- Early childhood and preschool
- Juvenile justice
- Minority students
- Race and diversity
Josefina Alvarado-Mena serves as the CEO of Safe Passages, leading citywide children’s initiatives spanning the age continuum of birth to young adulthood. In this role, Alvarado-Mena led the collaborative efforts to design and implement Oakland Elev8, a full-service community schools initiative that now represents a partnership of over 40 public and private organizations and has leveraged over $20 million in local funding. Prior to joining the Safe Passages team, Alvarado-Mena headed the Department of Student, Family and Community Services for the Oakland Unified School District. She began her legal career representing low-income Latino and African-American students in school discipline, special education, discrimination, and language rights cases. Alvarado-Mena has received many awards and honors during 15 years of senior management experience in the public, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors in Oakland. She holds a bachelor’s degree in ethnic studies and a law degree from University of California, Berkeley.