Board

Wendy Calimag
Co-President

As Co-Executive Director, Wendy works closely with executive team to forward the mission of the organization by maintaining its financial and operational health and by strengthening systems and capacity for the organization’s growth. Over the last 15 years, Wendy has been committed to uplifting the experiences of girls and women of color. Prior to coming to Forward Together, Wendy served in senior and executive roles in girl-serving organizations in Oakland and San Francisco, developing and supporting civic engagement, reproductive health, and college and career readiness programs for middle and high school girls from under-resourced communities. She believes in the power of collective impact and served in a number of community initiatives in the Bay Area, including the Girls and Women of Color Collaborative (former Breaking the Silence Town Hall Collaborative). When she is not developing systems and thinking about operations, you can find her spending time with her family, reading, doing something creative or cuddling with her one-eyed pug.

Diana Lugo-Martinez
Co-President

Diana Lugo-Martinez is Co-Executive Director of Forward Together. For the last three and a half years, Diana Lugo-Martinez has served as Forward Together’s Movement Strategy Director, supporting the movement building and cultural strategy team. Diana also supports the organization’s cultural strategy, to expand movement alignment and integration. Diana brings over 15 years of experience in civic engagement, politics, academia and leadership development in a variety of social justice areas. Prior to joining Forward Together, Diana was the Senior Director of Community Engagement Programs at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), where she managed the Community Mobilization department. She previously served as an administrator at New York University, and also served as an adjunct at the school’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, teaching service-learning courses on civic engagement and on women’s movements focused on sexual and reproductive health in the Caribbean and Latin America. Diana holds an MPA in Health Policy and Management and an MS in Global Affairs. When not building with movement folks, you can find Diana reading about reproductive justice, race and class while drinking café, or hanging out with her familia, also while drinking café.

Headshot of Kay Fernandez Smith in black and white. She has short hair and wears a necklace.
Kay Fernandez Smith
Chair

Kay Fernandez Smith, a former Fulbright Hayes Scholar to the Philippines and a San Francisco Foundation Fellow, has worked with grassroots groups, public agencies, and philanthropic organizations to advance equitable development. She is Vice President of Policy & Innovation for The San Francisco Foundation. Prior to joining the SFF, Kay was Deputy Director at PolicyLink where she launched the Promise Neighborhoods Institute, a national intermediary focused on supporting antipoverty programs modeled on the academic and life success of low-income children. She holds a Master of Public Policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Kay joined the Forward Together board in 2011.

Headshot of LaTonya Slack smiling at the camera. She wears glasses, lipstick and shoulder length braids.
Latonya Slack
Treasurer

Latonya Slack, certified executive coach, trainer and facilitator, is principal and founder of Slack Global Consulting, specializing in co-creation, visioning and assisting individuals and organizations with planning and navigating critical decisions. She served as Senior Program Officer for California Democracy Program supporting civic engagement, community organizing, voter engagement and capacity building with the James Irvine Foundation for seven years. While at the foundation, she was elected vice chair then chair of the Southern California Grantmakers board.

Prior to working in philanthropy, she was Executive Director of the California Black Women’s Health Project, where she created a comprehensive policy advocacy program, a mental health initiative and an Advocate Training Program. She has also worked for SEIU as a community political organizer, engaging community, religious, labor and health organizations on healthcare justice. After graduation from UCLA School of Law, she worked with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles as a Consumer Law Advocate, and through the AmeriCorps Legal Corps, helped community groups in South Los Angeles establish nonprofit organizations.

Additional Affiliations: Los Angeles Social Justice Consultants Network, Liberty Hill Foundation, California Association of Nonprofits

Headshot of April Veneracion. She wears a business suit and has her arms folded.
April Veneracion
Secretary

April has over 15 years of experience working in the government and the nonprofit sectors in San Francisco where she has achieved major political and legislative wins in housing, land use and development. Her work with grassroots leaders, nonprofit professionals, elected leaders and high-level executives in San Francisco and the Bay Area for the past 20 years allows her to bring diverse perspectives to complex policy and political issues. April most recently was Senior Aide to San Francisco District Six Supervisor Jane Kim. Her legislative portfolio included land use and development, urban planning and transportation. April received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Riverside, and her Master’s degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She lives in Oakland with her husband Eric, mother in law Feliciana and is mom to Niall and Gracie. She currently works at HMS Associates providing strategic advice to a select group of for-profit and non-profit groups.

Headshot of Alexandria Bazan, who wears a black blouse, long hair and lipstick..
Alexandria Bazan

Alex has dedicated her career to advocating for and working alongside her community. She has been involved in New Mexico politics for nearly 10 years in a variety of capacities, all of which centered around electing and supporting public servants who put the community first. Most recently, Alex worked for Emerge New Mexico and focused her efforts on increasing the number of self-identified women serving in public office, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that officials serving in every level of government truly reflect the communities they represent.

Alex is currently the Operations Director at Delta Consulting Group, where she is able to work with numerous nonprofit organizations and associations throughout New Mexico.

Headshot of Edith Sargon. She smiles and poses against a brick wall, with a short, asymmetrical haircut and hoop earrings.
Edith Sargon

Edith has spent the last 15 years organizing, training, facilitating and working to build power for and alongside working people, young people, immigrants and queer folks. She has worked within nonprofit organizations and unions, and she is currently working independently to support individuals and teams to be the most strategic, powerful and authentic they can be. She is drawn to working with those who are audacious enough to believe that we won’t just win, but who can see the world we want and need for ourselves and for our ancestors who struggled and celebrated before us.

Headshot of Becca Uherbelau. She wears sunglasses over her medium length hair and a necklace.
Becca Uherbelau

Becca Uherbelau has served as the Executive Director of Our Oregon since June 2018. In her role, she leads the organization’s work to advance social and economic justice with a focus on ballot measures.

Becca has more than 20 years of experience working in community and public service, grassroots advocacy and politics. She has worked for local, legislative and statewide elected officials, advocacy and community-based nonprofits and has led statewide ballot measure, local levy and candidate campaigns.

Becca has also served on the boards of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, the Oregon State Board of Nursing, Oregon NARAL PAC, New Leadership Oregon and the Oregon League of Minority Voters. In all of her work, she seeks to dismantle systems of oppression, build power in communities and advance racial and gender equity.

Becca grew up in a small town in southern Oregon and is currently raising her family in the big city of Portland.