Board of Trustees & Advisors

The World Trust Board of Directors


Ricardo Millett, PhD

Board Chair

brings a formidable background in providing program evaluation and strategic planning consultant services to foundations and non-profits. He was formerly President of The Woods Fund in Chicago, where he developed and implemented a strategic grantmaking plan for the foundation that served it well in responding to the needs of Chicago least advantaged.

Prior to the Woods Fund Dr. Millett was Director of Program Evaluation for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  There, he focused on building greater communication and collaboration between evaluation and program staff to maximize the use of evaluation as an integral part of programming.  Before joining the Kellogg Foundation, Dr. Millett served as senior vice president of planning and resource management for the United Way of Massachusetts Bay in Boston. He was responsible for planning, allocation, and distribution of organizational resources to meet the needs of greater Boston.


Amikaeyla Gaston

is a recording artist and Executive Director of the International Cultural Arts & Healing Sciences Institute. ICAHSI, in collaboration & partnerships with government, health, & non-profit environmental and social justice organizations, has created Music-Spirit Health Conferences for at-risk populations. ICAHSI’s work has been utilized and implemented by the US Consulate General’s Cultural Affairs office, UNHCR, Caritas, National CityDance, & Intersections International.

Her “Music As Medicine – Healing with an Artful Purpose” programming – a multi-faceted therapeutic approach through music, movement, & theater modalities – has taken Amikaeyla around the world as a Cultural Ambassador to Cuba, China, Taiwan, Africa, India to work with at-risk youth and children, and since last fall, she has been to Israel, Beirut, Amman, Damascus, & Ramalla in the Middle East to work with Iraqi & Palestinian refugee children, hoping to aid in alleviating pain and trauma caused by the war.


Matthew Balano

is an educator, diversity consultant, and social justice activist. Mr. Balano is the Director of Equity & Inclusion and an eleven-year veteran of the English department at St. Ignatius College Preparatory, where he teaches a History of Race course. A San Francisco native, he has nearly twenty years of experience in education. He has worked extensively with Magis, a San Francisco-based Jesuit academic enrichment program for first-generation college-bound students, developing curriculum, providing community outreach, and teaching a variety of courses.

Mr. Balano is the founder and director of the annual West Coast [email protected] Summit, a two-day event that brings together hundreds Latino youth from across the Western US to explore identity, share culture and develop leadership skills.  He is also a Board Director and Events Committee Chair for People of Color in Independent Schools (POCIS), and has organized and presented at numerous diversity conferences, in-services and workshops.


Shakti Butler, PhD

is the Founder and Creative Director of World Trust. She is also the producer and director of the documentaries The Way Home and Light in the Shadows and Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible and World Trust’s newest film Cracking the CodesThe System of Racial Inequity.


Rick Butler

Director of Photography

is a four-time Emmy award winning cameraman with over twenty years experience in film and television. His work has included many intimate verité documentaries, as well as more conventional documentary and narrative forms. His favorite projects are those which help increase understanding between people and raise consciousness about our communities and environment.


Yolanda Ronquillo, PhD

is an expert in adult transformative learning and change.  Dr Ronquillo is nationally known for fostering and developing learning communities and Arts in Education models.  She has created the instructional framework known as Cultural Paths to Knowledge (CPK) which has been used effectively to help English Language Learners.


Jasmine A. Smith


has been a Bay Area resident for almost 20 years, originally from a small town in southern California. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Public Policy. She is an HR Professional with almost 5 years experience ranging from corporate recruiting, organizational effectiveness and design, strategic staffing, talent management, employee engagement to compensation within an organization that has a strong international presence and growing globally. She has received her Professional of Human Resources certificate (PHR) and has a wealth of knowledge in the HR, Finance and international sphere.

Currently she is an HR Manager at Gap Inc, specifically for the Gap Global Outlet division. Previously she has held finance roles within Gap Inc, most notably in the launching of the e-commerce business, She is also the Co-President of the African American Network Group for Gap Inc and sits on the company’s Diversity Council. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc, first joining in 1998. She considers herself a foodie, movie buff and avid traveler.


Shirley Strong

is Dean of Students and Director of Diversity at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Prior to her work at CIIS, Shirley directed a national initiative started by the Levi Strauss Foundation that developed and supported multi-racial coalitions and partnerships engaged in antiracist, community building work. Shirley declares herself fortunate that her career enables her to bring together education, activism and spirituality in the service of Beloved Community.


Eileen Sullivan, PhD

is a practicing psychotherapist and author. Her writing regarding white privilege and what she calls “unpacking the human package” is ground breaking and has been successfully utilized in anti-bias workshops. Dr. Sullivan is known for bringing diverse communities together and facilitating dialogue and deeper understanding.


Craig Elliot, PhD

works as the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA and holds a rank of Assistant Professor. He received his Ph.D. in Transformative Learning and Change at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA and his doctoral research was on fathering as a feminist experience.  As an administrator at Samuel Merritt University, Dr. Elliott is helping lead the University’s efforts on inclusion, equity and social justice.

Craig is also a trainer, consultant, and speaker on diversity, leadership, and social justice with ten years of experience.  Craig’s research interests explore white caucus work, the intersection of Transformative Learning and Social Justice work, inclusion and equity, and institutional change.  He has contributed chapters on feminism, fathering, co-authored an article on the transformative nature of medical missions, and an article on institutional barriers to inclusion and equity.

Craig has presented numerous programs at the local and national level on diversity, gender, class, social justice, social change and leadership, and served in various higher education organizations in a variety of capacities.  Notably, Craig chaired the Inclusion Task Force for the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) in 2002, member of the National Advisory Council (NAC) for the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) from 2012-2014, co-chair of the Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee for ACPA in 2013, President of the California College Personnel Association from 1999-2001, served on the national convention planning teams (2002 and 2013), and served as a board member for the City of Alameda Food Bank.  He is a Social Justice Training Institute alumnus, a past faculty intern with SJTI, and a Lead facilitator for the LeaderShape Institute.


Ace Portis

is a professional social justice fundraiser with a deep passion for philanthropy. She brings several years of fundraising, project management, and event logistics/management experience. Ace currently serves at the Director of Development at Transgender Law Center. She has committed her life to philanthropic service, spending hundreds of volunteer and board work hours in various capacities.

A recent Bay Area transplant from Washington D.C. with strong Alabama roots, Ace graduated from The University of Alabama and Old Dominion University, earning a B.A. in Higher Education Administration & Community Development and a M.S. Ed in Higher Education Administration respectively. She has dedicated her life to education, social justice, youth, and overall intersectional equality. Ace truly believes that philanthropy is vital to our collective liberation.


Makani Themba

is Chief Strategist at Higher Ground Change Strategies based in Detroit, Michigan.  A social justice innovator and pioneer in the field of change communications and narrative strategy, she has spent more than 20 years supporting organizations, coalitions and philanthropic institutions in developing high impact change initiatives.  Higher Ground Change Strategies is her newest project, which she describes as “a place where change makers can get the support they need to take their work to the next level.” 

Previously, Makani served as the founder and executive director of The Praxis Project, a nonprofit organization helping communities use media and policy advocacy to advance health justice.  Under her leadership, The Praxis Project raised more than $20 million for advocacy organizations working in communities of color and provided training and technical assistance to hundreds of organization and public agencies nationwide.  

Makani is a highly sought-after public speaker, capacity builder, and ethnographer.  Her publications have helped set the standard for policy advocacy work and contributed significantly to the field of public health’s current emphasis on media and policy advocacy to address root causes of health problems. Makani has published numerous articles and case studies on race, class, media, policy advocacy and public health.


Erica Webber

is the Global Director for Industry and Services at IBM Research. In this role, she works across the many business units within the IBM Corporation to maximize the business impact of the innovation and creativity of IBM Research. In this role, she leverages 20+ years of learning and experience as a president, chief operating officer, financial officer or management consultant for a Fortune 100 corporation, a leading consultancy, and several multinational, NGO / nonprofit, government and higher education organizations. Erica loves that learning and improving remains continuous for her and her teams.


Advisory Board


Van Jones

is a globally recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean-energy economy. Van is a co-founder of three successful non-profit organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change and Green For All. He is the best-selling author of the definitive book on green jobs: The Green-Collar Economy. He served as the green jobs advisor in the Obama White House in 2009. He is currently a senior fellow at the Center For American Progress. Additionally, he is a senior policy advisor at Green For All.  Van Jones also holds a joint appointment at Princeton University, as a distinguished visiting fellow in both the Center for African American Studies and in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.


Connie Cagampang Heller

is co-founder of the Linked Fate Salon and the Linked Fate Fund for Justice at the Tides Foundation. The salon offers progressive activities and funders a place to think about and discuss movement building strategies collectively and cooperatively and, at the same time, network with peers working on issues and in sectors outside their own. Through the Linked Fate Fund for Justice, Ms. Heller works with individual donors and national donor membership organizations to deepen commitment to building an inclusive, political infrastructure that has social justice at its core. She serves on the Boards of World Trust Educational Services, Center for Social Inclusion, and Americans For a Fair Democracy.


Carl Anthony, PhD

is the founder and former executive director of the Urban Habitat Program, one of the oldest environmental justice organizations in the country. Until recently he was a Ford Foundation program officer in the Community and Resource Development unit. He is currently a Visiting Scholar/Ford Foundation Senior Fellow in the Department of Geography at the University of California Berkeley. The mission of Urban Habitat is to promote multicultural urban environmental leadership for sustainable, socially just communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. With a colleague, Luke Cole at the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, he published and edited the Race, Poverty and Environment Journal, the only environmental justice periodical in the country.


Margaret Paloma Pavel, PhD

works in the Bay Area and internationally consulting to individuals, communities, and organizations in areas such as strategic visioning, communication, diversity, and leadership development. Dr. Pavel’s organizational clients reflect a core values commitment in areas of health, justice, education, and sustainable development. Dr Pavel is the founder of Earth House in Oakland, CA.


Peter Shwartz

began working in education programs in 1972, at the Upward Bound Program at Southeastern Mass. University. He has designed and taught in-school and after-school reading programs for students of all ages. At Addison-Wesley he wrote and edited elementary school science curricula. During ten years at the Developmental Studies Center (DSC), a non-profit research and development center, he produced over fifty documentary-based videos that have been used in pre-service and in-service teacher professional development, conferences, and fundraising. His firm, Dellaruth Video serves a number of clients including the Japanese Research Lesson Project (NSF/Mills College), the Open Circle Project (Wellesley College), the Strategic Literacy Initiative and the Teacher Professional Development Program (both at WestEd.)