Episode 1: Participatory Budgeting

with Kristania De Leon
Co-Executive Director, Participatory Budgeting


Kristania has worked with a range of mission-driven organizations addressing social determinants of health and justice. Her work has focused on public policy, advocacy, community engagement, and capacity building. She currently works with the Participatory Budgeting Project, increasing the adoption, visibility, and impact of Participatory Budgeting across North America. She obtained her BA in International Relations from the University of British Columbia and her MA in Social Innovation from the University of San Diego’s Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice. She is currently based in Oakland, CA.

Visit Participatory Budgeting Project to learn more!

​One of the resources uplifted during this podcast episode was Democracy Beyond Elections, a collaborative, national campaign dedicated to transformative democracy rooted in community led decision making.

Episode 2: Reproductive Health Rights and Justice

with Shantay R. Davies-Balch, MBA, CLE, Doula

President and CEO, Black Wellness & Prosperity Center 


Shantay is President and CEO of BLACK Wellness a Prosperity Center, the first CBO in the County of Fresno established to address the Black Maternal Child Health Crisis. She also serves as the Director for the COVID-19 Equity Project, African American Coalition, housed at one of the nation’s largest Community Action Agencies, Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission.

Her career has been dedicated to improving health outcomes for all women and babies and is a certified lactation educator, doula, and certified newborn care specialist, with an expertise in premature birth, infant and maternal mortality, and breastfeeding. Shantay is a Community researcher and a member of the Black Maternal Infant Health Statewide Advisory Board, to develop the first comprehensive statewide report on the status of Black women and babies in California in 30 years. In 2019, Shantay was recognized for her leadership in Black Maternal Health by then-U.S. Senator, Kamala Harris.


Shantay graduated Summa Cum Laude from Fresno Pacific University with a degree in Healthcare Administration and received her Master’s in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University, Carey Business School, with a specialty in Healthcare Management.


Visit Black Wellness & Prosperity Center to learn more!

Resources that were uplifted in this episode include:​

Episode 3: Building a culture of solidarity in public health

with Mojgan (Mo) Sami, PhD, MA

Assistant Professor of Health Equity, CSU Fullerton  


Mojgan Sami, PhD, MA, holds a doctorate in Urban Planning from the School of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine, with an emphasis on Public Health. She also holds a Master’s degree in International Law and Economics from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She teaches undergraduate courses in health equity and global health. Dr. Sami’s research interests include infrastructure and ecological impacts on health equity and wellbeing.


Dr. Sami is currently the Board Vice President for California Walks, an organization that advocates for people-centered mobility in the state.  She is also an advisor with a special task force on health and environment at the World Health Organization.