registered 14,000 people to vote in Santa Clara County during the 2012 election cycle. She was the deputy field director for a progressive mayoral candidate in San Jose, the 10th largest city in the U.S. She has also worked in nonprofit organizations partnering with multiple colleges, churches and other organizations developing curriculum and facilitating workshops and most recently worked on developing a strategic plan for community engagement nationally for a Civil Rights Organization.
At the age of 12 Leila went to her first war protest with her family. She has been passionate about social change ever since. However she did not learn how to turn her passion into effective action until she took a political science class at DeAnza College. It was there that she learned “politics the Wellstone way,” studying with a community college professor who was one of Paul Wellstone’s early protégées and helping to organize several Campus Camp Wellstone trainings. She went on to complete a certificate in leadership and social change at DeAnza and a B.A. in sociology with a concentration in community change from San Jose State and is working on her Masters in Public Policy at Mills college.
Leila lives in Oakland California with her partner Calvin and their two cats, Sierra and KAT. To bring balance in her life, Leila trains capoeira and is part of In Lak’ech dance academy. She also loves working out, weightlifting and movement in general.