The People

Garland YatesGarland Yates | Senior Fellow & Managing Director

Cheverly, MD

For over 30 years, Garland Yates has been a champion of equal rights and justice for all people. He has dedicated most of his professional career to helping poor and working people build the capacity and power to make positive change in their communities and for the betterment of all people. He is well known for his work in local communities to improve the well-being of residents and the communities by helping poor and working people build the power and capacity to combat poverty, racial bigotry, economic inequality and political indifference. Throughout his career he has worked to strengthen relationships between residents, key institutions and Government to work together to solve community problems. This work has been in several communities primarily across Canada and the U.S., but South Africa as well, to help make them safe and prosperous places for all people, but especially for children to grow up. These efforts have included many years of work done through career stints with the likes of the Center for Community Change and the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Rebuilding Communities and Making Connections Comprehensive Community Change Initiatives; all along the way becoming increasingly committed to building the capacity of local communities to bring about sustainable long-term change. Following the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, he designed a grassroots funding strategy for the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation. This Fund was designed to facilitate direct action by residents to engage in the Post Katrina reconstruction of New Orleans. Garland completed a two-year stint as interim executive director of the Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG). The group’s membership is comprised of over 200 foundations dedicated to supporting “Just Causes” across the U.S. More recently, as a senior fellow and managing director of Community Democracy Workshop he continues to work with foundations and communities on strengthening their approaches to meaningfully engage residents in diverse ways on comprehensive community revitalization strategies.

Peter Pennekamp
| Senior Fellow & Operations Manager

Eureka, CA

Peter H Pennekamp has explored and worked to advance an inclusive American experience in his career in the arts, radio and philanthropy and is a founder of Community Democracy Workshop. He has held prior positions at the National Endowment for the Arts, National Public Radio, the Humboldt Area Foundation and Humboldt State University.

Favorite efforts for change before the Community Democracy Workshop include the National Task Force on Touring and Presenting the Performing Arts, which sought to advance the performances appearing on America’s stages to reflect the contemporary American experience; Working Group on the New American Sensibility with a similar purpose on radio and in the Humanities; Wade in the Water, a 26 hour radio series on Music of the African American Tradition, a Peabody Award winning partnership between NPR and the Smithsonian Institution with host and director Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon; Heat with John Hockenberry, which also won a Peabody Award with Senior Producer Ira Glass; Creation of the Culture Desk within NPR News; and performing the media policy analysis of the world’s failure to prevent genocide in Timor Leste that led to the Global Forum for Media Development.

He and Anne Focke wrote Philanthropy and the Regeneration of Community Democracy, published by the Kettering Foundation in early 2013. Later that year he guest edited a special issue of the National Civic Review, volume 102, Number 3, on Philanthropy and Resident Engagement. He has had essays and conversations published on culture and democracy for over 25 years and has been a speaker internationally.

Peter has worked broadly in both private and public philanthropy as trustee; The California Endowment, The Archibald Bush Foundation, Morris Graves Foundation, or as grant, strategy, organizational development, and policy advisor.

In addition to being a part of Peabody Award winning radio series teams, Peter was awarded the NEA Distinguished Service Award; California Arts Council’s Exemplary Contributions to the Arts in California Award, United Indian Health Services Friends are Good Medicine Award, and others.

Audrey Jordan headshot_croppedAudrey Jordan | Senior Fellow

Fontana, CA

Audrey is currently a consultant with her own business – ADJ Coaching and Consulting. Current contracts include: The Center for the Study of Social Policy, LA office, working with First 5-LA and the federally-funded Building Neighborhood Capacity Program; The California Endowment, working with the Sons and Brothers developmental evaluation team; and ORS Impact, a research and evaluation firm in Seattle, WA. Audrey’s consulting areas of expertise are in building community capacity for resident-driven, place-based community change, and building community and organizational capacity for strategic use of data.

Audrey is also a Senior Fellow with the Full Frame Initiative, (FFI), a national non-profit based in Greenfield, MA. Having re-located to southern California in 2013, Audrey works with her colleagues at FFI to promote systems change around the country with aligned organizations and groups who are concerned with promoting the voice and well-being of families experiencing entrenched poverty, violence and trauma.

Most recently, in October 2015, Audrey joined the Race Matters Institute and became a facilitator of trainings in racial equity. In this work, Audrey co-designs, co-facilitates and advises non-profit, for-profit and government groups and/or organizations regarding racial equity in their organizations and their practice (both program and policy).

Also recently, in September 2015, Audrey enrolled in a nine month coaching certification program called Leadership That Works and will become a certified coach in June 2016. In May 2015, Audrey became a part of a network of transformational coaches under the umbrella of the Social Transformation Project led by Robert Gass. In addition, in April 2015, Audrey once again joined the ranks of higher education (having taught in the Social Work program at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1997-98), and became a member of the faculty pool at Claremont Lincoln University in the Social Impact program.

Before moving to California, Audrey served in various positions in philanthropy, most recently in Boston, Massachusetts (2010-2012), and before that for twelve years at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, MD. Previous to her work at the Casey foundation, Audrey accumulated more than a decade of work experience in participatory evaluation research in public agencies and in academia. She has an M.A. in Social Psychology from The University of Virginia’s Social Psychology program, is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Master of Social Work program, and a graduate of the Virginia Commonwealth University doctoral program in Social Policy and Social Work.

Audrey currently lives in Fontana, CA, recently reunited with her family of origin.

May Louie Headshot_croppedMay Louie | Senior Fellow

Boston, MA

May has spent her adult life working for social justice and racial and economic equality. This work has primarily been in four arenas: power for urban communities of color; learning and leadership development; multi-racial / multi-ethnic electoral and community coalition building; and Asian American Movement

She is a seasoned organizer, coalition-builder and popular educator.

Currently a visiting practitioner and curriculum designer with Tufts University Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning Program’s Teaching Democracy project, she is developing a pilot training on Popular Education.

For twenty years, May served as a senior staff member at the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), a pioneering model for innovative community-controlled urban revitalization. She first directed DSNI’s participation in a nationally-funded comprehensive community initiative, and then served as its Director of Leadership and Capacity Building. Key projects under her leadership included the Rebuilding Communities Initiative, the Resident Development Institute/Dudley Learning Center, community board elections and board development, civic engagement, the Boston Promise Initiative, and Dudley Children Thrive.

May was a founding board member of the Center for Community Builders, as well as a member of the National Community Land Trust Academy Advisory Board and faculty. She was an Alston-Bannerman Fellow and then served as a member of its selection committee. She has the privilege of being part of the community comprised of Rockwood Leadership’s “Leading from the Inside Out” fellows.

In 1983, as the movement to gain electoral power swept the country, Boston’s Mel King ran for mayor by building a Rainbow Coalition, just as Jesse Jackson did on a national level in 1984 and 1988. May played leadership roles in these campaigns as well as in building the ongoing multi-racial, multi-issue activist coalitions that emerged from those electoral efforts.

A child of immigrants from China, May has her early activist roots in the Asian American movement, helping to start regional, campus, and community organizations. She maintains her involvement through her current work with the Activist Training Institute which has built the organizing skills and political analysis of emerging Asian American activists.

Cec Ortiz HeadshotCecilia Ortiz | Senior Fellow

Denver, CO

Cecilia Sanchez de Ortiz (Cec) has devoted her professional career to community and economic development. She has held several leadership positions in local and state government, private business and the non-profit sector. Cec has extensive experience leading community-based non-profits and was appointed by both a Colorado governor and a Denver mayor to help lead their Economic/Community Development offices.

Cec is co-founder and a principal of ConfluenceDenver LLC, a consulting firm that provides community and economic development project management services for large community-based initiatives focused on Latino populations. She has consulted with numerous foundations at both the local and national level. Cec currently consults as a senior advisor to the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado and Rose Community Foundation. In that role, she works with local communities to create “communities of care” to support Latino older adults and their families.

Cec is a proud southeastern Colorado native and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business from Regis University. She currently serves on the state boards of the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, Energy Outreach Colorado and the Charter School Institute.

Cec lives in Denver, Colorado and considers her proudest life achievement to be her two sons, Ron and Jeff.

Takema HeadshotTakema Robinson | Senior Fellow

New Orleans, LA

Takema Robinson is the Principal and Founder of Momentum for Progress (formerly 2nd Line Consulting, LLC), a movement support organization building progressive strategies to increase self-efficacy, equity and justice for communities of color. Momentum’s clients are social justice oriented foundations and corporations and their nonprofit partners committed to progressive systems change. Takema is a senior fellow at the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, where she previously served as the Senior Program Associate for Education and Community Change.

Takema earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and African American studies from Howard University in Washington, DC and pursued post-graduate studies at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. In 2004, Takema was awarded the Echoing Green Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurs. She is the proud mama to two boys.

Key Associates and Contributors

We give thanks to the many people who have contributed to the development of Community Democracy Workshops’ understandings, ideas and structure. The following have made an especially large contribution and many are currently active as contributors and in guiding CDW decisions:

Paul Khaled Alexander, Roque Barros, David Bley, Anne Focke, Mary Gelinas, Rahwa Ghirmatzion, Henry Izumizaki, Anne Kubisch, Connie Stewart, Terry Supahan, Richard Woo, Terry Bailey, Noelle Bailey, Derek Barker, Lucy Bernholz, Jeff Clarke, Marvin Cohen, John Dedrick, Troy Fletcher, Janis Foster Richardson, Jason Garrett, Mario Gutierrez, Anthony Iton, Mikael Karlstrom, Jim Keddy, Carol Lewis, Luz Vega-Marquis, Laura Olson, Robert Ross, Mark Sedway, Amos Tripp, Tufara Waller Muhammad and Debi Witte