Congratulations to SDLA institute alumni Crystal Page (Class of 2014)! Crystal is now the Director of Communications at SEIU California!
Content producer, digital strategist and web developer—Crystal has spent the last decade creating and managing digital content for clients and employers such as SEIU-USWW, Good Jobs LA and Brave New Films. Additionally, while living in Chicago, she gave her time to WLUW 88.7 as a broadcast engineer for community programming. Her syndicated reality show, “A Just Sparkle,” continues to air on CAN-TV teaching viewers how to shop sweatshop-free. Crystal earned an MFA in Film Production from the University of Southern California and a dual BA in Communication and Theology from Loyola University of Chicago.
San Diego Leadership Alliance alumni Kimberly R. Simms (Class of 2013) was elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the California Cannabis Industry Association.
Kimberly earned her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California and started her own law practice focusing on the unique legal needs of the medical marijuana community. In this position, she has fought relentlessly for patients’ rights, met with government officials to craft reasonable and effective regulations that allow for safe access, and litigated against cities when they refused to comply with state law. Kimberly is at the forefront of this emerging area of law. She has taught courses on Medical Marijuana Law and has been interviewed by NPR, CNN, and various media outlets as a leading expert in this field.
Furthermore, as a passionate advocate for LGBT rights, Kimberly is committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of the LGBT community through legal work, education and public policy work. She is currently expanding her practice to include legal services in adoption and surrogacy matters. Kimberly is a member of the Young Professionals Council, a philanthropic organization supporting the San Diego LGBT Center.
Continuing its longstanding investment in the next generation of progressive leaders in San Diego, the San Diego Leadership Alliance (SDLA) has welcomed its newest class of SDLA Institute Fellows. “We are committed to building a strong network of young, progressive professionals from all over the San Diego region,” said SDLA Co-Director John Greenwell, “This talented group of new fellows reflects what our organization’s progressive values are all about.”
After a competitive application and interview process, 20 fellows were selected for the hallmark SDLA Institute. Fellows will engage in an intense five-month training program designed to provide them with the skills and relationships needed to create a positive impact in the San Diego region.
“Interactive SDLA Institute sessions will give fellows hands-on experiences in shaping policy, public speaking, coalition building, fundraising, and other essential skills needed to cultivate future leaders in our community,” says Greenwell.
At the end of the first session of the 2017 SDLA Institute, 2015 alum and SDLA Institute Co-Chair Sean Elo said, “In a time when good, progressive leadership is essential, I left the first weekend confident that the individuals in the room will become a close-knit team dedicated to and capable of turning their good energy into the collective action our community wants and needs.”
A true reflection of the greater San Diego community, the 2017 SDLA Institute fellows are a diverse group of talented social change agents.
The current cohort represents an array of professional sectors, including education, housing development, city government, health care, law, immigration and refugee advocacy, climate justice, faith-based organizations and community organizing.
“Each year we seek to build a cohort where fellows can learn, not just from our distinguished instructors, but from each other as well,” shares Wyn Furman, SDLA co-director. “The fellows’ unique combination of personal experience and professional expertise ensures every cohort is truly distinct from those that came before.”
Cassie Purdy, a 2015 alum and Institute co-chair, notes that “this year’s class represents exactly what SDLA is about — it's so exciting to see a bunch of new faces in the progressive movement and get to know people who are passionate about becoming more engaged in the San Diego community.”
With this eighth class of fellows, SDLA will have trained more than 150 emerging professionals in the San Diego region, giving them the tools needed to become progressive leaders. SDLA Institute graduates have a successful history of going on to positively impact the region.
Learn more about the 2017 Institute fellows by reading their bios here.