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Audience in Lecture






Chief Executive Officer


Forward Change


Tia Elena Martinez has over 25 years’ experience working for social justice in working class communities of color in the United States. Over the decades her work spanned a wide range of issues including K-12 education, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the war on drugs, homelessness, affordable housing, disconnected youth, and immigration. She is currently the Executive Director of Forward Change, an organization that helps advocates and community organizers use data, strategy, and research to advance racial, economic, and gender justice. Her focus is on dismantling the school to prison pipeline, ending mass incarceration, and transforming life chances for children of color. Prior to Forward Change, she was the Chief Equity Officer at the Stupski Foundation. Tia came to the foundation from the Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity at UC Berkeley Law School, where she was acting director of education, leading a policy unit focused on issues related to teacher effectiveness and racial justice. Prior to joining the Warren Institute, she served as strategic consultant to the Office for Civil Rights in the US Department of Education leading their strategic planning process and supporting rollout and implementation of the new strategy across 12 regional offices. Prior to working with the department, Tia was a manager with the Bridgespan Group where she led engagements with national foundations and major civil rights groups. Tia has an AB in History from Harvard University, a Master in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy, and a JD from Stanford Law School.

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