The NorCal Community Resilience Network consists of a part-time staff members and Regional Steering Committee.

Our Advisory Team advises the Steering committee.

Staff:

Susan Silber: Susan was introduced to community resilience after learning about the Transition Movement and co-founded the Berkeley Transition Initiative five years ago. Susan was co-producer of the Building Resilience Communities Convergence in both 2013 and 2015, and Community Resilience Challenge for two years. She also worked as an environmental educator for the past 25 years, and is proud to have introduced thousands of youth to the joys of nature, working with the Green Schools Initiative, Hostelling International, the Peace Corps and other programs.

Molly Hoffman: Molly is an event producer and community organizer with a background in Permaculture Design, Visual Arts and Placemaking. Her work is driven by the understanding that the equity and health of people are not mutually exclusive to the health of our planet. She’s most passionate about events that use the “social glues” of our world—food, art, music—as catalysts for change. She’s currently serving as the Events Steward at PLACE For Sustainable Living in Oakland.

Kelly Jiang: Kelly is an engineering student at UC Berkeley and a budding community organizer. She is the president of her school’s chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World, which is partnering with the NorCal Resilience Network to build design projects for local grassroots organizations. She is passionate about getting university students involved and engaged deeply in community organizing, and believes that the Network is the perfect way to do that. Additionally, she sits on the City of Berkeley’s Energy Commission, and conducts research on distributed renewable energy in the developing world with the global advocacy organization Power for All.

Steering Committee:

Ayako Nagano:  Ayako is an attorney, entrepreneur, community organizer and frequent volunteer at Transition Berkeley. She presently serves on the Board of ZenPlay, a charitable organization that crowd-sources funds to help under-served children both locally and globally. Ayako has utilized her non-profit and legal experience to support diverse causes including the Japanese-speaking persons living in the United States; tenant rights in Oakland; the HIV Law Project in New York City; the Union of Needletrade, Industrial, and Textile Employees; women’s rights, and human rights.

Yasir Cross: Yasir is a design engineer by trade and has been practicing permaculture design for many years. He is a grey water specialist as well as a skilled builder. He is passionate about natural beekeeping and has been studying and keeping bees successfully for almost a decade. Yasir is also a crafter and artist who loves to work with his hands.  He has a natural gift for fixing just about anything and as an organic farmer is putting that gift to good use. A student of the biodynamic farming methodology, Yasir is using, learning, and teaching his experience.  Sustainable building, grafting fruit trees, composting, double digging, and building soil are some of his interests. Yasir is co-owner of Soul Flower Farm where he lives with his wife, sons, chickens, bees and jersey milk cows.

Lucy (Luz) O’Leary: Lucy, or Luz, is a community organizer and artivist with a background in research, education, and permaculture design. Luz worked as a labor and community organizer in her hometown of Los Angeles before traveling for two years in Latin America as a student of permaculture, traditional music, and Buddhist meditation. During this time, she served as Intercultural Education Coordinator at Alianza Arkana, a grassroots alliance of indigenous communities and international allies working to protect and regenerate the Peruvian Amazon. Luz is currently partnering with the Creative Liberation Network on the pilot design of a permaculture-inspired treasure hunt in Oakland.

Sunil Nair: Sunil R Nair is the Founder of Cogarden – a technology platform that Connects People, Plants, and Places. Through Cogarden, Sunil’s primary focus is on enabling a ‘Community To Consumer’ food system as an economically viable, ecologically balanced alternative to factory farming, and as a healthier option to the food access challenges impacting the working poor. Cogarden is inspired by the social equity, interdependence, and sustainability culture embedded within large and small food cooperatives. Previously, Sunil led Line of Business, Business Process Engineering functions within technology companies in India, Middle East, and in the U.S. over a corporate career spanning 22 years. Since taking a stay-at-home dad gig on becoming a parent in 2012, Sunil has been involved in a variety of Food Justice and Food Access initiatives – Seed Lending Libraries, Community Gardens, Urban Homesteading – along the East Bay, and at the NOFA-NJ Beginner Farmer Incubator program.

Kris Jensen: Kris is a Bay Area native who brings his passion for social and environmental justice to all that he does. He finds his inspiration in the permaculture principles of caring for the earth, caring for people and in sharing of our excess. Kris studied permaculture under Penny Livingston-Stark at the Regenerative Design Institute in Bolinas, California and has integrated that knowledge into his current work as the founding executive director of the Regenerative Communities Collective and previously as the executive director of Collective Roots and San Bruno Mountain Watch. Kris finds solace in growing his own food, crafting furniture, kayaking and, of course, spending time with family and friends—usually over a delicious home cooked meal.

Our Story 

The NorCal Community Resilience Network was founded in 2013 by Susan Silber, a longtime environmental educator and community organizer. Susan’s original intent was to support Transition groups from across Northern California after helping to organize the 2012 Transition Conference. In 2013, permaculture and Transition leaders combined conferences to produce the first Building Resilient Communities Convergence. In a desire to support grassroots efforts across the region beyond this annual event, the Network vision expanded to include permaculture and community resilience groups so as to strengthen connections and collaborations born out of the yearly gatherings. Since its inception, the organization has sought to integrate an ethos of social justice and radical inclusion in order to support transformation in the environmental movement as a whole.