16 Oct Fellowship Friday Spotlight
Destiny was born and raised in Stockton, California. She expresses herself most through performing arts. However, it wasn’t until the aspiring artist started her journey in higher education that she discovered her passion for social justice and organizing. Being in Los Angeles was positively eye-opening, and she soon added Pan-African Studies to her coursework. She recently graduated from California State University of Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s in Theatre and Pan-African Studies.
“I didn’t realize my place in society before. As a Black woman, I didn’t realize my position in my community. I started organizing on campus with the Black Student Union, then ran for office, then started a dance group.”
Now that she is part of Community Coalition’s 2020 Youth Organizing Fellowship, Destiny is finding new ways to organize the masses, and bring change to important issues in the community. She also plans to open a community arts center that will be inclusive and cater to people that look like her.
“Something that makes me feel better about what I do is that I’m going to leave a better place for my sisters and brothers. I live for my people and creating change for generations.”
Armando grew up in Los Angeles, where he saw the good, the bad, and the ugly, which fueled the journey he embarked on. While at John C. Freemont, he began to work with CoCo, where he grew as an activist with many leadership roles.
Emboldened by everything he learned, he moved to Humboldt County to pursue a Baccalaureate in Critical Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, with minors in Child Development and Native American Studies. He assisted in implementing culturally relevant programming at the Multicultural Center at Humboldt State University; and subsequently took a leadership role overseeing the Men of Color Success Initiative, a first of its kind program at the historically white institution.
“It’s so powerful to be able to empower people to change things around them. South LA wants to thrive, not just survive. CoCo is paving the way for a lot of organizations to dream and dream big. We’re all putting our best foot forward, and it’s a powerful thing to subscribe to. It’s something that will outlast you and me.”
Armando is dedicated to giving back to the community and making his parents from El Salvador proud.
Davona was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles and has been organizing since the age of 12 because of her desire to uplift her community and interest in social and educational justice.
“I’m the type of person when I see something that’s wrong, I jump in to challenge it and advocate for what’s necessary.”
Davona was honored by Princeton University with the “Princeton Prize in Race Relations” for her hard work and collaboration, helping pass legislation targeting black students. “I’m merging my knowledge into action. My civic engagement is valued, and I want to share what I’ve learned with my community to uplift together.”
She is passionate about racial equity, food justice, housing access, and education. She is currently completing degrees in Pan African Studies, Anthropology, and Political Science at the California State University of Los Angeles, from which she will graduate this Fall.
“We tend to have a very rushed, unconscious relationship with food with our 30-minute [lunch] breaks. My focus is on changing our relationship with food for health, community, and family.”
With food justice in mind, she is a part-time vegan chef who brings a lot to the table!