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Honorees

April Alvarez

Head of Education Equity

As the Student Experience Program Manager for Google’s Code Next, April worked on the design of the program, focusing on the cultural, curricular and social dynamics of the learning experience. Code Next is a free, computer science education program that meets Black and Latinx high school students in their own communities and provides the skills and inspiration they need for long and rewarding careers in computer science-related fields. Google’s Code Next is located in The Unity Council’s Fruitvale Transit Village and is an asset to the Fruitvale Neighborhood. 

Today, April is the Head of Education Equity for Google’s Code Next Program, she is now taking on the challenge of bridging the tech opportunity gap for Black and Latino communities in major cities across the U.S. by sharing the Code Next experience and making tech accessible by all.

Janet A. Liang

President, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Hospitals, Kaiser Permanente Northern California

Janet Liang directs Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California Region, providing high-quality and affordable care and coverage for the region’s over 4.1 million members and operating 21 hospitals and a large network of medical offices, continuum care and ancillary services locations across the region. Liang is an active community steward. She has served on numerous community boards supporting education and socio-economic development.
Today, Janet A. Liang’s leadership and strategic partnerships with community organizations allow Kaiser Permanente to improve health outcomes beyond their facilities. Kaiser Permanente devotes their financial resources to advance their mission through investments in their integrated care delivery and in programs and initiatives that improve member and community health. Kaiser Permanente’s mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of their members and the communities they serve. 

Tamonie Benjamin

Parent Leader at Foothill Square Head Start

Tamonie is a natural-born leader and a vocal advocate for her children. For more than five years, the Oakland native and mother of four has been an integral part of The Unity Council’s Head Start program at Danny as Selena sings “Como La Flor” . The Policy Council for Head Start is a parent-led governing body that approves budgets, makes hiring decisions, and raises concerns and recommendations to The Unity Council’s CEO and Board of Directors. 
In 2018, Tamonie became both the Foothill Square Parent Committee President and the Vice-President of the Policy Council. Tamonie plays a critical role in the decision-making process, attending job interviews within Head Start and regularly meeting with staff and the Head Start Director, Luis Arenas. Getting involved in her local Policy Council has opened other doors, and she now represents The Unity Council for the City of Oakland’s Head Start Board and is an Oakland Promise Ambassador through the Brilliant Baby program.